Posts Written ByElaine Davidson

It’s great to remove yourself from the game from time to time to kick back and enjoy some patio time at The Bench Market. Summer is short in Canada and the outdoors is calling. Find a spot under an umbrella next to a wine barrel overflowing with colourful flowers, listen to some tunes and enjoy an all-day breakfast including some new gluten-aware options, weekend brunch specials (yeah bennies!), gourmet lunches or tasty baked goods – with a cup of the best locally-roasted organic coffee in town or a cool drink. Locals and visitors mingle on the sunny patio tucked into…

Wild Goose Vineyards 2016 Pinot Gris won top honors at the fifth annual Cascadia Wine Competition in Hood River, Oregon. The Pinot Gris earned Best White Wine and Best of Show on its way to topping the field of 948 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. “We received word of our eight gold medals at the Cascadia Wine Competition one at a time by email,” says Leslie Matheson, Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery marketing manager. “I kept refreshing my email and once we were at five we realized we had more golds than swimmer Michael Phelps at his…

The remarkable growing season of 2016 with an extended warm fall will be remembered by the Kruger family as bittersweet. The amazing vintage was overshadowed by the passing of Wild Goose’s founder and British Columbia wine pioneer Adolf Kruger in November. He was a trailblazer of the British Columbia wine industry and was instrumental in opening one of BC’s first “farmgate” wineries, Wild Goose Vineyards in June of 1990.   “Last year was a tough year for us,” says Roland Kruger, Wild Goose general manager. “My father was very influential in the wine industry and leaves quite a footprint behind.…

How lucky are you if you are in the Okanagan and can take the drive along Naramata Road, round the bend and get your first glimpse of Hillside’s iconic timber-frame building with its stunning 23-metre high tower. It’s spring and Hillside’s gardens are yellow, purple and blue with flowering bulbs and their vineyards flushed with the first hints of green. The wine shop opens for the season March 10th, while the Bistro reopens March 22nd (Wed –Sun), where both executive chef Brent Pillon and winemaker Kathy Malone, return to work their magic with local ingredients. “Hillside’s wine program this year…

Moraine grows great grapes and sweats the small stuff to make outstanding wines at an affordable price. From vine to the bottle, every step in the art and science of making great wine at Moraine Estate Winery is as hands-on as it gets. The end game is always quality. The award-winning wines start with fruit produced in a special place. The family-owned winery and vineyards are perched on a shelf above a striking clay cliff overlooking Okanagan Lake. This terroir is responsible for the exceptional grapes grown on their two glacially formed vineyards, Anastasia and Sophia, named after the daughter’s…

I am Legend Legend Distilling extracts the essence of British Columbia and serves it up in beautifully crafted gin, vodka and liqueurs. Local fruit, grains and botanicals are used in their premium spirits, which make magical cocktails served in a stunning setting overlooking Okanagan Lake. Dawn and Doug Lennies’ craft distillery and lounge has truly become legendary on the Naramata Bench in the few short years they have been giving wine aficionados a hip alternative. Farm to glass has recently met up with farm to fork. Legend Distilling in Naramata is now home to Knotweed Restaurant and it’s a perfect…

If you ask a local where to get a great breakfast, lunch, snack or coffee, The Bench Market will be at the top of the list. In-the-know locals frequent this eclectic spot because of its friendly staff, great food and delicious drinks. Perennial favourites and classics such as the best bennies in town, beautifully crafted paninis, interesting salads and flavourful soups will always be part of the menu – but to keep it fresh and on trend, owner Stewart Glynes has come up with a couple of new choices this spring. “Our new power cereal is made with oats, chia…

“Open year round, we are so grateful to our local customers,” says Upper Bench proprietor and head cheesemaker Shana Miller. “They stop in and buy wine and cheese from us in the off-season, put up with the crowds in summer, recommend us to their family and friends and join our Curds & Corks wine and cheese club.” “They have been with us since the beginning (2011) and are an important part of the amazing community we are building,” Shana adds. With more than 10,000 visitors to Upper Bench’s beautiful tasting room and vineyard view patio in 2016 and vintages quickly…

Designed to help you keep track of your wine glass at an event, this cool invention lets you scribe your name in a bold and brilliant colour that wipes clean instantly with a soapy sponge. Just say no to unclaimed full glasses of wine.   Founded in 2010 by Jeannine Fradelizio, the world’s original wine writer pen is now in the hands of creative customers who are discovering dozens of new uses for this useful writer around the house, says Jeannine’s Okanagan-based daughter Renée Stewart. “Wine Glass Writers are being used for marking canning jars, for enhancing shabby chic open…

This delicious recipe was created by Naramata blogger and Food & Wine Trails writer Elaine Davidson. It was inspired after a taste of the brand new line of artisan chocolate being created at Okanagan College’s Pastry and Culinary Arts Program! Want a taste? It is for sale in the cafeteria campus in Kelowna. Follow Elaine and her delicious musings on naramata-blend.com. Oh, and make these cookies! Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/4 cups granulated…