Western Living Magazine
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5 Wineries + 1 location = maximum exposure.
There’s a romantic version of galavanting around wine country, happening upon the perfect off-the-beaten path winery that’s making the most perfect wine. It’s a great idea and if you five days with nothing to do I suggest you rent a car and amble at will. For the rest of us who have jobs and/or kids and/or deadlines, the new Great Estates Wine Experience is a game changer.For starters it’s located in the Penticton Lakeside Resort, which has undergone a very sweet overhaul courtesy of the late architect Nick Bevanda. It’s right in the heart of the Okanagan, and its modern, airy decor mirrors Bevanda’s work at the hotel. Even better is that it brings Great Estates’ entire portfolio of wineries—Inniskillin, See Ya Later, Nk’Mip, Sumac Ridge, Jackson-Triggs—under one roof. I Google-mapped it—if you wanted to visit all those wineries individually, you’re looking at 2 hours and 55 minutes and that’s with not stopping, so with tasting thrown in, you’re looking at a full day. And while the wineries share common ownership, they take different approaches to their craft, so you’ll get an exposure to both the regional differences—you try Nk’Mip’s blockbuster South Okanagan Meritage vs. See Ya Later’s Ping, which has a light, fresher take on the style. You’ll also get your does of absolutely classic Okanagan sparkling (Stellar’s Jay Brut), Merlot and Cabernet from the iconic Black Sage Bench and a handful of oddities (Tempranillo, Zinfandel) from Inniskillin’s Discovery Series.Will it replace happening upon that hidden gem? Probably not, but it’s a huge step in bringing the Okanagan the sort of ground floor experience that Napa’s had for years. The Wine Experience Centre is open 10-7, throughout the winter.