I’m lucky enough to have kept in touch with some women with whom I was in high school back in the day (the “day” being 1980-1985). We were anxious to see each other and catch up so the four of us decided to meet in a relatively central location, Penticton, BC. The heart of the Okanagan wine country.
We rented a home in Penticton, Between the Lakes House, through VRBO, it was perfect.
The first evening was all catching up, food, and wine. The large porch served as a great space for sunset watching and lots of laughs.
Let’s hit some wineries!
The following day we headed out to JoieFarm Winery.
A tasting was had and pizza was ordered. Joie is internationally renowned for their aromatic whites and has won awards for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. I hope they’ve won awards for their pizza too, because it’s to die for (pssst… have the Margherita Pizza) . Their Picnique area boasts a wood-fired oven and a large grassy area with scattered chairs, or blankets, if you prefer.
One friend and I left Joie for a bit to head to Legend Distilling just down the road. They have “unique spirits crafted by hand” and they ARE unique. I was hoping to pick up a bottle of their Black Moon Gin (juniper, charred rosemary, wild Naramata sage and a secret blend of botanicals), but they were sold out. I did pick up a bottle of their Slowpoke Farmberry Vodka (BC Blueberries, cranberries and raspberries, and just a touch of Okanagan honey), which was delicious.
We picked up the others and made one more stop at Maple Leaf Spirits where they distill fine spirits from wine and lees following the European tradition of making grappa, tresterbrand and marc.
I picked up a bottle of their Pear William, an eau-de-vie (colourless fruit brandy) which has a rich aroma and fruit flavour that are typical of the Williams pear. Nice as an aperitif or a digestif.
They also keep several exotic birds; we met Marley the white crested black Polish chicken. A gorgeous bird who knows it’s pretty.
Then it was back to the house and dinner and wine.
Let’s go to some more wineries!
On Saturday we headed over to Summerland to visit Dirty Laundry Winery. The place is an homage to a brothel/laundry in Summerland in the late 1800’s. Very tongue in cheek. They have a large tasting room, general store, and a large patio.
Next we stopped at 8th Generation Vineyards on the way back to Penticton. They make some nice bubbles and Rieslings, but I picked up a bottle of the RedOne. It’s a red that you chill and drink like a white. They have a fun wine cask train out front for the kids while mom or dad has a tasting indoors.
We made a stop in Penticton at the BC VQA Wine Information Centre. They have all things wine and wine accessories and are very knowledgeable about it. They have a stunning piece of art on the wall made of old wine casks.
Last stop was Pentâge Winery, who stayed open late so one of our ladies could get something they didn’t have at the regular store. They were very gracious about it and their dog was very sweet.
To cap off our stay we had dinner that night at the Hooded Merganser Restaurant situated at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. It sits out over the water and the view of the lake is sweeping and lovely.
This was our last hurrah as we were all leaving in the morning to head back to our respective homes. Dinner was nice and the service was excellent.
We took a walk on the waterfront just as the sun was setting. A fitting farewell to a great weekend.