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Posts Tagged ‘Gewurztraminer’

While we were in the Okanagan, of course Hester Creek wasn’t the only winery we visited. On this trip, we ventured out to Summerland, specifically the Bottleneck Drive area, and we discovered Evolve Cellars.

Evolve Cellars was open in 2015 and above the tasting room is e, its dining room. Simple decor – white wall, white table cloth, with big window panes overlooking a gorgeous view of its vineyard and Lake Okanagan. Bryan, Kathryn, Mr. and I made a lunch reservation prior to getting there, and we’re patting our back for making a good choice.

View of Evolve Cellars

Food

e’s lunch menu is quite interesting. I like that they incorporate their wine into many of the dishes. We shared a few appies, including the Seared Scallops. There was nice caramelization on one side of the scallops, the scallops were cooked to the right temperature, tender and sweet. The roasted corn salsa gave it some smokey flavours and crunch. For us, they were served on a spoon and it made a perfect bite (Mr. really liked it, because he always wants “a bit of everything in each bite”).

Seared Scallops

The Bruschetta was probably my least favourite appetizer. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite good.

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The much anticipated Lobster Summer Menu has returned to the Keg. From now till August 28, you can indulge in a number of dishes made from lobsters flown in from Nova Scotia. Mr. and I were invited to sample some dishes from this year’s menu.

Food

For starter we had the Crispy Lobster Tacos. There were two pieces of lobster in each taco (although the size of lobster pieces varied), all of which were nicely fried and cooked perfectly — crispy on the outside, moist and juicy inside. The sauce had some heat to it, it was creamy, and worked very well with the tacos.

The portion of the plate was quite big, actually. It’s more like a shared appy, than an appy to yourself. I would suggest getting this to share.

Crispy Lobster Tacos

For entree, we had the Steak and Half Lobster, a 6oz steak. The sirloin steak was cooked to medium rare, tender, with beautiful grill marks. You would never be disappointed with steaks at The Keg. Our plates came with a baked potato, and it was nice and fluffy. I ordered extra bacon on the side, and yes, you should always order extra bacon if you can.

Check out the size of that lobster! (more…)

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If you think our Okanagan trip ended on the Golden Mile Bench, you’re wrong. We decided to venture further north, driving more than 50 km, to Penticton, and visit another famous wine region – Naramata Bench. That area has just as many, if not more, wineries as Oliver/Osoyoos. We only had time to check out four wineries, so it was really difficult to shortlist from the dozens of wineries in the area.

Nichol Vineyard

Wines Along the Naramata Bench

The wineries in this area are situated above sand cliffs that rise from the Okanagan Lake, with vineyards sloping up to the mountains behind. While you are enjoying some great wine, you will also get to take in a gorgeous view of the Okanagan Lake. Here is a recap of the wineries we visited, and wines we liked and didn’t like, strictly from a personal preference standpoint.

Nichol Vineyard

While most wineries in the region compete with each other over attractive signage, or even grandiose wine shop and tasting room, Nichol goes for the opposite. Located at the north most end of the Naramata Bench, if you don’t pay close attention, you might actually miss the turn-off to the winery.

It’s a neat little wine shop at the top of the vineyard, and it looks just like someone’s house. But it has some patio seating that allows you to enjoy a glass of wine, or even your packed lunch, over this view:

View at Nichol Vineyard

Because they sold out some of the varietals over a busy summer, we only got to try 4 of their wines. The Pinot Gris is definitely the gem in the lineup. The grapes were gently crushed and left to settle on the skins for 36 hours, giving the wine this salmon hue and a hint of tannin. It’s dry, citrusy, with the aroma of stone fruit. I usually prefer slightly sweeter white but I really enjoyed this one.

I was hoping to try its Cab Franc but it wasn’t available for tasting. Now I need to try finding it elsewhere; I think I will like it as well.

Winery website: www.nicholvineyard.com

Nichol Vineyard

Bench 1775 Winery

Remember I talked about the lack of flashy sign for Nichol? What caught our attention about Bench 1775 was its successful use of signs — “Canada’s Best Pinot Gris”, “The Best View of the Lake” — now we’re intrigued.

Bench 1775 Winery

Bench 1775 certainly has a great view! What makes it better is that its patio is extended right to the water so you are much closer to the Okanagan Lake and the water view is quite spectacular.
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Last year when we went camping in Oliver, we checked out a number of wineries along the Black Sage Bench. But Oliver is the Wine Capital of Canada, of course they have more wineries to offer! So when we were in Osoyoos this summer, we headed north and stopped by the wineries along the Golden Mile Bench, another area known for its great wines.

Vineyards along Golden Mile Bench

Wines Along the Golden Mile Bench

Keep in mind that while we drink a fair share of wine through the years, but we don’t consider ourselves wine experts. This post is more to share our experience at each winery. We picked out ones that we know of, or ones with an interesting name, or simply made an impulse turn based on how the winery looks. We will tell you what we like and what we don’t like, from a personal preference standpoint.

Rustico Farm & Cellars

Laugh all you want, but the name of this winery just caught my attention. Rustico – there must be something rustic about this place. And boy, were we in for a pleasant surprise! The heritage house, the vineyards, the donkey brothers and the tasting room – this just has so much character.

Rustico Farm & CellarsRustico Farm & Cellars

We got inside the “Tasting Saloon” and felt the warm welcome from the staff, even though the space was packed! Their wines all some have cheeky names. Among the number of wines we tried, here is what we liked:

  • Farmer’s Daughter – A dry Gewurztraminer, citrusy and fragrant
  • Saloon Sally – A Cabernet Franc Rose, surprisingly fruit forward
  • Last Chance – A red blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, Chancellor. Because they no longer plant the Chancellor, now is literally the last chance to purchase this wine.
  • Threesome – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blend. This has the body to pair with rich, saucy dishes, or just a nice piece of steak.

Winery website: rusticowinery.com

Rustico Farm & CellarsRustico Farm & Cellars

Road 13 Vineyards

I have tried Road 13’s wines a number of times. The most memorable was at the Vancouver Home + Design Show Pop-up Dinner last year. Therefore, I wanted to visit the winery and try a few more of their wines. As soon as we got there, we saw a castle at the end of Road 13 (yes, the street is called Road 13), overlooking a gorgeous view of the vineyard and beyond. If you are looking for a castle wedding, this is the place! (more…)

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