Experience Wine Tours
The Naramata Bench, Penticton BC – August 2019
On a recent visit to Kelowna we decided a wine tour was in order. After some Google and Tripadvisor searches we decided on Experience Wine Tours. After reviewing the options we opted for the Naramata Bench Tour, mostly because we hadn’t been there before.
Booking the wine tour
Booking was super easy online and Shannon was in contact with us to confirm and double check we had our dates, times and the tour options correct. Excellent communications!
We received a nice “Looking forward to seeing you” reminder message the day before that again included everything we needed to know.
The next morning promptly at 9:30am Craig rolled up in the Mercedes Sprinter van to pick us up. The A/C was on and the other four people joining us on the tour were already in the van so it was off we go!
We have to say, Craig was just amazing and his knowledge of wine was vast and even being a Okanagan transplant from back east his knowledge of the are was astonishing. I have visited the area almost once a year since I was born and I still learned a lot from Craig!
First on the tour was Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards. Jasmine lead us on a very informative tour of the wine making facilities. Once the tour was done we stepped onto the patio for a tasting. The back drop for the tasting is second to none. Looking straight out over the Lake with the Naramata Bench in the background. It just can’t be beat. The wine was delicious too!
The Second stop us exactly why we suggest taking a tour instead of doing it yourself. Laughing Stock Vineyards has an interesting story which I will leave to the reader to learn about. Keep in mind it’s not open to the pulic, you need to make an appointment which the tour looks after. We tasted four wines which represented the range of offerings at Laughing Stock. Delicious wine, fun and interesting tasting. The view again was spectacular.
Winery number three was Nichol Vineyard. The second most northerly winery on the Naramata Bench Nichol sits surrounded by grape vines. We tasted more delicious wines starting with a sparkling which was fantastic.
Experience Wine Tours
Lunch Time! Craig put together a couple charcuterie platters that worth taking the tour for on their own! Local vegetables, cheeses and meats with fresh baked baguettes. Olives, spreads, figs and cherries completed the meal. We sat out on the shaded deck at Nichol Vineyard, enjoyed our lunch overlooking the vineyard and got to know the other travellers in our group.
Learning about vineyards
After lunch it was Grape Vines 101 with Craig. He explained exactly how they are planted, maintained and harvested. Again Craigs knowledge of everything wine was outstanding.
Full of charcuteries and wine making knowledge it was off to stop number four, Moraine, a new stop for Experience Wine Tours and a beautiful facility. This was our favorite tasting of wines. The flavours here were definitely our jam.
Eventually we have to come to our last stop. For us it was Poplar Grove. Family owned Poplar Grove is one of the first 5 wineries on the Naramata Bench. Their tasting room is outstanding. New, modern and a nice cool break from the heat. Wines here were a close second when it came to our favorites list. Highly recommend checking this winery out if you can.
- Experience Wine Tours: www.experiencewinetours.ca
- Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards: www.fitzwine.com
- Laughing Stock Vineyards: www.laughingstock.ca
- Nichol Vineyard: www.nicholvineyard.com
- Moraine: www.morainewinery.com
- Poplar Grove: www.poplargrove.ca