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This summer, visitors to the Golden Mile Bench’s pioneering property, Hester Creek Estate Winery, are in for a superb treat: an exclusive release of the 2017 Viognier, only available at the winery. With just 100 cases crafted, this minimum production wine is the perfect indulgence and won’t last long. The hot days and cool evenings of the south Okanagan are the precise combination one needs to grow Viognier fruit with an impeccable balance of aroma, acidity and flavour. This classic varietal showcases lovely, lifted floral scents of orange blossom and orchard fruit. The mouthfeel is pleasing and full, with a…

Believe it or not, wedding season is upon us, and with so many details to worry about, having Wine Glass Writer markers on hand is sure to make your special day easier. The non-toxic and food safe markers allow you to write on glass and glazed ceramics, without the fear of smudging and without the hassle of permanency. Whatever you write will stay on its surface until wiped off with a soapy sponge. Since 2010, the mother-daughter team behind Wine Glass Writer has been working hard to remove the need for wine-charms that are forgotten after your second drink, and…

Bacon-wrapped plums This is our version of angels on horseback (a savoury canapé of bacon-wrapped oysters), but in my opinion, tastier. I buy the plums from farmers who have heirloom plum trees. If you can’t find fresh plums, use dried prune plums, and rehydrate them a little bit. We serve this in the restaurant on our fall/winter menu.   Ingredients • 16 fresh or dried Italian prune plums, pitted • 8 slices bacon, halved lengthwise —– Bue Cheese Mousse • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup whipping (35%) cream (divided) • 1 tsp gelatin powder • 1/4 cup blue cheese —–…

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…

So far, “this is a normal year” says owner and winemaker Ted Kane about the 2017 vintage. Ted is always keeping an eye on how the fruit is developing. He pays particular attention to the date of “veraison”, which is when the ripening grapes start to change colour and soften. Red grape varieties start to darken into their colours and white varieties turn to various shades of yellow, light green, or pink depending on the variety. In River Stone’s vineyard, that usually occurs between August 8th and 12th. Visitors can always ask about anything going on in the vineyard from…

(pictured: Drew and Lauren look forward to giving you a tour of the winery) For adults only, book ahead for an elevated tasting and tour package called Upstairs at Dirty Laundry, available by appointment only, Monday to Friday. For $15 per person, join the WSET-educated team of Lauren Selfridge, online marketing manager, and Drew Kuchta, cellar master, for a behind the scenes experience. Drew will take you on a tour of the cellar with barrel tasting and Lauren will lead wine education and cheese pairing in the upstairs Board Room. No minors or children, please, for this in-depth session that…

It’s that time of the year when the nighthawks return to their nests in the hills above Okanagan Falls, where they’ll spend their days like all of us basking in the warm summer sun, while their nights are spent dutifully watching over the vines at Nighthawk Vineyards. Summer is a season of rediscovery here in the Okanagan, and much like these beautiful birds we too return to familiar locales this time of year, to be met with a handful of pleasant surprises. Such is the case at Nighthawk Vineyards, a cozy little mountain winery built along the shores of Green…

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…

Spring Picnics with a new sparkling wine at River Stone Winery Owner and winemaker Ted Kane and assistant general manager Julie Planiden at River Stone have reason to celebrate and, as of this season, they now have a new sparkling wine to celebrate with! For the first time, River Stone will release a very unique sparkling wine made from Merlot. The grapes were pressed immediately so that the juice received very little colour. The Sparkling White Merlot NV is a slightly off-dry, Provençal-style rosé with the added bonus of bubbles. It is packaged in a beautiful bottle with a crown…

“The Summerhill family of over 150 employees is truly thrilled to share the excitement of their glorious award – THE BEST CHARDONNAY IN THE WORLD for the 2014 Chardonnay Icewine at the Chardonnay du Monde® 2017 competition in Burgundy, France!” says Stephen Cipes, proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery. “Winning the number one Chardonnay wine in the world is a triumph for organic growing and winemaking. It recognizes being in harmony with nature, and the Okanagan Valley’s pristine growing conditions, which have been bringing pride to Canadians for 25 years.” “Winning the number one Chardonnay wine in the world is…