After two weeks in the Okanagan, I have drank A LOT OF WINE. After visiting countless wineries, and filling boxes full of wine bottles to take home, I have definitely chosen some stand outs. Naramata Bench is filled with wineries that make amazing varietals of Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Chardonnay and Merlot and that’s just to name a few. The entire region is made for wine tasting and finding the perfect blend for your evening or weekend. With 28 Naramata Bench wineries there are so many to choose from! Depending on the amount of time you have, wine tasting at all of them might not be feasible, especially if you have to be the driver (DD isn’t fun on holidays!). So here are the top 5 wineries you have to drink at in Naramata Bench.
This is just the first of a few lists of best wineries in the Okanagan, so you can choose from the area you are closest to, or explore them all. Wineries in the Naramata Bench Wine Country are usually a little smaller and more boutique than some of the other wine regions in the Okanagan that feature bigger vineyards and wine stores.
Getting to Naramata Bench
Finding wineries in the Okanagan is easy! Go to any major road and follow the wine trails in the Okanagan signs. You will see the purple signs complete with grapes on the side of almost every road leading you towards amazing Canadian wine.
To get to Naramata Bench Wine Country, one of the best places for wine in the Okanagan, you need to make your way down to Penticton. If you are in the Okanagan already, then just follow highway 97 south and you will find this beachy town. The Bench roads start on the east side of Penticton and carry on towards Naramata.
The most southern (and closest to Penticton) Naramata Bench winery on the list is Perseus. They have a beautifully airy cellar door, and feature many varietals of wine, all of which are amazing. Their whites are distinct and most have fruity notes that are typical of the Naramata Bench wine region.
Must Try Wines: Riesling Gewurztraminer and Merlot
Red Rooster Winery
Red Rooster will always make the list in my books. There is a reason that my family are wine members… Getting two bottles a month, all year long is just icing on the cake. The winery has a gorgeous patio and restaurant that serves great food (except avoid the burgers, since we all had them undercooked). They offer a great selection for tastings and the grounds are impeccably pristine.
Must Try Wines: The Pinot Noir – I really wasn’t a Pinot person until this trip, now I can’t get enough.
Black Widow Winery
Whether it’s the Merlot, the Blend or the Cab Sauv, if you like big, bold and expensive (okay $50/bottle is not THAT expensive.), you will love this winery! The interior of the cellar door is quite industrial looking and you can see glimpses of the wine being made and bottled. We were served by the owner and winemaker, who definitely told us all the about the wine and how they make it so perfect (I’m a red wine drinker… so take my opinion how you will).
Must Try Wines: ALL THE REDS!
Moraine Winery isn’t more than a shambled sign on the road and a tiny tasting room you could almost mistake it for a shed. But despite its outward appearance, the wines are phenomenal. The whites are crisp and light, while the reds are smooth and tanen filled. The winemaker, her name escapes me since I never met her, is from New Zealand, and has worked her way around the globe. You can tell the minute you taste the wine.
Must Try Wines: The Cab Sauv and The Icewine
LANG was a surprise, which is really shouldn’t have been considering they have been growing vines in the Okanagan for over half a century. 57 years on, and the vines are growing amazing grapes. The older the vines the better the wine right? Well it depends on the winemaker! Good thing about LANG is that their wine is amazing, and whether you’re trying their white blend or their tanen filled reds, you won’t be disappointed. My dad even joined their wine club!
Must Try Wines: ALL OF THEM
Honorable Mention: JoieFarm Winery
The wine was awful here, okay maybe not awful, but it was certainly nothing special.
Why am I telling you to go here then? Well they make some of the best homemade ice cream and cookies that are blended together to make a delicious ice cream sandwich! Eat one in their amazing courtyard between the vines! You could even buy a bottle of their not-so-special wine to enjoy under the umbrellas while lounging in an adirondack chair and eating pizza. The views and venue are worth a visit.
So that was the list of Naramata Bench Wineries! Did I miss one that you think should be on the list? Let me know!