Quail's Gate Winery - Cedar, Sunshine and Sensational Wines
On our recent trip to Kelowna and the local wineries of this area, another winery that stood out, besides Mission Hill, was Quail's Gate Winery. Also located on the Westbend near Kelowna, Quail's Gate boasts a beautiful location, overlooking the Boucherie Mountain Bench and the Okanagan lake.
For you history buffs, a little background on Quail's Gate... This winery has been in the Stewart family since the turn of the century. Richard Stewart Senior arrived in the Okanagan in 1908 from County Kildare in Ireland, and started growing fruit. His son, Dick, planted the first vines in 1961, and then Dick's sons, Ben and Tony revamped Quail's Gate in the early 1990's. Quail's Gate is now one of Canada's leading estate wineries, with their most notable wines being pinot noir and chardonnay.
The highlight for me was having lunch at the restaurant on site, The Old Vines Restaurant. The chef, Roger Sleiman, ensures that meals feature produce, locally grown in the region. The food was delicious and I had a wonderful tuna tartare and a flight of delicious Quail's Gate white wines. It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day, and we dined al fresco, overlooking the vineyard. There was a water mister above us that would squirt mists of water every so often, to keep us cool.
As a home stager and interior designer, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful surrounds. The entry to the restaurant was very welcoming, with huge, dried vine balls flanking either side of the front door. The restaurant and main building are constructed using cedar, to add a west coast feel to this location, and it was very entertaining to watch the goings on at the open kitchen.
If you get a chance to visit the Okanagan, don't miss a chance to visit Quail's Gate, sample their delicious wines (probably my favourite wines of all the 7 wineries we visited), and dine at the fabulous Old Vines Restaurant.