The following was experienced and contributed by John Biehler exclusively for Miss604.com. Last week John was a guest of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) to experience the region and see what the area has to offer.
Along with beer, we also visited a number of wineries on our Thompson Okanagan tour, for which this region is world-renowned.
Our first stop was Quail’s Gate Winery in West Kelowna. Situated with a stunning view of Okanagan Lake, we started off with lunch at the Old Vines Restaurant which is on the vineyard property.
After lunch, a few of us wondered around the vineyard which is just outside the doors of the restaurant. It was a special treat to see grapes on the vines as I normally visit Kelowna in the summer time when the vines are empty.
We then headed to the tasting room to sample some of the many wines that are produced onsite.
Being relatively new to wine (I’m a beer guy, remember?) it was interesting to hear from the staff the process that goes into producing the wine and differences between the various types of wine. I learned quite a lot just from this one stop.
Our next stop was the Tantalus Vineyards which, like Quail’s Gate has a picturesque view of the lake, mountains and surrounding vineyard.
Their newly opened 13,000 square foot winery felt more like a hip Yaletown lounge than a more traditional winery.
Heading to the back of the winery found us up close to the vats of grape juice from the recently pressed grapes.
As with Quail’s Gate, I was fascinated by the process that goes into wine making.
Getting to tour the facility and talk with David Paterson, Tantalus’ passionate winemaker, made it all that much more interesting to me.
Stay tuned for the next dispatch from the Thompson Okanagan tour featuring food later this week.
John is an avid photographer, gadget geek and traveller. You can find him on Twitter and at johnbiehler.com where he discusses photography and all sorts of technology. All photos in this post were taken by John.
Disclosure: Activities, services and dining experiences during the trip were compliments of Thompson-Okanagan Tourism.