(pictured: Sandhill’s gorgeous new experience centre shines in Kelowna’s north end.)
With the recent opening of Sandhill Winery in the heart of downtown Kelowna, the traditional winery tour goes beyond the tasting room, transporting guests to each of Sandhill’s six vineyards, via a high-tech and high-touch tasting experience.
There are no rolling hills and tidy rows of grapes here. Instead, Sandhill’s modern, cool concrete and glass winery borders Kelowna’s industrial zone, making it walkable from almost anywhere in the downtown core. Bright, airy, and with the just right amount of urban chic, the tasting room and wine shop anchor the city’s urban square area currently under revitalization.
Take your seat at one of three state-of-the-art tasting stations and prepare to be tantalized. With the swipe of a touch-screen, passionate and knowledgeable wine consultants guide you through each vineyard and vintage, sharing stories of the growers and Master Winemaker, Howard Soon’s philosophy and vision.
This is your opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the collaborative efforts it takes to create Sandhill’s award-winning wines, while sampling varieties that range from Pinot Gris, Cabernet/Merlot blends, Viognier and Merlot, each vintage following Sandhill’s single-lot philosophy. Where you once might simply talk about what you taste in each glass, here, you’ll learn the story behind each vintage; where and how the grapes were grown, the influences of terroir, and perhaps, a little bit of history too.
“That’s how I like to taste wine,” says Shannon, one of Sandhill’s wine consultants, “I very much am more interested in what happened, who did what, where it came from. I like history, and wine dates back to Roman times, so we’re talking about history here!”
The virtual vineyard experience is offered each day, along with three other unique tasting experiences. Sign up for the Power of Oak guided tasting to explore the flavour oak imparts on wine. The Challenge of the Terroir encourages you to taste the subtle differences planting, weather, soil, and sun can have on the same grape varietal. Sipping and Savouring, a wine and food pairing experience, rounds out the guided tastings that range from $10 to $15 per person (complimentary for wine club members).
Reservations for the virtual vineyard and guided tastings may be made online at www.Sandhillwines.ca, or by calling 250-762-9144, or 1-888-246-4472.
~ Kim Cameron