Posts Written ByCorina Messerschmidt

“They know my name, they know what I like and I love the friendly, casual and local vibe,” says Bench Market regular Ian. “It’s like the Central Perk on Friends. I can pick up some great grab and go items on my way to work and have a chat with the staff. The food is great and it’s healthy.” Ian’s go-to favourites are breakfast burritos, eggwiches and granola bars. “The Bench Market has so much local support for a reason. They have also managed to capture both the local and tourist markets, which is not easy to do.” September 16th…

“That’s what winemaking really is,” says Fairview Cellars owner Bill Eggert pointing to a table of glasses. Each contains samples of wine from the cellar. Sauvignon Blanc is the first wine to be examined today and even though the finished bottle of wine will only have a single varietal’s name on the label, there is still a huge amount of thought and consideration that goes into crafting the wine from various components. Today’s sampling involves Sauvignon Blanc from a stainless-steel tank, a barrel, and Semillon from a barrel. The tank portion was brilliantly aromatic with intense fresh grass, lime, and…

“It’s truly rewarding when a wine you have visualized from its beginning in the vineyard, attains great recognition,” says Linda Pruegger, Stag’s Hollow Winery co-owner with Larry Gerelus. “We were ecstatic to learn our 2013 Cachet Limited Edition No. 4 was awarded Gold in the 2015 National Wine Awards.” During 2014 harvest, while sampling in the vineyard, Dwight Sick, winemaker, already had his sights set on certain grapes as potential for a new Cachet blend. He was not disappointed! First blended in honour of Stag’s Hollow’s 15th Anniversary, Cachet Limited Edition wines are rare, one-of-a-kind wines that are numbered sequentially.…

When Deborah Wilde purchased the site of Oliver’s Hidden Chapel Winery its previous owner said to her that “God told her Deborah was supposed to have this property”. Today, this vision has been vindicated as Deborah, guided by the spirit of Bacchus, has turned her property into a winery of such quality that it should be regarded as a mandatory pilgrimage for every wine lover. Hidden in the hills off Highway 97 along Oliver’s northern fringe, the winery takes its name from a small chapel that’s veiled from sight when on the highway by a garden worthy of Saint Francis.…

An artist at heart, practical ways initiated a career in the old school of sign painting and eventually his own business which ran for 30 plus years and produced some award winning signs. Early years in art college majoring in sculpture may have influenced a recent artistic urge for rediscovery, resulting in his latest development as an acrylic painter. Big colour and movement are his focus in a mostly abstract format. Gene was born and raised in Kelowna and resides here with his partner Kathy and little furry pal Gus. www.geneweisbeckart.com

There’s a new kid on the Naramata Bench playground. Lock and Worth partners Matthew Sherlock and Ross Hackworth (lock and worth—get it?) know a good vineyard when they see it, so when the old Poplar Grove vineyard came on the market four years ago, they jumped. Ross, who owns Nichol Vineyard, the northernmost Naramata Winery, and Matthew who works for Ross and is also a wine importer, make their mission clear—make very good wines (definition: wines they like to drink) but know they can’t please everyone. “We produced only 1200 cases in 2014, from a pretty awesome vintage, so we…

Get tactile this season at Red Rooster Winery with the hands-on and lip-smacking experience of the “Melt in your Mouth – Chocolate & Wine Pairing.” Back by popular demand, this tasting experience at The Coop unlocks the sensual world of pairing wine with chocolate. Complimentary for wine club members and up to five guests, it’s only $5 per person and you’ll need to reserve ahead because space is limited. Chef Darin Paterson of Bogner’s of Penticton, who also creates the delectable farm-to-table cuisine offered at Red Rooster’s Pecking Room Patio and Grill, crafts the chocolate. You’ll see evidence of his…

Sometimes you just get lucky. I dropped into Serendipity Winery in March just as owner Judy Kingston and her daughter and winemaker-in-training Katie O’Kell were about to take a new employee through a complete tasting of the Serendipity wine lineup. From my notes: 2011 White Lie Playfully named because Judy was (shhhh….) a lawyer before she went straight and became a farmer/winery owner. This vintage is still bright and lively, and will pair nicely with white fish, oysters, bruschetta, cantaloupe, pears and Gouda cheese. 2013 Sauvignon Blanc The Serendipity terroir is producing Sauvignon Blanc grapes much like New Zealand’s. The…

Do rich dessert wines tempt your palate? Is sipping port-style your idea of a perfect after-dinner reward? Summerland’s Sonoran Estate Winery is the place to visit. Known for their well-priced reds, whites, and rosé, the Smits family introduced their first fortified sweet wine last summer: Happy Dragon. Recently, they bottled another: Golden Dragon. In March, Sonoran focused on blending trials, the tasty but serious work required to produce additional well-balanced, port-style wines set to be released this summer. “Happy Dragon was very popular last season. We wanted to make something different than icewine. Few wineries make a port-style, and the…

Even as a small boy, Rick Thrussell of Sage Hills Winery and Vineyard had an affinity for wine. At the age of 6 his family allowed him one small glass at special holidays, at 12 he could discern aromas and nuances and at 18, when other boys were carting a case of beer, Rick brought a bottle of wine. While working as a homebuilder in the Lower Mainland, his love affair with wine continued as he took wine appreciation and Sommelier classes. After deciding it was time to retire he turned his eyes towards his lifelong dream and searched for…