Adventures Along the Naramata Bench

I had quite a fun day with guest stars Tim and Linda once again along the Naramata Bench! We went to a new winery for all of us, walked along the KVR Trail, and concluded at my first Okanagan distillery visit! I hadn't intended on discussing distilleries, but it was so lovely and unique that I just can't help myself but share it with you all!

Winery: Lake Breeze

Located on the Naramata Bench, I had actually planned on visiting Lake Breeze the exact day that Linda and Tim texted inviting me to go with them, so clearly it was fate that I visited Lake Breeze on this particular day! This is a beautiful winery that has a very Italian feel to it. It has a tasting bar as well as a restaurant and all three of us agreed that we'd love to go for lunch one day!

1. 2018 Pinot Blanc

This Pinot Blanc is actually the signature wine of Lake Breeze and has won a lot of awards! It's very crisp on the nose with lots of green apple and pear. On the mouth it's a little tart, but still shows those same flavours I got on the nose! It's well balanced with the acidity though and has a nice minerality to it. I can't say I'm a huge Pinot Blanc fa, but this would be nice on a hot day!

2. 2018 Pinot Gris

I feel like Pinot Gris can be such a hit or miss! In the case of Lake Breeze, it was a little bit of both! I didn't get much on the nose at all, but I quite enjoyed it on the palate! It's not quite as sharp as the Pinot Blanc but I think I preferred the palate of this one! The flavours were a bit more on the tropical/stone fruit side for this one and there was even a bit of spice in there as well! A very unique Pinot Gris that's for sure!

3. 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

How can I describe my relationship with Suavignon Blanc? It's very complicated because there are aspects about it that I love and then there are aspects about it that I don't particularly care for! This specific Sauvignon Blanc had aspects from both ends of the spectrum! It was crisp on the nose with some fresh herbaceousness, like fresh cut grass. There was beautiful stone fruit and citrus on the palate, but Tim and I looked at each other and at the exact same time said "it's a bit too green." Some people absolutely love that because that's the traditional New Zealand type of Sauvignon Blanc, it's just not really for me! I do have to say though that this wine was incredibly well balanced.

4. 2019 Rose

One of the top wines for me, this Rose was made from 100% Malbec. It's more of a Provence-style Rose, meaning that it's very light colored, dry and full of minerality. I loved the colour on this one, it was a nice light peach/salmon hue. It was beautiful on the nose, very floral with some notes of violet in there. On the palate it was full of nice juicy fruits like raspberry and gooseberry. All of us bought a bottle of this one!

5. 2018 Pinot Noir

Have I ever said how much I love that every tasting has Pinot Noir? Because I absolutely love it. This particular Pinot Noir had a very unique rust colour to it, almost like a Port! There was a lot of ripe red cherry on the nose and also in the mouth, but it was also super smoky in the mouth! I think this may have to do with all the fires that happened in 2018, but don't quote me on that! This was a very light bodied Pinot Noir that had a little bit of anise that stuck in my throat in the finish. A very unique Pinot Noir!

6. 2018 Meritage

I quite enjoyed the red blends at Lake Breeze! This Meritage was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Once again, I didn't get a ton on the nose but at this point in the tasting I think I blame the glass, not the wine! On the palate it was full of beautiful black fruit. It had a nice body to it, the tannins are present but not overwhelming. I think if you sat this wine down for like 2 more years then it would be absolutely beautiful.

7. 2016 Berg

This was a super cool wine because it was a Pinotage! Not found a lot in the Okanagan, this is a South African grape varietal and this version of it was named after a South African wind! It was at this point during the tasting that it was revealed a lot of their wines are named after different winds! This wine had a lovely smell, lots of spice and black fruit. It had a very interesting taste, very spice with some cardamom and anise and the fruit kind of took a back seat! Very drying in the mouth but very well balanced.

8. 2013 Ardua

This is their Right-Bank style Bordeaux blend. If you aren't familiar with the difference between right-bank and left-bank blends, drop a comment below and I'll let you know! This is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a gorgeous deep ruby colour with some garnet around the edge. On the nose I was hit with jammy red fruit and some chocolate. It's stunning on the mouth, beautifully balanced. This is a wine that could still sit in your cellar for a few years and get even better.

Special shoutout to our taster, Tiara! She was great and steered us in the right direction when we got to choose which reds to try! As I previously said, I would love to go back to Lake Breeze for lunch someday!

Distillery: Legend Distilling

This was absolutely a last minute decision on our part. After Lake Breeze we went along the KVR Trail with their dog Poppy and when we got back to the car none of us were really ready to go home! We were trying to find another dog-friendly winery, but we remembered that we had passed a distillery and decided to see if it was dog-friendly! Spoiler alert, it is very dog-friendly. For the tasting we each got to choose 3 of their different liquors to try.

1. Shadow in the Lake Vodka

For me, I started with the Vodka! This is apparently the base for most of their liquors, so how could I not? This was so smooth and took me back to the Baltic cruise my family and I went on when we tried authentic Russian vodka that was so easy to drink. This Vodka was just like those Russian vodkas, easy to drink and would make a great martini! With subtle notes of vanilla and caramel I can see why they would use this as their base!

2. Harvest Moon Gin

I love a good gin cocktail and this gin was so good I wouldn't even want to have it in a cocktail! It's so fruity with tons a berries and is a beautiful deep purple colour. They make this gin from juniper, fruit and a secret blend of botanicles! This seems to be a fan favourite among the locals and I can see why! Legend Distilling states you can enjoy this on its own or mixed in with some bubbly, so I guess I know what my next cocktail is going to be!

3. Manitou

This Liqueur is a mix of orange and sumac and ohhhh boy is it ever delicious! My mom hates the taste of alcohol and I think even she would drink this straight! It's very sweet and super flavorful. This is a very dangerous liqueur because you could absolutely drink the whole bottle straight up! This would also make an amazing negroni or any other cocktail that's typically orange flavoured. I regret not purchasing this but at the same time I don't because it would never last me!

4. Blasted Brew

This last liqueur I got to try was an special extra addition because the girl at the tasitng bar couldn't believe I'd never had it. This is another dangerous liqueur! Another one you could drink just on it's own! It tastes just like cold brew coffee. All I could picture when I tasted it was putting it on an affogato and that it would be heavenly.

If you've never been to a distillery before, this is a great first one to go to! They've got something for everyone, from whiskey, to vodka, to liqueur! They even have a collection of pre-made cocktails for sale! This is another place that I'd love to return to for lunch because their menu looked tasty and we were told their bartender is exceptional and can make any type of drink you might want!

I can't wait to spend more time in Naramat, I enjoy every place I go there and they all have the most amazing views! Next up, we return to Lake Country to visit one of it's most popular wineries and one of the more lesser known wineries! Make sure you keep an eye out for it!

Whine of the day: I wish every stand-up tasting had a coat/purse-hook attached to the bar


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