Kaleden’s rural charm makes it easy to lean into a change of pace in wine touring. The family and pet-friendly boutique wineries inspire a less rushed approach. Offering diverse wines, the small-scale yet noteworthy wineries include Anthony Buchanan Wines, Black Market Wine Co. and Lakeboat Vineyard & Winery. They all share a similar winemaking philosophy: Respect for the land which they farm sustainably to grow exceptional grapes to make wine using low-intervention methods.
The gorgeous lake view along Highway 97 lifts your spirit on your drive south from Penticton. It takes around 10 minutes to reach Kaleden about midway to Okanagan Falls, making the perfect day trip to combine leisurely wine tasting with other activities. Oozing friendly community spirit, this small town is blessed with a captivating lakefront lifestyle.
Kaleden’s name came from a community contest in 1909: The picturesque shores of Dog Lake (now Skaha) inspired Toronto’s Reverend Walter Russel to combine Greek words for beautiful—Kalos—and paradise—Eden. He was awarded a free town lot for his winning entry.
Kaleden’s agricultural history dates to 1909 with the planting of the first fruit trees and, 48 years ago, a vineyard. Once the largest producer of apricots in the Okanagan, the aspects which favour such bounty are why many grape varieties thrive here. The topography varies from vineyards merely blocks apart. One of the breeziest places in the Okanagan, there’s no need for wind machines and the wind aids pest control.
Kids and/or pets aboard or not, the proximity enables wine touring amid play. Pack your eBike to cycle. Hit Pioneer Park for the beach, playground, and perhaps tennis. Bring your canoe, kayak, or paddleboard to explore the shoreline.
Visit the Linden Gardens, a nine-acre garden sanctuary planted with love. One of Kaleden’s first fruit farms, some 75 years later Ken and Margaret Hayter transformed it into a lush “oasis brimming with flowers, trees, shrubs, ponds and streams.”
Savour refreshments there at the popular Frog City Café. Linden Gardens changes seasonally and is a fragrant and eyepopping backdrop for nature photographers and wedding couples. (lindengardens.ca)
Check out historic buildings such as the former hotel on the lakeshore, the locals’ answer to the Parthenon. The former general store sits across from it. Farther afield, the log barn on the east of White Lake Road near the Highway 97 junction en route to St. Andrews By the Lake Golf Resort dates to the 1890s. Golfers pack your clubs, this gorgeous nine-hole course is about 10 minutes from Kaleden.
At Kaleden, it’s not about how many wineries to hit in a day, but rather a mindful visit of unhurried tastings. The range of wines and the depth of knowledge gained will delight you.
Anthony Buchanan Wines
Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (Reservation required 10 am to 12 pm), 205 Lombardy Place. anthonybuchananwines.ca
Winegrower/owner Anthony Buchanan, his wife accountant/owner Nichol and their two (sometimes helping hands) children opened on the roughly 6.5-acre leased home organic vineyard after years as a virtual winery. Anthony had been working since 2006 in cellars on Vancouver Island and the Okanagan alongside “some of the most accomplished winemakers in Canada”, introducing his Anthony Buchanan label at Garagiste North.
Key grape varieties are Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Syrah with the SNAFU and FUBAR blends containing some obscure varietals. Says Anthony, “I’m proud of my commitment to eco-friendly farming practices and sustainable winemaking.” Production is now about 2,000 cases annually.
Black Market Wine Co.
Open daily, 11 am to 5 pm, 198 Spruce Avenue. Blackmarketwine.ca
Owned and operated by Rob Hammersley and Michelle Shewchuk with their three children, Black Market Wine Co. crafts distinctive small-lot wines. Their journey began as Garagistes, producing 100 cases of the 2012 signature red blend, The Syndicate.
In 2020, they opened the tasting room at Conviction Ridge. Their organically farmed, five-acre vineyard is close to the vacation spot the former Calgarians fell in love with in Kaleden. To achieve their current production of roughly 3,000 cases per year, grapes are also sourced from growers who farm responsibly and sustainably. Key grape varieties are Bacchus, Pinot Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
Lakeboat Vineyard & Winery
Open daily, 11 am to 5 pm, 236 Linden Avenue. lakeboatwinery.com
Proprietor Tara Mathison with Mireille Sauvé as winemaker, produced 850 cases in 2021 and in 2022 opened Lakeboat Vineyard & Winery’s tasting room on five acres. Production is now 1,600 cases annually. Tara was drawn by Kaleden’s “quaint charm and friendly townsfolk” to buy, renovate and settle into a cute country home that happened to be surrounded by a winery she ultimately bought.
Key grape varieties are Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. Lakeboat crafts small-batch wines exclusively from locally sourced grapes. A first for this established winegrowing region. The second wine collection in Lakeboat’s tasting room, introduced at Garagiste North, is The Wine Umbrella/Dames Wine fundraising wines, which benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Scholarship Fund ($45,000 and counting).