The best part of the entire trip was definitely the wine tour. It was something we both wanted to do. So during the week we visited a recommended website online and found a variety of wine tours by a company named Uncorked! Okanagan Wine Tours. We thoughtfully examined each tour then booked one we liked. We picked the "Trilogy Wine Tour" which included 3 wineries, a distillery and a brewery. It appealed to us the most since we wanted to try more than just wine.
The first place we went to was a winery called "Mission Hill". I've seen their bottles in liquor stores before but admittedly never tried it. I'm glad it was the first one because it certainly whet my appetite for seeing more. The winery is like a luxurious plantation, thoughtfully decorated with tasteful art and original historic pieces. I've never seen anything quite like it. It's impressive, it's grand, it's absolutely overwhelming and awe inspiring. It was obvious that the owner was a perfectionist, seeking out every wrinkle and ironing it out.
Everything was impeccable. An impressive feature was the amphitheatre formed into a grassy hill. In its entirety I have never seen such careful planning, such graceful consideration for every little detail. I appreciated the organized beauty to it all. Then came the wine. We tasted our choice of 4 different wines. I tried a Pinot Grigio which was delightful. A very easy and complementary white wine. I also tried a Syrah, a Pinot Noir and what they called Quatrain, which is a mix mostly composed of Merlot. The Syrah was delicious, surprisingly a nice balance of tart and sweet. The Pinot Noir was of course terrific, as always. All in all, a great winery.
The next stop on the wine tour was "Quail's Gate", another large winery albeit not nearly as ostentatious as Mission Hill but beautiful in its simplicity. The building was warm and welcoming, beckoning wine tasters forth with open arms. I eagerly stepped inside, ready to try something new. The best feature about the wine bar was the view. It was truly pleasing to look out into the valley while sipping on some very classy wine. We were lucky enough to taste all the wine they had available due to a deal with the wine tour company, so it certainly made the experience as enjoyable as possible. Afterwards we went for lunch at their restaurant and enjoyed pairing a memorable Foch with a meaty angus burger covered in gouda. It was an unforgettable compilation of flavours.
The last winery we visited was "Little Straw" a boutique winery. I loved being able to compare the different scales of wineries, Mission Hill as the largest, Little Straw as one of the smallest while Quail's Gate is at some point in between. Little Straw might have been my favourite. Sure, it's not money being slapped in your face but it's something a little more down to earth. First of all, I had the chance to meet one of the co-owners serving the wine. I loved that. Their attitude was genuine and modest, aspects I find particularly alluring. Then I tasted their wine. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. We ended up buying three bottles since it was something we couldn't find back home. Two bottles of Rosé and a bottle of Foch.
Then there was the brewery, "Tree Brewing" in Kelowna. I'm so glad we picked a brewery to visit. The beer was delicious. We tried them all from a crisp lager to a pale ale. It was like a rainbow of beer. To top it off there was a plate of hors d'oeuvres of crackers and pepperettes with cream cheese and a wonderful pepper jelly. It was a treat for the palette. I love variety.
Last, but certainly not least was "Ubran Distilleries". We sat down at what was recognizably a bar while the host presented us with shot glasses. Then he continued to pour us a sample of each spirit. Wow. Deep, intriguing flavours that certainly represented their company well. The greatest of the spirits was the espresso vodka. It's so smooth it actually tastes like coffee without the vodka aftertaste. I don't know how they did it but I love it. Of course we bought a bottle.
After enjoying a wonderful wine tour there is no doubt in my mind I would recommend wine tours to everyone. The guide was amazing, he provided us with all sorts of details, back stories and history, it created a comfortable atmosphere and a truly complete experience. The wineries, brewery and distillery were all class acts, truly serving their customers with the royal treatment. I would purchase liquor from any of these brands. That would mean they were successful.
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