It’s the attention to detail that sets this winery apart. Unique touches, like the way guests arriving for a tasting are greeted with a glass of their delicious Alibi. This crisp, refreshing vintage is the perfect way to say hello, especially on a hot Okanagan day.
The most significant distinction is that the wine tasting room is known as the Wine Experience Centre. Here the emphasis is not on selling wine but rather on crafting a personal and informative wine experience, centered around the needs of the guest. Even the length of the tasting is up to them. Here it’s not how long it takes, it’s how long the guest wants it to take.
After all, this is the kind of place where one dreams of lingering: the views of the Golden Mile Bench are stunningly beautiful.
The Wine Experience Centre has the look of a stylish café. Instead of the expected bar service, guests are treated to one-on-one seated table service from an experienced wine educator—or as they’re sometimes known, a wine evangelist. These experts are la crème-de-la-crème. All have either their Level Three Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) or the International Sommelier Guild certification. But wine isn’t their only expertise. These friendly experts are a wealth of information regarding everything from the history of this dynamic region to its climate, and soil, so feel free to chat with them. They love to share.
The winery offers two wine tasting experiences. The Intro which features three premium wines, two whites and one red, and the Portfolio tasting of six premium wines, three white wines and three reds. Both are superb but I highly recommend the Portfolio tasting. It’s a fantastic way to get a feel for the complexities of each wine on offer.
The whites are poured first. Each in a specific Riedel crystal glass designed explicitly for that varietal. This gives the taster the opportunity to go back and forth between wines. This approach makes it easier to contemplate one’s decisions. It also leaves the taster time to make notes in the provided booklet. Guests are given fresh glasses with the reds. This simple gesture gives the experience the grace of a traditional Japanese tea service.
The winery goes one step further with their Wine Club members, who are treated to free private Cabana tastings, that takes place next to the winery’s water feature. This is a genuine VIP experience and just one of the many perks members receive.
This gorgeous winery has a loyal following so booking a tasting is recommended during peak season. But, don’t worry if you forget, the folks at Black Hills always have time for more guests. www.blackhillswinery.com
~ Lesley Buxton