Three Days in Naramata

We took a short break to Naramata in BC's Okanagan Valley last week to visit some friends. Although we weren't there to be tourists we couldn't help it. It's a wonderful time to visit. In fact, it may even be the best time, with the vineyards full of fruit, ready to be picked. It seemed like every corner held another magnificent view.

 Lake Breeze Winery, Naramata, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Vines at Lake Breeze Winery, Naramata, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Vines aLake Breeze Winery, Naramata, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic

We weren't on a tasting holiday per se, but we couldn't not try a few. Quickly we realized we would need more hours in the day. We made some new-to-us discoveries in the form of the delightful Pinot Gris from Poplar Grove as well as the Meritage from Lake Breeze. I feel like we only skimmed the surface and another trip is definitely in order to delve further into the delights of Naramata.

 Poplar Grove Winery, Naramata, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Poplar Grove Winery, Naramata, BC, Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic

One of the highlights of the trip involved no wine at all but a drive up to Chute Lake, just north of Naramata. A forest fire swept through this area a few years ago, and now the new growth of deciduous trees is renewing the area. The green and gold colours lit up the barren and scorched landscape, making me feel like I had landed in a Group of 7 painting. Arriving at Chute Lake, we were greeted by a lovely lady sitting outside the café.

"Are you coming in for a cinnamon bun, fresh out of the oven?" she asked.

There's really no way to say no to that, is there? After our walk down by the lake and a perusal of the "museum", an old barn packed with antique household machinery, and farm equipment, we ordered two cinnamon buns between four of us and promptly ordered two more. In addition to being covered in sweet, gooey icing, they came with a side of butter. And no, it wasn't too much.

 Near Chute Lake, looking over Lake Okanagan.  Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Cinnamon Bun at Chute Lake. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Chainsaws, Chute Lake. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Café at Chute Lake, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Overlooking Lake Okanagan, near Naramata, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic

On our way home, a chance to hang on to the Okanagan for a little while longer as we stopped in Keremeos to buy fruit at the row of fruit stands that dot Highway Three. I seem to have a problem, which I'm fairly sure is genetic, inherited from both my mother and father, that makes it impossible for me not to stop at a fruit stand. The consequences of this were a next day spent at home pickling hot peppers, making acorn squash soup, corn chowder and a pear tart. There are worse problems.

 Salish Apples, Keremeos, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Pear & Ginger Frangipane Tart Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 Acorn Squash Soup Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic
 View with Vines over Lake Okanagan, Naramata, BC. Photo by Helena McMurdo/Endless Picnic

I'm already dreaming of when we can go back. Have you been to Naramata? What are your favourite wineries or experiences?


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