Friday Favourites: Summerland and Naramata Bench

One of our favourite long weekend getaway places, you ask? Well, that is easy. The Okanagan Valley. If you read about my fear of the Trans-Canada Highway in an older post, I am sure you are shocked that the Interior of BC is my favourite place to go. But, I have actually learned to enjoy (for the most part) the drive on the Coquihalla Highway to the Okanagan with it’s beautiful vistas of evergreen blankets covering valleys and mountains.

This past long weekend we met up with friends there to go wine exploring in Summerland and the Naramata Bench area. These were my favourites from the weekend for you to consider if you are planning a visit there:

The Wines

Sage Hills Organic Estate Winery and Vineyards

Why I love it: They produce organic wines and if you are lucky to get the tasting presentation from the owner, Rick Thrussel, you are in for a treat with his informative storytelling. One of my top tasting experiences. And they actually have multiple wine varieties that I really enjoy.

Favourites: Rhymes with Orange (a unique orange wine), Pinot Noir, Syrah Rosé and their new terroir-driven wine, the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend. Surprisingly, I actually liked their port wine as well; it was not as sweet as most ports are. From previously working on a cruise ship, I particularly enjoyed their story of how they named their port, “Aft”.

Sage Hills Organic Estate Winery
Sage Hills Organic Estate Winery

Silkscarf Winery

Why I love it: This is a family boutique winery that had multiple wines that everyone in our party enjoyed. There were definitely discussions with our friends that weekend of whether Sage Hills or SilkScarf took top billing in our 2-day trek through 9 wineries. From our experience, wineries who provide great whites AND reds are hard to come by. Silkscarf is definitely a must visit for both.

Favourite: The White Pinot.

Serendipity Winery

Why I love it: The name is what drew me in but it was their pinot noir that made me stay.

Favourite: Their Pinot Noir. We have a membership where they deliver us a shipment every 6 months so my husband doesn’t run out. Enough said.

Serendipity Winery
Serendipity Winery

Howling Bluff Estate Winery

Why I love it: This was a random winery we decided to fit in at the end of our day. We crossed our fingers in hopes that we were ending the day on a high note. Howling Wolf was such a pleasant surprise. It is a small family-run boutique winery and the owner, Luke Smith, was so welcoming and engaging.

Favourite: Their pinot noir is a must try!

The Food

Maybe it’s me but my favourite meals of the weekend were shared meals with our friends. Think small plates, appetizers, tapas. The perfect food to pair with wine, in my opinion. Yum!

The Kitchen @ Da Silva Vineyards and Winery

Why I love it: It was a unanimous vote in our group that this place was the winner for best food experience that weekend. The Kitchen specializes in Portugese tapas with a Mexican flare. We arrived at 5:00pm during happy hour for the chef’s tasting where they sent out random dishes for our table to share until we told the kitchen to stop. It was fabulous!

Favourites: Their toasted walnut and roasted garlic chickpea spread and their chicken and pork liver pate (I determined on this trip that I love pates).

The Bistro @ Hillside Winery

Why I love it: They have two patios to enjoy a glass of wine and the cool summer breeze. Their dishes are what you would expect from a winery bistro – elevated and delicious.

Favourites: The duck rillette is a must try, along with their Full Moon Brie dish. Their short rib “poutine” is a creative, flavourful take on poutine but do not expect fries and gravy; remember, this is elevated cuisine.

Charcuterie and Cheese – When in wine country, you must set aside a night where you return to your accommodations and have your own charcuterie and cheese “dinner” as you crack open a few bottles of your labours from your wine exploration day.  Doing this may also bring some unexpected surprises…one we got that weekend that I will share in a later post!

Evolve Cellars
Stopped at Evolve Cellars with my friend who loves sparking wine. She’s slowly converting me to love it too.

The Accommodation

Airbnb in Summerland

Why I love it: The view, the view, the view! The living space, the peacefulness, the sunroom, the welcome gift…the list goes on. Pictures do not do the place justice…you will seriously fall in love with the view.

Airbnb Credit

Never stayed at an Airbnb?  For certain types of trips, that is often our go-to accommodation platform. Thinking of booking Airbnb for the first time? Click the link below where I can give you a credit of $45 CAD towards your first booking of $95 CAD or more.

$45 CAD off Airbnb from Tamara.

Have questions about Airbnb before making your first booking? I have stayed in many so if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them for you; just send me an email.


Related Articles:
Facing My Fears on the Trans-Canada Highways
The Trans-Canada Conquered
Summerland Winery Wins Gold in France
Sage Hills Estate Winery Primed for Summer With New, Terroir-Drive Wines


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