Posts Written ByLesley Buxton

The Westside Wine Trail is renowned for its stunning vistas and delicious wines but this is only part of the story. It’s also a creative centre. A place where visitors can enjoy local art, world-class architecture and yoga. The Art in the Park series pairs great art with great wines as it travels from one winery to another. Curated by Louise Lambert, owner of Wine Country Studios, and sculptor Allan Waidman, this series lets visitors mingle with artists working in a wide variety of media in some of the most beautiful settings imaginable. The Mezzanine Gallery at Little Straw Vineyard…

The atmosphere is lively when I arrive at Upper Bench Winery and Creamery. It’s 2:30 on a Friday afternoon but the patio is filled with guests enjoying oven fresh pizzas and platters featuring the creamery’s renowned hand-crafted cheeses. Everything smells delicious. Owners Gavin and Shana Miller are the perfect pairing: the winemaker and the cheesemaker. They love what they do and it shows in their guest’s appreciative smiles. Shana is grateful to those who have encouraged them through the years. People like her old boss, who still visits regularly, their industry peers, their local customers and partners, Wayne and Margareta…

The atmosphere is lively when I arrive at Upper Bench Winery and Creamery. It’s 2:30 on a Friday afternoon but the patio is filled with guests enjoying oven fresh pizzas and platters featuring the creamery’s renowned hand-crafted cheeses. Everything smells delicious. Owners Gavin and Shana Miller are the perfect pairing: the winemaker and the cheesemaker. They love what they do and it shows in their guest’s appreciative smiles. Shana is grateful to those who have encouraged them through the years. People like her old boss, who still visits regularly, their industry peers, their local customers and partners, Wayne and Margareta…

At Clos du Soleil Winery, they have a unique tasting room philosophy. Here it’s not just about tasting the wine, it’s about understanding its origins—the intricate journey from the vineyard to the bottle. This is a rare opportunity to learn first-hand from people deeply connected to what they create. It’s like learning from a much-loved musician the inspiration behind your favourite song. They work hard to give visitors an intimate experience, including free tastings of the majority of their portfolio of wines —even award-winning flagship wines like the 2013 vintage of Signature that was recently awarded a gold medal from…

In the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, the team is setting up for the summer with a farm-to-table menu designed to showcase the very best of home-grown produce from respected local cultivators such as: Fine point farms, Road 17 Arctic Char, Covert Farms Organics and Codfathers Seafood Market. Here the food philosophy is uncomplicated. They allow the food to speak for itself, highlighting the natural nuances of the flavor with culinary flair. Naturally there’s also an exceptional wine list. The focus here is on vintages from the estate’s library no longer available in the tasting room, giving customers…

The patio at Adega on 45th is quickly approaching legendary status among wine tourists. A beautifully unique, and largely unobstructed, panoramic view of Osoyoos and the lake will entertain customers while they relax and sip wines. It is easily the premier picnic spot in Osoyoos. The patio is fully licensed for wine by-the-glass or by-the-bottle, and visitors can bring their own food if they choose or pick from a selection available from their deli fridge, which is stocked this year with some great new items. Stuffed olives, pâté, tapenade, salami, artisan cheeses from BoMé on Vancouver Island and Cows Creamery…

(pictured: Winemaker Mike Clark) At Clos du Soleil, they have a distinct approach to the tasting room experience. Rather than the emphasis being on simply tasting the wine, they provide a personal and informative encounter with their wines that encompasses all facets of running of the vineyard. This from-the-ground-up practice encourages visitors to learn to appreciate the dynamics of winemaking from the experts who work directly with the vines and in the cellar. Tours of the estate are available for booking. However, the vineyard wants to foster a casual approach where visitors feel free to wander the grounds and engage…

Love great seafood? We have the place for you: Buy the Sea. Their two shops located in Penticton and West Kelowna provide the Okanagan with the freshest and largest selection of seafood available in the area. These folks love seafood and are so dedicated to offering their customers the very best that they are members of Ocean Wise; a program created by the Vancouver Aquarium to promote sustainability and ocean-sound choices. This means you can enjoy the produce at Buy the Sea with a clear conscience. In keeping with this mandate, the shop offers the finest local and sustainable fish…

Clos du Soleil winery located on Upper Bench Road, just minutes away from Keremeos, has a reputation for making outstanding single vineyard Bordeaux-style wines that combine the very best of old-world elegance and new-world edge. Their secret? Their unique farming philosophy. This boutique winery features a certified organic vineyard managed using the principals of biodynamics. Biodynamic viticulture is an energetic form of land management that embraces the concept of harmony and encourages a balanced relationship with every creature that inhabits the farm’s ecosystem, including the vineyard workers. This ethical approach is not only wonderful for the environment but it ensures…

Corcelettes Estates Winery sits in the elbow of the Similkameen Valley across from the imposing face of K Mountain. The vistas are endless. The winery is named in honor of winemaker Charlie Baessler’s family farm in Switzerland, not far from the Castle of Grandson. An 11-foot Menhir, an ancient monolith stone, stood on the farm, so there’s a symmetry to the fact that he and his wife, Jesce, and their 16-month old twin girls, Arya and Evelyn –along with their dog Schaze, now make their home and living amongst the dark rocks of the Similkameen. This winery is about family…