Living in the Okanagan valley means entertaining friends and relatives from elsewhere and this Christmas we have been Christmas wine touring in the Central OKV. We had a nice lunch at Quail’s Gate while staff worked hard at getting things up to speed for their first day back after Christmas break. Lunch was leisurely and enjoyable in the mid afternoon overlooking the lake. We then took our visitor on the organised tour of Mission Hill Winery just down the road. This is a huge winery, by Canadian standards and they have done a great job of building a destination winery here.
The really nice surprise, however, was across the lake at St. Hubertus Vineyards. It has been quite a few years since our last stop and while they have improved their wines steadily (try the Pinot Blanc) the winery remains truly small scale and down to earth. The Gebert families produce 100% estate grown wines that reflect the terroir of the North Okanagan Valley, to show off the complexity associated with the old world, but with the clean fresh fruit flavours of the new world. This is one of the oldest vineyards in the valley starting in 1928. They compiled an entertaining video with footage from the 1960’s that shows the history of grape growing in this part of the world.