At 24 members and growing, the Naramata Bench Wineries Association represents one of Canada’s most exciting and dynamic winery regions. Three wineries have joined the fold this year — Terravista Vineyards, Lang Vineyards and Howling Bluff Estate Winery. Clustered within “14 lazy kilometres” along the visually spectacular Naramata Bench, the wineries all share a commitment to take full advantage of a very fine terroir.

Exceptional vistas over the lake and vineyards and wonderful winery experiences draw visitors by the thousands, but Naramata wineries aren’t shy about taking their products beyond the Okanagan. And they love partnering in fund-raising events.

April is when they roll out their new releases at popular events in Victoria (April 23) and Vancouver (April 26). In Victoria, for the second year, the NBWA teams up with the Victoria Conservatory of Music at Crystal Gardens with all proceeds going to the Conservatory. In Vancouver, they are partnering with the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program at the Four Seasons Hotel with proceeds going to Ocean Wise. At the Vancouver Spring Release fabulous food will be provided by Chef Ned Bell of the Four Seasons Hotel and the Chefs from five Naramata winery restaurants. In Victoria sixteen restaurants and bakeries are participating. Trade events are held during the day at both locations.

Throughout the summer season, wineries will be hosting many weekly events. Check the web site for regular calendar updates. Also, check out the information on a most exciting wine club, and, while visiting the site, subscribe to the email newsletter.

September 7th might seem like a long way off, but one of the Okanagan’s most popular events, the Naramata Bench Tailgate Party, sold out a week ahead in 2012, leaving only 500 lucky ticketholders as witnesses to testify that these folks know how to throw a party! Mark it down on your calendar now.

~ Lorne Eckersley