Posts Written ByElaine Davidson

“Getting married in the Okanagan is all about enjoying a relaxed vibe where you can kick off your heels and trade them for flip flops,” says Lang Vineyard’s exclusive wedding planners, Vines and Vows’ Tammi Foster. Tammi says there is something about the stunning lake, mountains and vineyard scenery at Lang on the Naramata Bench that turns potential Bridezillas into Bridechillas. The behind-the-scenes planning by Tammi and her partner Jillian Buchanan play a big part in ensuring the bride and groom enjoy their special day with friends and family. Living and working full time in the area has allowed the…

Naramaro is Legend’s latest contribution to its flight of distilled lore. Legend has it…herbal elixirs were made by monks and medicine men alike to ward off plague, evil spirits and as a potential cure-all for anything from snake bikes to stomach ailments. Traditionally herbal liqueurs have been enjoyed as a digestif, after a meal in Italy. Amaro (Italian for bitter) has been made in almost every small town, crafted using herbs and botanicals that reflect their environment. “Handmade in Naramata, this is our Amaro,” says Legend’s Dawn Lennie. “It’s a mix of exotic and local ingredients including orange zest, vanilla,…

Flawlessly made specialty coffees and refreshing summer drinks, fresh, colourful, healthy food and a beautifully stocked artisan retail section make The Bench Market stellar. But it’s the staff that elevates the customer experience to a whole new level and wins them people’s choice awards. The smiles and greetings from the staff are not because of a requirement in a training manual. “It’s a great place to work for a lot of reasons,” says veteran Bencher Vanessa Farinha. “I work with owners that ask about your life and your plans for your days off. I’m encouraged to be creative and offer…

Much more than award winning winery and bistro, Hillside’s winemaker Kathy Malone and chef Brent Pillon’s shared philosophy is creating a unique and compelling wine and food experience. “We both feel strongly that you start with good ingredients whether they be premium Naramata Bench grown grapes or locally-sourced produce at its peak and let these ingredients do the work,” says Kathy. Chef Brent says, “It’s about showcasing the grapes and food and doing as little to them as possible to let all the flavours shine through.” Brent’s Bistro menu features beautifully flavoured and presented share plates designed to pair with…

A tasting experience at family-owned Moraine Estate Winery on the Naramata Bench is like no other. Winemaker Jacq Kemp says at Moraine it’s not so much about tasting notes and numbers but more about a friendly and comfortable exchange between guests and staff. “We feel that our visitors know a lot about wine and what they like and love to hear what they have to say. The experience is very authentic and I often drop by to meet people. We talk about the vineyard, the grapes and the processes we’ve used and listen to what they tell us about how…

If Hamlet had popped by for glass of chilled Ad Lib, a delicate blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, he may have dropped the entire revenge scenario. “Alas, poor Yorik, too bad you didn’t have a chance to spend time at Play Estate Winery…” Heck, the Prince of Denmark would have upped sticks and bought a home in Skaha Hills. The winery’s playful name and branding are perfectly suited to its founder Jason Pechet, CEO of Stagewest Hospitality who along with long time collaborator and sommelier Mohamed Awad launched this unique winery set as a showstopper entrance to a unique…

“I can truly say I love my job,” he says. “Every year is different and we have to make decisions based on what Mother Nature throws at us. It’s great to be part of a team where the focus is to continually evolve and take us to the next level.” – Steve Carberry, Black Hills’ Winegrower As the saying goes, great wines start in the vineyards. But it’s not just the farming practices that result in excellent grapes. Great vineyards start with planting superior clones on the right rootstocks to improve a variety’s development and resulting wine characteristics. A bit…

Wedding planners have discovered a new tool to add to their arsenal of blusher veils, tulle and nosegays. Wine Glass Writer markers, the invention that lets you scribe on glass and glazed ceramics in a trendy colour that wipes clean instantly with a soapy sponge, have a million and one uses to make any wedding bespoke. The Wall Street Journal Wine Accessories of the Year winning product was invented to help you keep track of your wine glass at a party. Wine Glass Writer’s Renee Stewart of Summerland says, “Keep them at the bar. Guests will enjoy being creative and…

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…