Posts Written BySue Harper

When Sal D’Angelo sold his Ontario winery this year, he finally had time to focus on expanding his D’Angelo Estate Winery on the Naramata Bench. He wants to plant red Montepulciano and white Trebbiano grapes, two varietals grown in his birthplace of Abruzzo, Italy and plans are in the works for a new building. But that’s in the future. This summer he’s offering visitors some new releases including a 2013 Tempranillo, which is a Spanish varietal, seldom grown in British Columbia. D’Angelo has the largest block of Tempranillo grapes on the Bench. The new release has spent 24 months in…

In the late 18th century, poet William Cowper wrote, “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.” From large wineries to small farm-gate operations, the Westside Wine Trail offers locals and visitors a taste of just about everything the Okanagan wine industry offers. Experience organized tasting tours at large wineries like Quails’ Gate then move to an intimate setting like Rollingdale where the wine shop and tasting bar are inside the cellar. Bring your own lunch and enjoy their wine by the glass in the picnic area. Many Westside wineries provide unique dining experiences. Tapas are…

Quails’ Gate Winery boasts one of the most sublime views over vineyards and Okanagan Lake, and their summer calendar is filled with exciting tastings, tours and events. It’s a winery you won’t want to miss. Dinner in the Vineyard returns Wednesdays, June 28 through September 6. Starting at 6:00 in the evening, guests share a four-course meal – family-style – seated at a long dinner table in the vineyard. This event is not only about a magical night of delicious food paired with Quails’ Gate’s award winning wine, it’s also about coming together as a community. Seating is limited to…

Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, family owned and operated, is located on the southeastern slope of a dormant volcano. They are excited to share two new releases this summer. Lava Red, a popular off-dry, semi-sweet blend (a high one or low two on the sweetness scale) is ready for tasting, while their Sparkling Gewürztraminer is eagerly waiting to be bottled and should be available in August. Over the summer, the wine shop opens from 10 am to 8 pm, At the spacious, wheelchair accessible tasting bar, try their 2014 Riesling Icewine, judged the Best Icewine at the 2017 BC Best of…

Deborah Wilde, co-owner of Hidden Chapel Winery has wanted to make a sparkling wine for a few years. Her business partner, Rudy Tomazic resisted. The spring release of Hidden Chapel’s new sparkling rosé, Made of Honour proves the woman always wins. And Rudy agrees, it was a great idea. Based on their ever-popular rosé, Blushing Bride, Made of Honour – a blend of mainly Syrah with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier – tastes of summer berries and a hint of cinnamon. Not just for special occasions, sparkling rosé is a great sipper on a hot summer’s day and…

With some of the most stunning lake views and rural settings amongst the rolling hills of the Okanagan, the wineries along the Westside Wine Trail are a joy to visit any time of year. But be sure to mark the first Sunday in June on your calendar when all 13 Westside wineries will be showing off their summer whites and summer sippers as part of the Westside Wine Trails’ “Sip into Summer” event. Along with tastings, visitors will be treated to live entertainment – music, art and demonstrations – along with tasty bites to tempt the palate. One of the…

Ciao Bella may be one of the new kids on the block – open since July 2015 – but they are no newcomers to wine. The Fiume family’s history of grape growing and winemaking started in Napoli, Italy with Luigi and Melina. The Pinot Rosé label features Melina (who turned 81 in April) on Luigi’s Vespa. That handsome fellow on the Pinot Grigio label is Luigi, who will be celebrating his 86th birthday in June. The picture was taken approximately a week before Luigi and Melina immigrated to Yellowknife in 1956. Unfazed by Yellowknife’s weather, the Fiume’s continued to make…

From hiking to antique hunting, the Armstrong Spallumcheen area has something for everyone. The Village Cheese Company, located at 3475 Smith Drive in the town of Armstrong has over 30 different cheeses displayed in what they call the “jewelry box.” For spring, manager Kelly Baird recommends their white wine Havarti made with Gewürztraminer for its light, creamy, salty and sweet taste. To serve with red wines, she suggests smoked cheddar or smoked Gouda. The Village Cheese shop has their own smoke house – no liquid smoke for their cheese. Stop in on Mondays or Wednesdays to see fresh curds, popular…

Spring is all about anticipation, and there’s plenty to look forward to in Vernon – cycling, hiking, and of course good food and drink. This spring, visitors can introduce their palates to some exciting new tastes along Vernon’s Tasting Trail.   On March 30th, Okanagan Spirits will release its BRBN Bourbon-style BC Corn Whiskey. This is only the second year for BRBN. Last year’s release sold out in under a week. Producing a bourbon-style whiskey has not been simple. Tyler Dyke, CEO of Okanagan Spirits says they first had to figure out how to grow grain corn in BC. But…