Winestain Club Blog


Okanagan Wine Festival

December 31st, 2014 | in |    0   

Wow! Here I am trying to catch up on some writing and realizing exactly how far behind I am! It's Nov 4th and I'm trying my best to remember Sept 30th. Alas, I'm getting older but busier too, or so it seems. I took a l0vely weekend jaunt up to Osoyoos on the last weekend of Sept with my gf to catch a little bit of the Okanagan Wine festival. The weather was still a summery warm 25 with clear blue skies. We drove up on Saturday afternoon and started our wine tasting at a new venture called Synchromesh Wines. A Vancouver colleague of mine, Alan Dickinson, has started a pretty humble little winery in Okanagan Falls, with Riesling being his main pursuit with a few other varietals. We have not tried the bottle of Riesling that Alan had given us as a gift for visiting but we really enjoyed the Syncromesh Rose we tried at the tasting shack and have sinced purchased a few more in Vanc. Alan and his wife have invested their time and savings to produce wine on 6 acres besides some of the bigger boys in OK Falls. Great job in following your dreams Alan! We stopped in at neighbouring Meyer Family Vineyards to try their award winning Chard's and Pinot's and have a chat with proprietor's Jack and Janice Meyer. Their Pinot Noir's are really showing off what can be done with this varietal in the newer Okanagan Falls wine district. We were staying in Osoyoos for the weekend so it was time to drive through the Golden Mile. We had one last visit planned before dinner with friends and we made it to La Stella with time to spare before closing. La Stella and Le Vieux Pin are receiving lots of exposure these days as they are pushing the envelope of price points with their flagship wines which are delicious for sure. The tasting room at La Stella has an unbelievable view of Osoyoos and the mountains and was a perfect afternoon for sitting on the deck trying their stellar line up of wines. They also have a practice of limiting their attention to one set of guests per serving staff at the tasting counter. I think this is brilliant and a nice change from the normal practices of jockeying for attention. Hats off to owner Sean Salem as this a very nice detail to set yourself apart from the others. We set off to our final stop in Osoyoos and met up with several Vancouver friends that were happily showing off their purchases from their various winery excursions. Many bottles were sampled that night with no clear winners other than the Okanagan Valley as a whole.

On Sunday we headed to the 16th annual Festival of the Grape in Oliver. This was my first time at this particular wine event and it was a pleasant enough experience although it was a warm day and drinking wine in the sunshine can be a little trying. The attendees outnumbered the chairs in shadey spots and the seasoned veterans had brought their own fold up chairs. A good mental note for the next time. A nice benefit for Mary and I was the musical attraction for the fair that day was one of our fave local bands, Dehli to Dublin. Dancing on the lawn is not something you normally associate with wine tastings but then again... We decide to end our time at the fair and head back to the hotel before we head off for dinner. Our hotel was located on the south end of the lake and had a beautiful little beach with the afternoon sun beckoning us to kick off our shoes. Mary and I, with good friends Heinz and Danka, toast the beauty of the Okanagan and then head off to dinner at Tinhorn Creek's great new restaurant, Miradoro. What a beautiful location and with a clear sky and full moon shining in, the air was festive. I had forgotten that Miradoro was a joint effort with Manny Ferreira of Le Gavroche and was pleasantly surprised to see Manny greet us at our table. The food and service was spectacular and with some nice BC wine matches suggested by the knowlegable wine experts. A return visit here is a no brainer as is returning to the Okanagan next year for more wonderful wine adventures. Check out any of the many events at next year's Okanagan Wine Festivals and make sure to stop in and see Manny and staff at Miradoro. I know I will. Cheers!