Okanagan Valley Wineries and Golf
In Super, Natural, British Columbia, 36 holes with majestic mountain views and pine tree laden fairways deliver a fresh outlook at the Okanagan Golf Club. On a warm fall day many ladies, all very welcoming were lining up for a memorial tournament on the Bear Course. The Quail Course had a tourney scheduled for the afternoon. The whole place was busy and ultra efficient. We scored a scone before teeing off on Quail where all 18 holes made a perfect walk through the woods with plenty of challenges along the way. The 18th is a design doozy by Les Furber, esthetically and strategically with a lake and falls between the elevated tees and greens. Elevations differentiate Okanagan Golf Club from the valley courses below surrounding Lake Okanagan. It means a shorter season but members and visitors enjoy every moment of the open months from May to October.
One of the chief reasons for membership might be the chef who creates specials du jour in addition to the extensive menu. Jody Baker, director of food and beverage partners with the chef and staff juggling special events and daily meals. The Borscht soup was a treat paired with the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Mission Hill Family Estate as recommended by Jody.
Mission Hill is the largest of the Okanagan Valley wineries, owned by the Von Mandel family who originally made their money from Mike’s Hard Lemonade. They recently were honored to give a Royal Tour to Prince William and Kate. Ordinary people can’t go wrong with any of the 300+ winery tours or tastings in the valley.
Cedar Creek is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Senator Fitzpatrick was the original owner and in his honor they annually blend a Senator Red and a Senator White. Overlooking Okanagan Lake, blocks of vines define the terroir for different grapes. Block 1 is closest to the lake, #2 is earthier and by block 4 the minerality from rocks is impactful. Seeming counterintuitive it is best to stress vines with low water for greater concentration so root systems will push down further.
Sugar content increases while acidity decreases the longer left on the vine. The increasingly popular roses are so tinted by leaving skins on longer during the fermentation process. Pinto Noir is known as the heartbreak grape because it is thin skinned. These little tidbits are but a glimpse of the knowledge gained in a winery tour around Okanagan Lake. Along the way there are warnings about Ogo Pogo, the lake occupant akin to the Loch Ness monster.
They say it is real and has nothing to do with the wine, mm, hmm.