A Perfect Girl’s Getaway: Naramata Bench Wine Country
A small hillside road meanders through Orchards, vineyards, and rolling hills. One side exudes the grandeur of the beautiful Okanagan Lake while the other side reveals puffy white clouds, wildflowers, smiling happy people on bicycles, homemade cheese shops, and oak barrels. Quaint little restaurants, old country homes, delicious food, and of course…wine. This is Naramata.
I was in Naramata exactly a year ago and loved it so much I had to go back. While on a road trip through Western Canada, my girlfriends and I made sure to block out some time to explore this wonderful Canadian wine country. After some research on tour companies I found the Coconut Express to be the perfect choice for our private tour. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Naramata Bench, it is an exquisite group of boutique wineries on a hillside overlooking Okanagan Lake. Many of the wineries are owned and operated directly out of owner’s homes, while others are larger with restaurants and Inns attached to them. One thing they all share is their undeniable majestic beauty.
With so many options, deciding which wineries to visit can be a daunting task. I’ve put together a table below with some of my personal favorites.
|Winery||Why I like it|
|Elephant Island||Unique selection of wines | TRY: Cherry wine / Black currant wine.|
|Bench 1775||Great wine | Expansive lake views | TRY: Rose.|
|Hillside Winery||Beautiful spot for dinner | Delicious food | Atmosphere|
|Lake Breeze||Best spot for lunch | Atmosphere|
|Van Westen||Authentic, delicious | TRY: Vulture cab franc paired with dark chocolate|
|Upper Bench||Cheese and wine pairings | Great wine | great cheese, although the service could have been better.|
|Deep Roots||Great wine | Wonderful service | Atmosphere|
|Misconduct||Rustic elegance. Love this piece of property & the views | TRY: Chardonnay | Share an appetizer in “The Kitchen”|
There aren’t many places to stay directly in Naramata, so if you plan on going, book sooner rather than later. My girlfriends and I stayed at the Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa. This was a perfect choice for us. It is located convenient to all of the wineries, has a lovely restaurant, and a great pub. Another good lodging option is Sandy Beach Lodge & Resort. If you’d prefer to stay in a vacation rental, click here for a list of beautiful homes and lakeside condos for rent. Also check out the following guest houses situated on different wineries/farms/orchards: D’Angelo Estate Winery & Guesthouses, Elephant Island Orchard Rentals, Lavender Cottage, and Vimla Vacation Rental.
Hillside Winery & Bistro
The girls and I at Kettle Valley Winery, with Okanagan Lake in the background.
A beautiful flower display at Hillside Winery.
Dancing in the vineyards
Bench 1775, One of my favorites.
Bench 1775 – don’t miss this one!
Patio with a view at Bench 1775
Just outside of the Deep Roots tasting room
Our trip just wouldn’t have been complete without the amazing night we went down to the pub in our onesies! (The pub at the Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa.)