Ok, maybe you need a bit more than a day to really enjoy an Okanagan Trip Date, maybe a day or three. Do spend that time together in that beautiful part of British Columbia though, and it will be the most relaxing, enjoyable and memorable trip you’ll take all year.
So let’s start from the beginning. We drove to West Kelowna area and stayed in one of the hotels with the lake view. There is plenty around, we’ve stayed at The Cove Lake Resort, the suite had a fridge, kitchenette which are a must as you will have to try some of the wines and local cheese after the long day at the wineries.
As this was our first foray into the wine country, we’ve wanted to start small and explore a grouping of West Kelowna wineries (The Westside Wine Trail), which happened to be just a few minutes drive from our hotel.
The wineries are located along the winding road leading towards the top of the hill. I highly recommend you start at the bottom and work your way to the top. We’ve started with Volcanic winery, and were blown away with some interesting Ice Wines, continued through the Little Straw winery, Mt. Boucherie, German style whites at Sonoran Winery. We’ve enjoyed tastings at each one ad picked up a few bottles at each of the styles that we’ve liked the most.
Some of the wineries are small, with tiny tasting rooms, and as you move up the hill, you come across more and more elaborate stores, larger vineyards, until you hit two of the gems at the top – Quail’s Gate and Mission Hill Wineries.
We were lucky to hit an open reservation at Quail’s Gate winery restaurant – Old Vines – the night of our arrival at the hotel. This was an unforgettable dinner, on the outside patio, over- looking the sunset over the vineyard and the lake. Sometimes things come together perfectly – the weather, the timing, the atmosphere of the place, the server with the great sense of humor and impeccable timing, the wine, the, food, the deserts and the view. That was that type of dinner date. We’ve done a sampling of the wines at the Tasting room before setting down for the meal, but made a note of coming back there the next day to fully take in the winery during the day light. The restaurant is a must try and the experience is unforgettable. With the menu changing seasonally, there will always be something new to try and be blown away with.