No less an authority than The New York Times has declared British Columbia’s Okanagan wine country a Napa North. Dotting the valley are hundreds of wineries, clustered between mountains and shimmering glacial lakes. But many visitors don’t realize that what’s on the plate in the Okanagan is just as impressive as what’s in the glass.
Among the best times to experience Okanagan dining is during the Fall Wine Festival, Sept. 28 – Oct. 7: 10 full days dedicated to celebrating the bounty from vineyard and field. In between gala tastings, lake cruises and concerts, don’t forget to soak up the view. With panoramic vistas of vineyards and lakes, these winery restaurant patios please the eye as much as the palate.
Wine-country comfort at Mica Restaurant, Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort: Located in Canada’s only desert, Mica overlooks vineyards sloping to Osoyoos Lake. The menu highlights wine-country comfort food, including trio of gourmet sliders on artisan buns featuring local Fraser Valley pulled pork, Pemberton Meadows short ribs and Peace Country braised lamb shoulder.
Mediterranean dining at Miradoro Restaurant, Tinhorn Creek Winery: With a commanding view of the valley’s sun-soaked Golden Mile, Miradoro brings together locally sourced ingredients, West Coast seafood and Mediterranean influences. Take a seat on the glass-paneled patio and savour the signature thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas or spicy merguez sausage with apricot couscous. Wine Fest fun: Miradoro vs. Hawksworth Winemakers’ Dinner, Sept. 28.
Old World elegance at Terrace Restaurant, Mission Hill Winery: Set amid formal grounds high above Okanagan Lake, Terrace offers a classically elegant take on al fresco dining. Expect the best of cuisine du terroir: seasonal, local ingredients prepared with French flair. Favourites include the Sezmu flat-iron steak, from local beef raised on a steady diet of Okanagan red wine.
Cosmic sipping at Sunset Organic Bistro, Summerhill Pyramid Winery: Viticulture meets spirituality at Summerhill, where wines are aged in a four-storey replica of Egypt’s CheopsPyramidand biodynamic principles guide the harvest. The same philosophy extends to the menu at Sunset Organic Bistro, which focuses on organic, locally sourced produce, meats and cheeses. Wine Fest fun: Sip into Sunset, Sept. 28 – Oct. 7.
Desert scenes at Sonora Room, Burrowing Owl Winery: Vineyards vie for space with cacti and antelope brush on the Okanagan’s Black Sage Bench. Rising from the sands, Burrowing Owl’s Sonora Room highlights field-to-table cuisine, bringing together the best fish, game, cheeses and produce from throughout the valley and province. Wine Fest fun: Burrowing Owl’s Fall Harvest Dinner, Oct. 3.
Article courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.
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