When I visited Quails’ Gate Winery it was a bright, sunny winter’s day. The view over the lake was spectacular even though the vines were bare and the hills powdered white.

Everything is about preparation; pruning is underway, the 2011 wines are about to go to bottle, and the staff is gearing up for another exciting year. Throughout 2012, Quails’ Gate will feature a “Wine of the Month;” visitors will be offered a focused tasting of the selected wine.

From March into May “Family Winery Tours” run every day at 11 am. Learn a bit of Okanagan history and visit the vineyards and production facilities without the summer crowds.

Midweek through March, The Old Vines Restaurant is offering an excellent value “Local Fare Lunch”, specially prepared food and wine pairings. The lunch includes two courses for $20 plus one $5 wine pairing.

There’s a lot to tempt visitors to Quails’ Gate in the spring. And now it’s easier to receive all the news and events. Tyler Galts, COO recommends visiting Quails’ Gate’s revamped website – www.quailsgate.com. “With a new web store, a blog that feeds Twitter and Facebook, and a whole new look and layout, we’re trying to make it easier for everyone to stay in touch with us.”

Two events you should be following are coming up in March and May. The staff is busy working out the details for a special St Patrick’s Day celebration; and, of course, an event wine lovers wait for, Spring Winefest is just around the corner. On May 12th, Chef Michael Allemeier former Mission Hill Chef will be teaming up with Quails’ Gate’s own Winery Chef, Roger Sleiman to produce an Ocean Wise™ dinner. The meal will focus on sustainable seafood paired, of course, with a variety of superb Quails’ Gate wines. Come and enjoy, they love having company!

~ Sue Harper