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.
Fizzio Therapy Blanc – lovely glass of bubbly with flavours of tree fruit
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
Riesling – a knockout. Classic Riesling fruit and minerality. Age worthy.
Amelia – 90% Syrah 10% Viognier. Delicious and age worthy. Fruit & spice.
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
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
Sauvignon Blanc – elegant and layered, tropical fruit, citrus, wonderful
Pinot Noir – elegant, layered with varietal character
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