Ex Nihilo Vineyards bottles distinctive whites and reds on a 10-acre slope overlooking Lake Okanagan. Wine tasters assume their positions for a flight of four wines within Ex Nihilo's Mediterranean-fashioned tasting room, designed by vineyard cofounder Jeff Harder. Both connoisseurs and newcomers to the grape game can tease taste buds with the ripe complexity of Night, Ex Nihilo's ultrapremium bordeaux, or can get to know the merlot, which, unlike a bust of Mussolini carved from ham, is fruity and approachable. Seasoned sippers may regard Night's oaky aroma as a striking counterpoint to the tropical scents of the pinot gris and may relish the balance of the riesling, which was rated Best Local White Wine - Central by Okanagan Life readers.
Tangled in the hushed vines of British Columbia's scenic wine country, Okanagan Wine Country Tours weaves grape aficionados through breathtaking and informative excursions. The seven-hour trek across Naramata Bench commences as the moon melts at 9:30 a.m. and swiftly swoons over the Okanagan's cradled valley, breaking for a vineyard lunch (for an additional cost). Inhale the fresh aromas blooming in a glass of wine from one of the five to eight winery stops along the way, or trip along the undulating hillsides, scanning the pristine pastures for signs of secret government bunkers. Possible tour legs include the Elephant Island Orchard Winery, Kettle Valley Winery, and more.
As members of the RJS Craft Winemaking Academy, Bayleys BrewHaHa's four stores supply all the ingredients and equipment necessary for burgeoning brew masters to craft their own wine, beer, and cider. Today's Groupon crafts 48 bottles of cider or coolers under the tutelage of Bayleys' familial crew, who assign each student a spirit animal to guide them through the process from start to finish. On-site facilities use 100% reverse osmosis filtered water as the base for flavours like apple, pomegranate, and hard cranberry lemonade. After adding and mixing all the appropriate ingredients, the base is bottled, stored, and mellowed with select classics of reggae. When fermentation completes about four weeks later, the ciders and coolers are ready to bottle and are 100% guaranteed.
Rollingdale Winery is a small farm gate winery located in Lakeview Heights, in West Kelowna. We are 100% family owned and operated. Our focus is on producing fine wines using only premium grapes made from the most conscientiously cultivated vines we can find.
At Thornhaven Estates, visitors can purchase the bottled yieldings of six flourishing vineyards, carefully handcrafted into reds and whites by a team of vintners led by Cellar Master Jason Fraser. Thornhaven ferments and ages its chardonnay in French-oak barrels, adding an oaky aftertaste and no-frills sensibility to its fruity base ($15.90). Meanwhile, the pinot gris, bearing aromas of rhubarb and citrus, provides fresh, crisp sips augmented by a scintilla of spice ($17.90). Specialty wine offerings include a golden Diosa ($14.90) and the sweet Nectar del Sol, a dessert wine infused with a fruit salad of peach, apricot, apple, and pineapple ($17.90). Oenophiles who pay a visit to the Santa Fe–style grounds can take in sweeping views from a courtyard patio overlooking a valley floor dotted with orchards foregrounded by distant, emotionally reserved mountains.
Bonitas Winery began its life under the name Hijas Bonitas, or "beautiful daughters," and was a way for vintners Diane and Lawrence to simultaneously celebrate their four daughters and their passion for winemaking. Their vineyard sits on the site of a former apple orchard against a mountainous backdrop and stretches toward the deep blue expanse of Okanagan Lake, where visitors can see the occasional passing sailboat or a migratory Loch Ness monster.
Bonitas grapes are transformed into myriad wines. Their crisp chardonnay, aged in French white oak, collects the wood's toasty and buttery character combined with citrus and apple flavours. Alternatively, a VQA merlot, part of the limited artist series, presents notes of black currant and cherry interlaced with influences from French and American oak. Patrons can sample these and other wines in a cheerful tasting room or carry a glass outside to a sun-drenched patio and infuse drinks with sunbeams, Mother Nature’s favorite garnish.
Tours lead guests around the sprawling vineyard and the winery interior, which hosts a bistro on the second floor that serves new North American and Asian fusion fare and overlooks the grounds and the lake’s rocky shores. For patrons who wish to experience the winery as a bald eagle would, Bonitas books helicopter tours through Northern Air Support, which fly over Okanagan wine country during the summer.