There is no better place to idle away these hot and sunny summer days than in downtown Kelowna. This pocket-sized city with a laid-back attitude is emblematic of the Okanagan Valley itself.

People flock to this diamond by the lake to unwind on its warm, sandy beaches, shop its unique artisanal shops and discover its internationally renowned wines. But for those who spend a little too much time at the beach and simply don’t have the time to get lost looking for wineries outside of the city limits, fear not! Because Sandhill Winery, one of Canada’s most celebrated wineries, is located right in the heart of downtown Kelowna.

Sandhill is conveniently situated just off Richter Street along Kelowna’s famous Grapes to Grain Trail. This easy walking route links all the downtown core’s wineries, distilleries and breweries. Sandhill Winery is, in fact, British Columbia’s first urban winery. Come into the welcoming tasting bar as friendly staff guide visitors through the wines and unique terroir of the six distinct Okanagan vineyards where the winery sources all its grapes. Here you can learn about the impact of different terroirs and how small lot production can affect the grapes. Better yet, you can actually taste these variations. And who among us doesn’t learn a little better after a glass or two?

No need to stop with a tasting. Right around the corner from the tasting bar, you can take a virtual tour and see all six of these unique vineyards without leaving the wine shop. And afterwards you can relax with friends in the wine shop’s open lounge with a glass and do what we do best here in the Okanagan — just watch the day go by.

2017 Sandhill Rosé: Back on the shelves and just in time for the summer season is Sandhill Winery’s ever-popular rosé! Living up to its name with a bright, bubblegum pink body, this year’s rosé is a new blend of Gamay Noir and Merlot. The fruitful aroma of peaches and raspberries declares it a distinctively Okanagan wine, while the bursts of watermelon and strawberries reminds the drinker of just what makes this little valley so special.

2017 Gretzky Pinot Grigio: The distinctive flavours of the valley are on display in this easy drinking, off-dry white. The rich aromas of peach and pear on the nose are coupled with strong notes of citrus and apple on the palate. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle goes toward the Gretzky Programme for Youth Hockey, which is just one of the reasons this wine is truly, one of the great ones!

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