We enjoyed a night of Scotch tasting listening to an old CBC Ideas episode called “The Water of Life”.
Every Scotch connoisseur should have it in their library! The combination of good friends, good Scotch and a roaring fireplace like O’Hara’s, makes for an unforgettable evening. We did manage a lot of skiing as well!
As we get all prepped for another busy summer season there are still a few openings in June and of course cancellations do happen from time to time. So don’t think that everything is gone. Give us a call!
Amongst all that prep work we squeezed in a trip to the Okanagan, BC’s wine capital. Summer weather, buds busted out and some great wines made for a magical trip. I always enjoy heading out and visiting the wineries, meeting old friends and meeting new. This trip was one of exploration as I met a number of winemakers for the first time. We sampled the upcoming vintages from the Kegs, tried some of the new blends while still in beakers, and enjoyed the hospitality and settings of their pride and joy, The Winery.
Okanagan Crush Pad
A relatively new winery out of Summerland. At the helm is the understated and humble Michael Bartier. If you have tatsed wine from Township 7, Noble Ridge, Road 13, Okanagan Crush or Bartier Brothers then you have experienced some of the well crafted wines Michael has had a hand in making. I love his wines and look forward to the upcoming realeases. Can’t go wrong with any it just comes down to personal preferences.
Misconduct, Moon Curser and Covert Farms
A small winery just outside of Penticton on the Naramata bench. This small family run operation not only produces some great wines; the Viogner has been a favourite of our guests since its first vintage, but also runs a very homey and welcoming wine tasting and Tapas room. Sitting on the deck overlooking Orchards and the surrounding hills it is a sublime experience. Add a glass or two of wine and it tops it off perfectly.
While enjoying the ambiance of Misconduct I also had the pleasure of trying new releases from both Covert Farms and Moon Curser. Both of these wineries have undergone name changes in the past year or so. Covert Farms, although well known as an organic fruit and vegetable producer, was formerly called Dunham & Froese. With the departure of winemaker Kirby Froese they changed the name to reflect the Farm where it all happens and celebrate the history of the family farming in the area. The third generation is now involved in this family run operation. Located on a bench overlooking the town of Oliver these guys crank out some stellar wines; Amicitia Red, MDC and one of the few Zinfandels in the valley.
Continuing South in the Valley you will find Moon Curser, just on the eastern edge of Osoyoos. The former Twisted Tree Winery was rebranded a couple of years ago celebrating the prohibition era smugglers who cursed the light of the full moon. Fully committed to the immediate surrounding terroir, Moon Cursers hand crafted wines are worth seeking out. If you can find their Border Vines buy what you can. Drink some now and cellar a few to bring out later.
Located on the west side of Kelowna, just across the bridge, this family run business has its success built on its extensive land holdings throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. Farming since the 60′s the family grew both fruit and grapes for others for a number of years, slowly amassing substantial vineyards, for Okanagan standards, and subsequently started up their own winery and naming it for the hill ( in comparison to the real mountains at O’Hara) behind the winery.
With the the luxury of having select vineyards to choose from Mt. Boucherie can lay down wines in the warehouse, only releasing when the previous vintage disapppears. Sooo you can find treasures from 2006, 2007, 2008 waiting to be released. These are great value wines, that you should have on your Radar, now being crafted by Jim Faulkner.
It is all about the story here. Jeff Harder had a vision and a love affair with a piece of art; the Ex Nihilo carving above the front doors of the Washington Cathedral and the apropos meaning “out of nothing”, hence the name. Although hardly out of nothing as all of these owners have put alot of time, energy and money into their ventures. Ex Nihilo’s location on a beautiful piece of west facing property and its beautiful winery has me already planning a winemakers dinner in the winery with friends or guests from Lake O’Hara.
The consummate host, with his partner Jay, we enjoyed the full spectrum of their wines while sitting on the deck overlooking the vineyards. Of special note is the Ex Nihilo Merlot, Value you bet! The Pinot Gris is also a stand out and if Ice wine is your fancy their elixir is one of the best. I am looking forward to the Privada, a special bottling using grapes from a small little vineyard which they were able to procur. The label is adorned with a drawing completed by his five year old son. It is very classy, I hope he saves a bottle for his son to enjoy on his 18th birthday.
Enough rambling for now. As you can see I love to talk Okanagan wine and of course O’Hara, history of the area, Wastewater treatment plants, generators, Ski touring or just about anything.
Come join us and experience the Magic of O’Hara.