Renowned for its loyal commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness, the celebrated wines of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, all of which are estate grown, are quite literally an ode to the fruits of the Sonora Desert on which this historic establishment has dug its roots. But this celebration of the local harvest is not limited only to the wine shop, as Burrowing Owl’s aptly named on-sight restaurant The Sonora Room also draws from this same desert’s harvests in order to create unforgettable, and seasonally distinct culinary treasures.
Just about everything on the summer menu is sourced from South Okanagan farms the closest of which, Le Petit Clos, is just up the road from the winery. This private farm has been providing The Sonora Room exclusively with fresh produce for eight years, and has built a close relationship with the winery in this time. But it isn’t just the legumes that The Sonora Room is sourcing from local farms, the desert’s bounty in Oliver also has a few surprises to it. Like the Arctic char, which the head chef proudly boasts is superior to any fish that could be caught in polar waters, is raised on an Ocean Wise Certified hatchery just off Road 17. This summer will see ostrich as the newest addition to the menu, produced by Okanagan Ostrich Farm and raised in Kaleden.
The Sonora Room is open from 11:30 to 9, but the best way to enjoy the desert’s bounty is at a table on the patio just as the sun sets over a vista of vineyards and desert landscapes below. The server can point to the very farm that your meal arrived from this morning while you sample a flight of Burrowing Owl’s past vintages, deciding on which year’s Merlot will pair best with ostrich… the 2010 of course!

(pictured Chef Lee Humphries on the Sonora Room Deck)
~Blake Allen