Schell: Food and wine news down south

In Okanagan Falls two winery restaurants are opening.

Food & Wine Trails

Just finishing up the May/June issue of Food & Wine Trails Magazine and there are exciting news highlights from our amazing food and wine country.

In Okanagan Falls two winery restaurants are opening.  New Liquidity Winery has opened with a restaurant.  And beloved Wild Goose Vineyards has opened Smoke and Oak Bistro.  Chef Sarren Wolfe has created a delicious Southern Comfort style barbecue menu featured around the new barbecue/smoker/rotisserie coming from Tennessee, Wild Goose owners, the Kruger family, will be incorporating some of their German family favourite dishes like spaetzle and rotkohl salat. http://wildgoosewinery.com

As the beautiful Naramata Bench continues to flourish, get ready to welcome Legend Distillery.  Doug and Dawn Lennie (former owners of The Bench Market in Penticton) open the doors this spring with a gin and vodka for sale to start, and other spirits in the works. The distillery will feature a great bar and picnic area overlooking Okanagan Lake.

Naramata Heritage Inn just launched a fabulous new spring menu created by chef AK Campbell.  The internationally-inspired cuisine is based on local seasonal fare with unique flavour combinations (www.naramatainn.com).  Liquid chef Jordan Fairman has delicious new cocktails as well.  A day trip to the inn for lunch and a wander around the village is truly one of the best Okanagan experiences.

Wander over to Forest Green Man Lavender Farm for some inhalation therapy and to pick up your copy Okanagan Slow Road, a fabulous new book illustrated by co-owner Karolina Born-Tschümperlin.  Written by Bernadette McDonald, it is a poetic meandering through images and verse. www.forestgreenman.com

The Curds & Corks Club at Upper Bench Winery & Creamery is unlike any other club. Winemaker Gavin Miller selects seasonally appropriate wines from his portfolio and his cheesemaker wife Shana (aka The Big Cheese) perfectly pairs each with one of her decadent cheeses. www.upperbench.ca

Down yonder in Osoyoos, desert citizens are preparing for a tidal wave of activity with the Osoyoos OOOyster Festival, April 23-27.  Oystermania is in store with delicious events hosted at various venues. I am thrilled to be one of the judges of the Oyster Wine Competition but I am most excited about the Mermaid Ball on Saturday, April 26.  With my last name, I will fit in with the rest of the sea life just perfectly.  Sea you there. http://oooysterfestival.com for tickets and info.

On June 15 the new Joy Road Patio Restaurant will open at the Wine Experience Centre at Black Hills Winery in Oliver.  Joy Road is creating a fresh new menu focused on local, seasonal cuisine with a selection of flat bread pizzas paired with Black Hills wines.

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