Naramata Bench Wine Tour
About the Region:
The Naramata Bench Wineries Association is a group of 24 award-winning wineries along a country road near Pentictton overlooking the Okanagan Lake. A century ago, Naramata Bench was a significant fruit growing area but is now home to world renowned viticulturists, restaurants, and B&Bs. There is a wide variety of wineries and each winery is unique but connected by a commitment to making quality wines. Often the owners of the wineries themselves will do a wine tasting giving a more in depth and personal knowledge. Get wrapped up in the rural surroundings, diverse wineries, wine events, and beautiful views of Okanagan Lake.
The winemaker of La Frenz is one of the first university trained winemakers in the Okanagan. Jeff Martin started his roots in the Australian wine industry at 18 and grew to be the chief red winemaker for the McWilliams group, winning major awards, by 1989. He moved to BC in 1994 with Niva, the proprietor and administration manager for La Frenz, and their daughters after coming over for a "working holiday" in the area. Jeff Martin now judges at international wine shows in the US.
La Frenz offers outdoor seated tastings on the patio overlooking the vineyard. The staff are very knowledgeable, involved, and engaging. Take a look at their video to see the beautiful scenery and learn some more.
Gold medalist for 2014 Syrah and 2015 Riesling in the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2016. Gold medalist for 2013 Ensemble, 2013 Desperation Hill Pinot Noir and 2013 Malbec and impressively won 8 other awards in the Intervin 2015/2016. Double gold for NV Liqueur Muscat in All Canadian Wine Championships 2016. Gold for 2015 Alexandria in BC Best of Varietal Awards 2016.
Established for more than 20 years in Naramata, Lake Breeze strive to create wines that naturally express the area. The believe in having little intervention in order to show the true character of the varietal. Their wines are known for being clean, crisp, and fruit driven. Lake Breeze has a welcoming atmosphere, exceptional wines, and stunning location. A patio restaurant called The Patio is available for a great lunch. They offer ethically raised BC meat, local cheeses, and organic produce from the garden. They promote sustainable seafood and bake their breads daily.
It was recently voted 2016 Best Winery in BC and Best Small Winery in Canada. Take a look at their video to see the beautiful scenery and learn some more.
The owners of Laughing Stock started in the financial industry and made the "fiscally foolish" decision to open a winery. The name Laughing Stock was partially inspired by the ridicule received by their peers. The owners pay tribute to their financial roots with a Bay St and Wall St sign in the vineyard and a financial theme for their website. They view winemaking as a new adventure even though, "Mother Nature throws curve balls that are wilder than anything we've ever experienced in the Stock Market." They focus on premium, small production wines that showcase the very best their grapes. As part of the limited intervention philosophy, the winemaking facility uses the natural slope of the land to utilize gravity for the flow system. Laughing Stock is a beautiful establishment with staff that take the time to discuss each wine while doing tastings and a playful winery dog named Radar.
Portfolio, their flagship Bordeaux style blend, has been the top selling Bordeaux style blend of BC wine in BC for 4 of the past 5 years. Call ahead of time to make a booking.
Other Great Wineries to Visit:
Bench 1775 at Paradise Beach Vineyards
For more information visit Naramata Bench Wineries Association