5 Okanagan Wineries You Can’t Miss in Summer 2019

Summer’s just around the corner and we’re uncorking our favourite bottles of Cabernets, Merlots, and Pinot Gris to celebrate the season. Get to know the best tastes of the Okanagan Valley in our list of 5 local vineyards that can’t be missed on your summer trip to Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre

We’ve also asked Executive Chef, Chris Remington, to recommend delicious food and drink pairings prepared at the Hooded Merganser Bar + Grill, served next to a stunning panoramic view of Okanagan Lake.

  1. Bench 1775

Amazing patio views at Bench 1775 winery, a 10-minute drive from Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre.

Vibrant yet balanced flavours and organically grown grapes gives an authentic and natural tasting experience that allows the fruit to delicately express itself. Aptly named to help wine seekers locate its wine country whereabouts, Bench 1775 is a staple on any wine tour along the Naramata bench. Recently rated one of the top 8 wineries in Canada, and 4th in British Columbia, Bench 1775 is a must visit.

Chef’s recommended food pairing: “1775 Viognier” white wine paired with a fresh and fragrant spiced Green Thai Prawn Curry.

  1. Lake Breeze

Calming winds blow onto the Lake Breeze vineyard, a 15-minute drive from Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre.

Boasting some of the oldest vines on the Naramata Bench, Lake Breeze minimizes intervention between grape and bottle to provide the most natural of flavours. This gives the palate a crisp, fruit-forward taste that lingers long after the last drop.

Chef’s recommended food pairing: “Tempest” meritage blend red wine paired with a mouth-watering 8oz. Dry-Aged New York Steak.

  1. Fairview Cellars

A sunny afternoon at Fairview Cellars vineyard, a 44 minute drive from Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre.

Often described as the hidden gem of the Okanagan Valley wine trail, Fairview Cellars is the lifelong dream of winemaker Bill Eggert come to fruition. His experimental approach to finding perfection in tasting notes — balancing acidity, tannins, body, alcohol, and sweetness — has helped him produce memorable white and red wines suitable for any occasion.

Chef’s recommended food pairing: “The Bear” five blend red wine with a finely braised Lamb Shank.

  1. Hester Creek

The relaxing scenery of Hester Creek Estate Winery, a 45-minute drive from Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre.

Winner of numerous awards, winemaker Rob Summers has been at the helm of this Golden Mile Bench winery since arriving to Hester Creek in 2006. The vineyard sits above the valley floor, taking advantage of long hours of daylight to help avoid seasonal frost damage. Rob Summers describes it best: “The soil, the climate, the light...together they give rise to that intangible magic we call terroir.”

Chef’s recommended food pairing: “The Judge” cab franc, cab sauv, merlot blend red wine with the Dijon-Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb.

  1. Burrowing Owl

Rolling hills backdrop Burrowing Owl Winery, a 49-minute drive from Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre.

Using solar panels to offset CO2 emissions when heating their water, this environmentally conscious winery grows european varietals to produce everything from fruit-driven Athenes to a rich-in-flavour Syrahs. Burrowing Owl gets its moniker from the winery’s proprietors, Jim and Midge Wyse, who are active members of the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of British Columbia (BOCS). Over time, this vineyard has contributed close to a million dollars to the program, in part by visitor donations.

Chef’s recommended food pairing: “Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris” white wine paired with pan-fried Pork Gyoza.

Let the flavours of the Okanagan wineries tantalize your senses with sweet, spicy aromas and rich, fruity flavours. Sample some of the wine’s we’ve listed above when you drop by the Great Estates Okanagan Wine Experience Centre, located on the first floor of our West Tower. Enjoy these wines with a delicious meal by booking a reservation at the Hooded Merganser Bar + Grill.

You can also book shuttle-service wine tours through our front desk with companies like Ogopogo Valley Tours, TopCat Tours, and Grape Escapes Wine Tours.