Now in its 20th year, the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival
continues to get bigger and better. Happening from May 1st to 11th, the festival encompasses 119 participating wineries and more than 70 culinary and wine events throughout the Okanagan Valley, many of which happen right here in Summerland. Highlights this year include a Best of Varietal competition and festival partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Canada (because what goes better with wine than cheese?!)
The festival has come a long way over the last two decades, growing from a small 16-winery event to BC’s premier springtime celebration of local food and wine.
The 2014 edition of the festival welcomes some exciting new events including the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine, the Cheesiest Sweet and Savoury Competition, and the Bubbly Bootcamp, along with grand openings of some amazing new tasting rooms.
It all starts with the Best of Varietal Wine Awards on Thursday, May 1st, which showcases a record 32 wine varietals to be judged by 15 BC sommeliers. The winners will be presented for everyone to taste.
On May 2nd and 3rd, the wine-lover’s weekend kicks into high gear with the WestJet Wine Tastings, where the best wineries in the valley come together under one roof for a lively evening of music and tastings.
More than 7,500 guests are expected to take part in the festivities at this year’s fest, so book your accommodations soon!
If you’re still considering where to stay, there’s no better home base to experience the festival than Summerland, which is home to the famous bottleneck drive wineries and site of over 50 events tied to the 2014 Okanagan Wine Festival.
Centrally located in the Okanagan Valley, Summerland is within convenient distance of Kelowna, Penticton, Osoyoos and other major wine growing areas in the Okanagan.
Love food? Love wine? Love touring through rolling countryside amidst lush vineyards and orchards? Sounds like the perfect escape, and it is. Two exciting events are kicking off the start of summer in the Okanagan's wine country this year.
The Great Estates Okanagan, a collection of 7 of the Okanagan's most renowned wine brands, come together to bring you an unparalleled experience with a 4 night, 5 day wine & culinary escape to the Great Estates Okanagan. Choose either a spring or fall grape-escape for May 23-27 or September 26-30. Stay in luxurious accommodations and see some of the most stunning vineyards vistas. Connect with the fascinating people who are passionate about their craft and excited to share with you and other wine enthusiasts, our world class wines and locally sourced and inspired creations. Click here for full package details.
In Summerland, BC the weekend of June 13-15 will be a celebration of Bottleneck Drive wineries with wining, dining and dancing at the Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa and Local Lounge • Grille. The event is part of the "Heard it through the Grapevine" event weekend wide at Bottleneck Drive. Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa will be hosting all Bottleneck Drive wineries in their beautifully decorated Waterfront Ballroom and the wines will be flowing. Following a little "wine warm up" event-goers will saunter over to the Local Lounge • Grille to savour the succulent seafood boil prepared by Chef Lee Humphries. The night cap will be at Local Lounge • Grille with dancing to DJ beats. Click here for full package details.
Summerland, BC is located 45 minutes south of Kelowna and 15 minutes north of Penticton on a secluded stretch of Lake Okanagan shoreline. Set amidst Bottleneck Drive wineries and an easy drive to over 20 neighbouring wineries, the Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa is undoubtedly the hub of Okanagan wine country.
Here at Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa, we talk a lot about local “Bottleneck Drive” wineries
. For those unfamiliar with the Summerland winery scene, let us explain. Summerland is home to more than a dozen boutique wineries, all in close proximity to each other and connected by a system of scenic roads called the Bottleneck Drive. This makes Summerland ideal for wine tours—you can drive from one end of the route to the other in less than 15 minutes.
In total, you’ll find 13 wineries along the Bottleneck Drive route, each with its own distinct appeal. Some, like Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, are known to many BC wine lovers. Others keep a more low profile. Here’s a list of some fantastic Bottleneck Drive Wineries that you might not have heard of—call them hidden gems.
Tyler Harlton Wines
It takes a special kind of unwavering passion to fulfill the dream of starting your own winery. For Tyler Harlton, whose foray into winemaking came after careers in both professional hockey and Wall Street finance, this passion is evident in every bottle that his small, detail oriented winery produces—by hand, of course. Be sure to try the Pinot Noir.
Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery
Expand your horizons beyond just grapes with a visit to the family owned and operated Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery, where the luscious flavours of strawberry, blackberry, pear make for wines that please the palate and the soul. Don’t leave without grabbing bottle of their Blackberry Table Wine.
Like their name suggests, the wines from Silkscarf are smooth, delicate and pleasing to the senses. From their 10 acres of vines they produce a selection of wines to rival any other boutique winemaker in the province. Make sure you taste their Viognier.
As always, stay tuned to our Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa blog to find out how to make the most of your BC wine tour vacation to Summerland. We are Summerland’s premier resort for wine lovers
—hope to see you here soon!
Recently Stimuli Magazine contributors and wine lovers, Kristine Carrick and travel companion Linda, visited Summerland to explore the many sights, flavours and sensations of the area. Their visit included a visit to Bottleneck Drive wineries of Summerland, BC and of course a stay at Summerland's best hotel (wink wink)
Excerpt from the Stimuli article online
"During our whirlwind visit we were fortunate enough to be guests at Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa
. Tucked into a stretch of Lake Okanagan shoreline, the resort provided a comfortable spot to call home for our too short visit. We were settled into a room overlooking the boardwalk. For the avid bird watcher in Linda, the view and bird watching opportunities were a pleasant surprise. We didn’t have time to explore the spa part of the resort, but we did squeeze in a dip in the hot tub before wrapping up our Summerland experience, which was fantastic."
The ladies visit of Summerland included a delicious dinner at Local Lounge • Grille, breakfast and coffee at Summerland's Good Omens Cafe and of course winery tours. See Ya Later Ranch, Tin Horn Creek, Sumac Ridge and Summerland were their stops of choice. They were particularly smitten with Sumac Ridge's Steller's Jay Brut.
Visiting the Okanagan without enjoying local wine is like going to Paris and ignoring the Eiffel Tower. The Okanagan Valley
’s premier wine producing region, blessed with the perfect soil and climate for growing world-class grapes. Luckily for our guests, many of the Okanagan’s best wineries are located just minutes from Summerland Waterfront Resort.
Known as the Bottleneck Drive Wineries, these local vintners produce an incredible variety of wine (including ice wine, a type of desert wine that made its North American debut right here in the Okanagan).
So when you reach for a bottle of wine this holiday season (and you should, because it’s good for you!), reach for a bottle of Okanagan wine. It’s Canada’s best!
But enough about how amazing Okanagan wine is, let’s talk about how to choose a wine that will blend harmoniously with the flavours of your holiday meal. Traditionally, wine and food pairings had to follow a single iron-clad rule: red wine with red meat and white wine with fish and white meat. Violate this rule in more refined company and, well, you might not be invited back to dinner again.
But times have changed. It is now entirely acceptable, even encouraged, to pair, say salmon with pinot noir or lamb with chardonnay. There are still rules though—call them guidelines—that will help ensure a pleasurable experience for your palate.
For a complete break down of which wines work best with which dishes, consult this handy guide from Table & Vine.
If you’re dining at Local Lounge ? Grille, try pairing the Oven Roasted Game Hen with a luscious Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir from Okanagan Crush Pad Winery. Or pair the Roasted Lamb Sirloin with a Private Reserve Chardonnay from Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.
From everyone here at Summerland Waterfront Resort, we wish you and your family a very happy holiday season rich with good food and drink!
There’s no time more exciting to be in Summerland this holiday season than the weekend of November 29th, during which you can enjoy both the Summerland Festival of Lights and the exclusive “Light up the Vines” wine tour experience at Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa.
The fun begins on the evening of Friday November 29th, when the streets of Summerland will be aglow with a dazzling array of festive lights. Now in its 26th year, the Summerland Festival of Lights features carnival games, street performers, ice carving, fireworks displays, artisan vendors, food carts and lots of live entertainment.
Special guests at this year’s festival include Vancouver band Champagne Republic, whose groovy funk and R&B tunes are sure to make festival goers tap their feet. Also performing is the Kinshara Performance Troupe, who will add even more light to the occasion with their electrifying fire dances. Over 6000 guests are expected to attend the festival from out of town, making for a vibrant and fun atmosphere all weekend long.
The following night, on Saturday November 30th, the Summerland Waterfront Resort is pleased to present our Light Up the Vines event and accommodation package, which showcases local Bottleneck Drive wineries decorated in yet more twinkling lights.
Priced at $219 per couple, our Light Up the Vines package includes one night’s accommodation in our Deluxe Studio Bluffview Suite, two wine tour tickets, shuttle transportation to and from wineries, a $50 dining card for neighbours the Local Lounge • Grille, a bottle of red or white Sumac Ridge Estate wine and an in-room cheese platter upon arrival. This package offers great value and twinkling magic for an exceptional start to your holiday season. An upgrade to a One Bedroom Suite is available for $30 per night.
Availability is limited for the Light Up the Vines package, so early booking is recommended. Call 877-494-8111 to reserve your stay or visit us online.
Summerland is the perfect destination for lovebirds, especially when the weather turns a little cooler. The beaches and wineries aren’t quite so crowded and the sometimes hectic summer pace slows down a bit.
The vibe is more relaxed and laid-back in the South Okanagan during the fall and winter. And that makes it the perfect time to indulge in a romantic escape. So if you’re looking for something to do in the Okanagan with that special someone, check out these four Summerland activities that are perfect for couples.
Enjoy fine dining
What’s more romantic than a sumptuous dinner, soft lighting and a bottle of delicious Okanagan wine? The town of Summerland is full of enticing restaurants that will make your evening memorable.
Enjoy stunning lake views while savoring sumptuous fare at the Local Lounge & Grille, located directly beside the Summerland Waterfront Resort. Chef Lee Humphries has created so many outstanding dishes you will be hard pressed to choose a favorite. Also try Zias Stonehouse Restaurant, which is set in a spectacular 1916 home. This artfully renovated restaurant offers an Old World ambience and delectable cuisine. You can find them at 14015 Rosedale Avenue in Summerland, BC. Those are two of the great dining options available in Summerland that we often recommend; however, the area boasts a variety of cuisines and Okanagan dining experiences.
Go for a romantic walk
The weather is still very pleasant in the south Okanagan up until late fall and beyond. And this mild climate makes a romantic stroll even more enjoyable. Hold hands as you walk along the shores of Peach Orchard Beach or Gordon Beggs Rotary Beach, where you can admire the bright colours of autumn.
In the mood for something a little more strenuous? Take a hike up Giants Head Mountain – an extinct volcano that provides sweeping views of the Okanagan Valley. Getting to the top takes between 30 minutes and an hour.
Visit the Summerland Ornamental Gardens
This popular attraction is open year-round, although it does close occasionally during the winter if a heavy snowfall hits. These grounds provide one of the most romantic backdrops in the Okanagan, with immaculately manicured gardens filled with colorful flowers and ornate shrubs.
And since there are fewer visitors here in the fall and winter, you just might have these gardens all to yourself. During October, the stunning American Smoke Tree is in bloom along with Burning Bushes, Japanese Maple and many other trees and plants.
Explore local wineries
Enjoying a vineyard tour is a quintessential South Okanagan activity. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with the one you love.
Autumn is harvest season in the area, providing visitors with a unique glimpse at how a bottle of wine is made. Discover some of Summerland’s top vineyards along Bottleneck Drive – a group of wineries where the staff are always happy to chat with visitors.
You can stay just minutes away from all of these romantic activities by booking the Winter Escape Kit at the Summerland Resort Hotel, which blends two nights in one of our luxurious suites with a bottle of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery wine for only $179 for two adults. But you’ll need to reserve now: this offer is only available between Oct. 13 and April 30.
For everything from birthday parties to business meetings, you’ll find your ideal Okanagan event venue at Summerland Waterfront Resort. Our spacious meeting facility, experienced staff and beautiful setting on Lake Okanagan make us one of the most popular hotels for meetings in Summerland.
Designed to save you money, our Meetings Made Easy package includes accommodation, continental breakfast, morning coffee & tea station, buffet lunch, meeting venue, and all taxes and gratuities. Starting from $139 per single room and $190 per double room, it’s the Okanagan’s best value for a waterfront meeting. Book by November 1st and receive a complimentary hospitality suite for one evening! Email
Lisa Jaager at email@example.com
or call 877.494.8111 to get started.
Treat Your Guests to The Best Okanagan Wine
If your guests are wine lovers, they’re in for a treat! Summerland Waterfront Resort is surrounded by world-class Bottleneck Drive Wineries
. You can tour the wineries or sample wines right here at our resort on our Wine Wednesdays or at special tasting events happening all year round.
Relax and Pamper Yourself
Organizing a meeting can be stressful. Luckily, SWR offers countless ways to relax. Enjoy a massage at Beyond Wrapture Day Spa, dine in style at Local Lounge & Grille or take to the water in a boat, Sea-Doo or paddleboard from SWR Boat Rentals.
Our Meeting Venues:
Offering spectacular lake views, the Waterfront Ballroom can host a wide range of events, with space for up to 50 guests in boardroom style seating and up to 140 guests in theatre style seating. The Ballroom is naturally illuminated with floor-to-ceiling windows and the charming interior echoes our beachfront locale. A walk-out patio offers an outdoor retreat for coffee breaks or team building sessions.
Located adjacent to the Waterfront Ballroom, our 750 sq. ft. Lakefront Boardroom offers comfortable and intimate meeting space for up to 10 people.
Summerland joins in the fun and festivities of BC's Culture Days by hosting the Walk of Art
at the Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa September 27 to October 2, 2013.
Experience the original works of local emerging and established Artists on display throughout the Resort including paintings, photography, jewellery, pottery, textiles and sculpture.
How else would we kick off such an event than with wine and tasty treats? The opening reception is not to be missed with complimentary wine tasting hosted by Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and delicious delights.from Sweet Tooth Cafe. Later in the evening singer, story teller and musician Joal Kamps will entertain the crowd while they admire the artwork, chat with the artists and share with fellow art-lovers.
The Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa has partnered with Summerland Community Art Council, Summerland Pleasure Painters, Summerland Art Club, Summerland & Trout Creek Studio Tour, and Sumac Ridge Winery for this cultural event in the Okanagan.
It’s no surprise that the most popular wine festival in the province takes place right here in the Okanagan. Now in its 33rd year, the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is the premier wine event in the region, coinciding with the fall grape harvest and giving wine lovers the opportunity to experience the best of wine, cuisine and culture across the Okanagan Valley.
Featuring 10 days of special events from October 4th to 14th, the upcoming Wine Fest is a great excuse to take an early fall vacation to the Okanagan while the weather is still warm.
Here in Summerland, our local Bottleneck Drive wineries will host some of the festival’s marquee events. Here are some highlights:
- Unearth at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery – daily at 3:30pm – $35: this guided tasting offers samples of premium VQA wines from Sumac Ridge’s unique brands. You’ll munch on fresh hors d'oeuvres and learn all about the theory behind food and wine pairings from the resident wine educator.
- Say Cheese: Between the Barrels at 8th Generation Vineyard – Oct. 5 and 12 at 11:00am – $2: We all know wine and cheese is a match made in heaven, but, as you’ll learn at 8th generation vineyard, there’s an art to pairing the right wine with the right cheese. In addition to offering samples of some of the world’s best cheeses, this event will teach you all you need to know about the history of cheese and the right ways to pair it with your wine selection.
- Wine Makers Dinner at Sonoran Estate Winery – Oct. 10 at 6:30pm – $95: Enjoy a delightful 5-course meal from the Sonoran’s Chef Heinz, complemented by amazing wine and live musical entertainment. This is a popular event, so be sure to reserve your table early.