A marvel of understated modernism, Poplar Grove Estate Winery gazes down from the brow of Munson Mountain across acres of grapevines, shimmering Okanagan Lake, and the sandy cliffs of the West Bench. It is impossible to imagine a more wonderful gateway to the distinguished vineyards of the Naramata Bench. The wines of Poplar Grove are as perfect as its spectacular hillside setting. 

Deliberately small in scope, the impressive portfolio focuses on the finest grapes from Munson Mountain, other vineyards along the Naramata Bench, and Osoyoos. The whites include a tongue-tingling Pinot Gris and a luscious Chardonnay, while the intense reds focus on Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. 

The apex of the winemaker’s art — here in the capable hands of Executive Winemaker Ian Sutherland and Winemaker Stefan Arnason — is a superb Bordeaux blend called The Legacy that is aged 24 months in oak and then another 24 months in the bottle. 

Sutherland and Arnason give all of the wines the patience they rightly deserve. Their pampering of these hand-picked and hand-sorted grapes shows in every bottle. In exchange for premium prices, Poplar Grove offers rich, ready-to-drink wines that will only get better with time. 

As majority owner and President Tony Holler has said, giving the wines sufficient time to develop in the bottle does away with the disappointment buyers often feel when they open a great bottle too soon. 

During the Spring Wine Festival (May 2-11), the winery will be pouring two new releases: the 2012 Pinot Gris and its flagship Legacy from 2007. 

Wines like these are made for food, and Poplar Grove has that covered, too. The Vanilla Pod restaurant, which doubles in size as it spills out of the winery and onto the sun-drenched patio, dazzles tastebuds with dishes like sushi pizza, tenderloin with curry butter, and crab cakes with roasted corn salsa. During the Spring Festival, Executive Chef Bruno Terroso promises a sensational seven-course wine inspired dinner that you won’t want to miss.

Gorgeous wines, beautiful food and a spectacular setting — there’s no need to go anywhere else!

~ Barry Potyondi