This year has brought has us things we have not ever experienced. Here in Kelowna we had been on lockdown since mid March and business and things have started to open up here. The summer here in the Okanagan is by far my favourite. One of the things I look forward to during this time is visiting the wineries all around the Okanagan. I was beginning to wonder if this would be possible this year but I am happy to say that wineries have started to open their tasting rooms and restaurants, and I could not be happier about it.
Over the last couple of weeks I had the opportunity to visit 2 of my favourite wineries here in the Okanagan, Mission Hill Winery and Cedar Creek Winery. Both wineries are open and are offering some great unique wine experiences for you.
MISSION HILL WINERY
I would say Mission Hill Winery is so iconic here in the Okanagan, a must visit while here and for us locals a must visit every year( maybe more then once)
This year is a little different due to Covid 19. Mission Hill Winery has done a great job at creating some unique wine and food experiences for you to choose from. We did the Taste of a Single Vineyard Wines Tour while we were there. The tour begins with a welcome glass of sparkling wine (Exhilaration Brut Rosé )and a guided tour through the vineyard. There is nothing like sipping wine and walking in the vineyard. It is always so educational to hear about how the wine is grown and produced as well as some of the history of the architecture at the vineyard. I have been here a few times and I feel like I learn something new every time.
Our tour then continues with the fun part, the tastings. You are seated for this tasting along with your guide, this was the first time we have done a tasting this way and I really liked it. I felt like it gave a more personalized experience. You can chat, ask questions, relax and enjoy the different wines offered.
These are the wines we tried during our tasting:
I am a Rosé lover and the Terrior Border Vista Rosé was by far my favourite from our tasting, the perfect summer wine in my opinion. If you have ever tried Ice Wine you know it is pretty sweet, pretty much a dessert but the Vidal Ice Wine we tasted was so good we took a bottle home and am already looking forward to putting it over my ice cream for dessert.
The entire experience was about a hour long and it was the perfect amount of time to taste some wine and learn something new. To check out all the different experiences available at the Mission Hill Winery click here. Mission Hill is now offering free delivery on their wines if you cannot make it out here to grab it your yourself.
Along with any of the wine experiences You can add a lunch at the Terrace Restaurant on the property and I will say this is a must. The food is fantastic, the view is one of a kind, the entire experience is one you will never forget.
Now lets eat... the menu that is offered right now is a 2 course tasting menu for a set price, each course is paired with a wine pairing. The choice is hard, everything on the menu always sounds so good so you really can't go wrong with anything there in my opinion. Reservations are requires so be sure to plan ahead.
CEDAR CREEK WINERY
Just across Okanagan Lake from Mission Hill Winery is another one of my favourites, CedarCreek Winery. I visited this winery first time last year and it very quickly became a favourite. Driving along the lake to the property is part of the experience, lake drives are the best. The winery is very picturesque from the time you drive through the front entrance and step into the one of the most beautiful tasting rooms I have ever visited. The tasting room was renovated last year and it has the most amazing views of the lake, comfy couches to sit on and the tasting bar itself is set right in the middle of all the beauty.
Cedar Creek Winery has introduced some new experiences for this summer 2020 season, Taking all the safety precautions they are all by reservation only so make sure you book ahead of visiting. We did the Farm to Glass Wine experience, the courtyard has been set up with seating for these tasting giving you a more intimate experience then just standing at the tasting bar. We had the opportunity to taste 6 wines during our tasting, here are the ones we tried.
I have to say I love my BC wine but I have found a new favourite, We absolutely loved the new vintage, the 2019 Pinot Gris. We may have come home with a bottle or maybe 4. Looking forward to enjoying this on my patio this summer.
You all know how much I love a good food pairing so we had to stop for lunch at Home Block (the restaurant on the property). They offer a 2 course menu with each course being paired with a wine. I have had a chance to eat here a couple of times and the menu changes quite often so I have tried a variety of dishes and have loved everything I have ever tried.
What ever you choose from this 2 course menu you really can't go wrong.
I really love all the different wine experiences that Cedar Creek offers, not to mention how much I love their wines, if you are looking for a unique personalized wine experience with great food pairings check out the options here,
Yes we are all living in the new normal and yes things have changed at the wineries here in Kelowna but I really feel both Mission Hill Winery and Cedar Creek Winery have done such a great job at creating an experience that is personalized, unique and unforgettable. I really hope you get a chance to check them out and enjoy some great Okanagan Wine.