Head to Canada’s westerly wine region and discover why you need to visit this region (Kelowna) now.
Known as the oldest continuously producing vineyard in British Columbia, proprietor Eric Savics established Tantalus in 2004, with the winery’s first 2005 vintage garnering national and international attention as one of Canada’s best Riesling producers. Tantalus single vineyard wines including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have also been recognized consistently. Step into the sleek Leed Certified winery, evokes an art gallery style tasting room with works from Canada’s most acclaimed artists.
The Salted Brick
Billed as a premiere charcuterie shop, chef owner Jason Leizert specializes in everything meat. Smoked tongue, beef carpaccio, duck prosciutto and other cured items round out the uber local menu. The impressive 16-hour roasted brisket sandwich served in a crusty baguette alongside a salad and house pickles is a crowd
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
This architectural gem is requisite when visiting Kelowna. The magnificent scale of the property, with modern sculptures, blossoming roses and spectacular views of Lake Okanagan are worth the visit. Dinner at Terrace restaurant is truly memorable, with the use of local and sustainable produce (much of this being provided by the estate Varietal Garden), combined with a modern approach to Canadian cuisine, paired with world class wine.
The bright yellow winery in south east Kelowna, produces a concise portfolio of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. This focus has been rewarded. The winery and winemaker Bill Pierson have received several distinctions including the top prize at the 2016 BC Wine awards for their 2014 Pinot Noir Cuvee and several awards at the National Wine Awards of Canada. The estate vineyard, Gentleman Farmer, was first planted with vines in 2008, with four acres of Pinot Noir from Dijon clones.
Harvesting the first vintage in 2008, was a full circle moment for the Casorzo family who had been working the land as agriculturalists in the Okanagan, since immigrating from Italy in the late 1880s. Today, the 45 acre Sperling vineyard boasts a 45– year old planting of Merechal Foch, and winemaker Ann Sperling has been awarded several honours including the prestigious 2015 Grand Gold at Mondial des Pinots in Switzerland for Sperling’s Pinot Blanc Icewine 2013 VQA. Sperling produces several sparkling wines, as well as chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, gewurtztraminer, and pinot noir.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
As one of Canada’s most visited wineries, there is certainly palpable energy at this organic and biodynamic vineyard. Perhaps it is the fact that the International award winning wine (like the brilliant Cipes Brut) are finished in the famous Pyramid cellar, that according to Summerhill founder and proprietor Stephen Cipes is,”built with precision Sacred Geometry and aligned to the stars to create a structure of stillness and harmony.” The Kelowna vineyard was purchased by Cipes in 1986, originally hand planting grape clones from France, and has since gone on to produce a vast array of styles, from aromatic ehrenfelser, riesling and
gewürztraminer to merlot, pinot noir syrah as well as sparkling wine and icewine. Executive Chef Alex Lavroff elegantly adds hints of South East Asia (togarashi
chickpeas, Summerhill Ramen) to the regional and seasonal menu at the on–site restaurant, Sunset Bistro.
Set amidst the shores of Lake Okanagan, check into the 102–room property and wake up early to catch the spectacular sunrise. This hotel blends homey rooms with relaxing private patios. Dine at popular restaurant, aptly named Smack DAB, literally right in the heart of Kelowna’s waterfront district.
The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
Award-winning hotel in downtown Kelowna, with 36,000 square feet of event space and on–site restaurant OAK+CRU Social Kitchen.
This original travel article first appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.