Wild Goose Vineyards is nestled on a small bluff perched above Vaseux Lake in Okanagan Falls. Aptly named the Stoney Slopes vineyard, this enviable spot provides the terroir and climate perfect for producing premium white wine grapes. One of the oldest wineries in the valley, Wild Goose’s estate remains picturesque and unsullied –the perfect little aerie for whiling away a summer afternoon.

And boy, can you make an afternoon of it here!

Okanagan summers entice you to bring the indoors out, and Wild Goose’s lovely grounds do so with ease.  Contemporary and cheerful, the well-stocked wine shop boasts a bird’s-eye view from the expansive patio. It’s open 10-7, daily this summer, and the adjacent Smoke and Oak Bistro is too. It’s worth extending your visit to enjoy an early dinner there.

People are flocking to the revamped open-air eatery, which overlooks mature vines and Peach Cliff Mountain beyond. Even the kitchen is outdoors, adding to the treehouse-like magic of the space.  Chef Richard Desnoyers’ smoker, fueled by Wild Goose’s own vine cuttings and barrel staves, produces melt-in-your mouth fare that invites you to linger. The inventive barbeque-influenced menu is an excellent match for Wild Goose’s acclaimed wines.

And speaking of those celebrated libations, Wild Goose has a gaggle of tasty new releases. The full portfolio of 2014 reds and 2015 whites is in the wine shop and stores now.

Particularly exciting is the release of the remarkable Classic Riesling ($16.62), as the 2015 vintage is one of the most exceptional in recent memory. Borne of some of the valley’s oldest vines, it’s aromatic, with flavours of stone and orchard fruits and the bright balance of citrus. Crisp and delicious on a summer’s day!

Also recently landed, the port style 2014 Black Brant ($30.52) is a fitting tribute to the graceful bird for which it’s named. The fortified Merlot/Petit Verdot blend is plummy and rich. The touch of oakiness nicely compliments the smoky flavours of barbeque…just sayin’.

You know what else pairs perfectly with great wine and barbeque? The Blues. On August 13th, Wild Goose’s popular Vineyard Stage concert showcases Blues artist Sherman “Tank” Doucette. His mastery of the harmonica and infectious showmanship are guaranteed to touch your soul. Tickets are available online.

Want to make the most of your Okanagan wine tour this summer? Alight at the beautiful Wild Goose Winery and Bistro for an afternoon. It’s an experience that will set your palate and your spirits soaring.

~ Abbey Westbury

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