Bill Wightman, Hospitality Director at Quails’ Gate Winery, says he has the best job in the Okanagan.
“Look outside of my office,” he says, gesturing at endless vineyards sloping down to Okanagan Lake. I work for a great family, and we have outstanding wines.”
Outstanding indeed. In fact, Quails’ Gate is amongst Canada’s top agritourism sites and this year they will celebrate their 25th anniversary. Wightman says their spring releases will be just as spectacular as their predecessors.
Quails’ Gate currently has 165 acres in production and they are planting another 35 acres this year. While their wines traditionally receive critical acclaim all round, Wightman points to three that are amongst the most popular.
Their perennial best seller is the Quails’ Gate Chasselas, which was the first wine they produced. Considered a classic patio wine, the Chasselas is extremely versatile, best shared with friends mid-afternoon with a good selection of mild cheeses. This light, fresh “off dry” wine is a true crowd pleaser.
The Quails’ Gate Estate Pinot Noir is their flagship product. Made to be elegant with grace and finesse, the Pinot Noir appeals to wine aficionados who desire a sophisticated style of Pinot Noir that exhibits rich, complex fruit flavours.
The Estate Chardonnay is another Quails’ Gate Classic, which beautifully balances the acidity of stainless steel fermentation with the elegance of French oak. Look for a bright and complex wine with rich, biscuit, buttery notes.
Quails’ Gate will herald the return of Dinner in the Vineyard on July 15th and August 7th. They will also host a Spring Release Dinner Series from May 1st to May 14th, which features a four course wine paired dinner for just $75 plus tax and gratuities.
Drop by their wineshop anytime between 10 am and 7 pm, and be sure to treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at Old Vines Restaurant.
~ Deanna Rainey