Anyone up for a fall getaway?
I don’t know about you but fall is by far my favourite time of the year and getting away during this time is even better. Last weekend we went on a quick weekend getaway to the Southern part of the Okanagan. We ended up in Osoyoos but stopped at a few wineries on the way, which I will get to later on. Lets talk about Osoyoos, in my opinion the fall is such a good time to visit. The fall colours are everywhere, it's less busier, there are so many great fall activities to do and in my opinion the weather is perfect.
Osoyoos is a short 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Kelowna and I think it is probably the prettiest drives ever. You are driving along Okanagan Lake, vineyards, and mountains, I have done this drive a few times and I am always mesmerized by the beauty of the scenery. The Southern Okanagan is made up of Peachland, Summerland, Naramata, Kaleden, Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos. It is probably the best wine region here in BC, there are wineries everywhere. Of course you all know I could not visit without hitting up some of them. I do have to say I found the wines to be quite different in this region, I have never been a huge red wine lover but I feel like this region produces some amazing red wines and of course whites. There are so many wineries to visit and I think I could probably spend a whole week here and still would not visit them all, but today I will share 3 wineries I think you should visit on your next wine getaway.
MUST VISIT WINERIES
Located in Okanagan Falls, this was our first stop of the day. This was my first time visiting here and as soon as I walked through the doors I was in awe of the views. All you see is vineyards on vineyards.
We were welcomed with a glass of the ROSÉ and headed out to the patio to enjoy the wine and the view. The patio offers seated tastings but is was a bit cooler out that day so we opted to sit inside for our tasting.
We did the Taste of Okanagan Falls tasting, this included a guided flight of five single varietal wines from Okanagan Falls. This experience is the best way to discover the quality and craftsmanship behind Liquidity wines. I was so impressed with all the knowledge they provided us about the wines and the Okanagan Falls area as it is not one I am familiar with, but will definitely need to come back and see more of.
We were introduced to a great variety of wines from their wine library and there were definitely some stand out wines for us.
It has notes of peach, apricot, orange blossom and honey with a hint of elderflower. A medium body wine with bright acidity.
2018 CHARDONNAY ESTATE
A full-bodied Chardonnay with layers of fresh cut nectarine, pear, ripe citrus and praline. Delicate flavours of passionfruit and white blossom lead to a creamy finish.
It has toasty notes and a rich nose of vanilla cream, pear, honeysuckle, lemon curd, apple peel and caramel, the creaminess on the palate gives way to mineral tones.
2018 PINOT NOIR
A classic style Pinot Noir with red cherry, strawberry, blackcurrant and cola with slate minerality and hints of cedar and sweet tobacco.
RESERVE PINOT NOIR
A creamy very full bodies red wine perfect for the harvest and fall season.
Our favourites were The Viognier and the Reserve Pinot Noir which I plan on serving at our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.
They have a great selection of wines and you can check out the entire wine library HERE.
If you are not local they have a great wine club, which allows you to get your wine delivered to your door along with a few other perks.
If you are planning on visiting the winery be sure to make a reservation and check out all the other wine experiences offered HERE.
Our second stop of the day brings us to the Osoyoos area, Road 13 Winery is located on the golden mile bench in the South Okanagan. Pulling up to this stunning winery you see a castle like structure which makes up the front part of this winery. It gives such a great impression; you can see the history here.
The motto At Road 13 is “ it’s ‘all about the dirt’. Some of the Road 13 vineyards were planted as early as 1965. In fact, the Chenin Blanc vines are some of the oldest in North America!
The Road 13 core wine series include many unique single varietal wines and blends. They take pride in selecting premium grapes for each and every bottle. Their wines express the special character of the South Okanagan’s renowned Golden Mile.
Check out the entire wine library HERE, and don’t worry shipping is FREE.
We experienced the Golden Mile Tasting, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Road 13 winery. This tasting kicks off with a tour of the cellar followed by a seated tasting of five of their most notable wines with a million dollar view.
Here is some of the stand out wines from our tasting:
2019 CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK CHENIN BLANC
A lighter, fresher version of the Old Vines Chenin. The tropical and guava aromas carry nicely onto the medium-bodied palate where they are joined by beautiful notes of white flowers and lemon peel
Complex in all the right ways! White peach, honeysuckle blossom, and freshly picked apricot on the nose and flavours of peach and nectarine on the palate
This Viognier is all kinds of bright and just the right amount of balance
BLIND CREEK 2017 CHARDONAY
The aromas of lemon zest and lime oil, pear, and golden delicious apples with a kiss of crème caramel. On the palate, these flavours become even more intense, culminating in a symphony of gold and yellow fruit.
I found the wines here to be fairly unique, like something I have never tried and I really loved that about our experience here. It is amazing to me that you can visit so many different wineries and still taste unique wines and get a different experience.
They offers various wine tastings and experiences so be sure to check them out HERE and make a reservation before you visit.
Our last stop for the day was CheckMate winery, we were super excited to check out this unique winery, we had heard some amazing things about the new tasting room and the wines. Driving into the winery is a experience in itself through the tree lined driveway. JUST BEAUTFUL!!
Checkmate Winery is owned by the Von Mandl family, the winery specializes in new world chardonnay and merlot with old world elegance. The tastings are currently hosted in the wineries transition lounge, while the new tasting room is being built with plans for a full restaurant and patio in the near future.
I loved the modern feel of the space and one thing that really stood out to me was that they had a huge window that gives you a good look at the production areas of where the wines are made. It’s a experience like no other, to taste wines and be able to see where it is being made at the same time.
Lets talk about the wine, CheckMate wines are artfully crafted using time honoured, traditional techniques to highlight their unique expression of terroir. This dedication to the vineyard has led to two consecutive 100 point vintages of Little Pawn Chardonnay.
We did the Advantage Experience, a 45 minute guided tasting of 6 curated wines including 4 Chardonnays and 2 Merlots. I really loved how the tasting was displayed with each glass placed on the setting with all the information on each wine underneath, they even had all the vineyards (on a map) displayed showing where the wine came from on the back of the tasting menu. A great touch to give you the best experience.
I have to say that Chardonnay is not a favourite of mine but I felt like they had a great selection to really give you a great introduction to some great tasting Chardonnays and I even bought a couple bottles to take home with me that is how much I liked them.
Here are a few stand out wines for me.
2016 QUEEN TAKEN CHARDONNAY
This wine has essences of citrus peel and white peach, pear and wet stone, combined with delicate floral notes. The palate has generous fruit flavours of peach, nectarine and apricot, layered mid-palate richness and focused acidity, providing a long, textured, mineral finish.
2014 LITTLE PAWN CHARDONNAY
Captivating floral nose with hints of rose petal, cinnamon spice and lemon zest. On the palate, subtle richness, hints of cream and beautiful oak integration create a wine of restrained elegance, with substantial length.
This was probably my favourite out of them all.
2014 BLACK ROOK MERLOT
A lifted nose of roses, and bramble fruit. The palate is rich with dark fruits, cassis and savoury tannins coating the mouth.
They have a wide range of wines for any wine lover in their wine library. Check out the full selection HERE. They also have 2 wine membership options for either 6 bottles or 12 bottles. There is even a option for those of you that are in the US. Check out all the options HERE.
WHERE TO STAY
Watermark Beach Resort is located in the heart of Osoyoos, it is literally steps away from the beach and the beautiful lake. In my opinion you cannot get a better location, everything is pretty much walking distance. It is a great resort for families, couples, girls weekend, family reunions, you name it its perfect.
The accommodations range from studio suites to 3 bedroom townhomes and most have fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes so you can feel like it is your home away from home. I would highly recommend a lake view room cause there is nothing like sipping your morning coffee or enjoying a glass of wine in the evening with the amazing lake views here.
There is an amazing restaurant that offers patio dining with the same great lake views, we loved dining here. There are so many great options whether you want to indulge in full 3 course meal( which we did) or just grab a snack and a glass of wine.
Even though we only spent one night here I feel like we managed to do a lot of things, we checked out the downtown area (which we just walked to), we walked along the beach, we enjoyed a great culinary experience at the restaurant and relaxed on our lakeview patio. What more can you ask for?
We enjoyed our fall getaway so much we are already planning another one for next month.