Poplar Grove Winery proudly maintains that all of its wines are now 100% estate-grown – on 30 acres on the Naramata Bench and 35 acres in Osoyoos.  Add to this their new state-of-the-art production facility and dedicated winemaking team and you have the recipe for success.  Winemaker Stefan Arnason is pleased to have the Okanagan’s first indoor crush pad, a stellar line-up of tanks and barrels and professional assistant winemakers Nadine Allander (New Zealand trained) and Kitson Stewart (yes – Ben Stewart’s son!) at his side.  The facility has its own warehouse attached, aiding in storing all the new barrels incorporated annually (25% of production).  The approximately 4400 eventual cases of 2011 red wines are resting quietly in their barrels awaiting final blending. The team interacts daily with newly-hired viticulturalist Matt Rademakers to ensure ongoing updating of what’s happening in the vineyards and optimal planning for the approaching harvest.

Poplar Grove is also home to not just your average run-of-the-mill Wine Club.  Only members can purchase a number of products made uniquely for them – as well as getting first choice on limited-production wines.  These special production wines spend 18 – 20 months in barrel and a further year in the bottle prior to release to the Club.  Its members have been privy to such treats as: 2011 Reserve Chardonnay, 2011 Munson Mountain Pinot Gris, 2010 Munson Mountain Cabernet Franc, and the 2010 Benchmark (Meritage) blend. Club members will have a number of unique purchase opportunities, such as the limited-release 2010 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Syrah, due out in October – so now is a good time to join if you’re not already a member.

The winery continues to garner awards including: Silver for the 2010 Syrah at the Decanter World Wine Awards and National Wine Awards of Canada;  Best in Class at the 28th Pacific Rim International Wine Competition for its Legacy 2007 and Gold for the 2010 Cabernet Franc; and Best in Class for the 2012 Pinot Gris from the Alberta Beverage Awards.

The Vanilla Pod Restaurant is celebrating its first anniversary and continues to draw happy “foodies” to the winery’s spectacular setting.  It doesn’t get any better than this in the Okanagan!

~ Allison Fader