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.