Please help with Okanagan wine/food itinerary
We have decided not to take a wine tour and just do it ourselves as one of our friends who doesn't drink would like to drive us. On the Friday (July 8), we will going through Abbotsford to Oliver and make a stop in Naramata on the way to West Kelowna. On Saturday, we will be hitting the farmers market in the morning and will go to the wineries in West Kelowna.
I am looking for:
-a good breakfast rec in Abbotsford
-lunch rec in/around Oliver (maybe at Burrowing Owl?)
-2 other wineries to visit besides Burrowing Owl that aren't too out of the way
-3 wineries to visit in Naramata
-dinner recs in Naramata and Kelowna as I am not sure which we will stop in for dinner yet
For Saturday, we will have breakfast at the farmers market and then do a tour of about 5-6 wineries in West Kelowna.
I am looking for:
-5-6 wineries in West Kelowna and best order to do them in (I know I am asking for a lot and thank you in advance:) that incorporates a lunch/visit at Quail's Gate.
-dinner rec in Kelowna or West Kelowna (we were thinking of eating at our resort restaurant either this evening or Friday-we are staying at the Cove)
-breakfast rec for Sun morning before our drive back....
Thank you for all the recs. The highlight of our weekend was lunch at Burrowing Owl. The freshness, quality, and flavour of all of our entrees was excellent. My intention was to visit Hester Creek and Gehringer but the rest of the group wanted to move along towards Kelowna so the majority won out. We visited Black Hills and SilverSage. I picked up a bottle of Nota Bene at the first but the tasting that was scheduled minutes after our arrival was with food pairings and no one else in our party was interested as we had just finished lunch. Silversage was generous with their tastings but was heavily overcrowded and the wine was simply awful.
Thanks QAW for the tickleberry's rec. We all loved our ice cream break. They sure had a lot of interesting flavours.
We didn't go out for dinner as everyone was quite tired and wanted to get an early start the next day. Saturday, we ate breakfast at the Farmers market in Kelowna. I don't remember the name of the crepe stand we went to but the woman making the crepes had a thick French accent and the stall was located in the back corner of the market. The buckwheat crepes were delicious. We had to skip our Quails Gate lunch reservation due to an untimely visit to the emergency room for one in the group but we did manage to eventually get to the winery itself for tasting and had an ok dinner at Mission Hill that evening. The view is spectacular and we were all glad we chose it for dinner based on how amazing the scenery was but no one was impressed with the food. The service however was exceptional and everything you expect from a finer dining establishment.
Our trip ended with breakfast at Bonfire in our hotel and was pretty good.
I wished we had eaten out more and visited more wineries but that is very hard when in a larger group as the majority often rules. But there is always next time:)
We have decided to stick with West Kelowna wineries for Saturday with dinner at Mission Hill. Do any of you know of an easy wine map on the internet for this area? We are going to a few wineries before lunch at Quails Gate at 1 pm, Mission Hill 1 hour tour at 330 and then more wineries until dinner at 7 pm. We are planning on Kalala, little straw, Beaumont, rollingdale, and Mt Boucherie.
You can get wine maps (not completely up to date) at http://www.winebc.com.
Kelowna area wineries to try would be Sperling and Tantalus. Summerhill - how much do you like pyramids?
For the Naramata I would suggest that you add Township 7, Laughing Stock and Kettle Valley to your list. KV makes some fantastic reds, with the most annoying thing from the winery being their limited availability to ship.
By the way Mount Boucherie's owners were the only ones I met who badmouthed others in the valley. Their product isn't anything to write home about but I know that's one I wouldn't go back to.
I'm partial to La Frenz on Naramata for their whites, very flowery and fruity, great summer sippers. Joie also does some really nice whites as well. I've never been overly enamored of reds from BC unfortunately. Elephant Island is definitely fun for something different.
And of course, I'll do some promo for Red Rooster as well. Yeah, I'm related to the winemaker but they did win for their Chardonnay (Chardonnay du Monde) and their Pinot Noir (can't remember, think it was New World Wines). Think I've posted on Chow about it before. Toot toot! I really enjoyed their Gewurtz as well. (And being a bad family member, I used to dislike their stuff intensely...my bad!). ;)
Have a great trip and let us know how it goes!
Can not be of any help for your Friday breakfast, but lunch at Burrowing Owl is an excellent fit, and also puts you close to Hester Creek and Gehringer Brothers, which are right next to each other and worth exploring (from the patio at the Burrowing Owl you will be able to look across the valley to the west and see them). That gives you three quality wineries in Oliver to start your day. And on your way from Oliver to Naramata, there is absolutely nothing wrong with stopping off at Tickleberry’s in Okanagan Falls for some afternoon ice cream. A perfect palate cleanser.
Narrowing down the options in Naramata is not easy, but here are a couple of thoughts – on a full weekend of tasting tours, Elephant Island (http://www.elephantislandwine.com/) can be a nice change of pace. Their outdoor patio is a lovely setting amidst the orchards, and they do a variety of different fruit wines, which can be an interesting transition between the Oliver and Naramata wineries. And if you are going to do multiple wineries in both Oliver and Naramata, that will likely leave you over on “The Bench” around dinner time. That would make the Hillside Bistro (http://www.hillsideestate.com/restaurant.asp) a nice place to watch the sun set, although you might need to reserve in advance in order to secure an outdoor table. Otherwise you have a bit of a push to get to The Cove in time for dinner, although Bonfire on-site does offer some unique southwestern takes (“Cuisine of the Sun”) on the local produce. Should you want to dine on the way from Naramata to your suite, the Vanilla Pod (http://www.thevanillapod.ca/) and Local Lounge and Grille (http://www.thelocalgroup.ca/) are just a few minutes off of the highway in Summerland.
On Saturday it is hard to not make Mission Hill part of the itinerary – perhaps the ideal way to walk off the Quail’s Gate lunch, and you can peruse their dinner menu to see if they make the checklist for Saturday night. You can also decide if you want to focus that afternoon on the West side, bringing Little Straw and Mt. Boucherie into play, or if you want to cross the bridge again, and consider Cedar Creek, Summerhill, Tantalus and St. Hubertus. Those “East Bench” wineries could be a convenient fit it you decide to have Saturday night dinner on that side of the bridge.
In terms of Saturday night dinner, if you did not see a Friday sunset, Summerhill’s Sunset Organic Bistro (http://www.summerhill.bc.ca/Sunset-Organic-Bistro/Hours---Info) can provide you with that opportunity. Other favorites on the East side of the bridge are the Wild Apple at the Manteo (http://www.wildapplerestaurant.com/ ), Bernard Casavant’s new home, and a couple of small “sleepers”, Waterfront Restaurant and Bar (http://www.waterfrontrestaurant.ca/ ), and La Plateau Bistro (http://www.leplateaubistro.ca/ ). And in downtown Kelowna there is Raudz (http://www.raudz.com/ ). Bonfire is of course a convenient option, but you might want to save that for your Sunday brunch, and a chance to get an outdoor able in the early sunshine.
1207 Main, Okanagan Falls, BC V0H1R0, CA
Thanks QAW. Your itinerary will help us quite a bit. I am really looking fwd to the Oliver part of our trip now. For Sat evening dinner do you prefer Mission Hills or Summerhill?
I am thinking that for the Abbotsford breakfast I might just bring a long some homemade cinnamon buns that we can eat in the car. I am sure there will be a Starbucks around for coffee....
How about a "cop-out" in terms of the Saturday night suggestion - both Mission Hill and Summerhill do some special things from their kitchens, in part because they grow a lot of their own produce and have fabulous herb gardens. Over time, it gives them an even better understanding of how best to develop flavors that showcase their own wines. So when we have to make a decision, often it comes down to their specials on that particular evening. That will likely not help you much, except for the comfort of knowing that it is difficult to make a bad choice.