|Hester Creek is located just south of Oliver along Highway 97. (file photo)|
These were Sally's first words when we entered our home away from home at Hester Creek Winery last Friday evening. We we were there because I purchased A weekend at Hester Creek at this year's Bacchanalia dinner in support of Christopher Gaze's Bard on the Beach. To be honest, I was drunk at the time, and missed the fine print; namely, it was to be used by early April or after the end of October.
|You enter the villas through the rows of grapes|
Actually a lot of people knew, since 600 people purchased tickets for the sold out 'Pig Out' at Covert Farm Winery. http://www.oliverosoyoos.com/?method=pages.showPage&PageID=00A24ED9-04CC-3CFC-AB24-A7B4BB787F94&originalMarketingURL=PigOut. Hopefully we'll be back for next year's event and book tickets in advance.
|The tasting room features a variety of wine-related products. One suggestion: why not create gift boxes of assorted wine jellies.|
Our unit was very beautiful with a large, well furnished, cozy room with fireplace overlooking the vineyards. Small details included a place to store luggage. There was a large bathroom with walk-in shower and soaker tub, and lots of nice details and fittings; and a compact kitchen area with microwave, fridge, etc.
|Upon arrival, some wine and cheese on our terrace overlooking the vineyards. (Since it was the end of Passover, and Sally suspected they would not serve matzoh, she brought our own.)|
|The accommodation has a Mediterranean style and is as luxurious as you would expect to find in the fancier California vineyards.|
We had dinner the first night at Terrafina, Hester Creek's restaurant. I was impressed with both the food and the service. Most of the servers I have met in the Okanagan usually come from the area, and this was no exception. The staff were very charming and delightful to chat with.
I know you're tired of hearing about what I eat, but if you come, start with the antipasto platter, then share some pasta and follow that with the Cornish Game Hen or another main. It was very, very tasty. And prices are 20 to 30% less than what you would pay in Vancouver for comparable food.
|Early morning coffee on the terrace while awaiting breakfast|
|An enticing menu at Burrowing Owl.|
|The view from our terrace table at Burrowing Owl of their accommodation overlooking a pool and vineyards|
Each fall there's another wine festival. But don't wait till then. Check out Hester Creek, Burrowing Owl, and the other nearby wineries such as Tinhorn Creek offering high quality accommodation and beautiful tasting rooms and restaurants.
|At a charge rate of 6km/hour, it would have taken 70 hours to charge the car before heading back to Vancouver!|
|By the time we reached the 12 hole, we had charged the car another 180 km. When you own an electric car you think about these things!|
While an increasing number of people have discovered the 'new' Okanagan, many have not. With the sun shining, the area offered magical vistas, with expansive rows of grapes viewed from the highway. I have a feeling that in years to come, the spring and fall Okanagan wine festivals will begin to attract world-wide attention. Given the limited number of wineries with good accommodation, prices are sure to rise. My advice is to enjoy these places now