There’s nothing better than spring in downtown Kelowna, with its endless selection of world-class restaurants, shopping in a diverse array of boutique shops along tree-lined streets in the cultural district, and long strolls along the sun-warmed sands of Okanagan beaches.

Kelowna is a true gem, sandwiched between mountains and an expansive lake.

Tucked away on Richter Street, right in the heart of downtown Kelowna, is a more unorthodox and uniquely Okanagan amenity – Sandhill Winery, BC’s first urban winery!

Sandhill is kicking off the spring season with some new releases, including its long-anticipated 2017 Terroir Driven Rosé, which usually sells out by the end of July (so it’s best not to wait too long to stock up on this wine). Also among the new releases is 2016 Syrah which was awarded the prestigious Premier’s Award at the 2017 Fall Wine Festival, as well as the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, a perennial favourite known for its strong notes of peach and citrus. The perfect embodiment of the Okanagan in a bottle!

But there’s probably no more appropriate way to spend an Okanagan afternoon than at Sandhill Winery’s Happy Hour event. Happening every Friday from 5 to 7 pm, locals and guests alike can kick up their feet with live music, catered food and glasses of wine ranging from $6 to $9 in Sandhill’s comfortable, open-spaced lounge.

But readers take note: Happy Hour nights at Sandhill will be taking a temporary hiatus this July and August before resuming again in the fall. So you’ll want to stop by soon! The bands, as well as the catering companies, switch up every week so no two evenings are ever alike. Fall back into the vibrantly coloured lounge chairs and let the weight of the world lift for a night with a glass of fine wine, the gentle rhythms of soothing music and an array of locally made appetizers. You’ll start to truly feel yourself a local in this wonderful little city.

2017 Terroir Driven Rosé: With its bright pink body, this traditional Provençal-style rosé is dry, but bursting with hints of strawberries on both the nose and palate. The perfect drink to pair with a quiet Kelowna evening.

2016 Syrah: This dry, full-bodied, garnet-coloured red greets the nose with a rich bouquet of plums, dark chocolate and vanilla. The body is gentle on the palate, with pleasantly soft tannins and an impressively strong medley of dark fruits, toasted spices and just the slightest lingering note of oak. An essential pairing for those quintessential spring barbecue meals like braised meats, briskets and ribs, or gouda for a more relaxed evening by the fire on a rainy day.

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