Welcome to the Okanagan Valley in Canada.
Step 1 - Covert Farms
Here, wine grower cum farmer Gene Covert takes you on a visit of the estate, located at the foot of McIntyre Bluff, a 300-metre high cliff, on board an old 1952 Mercury. Mixed farming is the norm and the visit also takes in the surrounding desert in which snakes, coyotes and falcons call home.
Step 2 - Quails' Gate
Opposite Okanagan Lake, chef Roger Sleiman has turned this magnificent estate’s restaurant, the Old Vines, into one of Canada’s most popular through his extremely inventive cooking which focuses on seasonality and local produce. The property also boasts two wonderful guesthouses sleeping seven and ten people.
Step 3 - Mission Hill Family Estate
Also lining the shores of Okanagan Lake, this estate and its spectacular architecture are home to a restaurant that only uses products from the valley. It also offers visitors the chance to take part in cookery and tasting workshops. And before leaving, a visit to the Chagall Room, featuring a tapestry by the artist, is a must.
Step 4 - Burrowing Owl
Within its spectacular setting, this estate is wholly committed to protecting the environment, as evidenced by its name. It is home to a guesthouse with a lap pool in amongst the vineyards as well as The Sonora Room, a gourmet restaurant which turns the spotlight on organic producers in the neighbourhood. The famous Spotted Lake in the Osoyoos desert is just a few kilometres away.
Step 5 - Forbidden Fruit Winery
This farm along the banks of the Similkameen river produces a range of varietal wines as well as ice ciders and fruit wines. Overlooking orchards and vineyards, a guesthouse with a jacuzzi and an open fireplace sleeps up to eight people. The views out over the unspoilt mountains are not to be missed.
Step 6 - Hester Creek
Founded in 1968 by Italian immigrants, this estate nestled in amongst the rolling hills of the Okanagan boasts luxurious suites with panoramic views. It also has a renowned restaurant run by chef Rod Butterds whose cuisine revolves around local, seasonal produce.
Step 7 - Nk’Mip Cellars
Set in a native American reservation, the estate is managed by the Osoyoos nation and includes a four-star hotel with views over lake Osoyoos, the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa, a golf course, a cultural centre, a wine bar and a restaurant, the Patio, which serves contemporary food with a hallmark native American twist.
Step 8 - God’s Mountain
Every Sunday in summer, chefs Cameron Smith and Dana Ewert, the creators of Joy Road Catering, move to the heart of the vineyards overlooking Lake Skaha to serve a unique dinner made from local ingredients and showcasing Okanagan wines. Booking is highly recommended.
Step 9 - Upper Bench
Located on the Eastern shores of Lake Okanagan, this estate combines the production of wine and that of blue-veined cheeses. Worth a try are the picnic boxes containing bread, wine jelly, cold meats, several types of cheeses and of course, a bottle of the estate’s wine.
Step 10 - Summerhill Pyramid
This estate farms biodynamically and matures its wines in a unique cellar designed as a miniature replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Its shape and lack of iron-based materials are said to enhance aroma. If you want to make up your own mind, the estate’s wines can be tasted at the Sunset Organic Bistro where you can also discover chef Alex Lavroff’s cuisine.