Since founder and proprietor Stephen Cipes established Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery more than 30 years ago, he and his team have lobbied to enhance the quality, enjoyment and pleasure of purchasing luscious British Columbia wines. A long list of firsts for the industry include legislation to allow food to be served in wineries and, recently, for wineries to be able to serve all alcohol products in their eateries, not just wine. Now, perhaps the most significant first is to introduce a real Canadiana Small Plates Food Hall.
Says Cipes, “We are launching authentic, ethnic, organic, wine-paired small plates for those on the move or for order-to-go with quick service. This complements our fabulous casual-gourmet, organic, 200-seat restaurant.”
Under the supervision of Executive Winery Chef Jeremy Luypen, the Food Hall features a new glass and wood kitchen, picnic tables on the view decks and access to interior seating.
Family Friendly Picnic Fun
“The idea is to make it family friendly, where you can mix and match like a fun, family picnic. We’ve partnered with ethnic culinary experts to provide a variety of authentic organic specialties on a rotating basis, featuring the heritage of Canadians (First Nations, German, Syrian, Polish, Russian, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, Chinese and more). We’re a country of ex-patriots and love the soul foods from our native lands,” noted Chef Luypen and Steve Cipes.
What a boon to Summerhill’s neighbours and visitors to source organic fast food as “cash-and-carry” to go. Or patrons can settle in at an on-site picnic table to savour the view with the food. Imagine the pure joy of exploring true ethnic foods featured each day complete with suggested wine pairings, and knowing each is organic and locally sourced!
New Name – Great Organic Dishes
The sun has set on the original name of the restaurant, The Summerhill Sunset Organic Bistro. It is now reborn as Summerhill Organic Kitchen. While sunset dining is spectacular, those views across the organic gardens and vineyards of Okanagan Lake and beyond are stunning any time of day and the new name holds the essence of this extraordinary man-and-nature experience, perhaps unique in all of Canada.
Naturally, Summerhill Organic Kitchen serves food grown and raised by local organic growers and producers, including its own permaculture-style organic gardens overseen by Gabe Cipes, biodynamicist/permaculturist. The seafood is part of the Ocean Wise sustainable program, and all proteins are sustainably raised. Staff can tell you exactly where the food on your plate was sourced. Of course, Summerhill’s extraordinary organic wines are featured, as well as many organic wines from around the valley and the world, along with fresh organic beer on tap and an array of luscious local organic spirits.
Latest wine accolades were received at the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival where the 2016 Riesling was awarded Best Varietal and Cipes Brut received Gold. That’s 26 years of Gold in a row for Cipes Brut. It holds the distinguished honour of being the single most awarded wine in Canada.
More Room to Taste Great Wines!
The opportunities and settings for tasting Summerhill wines have expanded. In addition to the refurbished main wine shop, there are many new VIP tasting rooms: The Robert Bateman Gallery tasting bar, The Gazebo, The Warehouse sit-down tasting verandah and The Dining Deck-view Bar.
The pyramid is now open to guests all day as well as for the 2 pm daily tour. A new Gold Room in the pyramid features videos of the icewine harvest, the Ambassador Program and more. Open seven days a week, year-round, check summerhill.bc.ca for current hours, latest news, and to book tours. Watch the website, too, for a new online ordering system for The Summerhill Organic Kitchen and the Food Hall.
Summerhill Estate House Culinary Package
Culinary Weekend Packages and accommodations are now available at the Summerhill Estate House, an 11,000-square-foot lakeview home located in the middle of the 80-acre organic vineyard. Cipes’ longtime family friend, Chef Mara Jernigan, of Slow Food Movement fame and formerly of Fairburn Farm in the Cowichan Valley, has the exciting details on the Summerhill website.
Organic tastes better
Treat yourself to an on-site visit and become an “Ambassador For Organic!”
Organic tastes better and is better for our health and environment. If you can’t visit Summerhill, then contact Chao Wang, VP Export (778-835-5867 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for export or direct sales in Vancouver. For commercial sales to restaurants and liquor stores in the Lower Mainland, contact Renaissance Wine Merchants, 604-709-8017 or tollfree 1-800-818-9644. Or reach Steve Cipes directly at 250-764-8000 ext. 111 or email@example.com.