Escaping to wine country in the cooler months means you often get the tasting counters all to yourself and your dialogue with the shops wine experts can be much lengthier and personalized. Stay for a few days in elegant accommodations in the heart of the southern Okanagan wine region, at Hester Creek’s Villa, and thoroughly explore the region. The Mediterranean-styled suites are situated high on the hill in Oliver with a view over the valley all the way to Osoyoos Lake. There’s nothing quite like gazing at snow-covered vines while you are cozied up with geothermal heating, soaker tubs, HDTV, fireplaces and even a homemade breakfast delivered daily.

The onsite restaurant, Terrafina, is a delight and although long-time owner April Goldade is moving on to other adventures, the new owners, Cindy and Erwin Huber, have made a smooth transition and will continue in her footsteps. Mark Sheridan, Hester Creek president, says, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with April and her team over the last five years and we look forward to welcoming Cindy and Erwin to the Hester Creek family”.

Time your visit right and you can not only enjoy dinner at Terrafina, but also join local chefs for a cooking class based on locally sourced ingredients. There are only 14 seats around the demonstration kitchen, so you have a very personalized experience and can interact with the chef as they prepare your meal and dole out cooking tips. Classes start at 6:30 pm and the cost for these evenings includes all your food, wine and a shuttle for guests staying in the Oliver or Osoyoos areas. Cost is $120 per person plus tax and gratuity.

With summer just around the corner, BBQ lunches are back at Hester Creek Winery. Enjoy a locally-sourced spit roast such as Fraser Valley porchetta or Pemberton Meadows prime rib with unique produce from local farms and a seasonal dessert.  Your meal is served outdoors on the private Tuscan-style patio in a family-style setting; each course is expertly paired with Hester Creek wine. The BBQ is offered on Fridays in the summer for $69 per person plus tax and gratuity.

~ Cassandra  Anderton