Jan and I took a 5 day vacation in early July to Summerland BC in the heart of the Okanagan. We stayed at the Summerland Waterfront Resort which looks out over Okanagan Lake. In total we visited 9 different vineyards in and around Summerland during the 5 days.
We first stopped in at Gray Monk north of Kelowna. After the brief (free!) tour we sampled several of their wines. One wine in particular that caught my eye was the Rotberger. The Rotberger is a true rose in that you can leave the wine on the skins and it will remain rose in color. The Rotberger is thought to be a cross between Trollinger and Riesling. This wine has lovely raspberry and cherry notes.
The vineyards around Summerland are on Bottleneck Drive. We visited the vineyards at Sumac Ridge, Hollywood and Wine, Thornhaven, Dirty Laundry and 8th Generation. The countryside is very beautiful with the rolling hills overlooking Okanagan Lake. At 8th Generation we enjoyed a rose style sparkling wine called Confidence Frizzante. I think this is a blend of Pinot Noir and Petite Meunier; however, I’m not sure because we enjoyed this wine soon after we purchased it. The Thornhaven Vineyard is very picturesque as it looks down over the valley (see attached photo). It was at Thornhaven that we got the best bargain when we purchased a late harvest Reisling, Viognier and Muscat for only $6 (375ml bottle).
Across the lake from Summerland is Naramata Bench. We stopped in at Kettle Valley and Therapy Vineyards. At Therapy Vineyards I purchased my only red, Freud’s Ego. This wine is a nice blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
The last stop was the Little Straw Vineyard in Westbank. I visited this vineyard about half a dozen years ago and it has expanded since then. The tasting area has an area upstairs for viewing art from local artists. I purchased a nice Riesling which is harvested from vines that were planted 25 years ago.
Although some of the wines are a little overpriced, you can’t beat the location and the locals are all very friendly. I found the whites and roses to be better quality than the reds. Even though two-thirds of the wine I make and drink is red, on our trip I only purchased one red out of the 12 bottles. However, as we finally seem to be getting some warm weather, it will be nice to enjoy a Riesling or Rose on the deck or veranda. Cheers.