Photo: Four Shadows Winery
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As flowers begin to pop up from the ground, so do the corks out of wine bottles. Winery tasting rooms are starting to open up around Penticton, and now is the perfect time to plan a visit.
Four Shadows Winery is gearing up for wine season, currently offering over-the-phone or online wine orders with curbside pickup or free local delivery. If you are from out of town and missing their wine, free delivery is available across Canada when you purchase a full case.
“We are very excited about our newest addition to our portfolio, a sparkling Riesling,” said Joka Borren, owner.
“This wine is a new take on our flagship Riesling” he added.
Four Shadows tasting room will be open for the 2021 season as of May 1 and will be open seven days a week.
When you visit, you will be able to taste their selection of award winning wines, crafted from exclusively estate grown grapes.
“Our priority is to make every tasting personal, informative and fun,” Borren said. They will offer indoor tastings and seated tastings in a newly renovated outdoor space.
Also along the Naramata Bench, you will find Tightrope Winery. Starting April 1, the tasting room at Tightrope will be open seven days a week.
Tightrope is a family run winery where owners Lyndsay and Graham O’Rourke are both hands-on in the viticulture and wine-making process, and work to consistently make unique award-winning wines. Make sure to try their award winning Vertigo, which is an estate grown blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Barbera, with notes of strawberries, mocha and leather with a soft lingering finish.
Colin Ross, Tightrope sales manager, said “starting on the May long weekend and through the summer, we will have food options including charcuterie boards and other locally made snacks,” which will make for a fun opportunity to try out some casual wine and food pairings. For a more intimate experience he recommends booking the Barrel Room tasting, which includes a vineyard tour.
Roche Winery, on the Upper Bench, is a winery with deep French connections. They are open for tastings now, and when you visit, you will learn the fascinating history of Roche Wines while you taste an excellent selection of complex reds and vibrant whites.
The owners, Penelope and Dylan Roche, have roots in Bordeaux and Burgundy and bring that experience and knowledge into their Okanagan wines and organic vineyards. It is a charming place to try some exceptional wines, practice your French and hopefully get to pet their adorable cellar dog, Oka.
Also set to re-open in April is Lake Breeze Winery, offering both a beautiful view and a must-try rose? this season. The Patio Restaurant, opening in May, is a great place to dine and offers great pairings and seasonal dishes.
And right down the street is Bench 1775, already open for tastings Friday through Sunday. Bench 1775 believes great wines start in the vineyard so they are constantly striving to ensure healthy, vibrant and well balanced grapes are grown.
To hit all of these wineries and more in one day, consider booking a wine tour to let the professionals take the wheel.
Grape Escapes Wine Tours has been available for tours for the 2021 season since March 1. Tours are already booking up quite quickly, so be sure to reach out to them soon!
“For smaller tours consisting of four or less people we maintain social distancing in the busses, masks are mandatory, and hand sanitizer and masks are provided for those who don’t have their own. For groups over four people, all tours will be private to include only the people in the same bubble,” said Dino Douglas, owner of Grape Escapes. “Wineries are limited to groups of six at the most at the same tasting.”
Throughout the spring season, they will be offering an exciting locals-only discount of 10 per cent off to encourage people to get out in their own backyard and shop locally.
Benefits to booking a guided tour include educated wine guides with fun local history and wine expertise. You can sit back, relax, learn how to casually taste and select wines and everyone can participate in sampling without having to worry about having a safe ride home.
They offer six unique tour options all over the south Okanagan with options including lunch at a winery bistro or their famous three-course Gourmet Picnic Lunch produced by the chefs from The Bench Market. They also have a totally restored vintage Volkswagen Bus for small private groups if you want to tour in style.
For other carefree and exciting winery tour options, Vivid Tours offers an array of choices for you and your bubble, and Grape Friends Lounge and Tours offer private and personalized tours in the South Okanagan.
Whatever your perfect wine tasting day looks like, there are plenty of ways to do it in the Penticton region.
Learn more at www.visitpenticton.com and on social @visitpenticton