(photo: Wine shop hostess Lori Newstead.)

We don’t just sell wine, we sell an experience,” says Oleg Aristarkhov, who with his wife Svetlana owns Moraine Winery. “And people say it’s so much fun when they visit with Lori and our staff in the tasting room!”

Lori Newstead has been working at Moraine since Oleg and Svetlana opened for business 3 years ago. “People return year after year—I remember them and they are shocked,” she smiles. “That’s our thing here, that people say they feel like they are coming into our house!”
Of course it helps that they are coming into a house that offers great wine values. They have a chance to buy newly released 2012 Red Mountain, a Malbec-Cabernet Franc blend, after the 2011 vintage sold out by December last year. Or sample the small release of 2012 Chardonnay that underwent primary and secondary fermentation during its 3 months in French oak barrels. Or the 2013 Twin Peaks Icewine – a delicious blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Try it with chocolate cake and ice cream!

Among trees and well away from the traffic of Upper Bench Road, Moraine Winery offers a relaxed atmosphere for guests who want to savour the views of vineyards and Okanagan Lake. There is a kids’ play area, picnic area and bocce court. Guests are welcome to pack a picnic or buy snacks on site, and relax with a glass or bottle of wine from the shop.

“Our customers love that we are small and family oriented,” Lori smiles. “They love it here! People become wine club members because they have had a good time here and want to remember the experience when they open up a bottle at home.”

~ Lorne Eckersley