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Top Wineries to Visit in Naramata 2022


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Located in the South Okanagan, just north of Penticton, the Naramata Bench is the most concentrated wine route in the Okanagan Valley, and a top destination for wine enthusiasts.


There’s something magical about the Naramata Bench with over 37 producers along a picturesque rural roadway. The winding 18km road seems to offer a never-ending number of wineries.


Most of the wineries found here are boutique, small-production, and feature breathtaking views. This area is home to many highly acclaimed Okanagan producers offering a diverse selection of award-winning wines, each situated in a stunning setting.


Continuous rows of vineyards, rolling hills, and spectacular views of the lake can be seen from most tasting rooms.


Thanks to the terrific growing conditions and serene landscape, this makes Naramata Road the most sought-after winery address in British Columbia.


“Vineyards have been selling for double the price of vineyards in, for example, California’s long-established Mendocino County. Why? Well, first, there is not much land available. Second, it is easy for wine tourists to move from one superb winery to the next” (The Okanagan Wine Tour Guide, p16).


The Naramata Bench boasts ideal growing conditions for full-flavoured white varietals, as well as early ripening, elegant reds. Merlot and Cabernet Franc grow well here, along with beautiful Pinot Noir and peppery Syrah. Whites such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc thrive in this area.


You will be pleasantly surprised with the wide range of varietals grown here and are bound to discover new favorites.


In addition to wine tasting as one of the many attractions of the Naramata Bench, you can pair your visit with a fun selection of adventure sports, from rock climbing to mountain biking and kayaking. Or relax and take in the natural beauty by the beach at one of the many lakeside resorts.


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There are still many wineries I haven’t had the chance to visit yet along the Naramata Bench. Referencing the wineries that I have visited, below is my list of recommendations. I’ve also included my favourite wines at each winery.


· Daydreamer (Amelia, Jasper)


· Deep Roots (Gamay, Parentage Red)


· JoieFarm (En Famille Pinot Noir, En Famille Chardonnay)


· Laughing Stock (Blind Trust, Portfolio)


· Little Engine (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)


· Terravista Vineyards (Fandango, Albariño)


· Township 7 (Seven Stars Polaris, NBO)



In Penticton:


· Four Shadows (Riesling Dry, Merlot)


· Poplar Grove (Pinot Gris, Legacy)


· TIME Family of Wines (McWatters Red Meritage, McWatters White Meritage)



While you’re travelling along the Naramata Bench there are also two amazing cheese producers:




Pro tip: If there’s a wine you really enjoy but the winery was sold out, check the Naramata General Store. I have had some terrific luck finding wines there. It’s also located in the village of Naramata which is a lovely area to walk around.


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Dining suggestions


Several wineries offer casual or fine dining options featuring locally grown produce for those who wish to extend their visit.


I would recommend eating at either the Naramata Inn, The Restaurant at Poplar Grove, Hillside Bistro, or TIME Winery Restaurant in Penticton.


Some other casual options are Pizzeria Tratto, Naramata Pub & Grill, or The Bench Market.



Wine touring options


Due to the condensed number of wineries, there are many different touring options to explore the Naramata Bench.


A few suggestions could be:


Wine tourVivid Tours (half day or full day options).


Self-paced tourGrape Savvy Wine Tours – The Okanagan Valley’s only hop-on hop-off experience.


Walking – I’d recommend walking (or cycling) along the KVR Trail instead of the narrow and busy Naramata Road. The KVR Trail is a mostly flat multi-use path that travels directly though vineyards and orchards. Many wineries can be accessed from this road.


Driving - Since there are so many wineries to visit, I’d recommend picking a couple from the list I mentioned above, take your time at each one, and then have a picnic somewhere to finish off the day. The next day, if possible, start at the end of Naramata Road and work your way back to Penticton. This way you’re able to see the full road and explore the diversity of wineries and flavours the Naramata Bench has to offer.



Tips for exploring the Naramata Bench:


I’d suggest not visiting more than four or five wineries max in a day.


Book your tastings in advance and give yourself at least an hour at each winery so you aren’t rushed (it’s amazing how fast an hour can go by when wine tasting).


Pack snacks with you. Charcuterie or sandwiches are a favourite of mine to keep you full and energized while also cleansing the palate.


Drink lots of water and hydrate at each stop.


If you’re driving, bring a cooler to keep your purchased wine in. You don’t want to leave your wine in a sun-baked car all day otherwise the heat will spoil your wine.



Looking to book a stay in Naramata/Penticton?







If you have any questions about the Naramata Bench, please feel free to send me a message.


Image from Adobe Stock

Source:


Schreiner, John, and Luke Whittall. The Okanagan Wine Tour Guide. 6th ed., TouchWood Editions, 2020, p.16.

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Javen - Poured By Jay

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