“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to Kelowna and Westbank
Leaving Vancouver, driving Highway 1 East towards Hope, we then took the Coquihalla, Hwy 5 North towards Merritt and then 97C East towards Lake Okanagan, the drive was just over 4 hours.
Arrived to Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna to meet up with Ezra Cipes where we toured their beautiful winery and fruit and vegetable garden, the pyramid and the bee hives. Ezra is the companies CEO and one of the members of the family that started this winery years ago. As we walked around the vast 42 acre property, he explained how their winery has been committed to organic winemaking practices since the beginning in 1986 and has grown to become Canada’s largest certified organic winery. Summerhill operates holistically from start to finish employing sustainable practices in the vineyard, vegetable garden, cellar and bistro. They are also the first Canadian winery to have been accredited as a Certified B-Corporation®, this is a first time achievement for Canadian wineries. This mark acknowledges the winery focuses on people and planet and not only profit. Summerhill joins a selected group of only 26 B-Corp® wineries worldwide.
Following the tour we enjoyed a wine tasting with him as he guided us through some of the winery white and red favourites.
Next it was time for dinner in their bistro where Lawrence and I had a chance to enjoy some of their dishes paired up with some of their wines.
I loved the Farm Grown Organic and Foraged Greens which came from the garden, paired with their 2012 Blanc de Blanc; also enjoyed this with a loaf of their fresh bread.
The Organic beef Sirloin with greens, potatoes and mushrooms was a great dish that paired very well with their 2006 Pinot Noir; we also tried the Fraser Valley Duck breast.
For dessert we enjoyed both the Strawberry shortcake and the New York cheesecake.
For dinner we headed over to newly opened Lost Horn Mediterranean Grill in Westbank, here they specialize in Mediterranean cuisine and the dishes are large and impressive.
Lawrence and I tried several dishes, starting off with the Melizano with eggplants, fresh herbs and pita; this followed by the Aegean Salad with arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, bell pepper, dill, oregano, feta and Evoo olives; a beautiful large salad that we both loved.
The Rack of Lamb was also exceptional with roasted potatoes and lemon, outstanding flavours; we also had the very good Mix platter of Chicken with a thousand and one night brine, nutmeg, cinnamon pomegranate glaze along with the Duck Confit with walnut confit, lemon, fresh herbs and couscous.
To finish off this delicious meal we had the Deconstructed Baklava with local honey, walnuts, pistachio and vanilla gelato.
The next day we visited recently opened Home Block at Cedar Creek Winery where Executive Chef Neil Taylor runs the beautiful open kitchen.
Here we had a glorious Burrata dish with focaccia, smashed green chickpeas, pecorino, mint to start. We then had a couple outstanding dishes to share, the Risotto with prawns, cauliflower, lemon and dill and the Spanish Mackerel a la Plancha.
To finish off our lunch, we shared both the yummy Chocolate Budino and the Mille Feiuille.
It was a nice couple of days visiting the Kelowna area.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Summerhill Pyramid Winery provided complimentary tasting and dinner; as well Lost Horn Mediterranean Grill provided complimentary dinner . All opinions and the photos are my own.