Wine Clubs of Naramata and Penticton
Last month, we explored the multiple wine clubs available outside Naramata and Penticton. Now, it’s time to investigate just what makes the shores of Okanagan Lake so special, and why such a small patch of land continually offers some of Canada’s finest wineries. Here are three of our favourites.
425 Middle Bench Road North, Penticton
One of the founding wineries of the Naramata region, and recently passing 25 years in business, Poplar Grove provides some of the finest wines in the Okanagan Valley. Best known for their signature Bordeaux blend “The Legacy”, which is designed to be as good in year one as it is at any other age, their cellars also contain several other wines, cultivated from their estate of over 120 acres.
In addition, they offer a full-service tasting room (with a great view of Okanagan Lake), options for casual and fine dining, and occasional fun events like “Vinyasa in the Vineyard”, an all-levels yoga class held on summer evenings among the grapes.
Their wine club is available three different ways, depending on if you’re a white wine drinker, a red wine fan, or like them both. As a member, you’re entitled to discounts, limited-edition releases, complimentary tastings, and the annual Wine Club BBQ.
Selections are released every March, July and November, and ship all across Canada.
1775 Naramata Road, Penticton
Travelling down to the south shore of Okanagan Lake, you can experience the wines of Bench 1775. Grown in three separate locations in the Okanagan Valley, they are able to blend their fruit harvest together in amazing ways, producing everything from reds to whites to even icewines!
Their tasting room is open every day from April through November, and by appointment in the off-season. Val Tait, General Manager and Winemaker, says “We want to over-deliver on quality, while keeping our prices affordable”. Asked to add to this, winery dog Bruno, who can often be found prowling around the pet-friendly premises, stated “Woof”.
Joining the Bench 1775 wine club means getting a curated arrangement of six wines every spring and fall, which can be reds, whites, a red/white mixture, or sweet wines, with a 15% discount on additional purchases, and complimentary tastings. They also offer access to the rare and coveted wines of their Library selection, and to their summer gathering each July, where you can meet the staff and see what they have planned for next year.
Their wines can be shipped across Canada, but unfortunately not to PO boxes.
1548 Naramata Road, Penticton
How can you not be interested in a winery called Laughing Stock? Occupying the southwest region of Okanagan Lake, their vintners solemnly swear that they “wake up every day with the constant motivation of not living up to our name”. And judging from the results, they seem to have succeeded.
Overseen by their own winery dogs (named Max and Winston), Laughing Stock Vineyards produces wines unlike any other on the Naramata Bench, with innovations like double sorting tables (allowing for easier segmentation of grapes), concrete egg fermenters (named Free Range, Faberge, Scrambled and Benedict), and most recently, Italian amphorae (allowing for wine made in even smaller batches than their usual, with a unique fermentation style).
Their wine club offers options in whites, reds and limited editions. They offer complimentary tastings and access to rare cellared wines, and of course, a summer blockbuster event celebrating another year’s hard work in the books. And in the barrels. Shipping is free to your door in most provinces.