Our 9th annual Okanagan wine tour finds big improvements in the food, wine and experience.

Almost ready to harvest

BC Wine touring has exploded since our 1st annual in 2009.  Back then it was hard to get a good meal and the tasting room was often in the garage.  This year my top pick was Black Hills Winery.  For several years now they’ve blown us away with the Cabana tasting for club members.  The hosts are true wine experts and the guided tasting a learning experience.  We combined the tasting with lunch and it outstanding.  The pizzas were creative, the olives warm and delicious, and the smoked cod cakes were the bomb.  The cod cakes are now on our #orderitfordessert list.
Cabana tasting at Black Hills

We started our trip with a picnic at Clos du Soleil in the Similkameen.  They have slowly become one of my favourite wineries and I highly recommend a visit.  Bring a picnic, they have several tables and are very welcoming.  White or red, they make both in the Bordeaux style and they do it very well. 
We also stopped at Vanessa Vineyards to see the newly opened tasting room.  It’s a beauty and they are making some great red wines.  Look for the Cabernet Franc.  It’s special.
 Seven Stones is always one of our favourites to visit.  Great wines and a tour of the cellar is worth the trouble.  They are experimenting with how playing Mozart affects the wine.  How could it be anything but good?
After checking into our suite at Spirit Ridge Resort we went to the NK’MIP tasting room.  It was crowded and the staff were ready to wrap it up for the day.  I love the Spirit Ridge resort and the NK’MIP winery, but this wasn’t one of our better tasting experiences there, reinforcing the value of booking your tastings in advance. 
We also had dinner that night at Mica, at Spirit Ridge.  Sadly, except for some above average calamari the food was mediocre and overpriced.  I don’t think we’ll go there again.
Tinhorn Creek prepared a great sit down tasting for us, including the new and delicious blend, The Creek, a high-end wine, daringly put under screw cap in a light weight bottle.  Remember it’s the inside of the bottle that counts.
We had another excellent lunch at Miradoro.  I had whey poached halibut with salt cod fritters.  I’m a sucker for anything made with cod and delighted to see more cod fritters turning up.  They are a staple in Portugal and Spain and are crazy delicious with a bottle of sparkling wine.
Ella sparkling wine from Maverick

My favourite new winery was Maverick in Oliver, where Karin Lepa guided us through a tasting of their portfolio.  I’m a fan of Ella, the sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pino Noir, it would be great with some of those cod fritters.  I look forward to seeing how this winery grows up. 
LaStellina Rosato

Trying to stay on time at Le Vieux Pin

We also visited La Vieux Pin and La Stella.  Stand outs at La Vieux Pin were the Syrah and the Sauvignon Blanc, which was perfect with scallops for dinner recently.  At La Stella we all loved the rose but it was sold out.  We tasted the last of it. Both make great wine but one of the things that stands out is the great people that work there.   They are always so knowledgeable and generous with their time.  Book a tasting and they will treat you very well.
Corcellettes in the Similkameen

Last but not least we finished our tour back in the Similkameen at Corcelletes' new tasting room.  We really like this Jessie and Charlie, a great young couple with a passion for the wine business, they are making great wines and truly understand hospitality.  We always save room for some of their wine.

Another year of Okanagan wine touring is under our belts and we are already planning next year.