If, like me, you are a lover of good wine and cheese, then head to Upper Bench Winery & Creamery. It’s located on the Naramata Bench just a few minutes drive from downtown Penticton. Although a relatively new winery, the husband and wife team of Gavin and Shana Miller bring plenty of experience and passion to their combined venture.  Gavin, the Winemaker, was a key figure in some of the Okanagan’s benchmark wines before taking the reins here. Shana formerly worked as the Cheesemaker at the reputable Poplar Grove and now produces her own gems from the state-of-the-art creamery

The winery is comprised of a unique seven-acre site, where seven different varietals are planted. In the cellars, Gavin uses both stainless steel and a carefully managed oak regime to enhance the natural fruit aromas and flavours. One wine which will prove to be an instant hit is his 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Like all of his wines, it shows great varietal character with ripe black fruit, cedar, mint and cocoa. For all you lovers of rich, bold reds, this is a must try.

The addition of the outdoor patio provides a perfect place for visitors to relax and savour the delights of Upper Bench. Not sure which wine to pair with which cheese? Shana has created two mouth-watering cheese platters. Each one is perfectly complimented by one of Gavin’s fine wines. Seven acres, seven varietals, seven cheeses, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Upper Bench Winery & Creamery.

~ Mike Lee