Curiosity takes me on the wine trail
Imagine rolling hills, lush green valleys, sparkling lakes, fragrant flowers and vineyards. Tuscany? Provence? Or maybe the Okanagan Valley. I always feel like I am in another country when I come here as it is so different from Alberta. Seven hours driving, but it is worth it from my perspective.
We had friends come and visit on the long weekend and decided to go down to Okanagan Falls and Oliver to check out a few wineries and test if we can fill the trunk between the four of us (well three actually as one doesn’t drink). Success on that!
We started at See Ya Later Ranch, which has a stunning view down a valley to the lake. It was a cool and somewhat rainy day and others had the same idea so it was busy, but we found a spot and a very helpful associate. See Ya Later apparently got its name from the colourful character who first bought the property in 1919 and planted grapes. He married a girl from Ontario who, after arriving at the ranch, decided it was too remote and rustic and left a note saying “see you later”. We will have to stay for lunch next time as their food smelled delicious, but we started late and had to push on.
The associate recommended Jackson Triggs as it is part of the wine club (15% off! – she was a good salesperson), but it was really busy so we left and went to a smaller, family owned winery Quinta Ferreira. It is owned by a really nice Portuguese family who were very welcoming.
Just down the road was Le Vieux Pin, a smaller and more expensive winery. They were busy with a group who arrived in a limo (now that would be fun!) so we were taken into another tasting room. I was feeling the effects of the last two places so only had a few sips of my partner’s wine and it was good.
Last stop was Church and State with a gorgeous view of the valley. I remember coming down past Oliver last summer and there were fires burning on the hillside. It is lush green now, at least until the heat of July. The view was even good enough for a dog portrait!
We stopped at Gasthaus in Peachland for dinner. We used to come here every year with my daughter’s soccer team and I still enjoy the vine covered patio and German food. Right across the street is a great place to sit at the side of the lake to watch Canada Day fireworks!
One thing I learned was that wine in the trunk will slow down my partner’s spirited driving – for which our friends were thankful too! I do enjoy taking a break from routine and doing something different and I can’t wait to explore more of British Columbia in the summer. Not sure that I can handle many more wineries, but look forward to hiking and water activities. And if anyone comes for a visit, you know what you are drinking!