I’ve heard of the Naramata Bench so much in the past, it has been cemented in my mind as THE wine destination of the Okanagan.
We had to backtrack to Penticton to get over to the other side of Okanagan Lake where all the Naramata wineries are and decided to stop on the way for lunch at a sushi place in downtown Penticton.
There was nothing technically wrong with the sushi. It just seemed uninspired and lacking the wonderful flavours, textures and artistry we get back home. I think we may have high expectations in our sushi and probably won’t be likely to find it as good in a small town, sushi shop, far from the coast.
The views from the wineries today just blew away the views from the south Okanagan. There are few views that can rival the beauty from the Naramata Bench.
From big, pretentious and pricey wineries right along the edge of the bench, to tiny, family run wineries further back, everybody has a gorgeous view. The perfect angle of the land allows the properties extending far back to have their own part of the scenery. It makes me think of a perfectly socialist land share – where everybody gets their own portion of the beauty – but really, I’m fooling myself, even those little properties are sure to be worth a small fortune.
None of the wineries out there grow their red grapes on site. It’s so much cooler here, which is perfect for the whites and ice wines, but they all source their grapes for the red wines from their vineyards down in the south Okanagan where we were two days ago.
We found ourselves mostly unimpressed with the reds, though we found we enjoyed all the Cabernet Francs here, a wine we have never enjoyed anywhere else, except when blended with other varietals.
After purchasing 5 wines the other day, we were looking for reasons not to buy today. We found many whites that were just wonderful and so economical. If we were white wine lovers, we’d have had a hard time not buying. They really are exceptional here.
One of the reds we enjoyed enough to purchase a bottle is the Meritage at Red Rooster. I noticed since then that the Boathouse in Vancouver is having a wine pairing event featuring Red Rooster Wines in October. For 5 courses, with 5 paired wines at $40, it’s quite a deal.
Unfortunately for us, we will still be away … even if we were to be home, wine pairing just doesn’t work for me any more since there are no vegetarian or vegan wine pairing events.
I feel a little lost in that regard when every time we taste a bold red, the server tells us it will pair well with a big thick steak or some other red meat. I usually just let them patter on with their spiel, but a couple of times, when I was feeling a rapport with the person (like I did with the young woman at Red Rooster), I did tell them I’m a vegetarian. Much to my delight, they rolled right with it, and told me what I should look to pair the wine with, as a vegetarian. A sure sign of a professional.
Our alcohol prices are so much more expensive in Canada, due to our high sin-taxes, yet the winery prices are a much better deal than wineries in the US. That was such a surprise. Also, the red wines are so much better than we’d expected. Yes, they are light, but they have some excellent flavours. I expect we could grow to enjoy some of these lighter red wines.
We plan to come back next Spring and finesse our experience.
Overnight spot: Todd’s RV & Camping
Includes: Wifi, firepit, picnic table, power & water, other hookup options available
Comments: View of the Okanagan Lake right across the street from front sites (2-4 and 7-11). Nice walk, cycle down the road into downtown Peachland, with bars, restaurants and a coffee shop.