May 13th, 2011
Wine tasting along Oliver’s Golden Mile in B.C.’s Okanagan just got even more lustrous.
Miradoro (golden view) the new restaurant perched above the vines at Tinhorn Creek Winery is definitely going for gold.
Extremely talented chef Jeff Van Geest (you may remember his late great Aurora Bistro in Vancouver) has created a Mediterranean menu that touches down in Portugal, Italy, and Spain with side trips to Morocco, all the while using locally sourced or house-made ingredients.
A chef who makes his own ricotta? That’s him. Inventive and healthy sides like whey polenta, cannelini beans, kale and parsnips keep things light, while a grilled squid salad with red fife wheat berries and grapefruit is the perfect match for Tinhorn’s delicious 2009 Gewurztraminer.
Inexpensive tapas (bowls of lemon-harissa roasted almonds, charred chorizo and octopus) are perfect to accompany a glass or two of Syrah, while the forno oven turns out hot and chewy pizza in seconds (try the shrimp/ricotta/pea shoot).
And if the food, wine and views aren’t enough for you, there’s a grassy amphitheatre below, where you can catch a live concert (like k-os) this summer.
Now that’s golden.
To see pictures of our day-trip to the winery, please visit our Editors’ Diary.
September 13th, 2007
Head into B.C.’s desert country this fall for a fresh new take on the wine-tasting weekend.
Less than a year old, Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa in Osoyoos boasts big views of the hills with a pool overlooking the adjoining Nk’Mip vineyard. A marina, golf course, spa, and horseback riding through the desert is just some of non-liquid fun. 1200 Rancher Creek Rd., Osoyoos, 1-877-313- WINE, www.spiritridge.ca
In nearby Okanagan Falls, climb up to Blasted Church vineyard for their excellent whites like the unique Chardonay Musqué ($18, blended with a touch of French Muscat) with illustrated labels depicting local legends. Get in on the famous “Midnight Service.” 378 Parsons Rd., Okanagan Falls, BC, 1-8-SPELLBOUND, www.blastedchurch.com
Whistler’s acclaimed Chef Bernard Cassavant has recently taken over the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery where the vineyard views are unparalleled. Taste library wines paired with easy-going yet perfectly executed lunches like heirloom tomato salad and shrimp croissant. 100 Burrowing Owl Place, Oliver BC, 1-877-498-0620, www.bovwine.ca
September 6th, 2007
You may never want to leave this resort town just west of Kelowna, where wine country is thyne country.
New on the lakefront, The Cove Resort offers huge suites, a private beach and pool, beautiful landscaping (think paths lined with lavender), tennis, Bikram’s yoga, a media room….are you getting the picture? www.covelakeside.com
Just up the hill is the legendary Mission Hill Estate Winery where you can dine amongst international dignitaries and business scions in its alfresco The Terrace restaurant overlooking the vines. Go for lunch or to catch sunset, and do order dishes from the terroir. www.missionhillwinery.com
Stroll through Canada’s oldest nut farm, now a regional park, and stock up on big brown bags of organic hazelnuts, heartnuts, and the coveted black walnut ($4/lb) harvested in September. Gellatly Nut Farm, 2375 Whitworth Rd., Westbank, B.C., 250-707-1042, www.gellatlynutfarm.ca
For more information on this fall’s Okanagan Wine Festival visit www.owfs.com
June 28th, 2007
Our recent tour of Saint Helena in California’s Napa Valley turned up fab food, great views and gorgeous shoes.
Even if you can’t splurge on a room, the bistro bar at the mountainside Auberge Du Soleil is perfect for Saturday afternoon mojitos and duck pizza. Sit back and plan tomorrow’s itinerary with a view of the valley’s wineries. 180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford, CA, 707-963-1211, www.aubergedusoleil.com
Taylor’s Refresher is like an old-school drive-in on the side on the road, with a lawn of red picnic tables, a great wine list, boutique beers, and great hamburgers with garlic fries. 933 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, 707-963-3486, www.taylorsrefresher.com
Book ahead for the daily 2 p.m. wine-and-cheese pairing seminar (US$30) at Beringer winery (est.1876) followed by a tour of the beautiful historic grounds with hand dug caves. 2000 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, 707- 967-4412, www.beringer.com
Just in case your shoes wear out from all that wine touring, Foot Candy has lots of the famous red-soled Christian Louboutins and cute Marc Jacobs flats. 1239 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, 877-517-4606 www.footcandyshoes.com
November 23rd, 2006
Fast forward three weeks.
Your shopping is done. Your holiday tree is up. Your in-laws are in town. It’s time to escape to Cowichan Bay, just 35 minutes from Victoria, before all hell breaks loose.
Oceanfront Grand Resort and Marina
It’s all about the ocean view, plus the indoor pool and hot tub are perfect for melting away holiday stress. Also stress-busting are the great winter rates, with a 2-bedroom suite at just $129. 1681 Cowichan Bay Road, 800-663-7898, www.oceanfrontgrandresort.com
The Masthead Restaurant
Chef Mathew Horn knows his seafood: Think BC oysters and Salt Spring Island mussels to pair with selections from the list of rare BC wines—such as varietals from Venturi Schulze. Reservations are a must. 1705 Cowichan Bay Road, 250-748-3714, www.themastheadrestaurant.com
Cherry Point Vineyards
The tasting room is open every day except Christmas. Be sure to try the 2004 Bête Noire Vol II (a beasty steal at $15.90) and head home with Blackberry Port ($19.99) to serve in Bernard Callebaut chocolate cups on New Years Eve. 840 Cherry Point Road, Cobble Hill, 250-743-1272.
September 21st, 2006
With the Okanangan Wine Festival just around the corner (Sept. 29 - Oct. 8), and the new Fall releases coming fast and furious, now’s the time to try Oliver, with a twist.
Wild Goose Vineyards
Possibly the most impressive wines on the Golden Mile right now, with a charming little tasting room up in the hills. Try and buy their whitesnow that they have some new stock, especially their God’s Mountain Reisling ($16.95) and Mystic River Pinot Gris ($16.95) also available online at www.wildgoosewinery.com
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Buy picnic items like fresh baguettes and paté from the on-site deli in the tasting room to enjoy with a bottle of cold Pinot Gris ($15.60) or Oldfield Collection Merlot ($28) on the pretty vineyard grounds. Take a self-guided tour of the demonstration vineyard or walk up to the abandoned gold mine. If you’re lucky, catch a concert in the outdoor amphitheatre. www.tinhorn.com
Golden Mile Cellars
New owners who brought in a stellar local winemaker have turned this place right around in the last three years. Don’t be put off by the faux-castletasting room—their Road 13 red and white are great table wines at $18 and $17. Look out for the October 3 wine dinner on the crush pad. www.goldenmilecellars.com
Burrowing Owl Vineyard
As you wait for your table on the busy Sonora Room patio overlooking the vineyard, take a peek at the 10-room guest house being finished for Spring 2007—and reserve your room now. Lunch on crispy duck confit salad ($15) or Orecchiette (tiny ears) pasta ($15). Compare the 2000 Cab Franc ($15/glass) in the restaurant with the just-released 2004 Cab Franc ($28/bottle). www.bovwine.ca
Try the beautiful Guesthouse at the new Therapy Vineyards in nearby Naramata. www.therapyvineyards.com
June 22nd, 2006
You do not need to be told that good music and good wine go well together.
But when a great winery throws a great concert, you want to be told.
Picture this: you, lolling about in your new peasant skirt on the manicured grounds, with spectacular views and a pleasant buzz from the tasting rooms. Throw in a little sunshine and live Elvis Costello, and you’ve reached a whole new level of bliss.
Herewith, vitamin v’s picks of two mini-getaway summer winery concert ideas:
Tinhorn Creek, in B.C.’s Okanagan, hosts monthly concerts in its grassy amphitheatre as part of its Golden Mile Series. The grand finale is Prairie Oyster, Sept 23. Call 888-484-6467 or visit www.tinhorn.com for tickets and details.
Château St. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest winery (15 miles north of Seattle) will host concerts by Chris Isaak, Fiona Apple, Lyle Lovett and Elvis Costello (US$39-$45) this summer. For details, visit www.ste-michelle.com