Day Trip to Summerland
Welcome to Summerland, BC. Sounds like a made up town in a rom-com, and that’s not far from the truth.
A small town nestled between Kelowna and Penticton, stretching along Okanagan Lake and into the surrounding mountains, this picturesque place boasts plenty of wineries, and a budding cidery and spirits scene. Only a 30 minute drive from Kelowna, it’s well worth the visit and that’s why we’re sharing the top 4 tasting rooms you must pop into!
Founded in 1979 by the legendary Harry McWatters, Sumac Ridge Winery was one of the first wineries to open its doors in the Okanagan. Since then they have dedicated themselves to producing high-quality Okanagan wines. You’re really getting a three for one deal here, with three brands under one roof. Along with the Suman Ridge wines, you’ll also find their other brands Stellar’s Jay and Black Sage Vineyard. The latter brand is what really draws us to darken their doorstep, and if you’re a big red wine drinker then make sure you check them out too!
The Black Sage Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel never disappoint year over year. These bold reds make great go-to’s for Tipsy Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday…you get the point..any day of the week will do 😉 Their port-style wine Pipe is also something we always keep on hand as a dessert alternative after dinner. It tastes like dark chocolate, figs and raisins all in one tasty sip.
A quick jaunt up the street takes us to Sage Hills Vineyard, specializing in organic and low intervention wines. This family-run winery caught us by surprise the first time we had the pleasure of visiting. Each wine gets better and more impressive as you taste through their portfolio. Pinot Gris is their main varietal, and they make it in multiple different styles. Try it as a sparkling or as a still wine fermented using carbonic maceration, or as an orange wine. Enjoy the beautiful views from the tasting room, as you discover your next favourite wine.
Our third stop takes us a little further into Summerland, to 8th Generation Vineyard. Their story dates back to 1783 in Germany, and eight generations later they are producing exceptional quality wines here in the Okanagan. Looking for a unique Rosé to try this year? No need to look any further. Their Pinot Meunier Rosé keeps us loyal customers. The rest of the portfolio is just as great, especially their Riesling program. With three different Rieslings to choose from, it’s a Wonderland for Annika! Their frizzante style sparkling wines, available in full size and mini bottles are a perfect picnic wine.
Last but certainly not least, we make our way to Lightning Rock Winery – Summerlands newest tasting room! With a mandate to create electric wines that are made from holistically farmed grapes, we’d say they hit this one right on the head. Their main wines are produced from Viognier and Pinot Noir, which they use for a combination of sparkling and still wines. The nerds in us love being able to do side-by-side Pinot Noir tastings to try and differentiate the styles and vineyards they come from. It’s amazing the influence that soil and location can have on the flavours that come out from a grape. Their most unique wine would be the Viognier Pet Nat, with refreshing notes of ginger and tropical fruit. Our most favourite though? Their Elysia Vineyard Viognier, which we recently paired with a freshly made quiche one lovely Sunday afternoon. Match made in heaven!