For years now James and I have talked, planned and dreamed about traveling to the Okanagan during August. James loves the hot dry temperatures, I love the wineries, and it's only a 7 hour road trip from the city. On our first night out for dinner we both agreed that the Okanagan is the most beautiful place we've been. The next 5 days continued to prove us right.
We had taken a road trip to Kelowna in March of this year and spent a lot of time getting familiar with the surrounding lake area. During one of our drives around the lake we happened upon the small town of Naramata and instantly knew that's where we'd stay when we were back in August. (I think we even booked our hotel on the spot.) The hotel we stayed in was built in 1908 and still has every last bit of it's 100+ year old charm. It's a picturesque estate. Every hallway, staircase, sitting room, veranda in the hotel had me dreaming of all the people from 1908 on who must have walked the very same corridors. The eras of fashion that building must have seen!
August is one of the busiest times to visit the Okanagan because the weather is perfect and all the fruit is in season. Also, we were there during Peach Fest. Which happens in Penticton for 4 days. Driving through Kelowna and then Penticton, making our way around the lake to Naramata made it evident that we may have picked the busiest time to travel. So, as we made our way down the windy roads past all the vineyards and down the mountainside into Naramata I can't even explain the peace and calm that we both felt. It was SO quiet, a hidden gem that we had been lucky enough to discover months earlier.
James and I both agree that this was definitely the best vacation we've ever taken. But, the highlights for me: A winery called Joie Farm up the hillside from our hotel. We tasted A LOT of wine during our 5 days there but we definitely came away with a top 3 vineyards. Joie was one of them. They had the most gorgeous picnic area, surrounded but vineyards and overlooking Okanagan Lake. Also, one of the best meals we ate was from here. A fresh smoked tuna sandwich. My mouth is watering as I think of it. Literally SO good. So, we ordered food as we walked up to the picnic area and then ordered a bottle of sparkling rosé, found a spot under the apple trees and enjoyed every single moment of it. We ended up with a few bottles of their Rosé and I can only imagine that the feeling will come back to me each time we pop the cork on one of those bottles.
One of the other stand out moments was during our drive to Oliver BC. The landscape surrounding Oliver is breathtaking. We visited Church + State Winery. I don't know that you can get the full effect of the scenery from these pictures but maybe a taste. This vineyard was among our top 3, the wine the best of the best. Also, they have the funniest quips on each bottle of wine which made us love it even more. When we approached the tasting counter James was wearing his Larry David tee and the guy behind the counter started a little Curb Your Enthusiasm banter with James. There was a lot of "Pretttty, preettttty goods" being exchanged. Just before leaving we asked him where we should go grab lunch and he told us about a Mexican food stand along the side of the road that was an absolute must. We had noticed it on our way there but never would have trusted it had it not been for his recommendation. Seriously best Mexican food we've eaten. One word, delish!
I could go on and on. And I will, but I thought I would break this up into two posts so I can include more photos. Also! I tried my hand at vlogging during our trip so that will be the next video to make it's way to my YouTube channel! I hate "to be continued's" just as much as you do, so I won't keep you waiting long! Come back Monday for Summer Vacay Part II!