Another great breakfast to start the day (cuz you shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach) and off we went. The morning (for a change) did not actually involve any drinking. Yes…I know…surprise surprise. Rather it was spent with some long time dear friends who, several years ago, left the Arctic-like winters of Edmonton for a climate much more comfortable. I lived with their family for a time during my more…formative…teen-age years. They were two of four extra ‘parents’ I had and I will never be able to repay any of them for the impact they had on my life.
The wine route today consisted of travel along the Naramata Bench just outside of Penticton. A drive along this stretch is truly a must for any enjoyer of wine. Here you will discover a concentration of wineries that embody some of the very best in Canada. A beginning is made at the south end of the road, driving north to the little village of Naramata and returning along the same stretch. This makes it very easy to visit all the wineries on the right side of the road in both directions. Which also means you never have to turn left against sometimes heavy traffic. A small thing but, in it’s own way, rather handy.
All the wineries visited introduced us to more of the same of what we have come to expect throughout the Okanagan Valley…excellent wines at generally very reasonable prices. Again, with so many in abundance, it is impossible to investigate them all. Along with the wines you will try, you’re likely to also learn something totally unexpected. For instance, the blend known as Meritage. This is not a French term and is properly pronounced to rhyme with ‘heritage’. In fact, it is itself a blend of words – merit and heritage. To qualify the blend must consist of a minimum of 2 of 8 Bordeaux grape varieties and a maximum of 90% of any single variety. For red wines these are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Gros Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and St. Macaire; and for whites they’re Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle and Sémillon. There are other qualifiers, but that is the biggie.
Another 2 cases have joined our happy family and once again we made our way back to our home away from home. Along the way we stopped at a local deli in Penticton and grabbed some meat, cheese, crackers and buns…dinner for tonight and lunch for tomorrow. 🙂
We sat on the back porch with our host this evening and talked and listened to the birds, tree frogs and crickets and were never interrupted by a passing truck, fire engine or bus. The weather was perfect, the relaxation close to total (only ‘close’ cuz I was still conscious) and the surroundings delightful. We even had a nest of robins above us complete with two babies being fed by mom and dad. A picture perfect moment? Pretty much. 🙂