If one is ever in search of a reason to visit the Okanagan I am happy to provide several. There are the beautiful hikes and amazing scenery, the hot and dry weather in the summer, and the coolness of the lake. There is the friendly and almost electrically cool atmosphere and the romantic evenings on the boardwalk in Kelowna.
And then there is the wine.
I have several wineries that are absolute musts whenever I visit the Okanagan and we always try many that aren’t on our list to truly experience the area. Our trip last August was no exception.
The View Winery was our first stop, located in West Kelowna and only a short drive away from the Myra Canyon (a must visit). We discovered The View two years ago and I instantly became obsessed. Each wine is memorable (though my absolute favourite is their Fossil Fuel) and the Bling Sparkling Wine Spritzers were a refreshing surprise. They do not have a single vintage that I don’t love.
After leaving The View we visited too many wineries to name on the drive to Penticton where we were to spend Saturday and Sunday. There are just so many to see and taste and it’s easy to get swept up in the experience. One of the more unique stops of the day was Meadow Vista, a pleasant new discovery for us with its delicious caramelized honey and blissful Bliss (described on their website as a sparkling melomel style honey wine).
Beaumont Winery warred with The View for my favourite of the day, their organic offerings the perfect afternoon refresher and the atmosphere lively and fun (a bridal shower made their way there at the same time as us and the owner performed a few musical numbers with the tour operator complete with costumes and a ukulele). We struck a deal with the owners agreeing to deliver a case of wine to one of their most loyal patrons in Victoria in exchange for a free bottle to go with the several we purchased.
Their trust in us was refreshing and an honour.
Mission Hill is a must see for those new to the area (though it’s a bit too pricey for our tastes). The grounds are huge and the gates at the front always make me think of Jurassic Park (though I am not sure that’s the image they are going for). The views from Mission Hill are stunning and the tasting room is one of a kind. Interesting art litters the grounds and there is a restaurant overlooking the lake.
The next day we visited a few more wineries, stopping at another one of my musts, 8th Generation to pick up a few bottles of our favourites. They were sold out of both their frizzantes which was disappointing, but their Pinot Noir and Riesling Classic were just as good as we had remembered. They also had a cheese tasting going on in the back room which was a delightful new experience for us and the pairings they chose were fantastic.
I never get tired of the Okanagan wines. They are refreshing and unique, just like the region itself.