After a quick Tim Horton’s breakfast and coffee, we were fuelled and ready to start Day 2. While allowing the coffee and food to settle, we decided to check out the local Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market. The market allowed a quick glimpse at all unique crafters and great produce Kelowna and surrounding areas had to offer. We picked up a few snacks that we would enjoy from winery to winery and started heading toward the West Side Wine Trail, the first of two trails we would complete that day.
The West Side Wine Trail is situated in beautiful West Kelowna. Compared to the wineries of the first day, The Kelowna Fab Five, these wineries operated on a much larger scale. Another distinguishing quality of all these wineries were their incredibly breathtaking views…the wine wasn’t too bad either!
Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery
Our first stop was Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery. This is a 300+ acre family run winery, and their welcoming staff make you feel like one of their own. After taking in some incredible scenery, we went in to taste some of their award winning wines. Their Gammay Noir is everything a Gammay should be, sweet, savoury, and a bit of pepperiness. The Summit is a full bodied red with a very nice finish with lingering raspberry, red current, and a hint of coffee. And finally their Chardonnay… you will simply have to go and try. A great experience all around!
Volcanic Hills Winery
Situated at the foot of a dormant volcano, their wines have been aptly named after their surroundings. Their Lava and Magma are sweet red blends would be perfect with BBQ and they offer single vineyard and multiple vineyard Gewürztraminers that are all excellent. Our only regret was that we were not able to stay and enjoy the delicious smells that were coming from their Blu Saffron Bistro.
The warm sunny day in the Okanogan made this place seem surreal. The view alone is enough to attract people (there were two tour busses of people taking pictures as we arrived). While we waited for the crowd to die down so that we may try their wines, we were able to walk freely through their vineyard. The walk in the sunshine with backdrops of shimmering waters and mountains almost makes you forget you’re here to try the wine. That being said, when we did finally manage to do some tasting, we impressed by all of them. We ended up leaving with more than we could carry.
Come for the view and architecture, not for the wine. Mission hill is easily one of the most beautiful wineries I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Stunning views, incredibly unique architecture, story and art but their wines left something to be desired. After speaking with some of the other guests, we all found the staff to be a little pretentious, their wines overpriced, and that they were the only ones in the region to charge a tasting fee even after a bottle was bought. I would still recommend visiting Mission Hill but it was far from our favourite winery on the trail.
With a bit of a bitter taste in our mouths’, we left for a late lunch break where we would decide where our second wine route of the day would be.
We decided to head North of Kelowna and try the best Lake Country had to offer us in the Lake Country Scenic Sip Route. This route is a must for wine lovers of all sorts as every winery offered something distinctly different from the rest.
Some highlights and unfortunately, another lowlight…
A place where everything happens on site; an impressive task for such a large winery. With a very welcoming tasting room, we decided to linger a little longer after buying a few bottles and enjoyed some wine and cheese on the back deck. Their pinot noir was spicy and chocolaty. Their pinot gris was soft and sweet, perfect for a late summer day.
Interesting note: While there, we saw that a wedding reception was taking place. It seemed like a great venue for such a gathering and if you’re in the market for different wedding experience, I recommend having a look at their facility.
This was a fun winery to stop by. Intrigue Wines are about enjoying their products with friends and family. Their appropriately name Social Red is a tasty blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Cab Sauv. We also sampled their “I Do”. I admittedly am not fond of sparkling roses however I did enjoy this one more than any other.
50th Parallel Estate
This massive complex has a great clean industrial feel that would make an incredible venue for any event, formal or informal. With a great view of the lake, sloped fields of vines, it’s hard not to be impressed by the location. Fortunately for them, not so fortunately for us, they were sold out of some of the top sellers. We did however sample and buy their Chardonnay which I am excited to try with some turkey.
There is not enough I can say about the incredible view seen from the tasting room and restaurant. Just incredible! And while you are distracted by the view, you notice in the corner of your eye a two storey wall covered in awards their wines have won. Having left with more than we could carry, I can’t even begin to say which my favourite wine was. An absolute must visit when anywhere near the area and possibly my favourite of the ones we visited over the weekend.
I’d love to tell you everything about the amazing wines we tried at Arrowleaf, unfortunately, they weren’t interested in our business. We admittedly arrived late in the day, half an hour before closing. This was apparently too late for sampling and buying. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones there. A group of six behind us was also turned away. The most frustrating part was that their seating area had customers still enjoying food and drink. Business must be doing well to be able to turn paying customers away. Thankfully, this was not our last stop.
As we stepped out of the vehicle, we could smell the delicious aroma from their wood pizza oven. Had we not already committed to having dinner elsewhere, this would have been a perfect spot. This winery will make both the pizza lover and art lover happy! Their tasting room is set in their art gallery, an enjoyable experience for all the senses. You will not be able to leave without a bottle of their 2014 pinot noir!