desert and wine
It has been about two years since I've taken any type of vacation, so I was pretty happy to join the women in my family on a quick weekend getaway to wine country! We spent four days in Spirit Ridge, Osoyoos, overlooking vineyards and snow capped mountains. It made for the perfect winter pick-me-up, and the wine tasting didn't hurt!
That being said, I was disappointed by how many wineries were closed for the winter or by appointment only. We weren't able to stop at my favourite vineyard, La Stella, because they required appointments made 48 hours in advance! Osoyoos is gorgeous in the winter time still, and wine is always in season. So if you do plan on visiting during the colder months, plan ahead and make appointments in time.
The first vineyard we visited (that was still open) was one of my all-time favourites: Silver Sage. If you ever make a trip out to the Okanogan, a visit to Silver Sage's tasting room is a must. They always provide a variety of tasting options, in-depth education, humour and gorgeous views. Be prepared to walk away with a bottle after, you're bound to find one you can't say no to.
Sadly, a winery you can skip is Bordertown. That is, unless, you like wine that seems as though it has been watered down. Having just opened in May 2015, I am hoping they will grow to be better. But I have never met a Syrah I didn't like until this stop.
A new stop for me was Rustico Winery - and it was quite the experience! The wine was good and the Old West vibe of the entire vineyard was fun. The owner (though I feel like I should call him a proprietor) was a character. I ended up walking away with a bottle of a crisp, dry pino gris.
Our time at Rustico was followed by a stop at Hester Creek and Oliver Twist wineries. I've been to both in the past and enjoy both for different reasons. The view at Hester Creek is stunning, making it the perfect stop for a picnic lunch. Oliver Twist has a great family vibe with cheerful art you can admire during your tasting. I picked up some red wine jelly at Hester Creek for next month's book club and ended up with a rose from Oliver Twist!
In the end, the trip was a well-needed getaway and provided lots of rest and relaxation, with some good wine tossed in. I don't think I would ever tire of visiting Osoyoos or drinking the incredible wines that originate from its soil. Don't let the winter weather stop you from taking the drive, the wine tastes just as good and the view is just as spectacular.
TOP THREE MUST VISIT WINTER WINERIES
- Silver Sage
- Rustico Winery
- Hester Creek