Posts Written ByElaine Davidson

Keremeos in British Columbia’s fertile Similakameen Valley is bathed in sun and heat for 181 frost-free days resulting in the best tomatoes in the world and a price that will blow your socks off. Top down to take advantage of the sun on the first day of fall, The Handyman and I head out from Naramata past Almost a Ranch, Foggy Mountain Ranch, Cedar Creek Ranch and the infamous Crazy Zach’s junk/antique on the way to the “Fruit Stand Capital of Canada” on our annual pilgrimage to bring home some summer to store for greyer days ahead. I always feel…

Concentrated appleness and soul-soothing aromatic cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean…What is this sorcery? Apple butter and my new mission to make the lost art of making it found.   Apple butter thickly laid over a heavy slice of bread warm from the oven is a pioneer staple that deserves a revival in the orchard-rich Okanagan Valley. Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce produced by long, slow cooking of apples to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelize turning the apple butter a deep brown. Originating in the Middle Ages at monasteries with apple orchards, the…

Therapy

Therapy Vineyards is known for its fun labels, popular Farmacy wine shop and selfie-worthy views. It will be soon be known for – quelle horreur – breaking some wine conventions by mixing up a harvest celebration cocktail. Therapy is producing serious, award-winning, single vineyard, single variety wines that are garnering lots of attention. Terroir-driven these well-priced, small-lot varietals continue to gather a strong, loyal following. This unpretentious Naramata winery doesn’t take itself so seriously that it can’t craft a wickedly delicious cocktail with its Fizzio Therapy though. Harvest of Therapy’s mature vines is all about the hard work that goes…

UpperBench

Wine and cheese go together like sun and shine and Upper Bench Winery & Creamery is as wonderful as warm blue sky fall days with its stellar offerings crafted on site, a gorgeous tasting room and a stunning patio with vineyard views. This fall’s new releases include a pair of 2013 reds with grapes that basked in one of the Naramata Bench’s hottest summers of the decade and finished in one of the coolest falls on record resulting in fine tannins and well balanced, concentrated flavours. The 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2013 Estate Merlot grapes were hand-tended, fermented in…

TheBench

Some say there’s no specific recipe a restaurant can follow to make people happy. You just know it when you see it, and we sure see it at The Bench Market, an award winning, go-to breakfast, coffee and lunch spot for locals and visitors. Behind that indefinable something that sets them apart, there is, however, a very well thought out strategy that makes The Bench Market a success. Owners Heather and Stewart Glynes agree that while local, in-season food and drinks are important, the formula consists of more. It also includes local farmers providing tasty ingredients; strong partnerships with local…

Legend

An hour spent on Legend Distilling’s patio, contemplating its surreal view of Okanagan Lake and Giant’s Head Mountain while sipping on a hand-crafted cocktail, will help you distill the essence of pretty much anything – from the right-place, right-timeness of autumn in Naramata… to the meaning of life. The craft distillery on Naramata Road has gone from secret discovery to legendary status about as fast as its Gone in 60 Seconds cocktail. On trend, Dawn and Doug Lennie’s Legend Distilling is one of only a handful of distilleries in the Okanagan and a sublime addition to the Valley’s burgeoning foodie…

Marichel

Richard Roskell, owner, viticulturist and winemaker of Marichel Winery on the Naramata Bench says his take on winemaking is very hands off. “The wine is quintessentially an expression of the farm. I don’t manipulate the wine… it’s the vineyard you are tasting.” Marichel produces about 1,500 cases a year of Syrah and Viognier wines from the winery and vineyard tucked away at the end of Littlejohn Road with its expansive view of vineyards, the lake and Summerland’s Giants Head Mountain. Countless photos have been taken from Marichel’s patio with lovely wine bottles and half-full glasses of a white or a…

Hillside2

Sometimes it’s a smile or a chuckle and other times a full on belly laugh as drivers and cyclists on Naramata Road slow down to take in Hillside Winery & Bistro’s ever changing clever signs: Fresh local wine! U-pick, Love the wine you’re with! If you walk a mile in my shoes…you will be at a wine bar. When life gives you lemons – sell them to buy wine, Are you celebrating Canada Day…with red, white & ros-eh?… These funny signs serve a serious purpose. They reflect Hillside’s take that their award-winning, small case lot, passionately and expertly crafted wine…

Thornhaven

What’s an anniversary without wine, music, family, gift wrap and presents? Thornhaven Estates Winery is happily awash in all the above as it celebrates 15 great years, making it Summerland’s oldest family-run winery. Anniversary gifts are pouring in for the winery. Thornhaven took Gold for its 2015 Gewürztraminer at the All Canadian Wine Championships and the BC Best of Varietal Spring Wine Awards. Its special anniversary XV Syrah also took Gold at the BC Best of Varietal Spring Wine Awards. “Every time we are acknowledged with an award for our wines it’s a great compliment to our winemaker (son) Jason…

WineWriter

Wine Glass Writer, the brain-child of Jeannine Fradelizio, is celebrating its sixth birthday with a new fun product, growing sales and expanding markets. The family-run business making these special pens is now making its mark(s) in seven different countries. With Californian Jeannine’s daughter Renée Stewart, the company’s operations & sales manager, now living in the Okanagan, wine lovers in the area are scooping them up. The Wall Street Journal Wine Accessories of the Year winning product’s creator Jeannine recalls a party for 20 people in her Sonoma area home that left her with dozens of wine glasses to wash. “Dumping wine…