Nestled between the rolling orchards and rich farmland found behind the mountainous bluffs of McLean Creek Road, sits the internationally renowned Meyer Family Vineyards.  Since 2009 the Meyer Family has cultivated an international reputation for their quality Burgundy-style wines, which can be sampled on site through a tasting at their relaxing wine lounge. The launching of their new Private Cabana Tastings last August however, has allowed the Meyer family to repeat what they’ve already done with their wines and bring many of the same Old World charms of the wine tasting experience itself, home to the Okanagan.

Sitting adjacent to the garden and patio, atop the winery’s beautiful landscaped grounds and surrounded by vineyards, the cabana tasting area is a welcomed take on a Mediterranean-inspired outdoor lounge. Here, guests can relax in the comfortable seating under the shade while still taking in the beautiful, sunny weather of a typical Okanagan summer. But pure luxury aside, the one-hour private tasting is also an opportunity to sample some of the family’s more exclusive wines that are otherwise not available to the public for tastings, such as the prestigious Micro Cuvée series.

The family friendly environment, which welcomes kids and dogs, allows for guests to bring their own picnics with them to enjoy on the patio. However, arriving with the Cabana Tastings this year has been a selection of rare, artisanal food in the wine shop. Keeping with the family’s philosophy, sommelier Kami Lee Robb has carefully selected a specific array of fine delicatessen foods to be sampled and paired with the wines. This has made Meyer Family Vineyards one of the sole purveyors of Thomas Haas, Vancouver’s preeminent chocolatier, along with the addictive Péché Mignon Shortbreads, Okanagan-sourced smoked salmon marinated in the valley’s wines, and Terroir Cheese (the only creamery in Western Canada that makes a morbier).

In order to arrange a private Cabana Tasting experience it’s only $25 dollars per person but booking ahead is a necessity in order to prepare for the group and assure a spot. The tasting itself is an hour long, guided by your own personal sommelier in your own personal cabana, and includes five exclusive wines and your own complementary wine tasting journal. At the end of each Cabana Tasting you might even be given the exclusive opportunity to purchase from a small collection of vintages selectively released from the Meyer Family Vineyard’s well-stocked wine library.

~ Blake Allen