Naramata Bench Spring Release

 

The Naramata Bench is a small region located on the south-eastern shore of Lake Okanagan, near Penticton. Home to almost 900 acres of vineyards and over 30 wineries (and 2 distilleries), this is prime wine real estate.

People who visit this region have learned plan on at least a week to explore all that the area has to offer. Try to do it in a day or two and you will only barely scratch the surface.

I was lucky enough to attend an afternoon trade tasting for the evenings Wine for Waves gala at the Four Seasons Hotel. It was in support of Vancouver Aquarium and included Ocean Wise food offerings from some of Vancouver’s best seafood restaurants, along with a silent auction. Due to an unfortunate accident (absentminded stupidity on my behalf), which resulted in my iPad camera being run over by a car and crushed, I arrived almost at the event almost an hour late (this also explains why no photos accompany this article). With so little time, I decided to focus on only a couple of wineries that I hadn’t visited recently.

Therapy

Fizzio Therapy Blanc – lovely glass of bubbly with flavours of tree fruit

Kettle Valley

Pinot Gris – great flavour with notes of apple and pear

Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc – good body and long finish

Riesling – Bright and racy with mineral and dry apple

’09 Merlot – wonderful secondary aromas of tar, soy and leather

Malbec – BC styled with good fruit and medium body

Zinfandel – BC styled with bright red fruit

Daydreamer

Riesling – a knockout. Classic Riesling fruit and minerality. Age worthy.

Amelia – 90% Syrah 10% Viognier. Delicious and age worthy. Fruit & spice.

Nichol Vineyards

Pinot Gris – coppery colour, clean and dry, good food wine

Cabernet Franc – medium bodied with pleasing bright fruit, cranberry

Syrah – very good, elegant, red and black fruit, black pepper

Bench 1775

Pinot Gris – Layered with pleasing fruit, good body

Sauvignon Blanc – Wow. One of BC’s best. Packed with luscious flavour.

Rosé – Malbec, strawberry, rhubarb, light & refreshing with a nod to France

Viognier – excellent, full bodied, peach and floral notes

Cabernet Franc / Malbec – great melee of flavours, impressive

Howling Bluff

Sauvignon Blanc – elegant and layered, tropical fruit, citrus, wonderful

Pinot Noir – elegant, layered with varietal character

Van Westen

Pinot Noir – Raspberry, cherry and spice with earthy notes, well made

V (Roman numeral 5) – classic Merlot dominant Bordeaux blend, complex

 

Participating wineries included:

Bella, Nichol               Daydreamer              Kettle Valley              Therapy

Serendipity                Van Westen               Elephany Island        Deep Roots

Lake Breeze               Lang                            Terravista                  Moraine

Bench 1775               Black Widow              Tightrope                   Quidni

Howling Bluff             Hillside                       D’Angelo                     Red Rooster

La Frenz                     Poplar Grove              Monster                      Perseus

Three Sisters             Misconduct               Upper Bench

 

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