Schell: Wine country experiences

Take a drive to Oliver and watch the progressively spring-like landscape evolve as you head deep into one of our most vine-laden regions.

Spot prawn cake paired with Tinhorn Creek’s 2Bench Rosé.

Spot prawn cake paired with Tinhorn Creek’s 2Bench Rosé.

It is a magical time in the Okanagan. Slowly but surely trees are beginning to explode into their lush green coats, blossoms are decorating the fruit trees and the grape vines are beginning to hum with the anticipation of bud burst.

Take a drive to Oliver and watch the progressively spring-like landscape evolve as you head deep into one of our most vine-laden regions. When you arrive, I know a perfect place to rest, indulge and enjoy the view—Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek.

Perched above the vineyards, overlooking the valley and renowned Golden Mile, you will see Miradoro (translates to “golden view” in Portuguese).  With a stellar team in place consisting of executive chef Jeff Van Geest, sous chef Courtnay Welter and sommelier Justin McAuliffe, prepare for a fabulous wine country experience.

Van Geest eloquently describes his menu:  “This is modern wine country cuisine. Our food pays homage to the bounty of the Okanagan, using the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean as our inspiration. We believe that there’s nothing better than the fresh and exceptional ingredients from our local fields, forests and ocean.”

I recently joined them for a gorgeous brunch and were delighted to enjoy the meal al fresco in the sunshine. A fabulous sommelier, McAuliffe paired our starter of Parma Proscuitto and fresh Burrata (a luxurious, hedonistic fresh cheese flown in direct from Italy special on the menu every couple of months) with Tinhorn’s 2011 vintage of 2Bench Rosé. This beautiful rosé is made in the Mediterranean style from 100 per cent Cabernet Franc—lucky for me winemaker Sandra Oldfield decided to make 1,300 cases this year.

Welter wowed us with her brunch entrées that contained explosive, mouth-watering flavour combinations. Her creativity shines through, as does her love for designing and serving a perfect brunch menu.

Welter was trained under chef Robert Clark of Vancouver’s esteemed C Restaurant before she joined Van Geest’s team at his former Vancouver restaurant Aurora.  She says that Clark drilled into her the importance of the brunch menu and had her focus on mastering the meal. Obviously, she has succeeded.

Our incredible brunch feast consisted of this luscious line up of menu items (insert mmmm after each description):

• Pork and potato hash, poached eggs, harissa hollandaise and grilled scallion

• Spot prawn risotto cake, poached eggs, grilled leek, espelette pepper hollandaise (see photo above)

• Pannetone French toast, nutella, white wine poached pears, hazelnut praline cream.

All this with a side of Moroccan lamb sausage.

Upcoming Events:

Join Miradoro on Mother’s Day for a special two-course brunch. As part of the Mother’s Day Campaign, a portion of their proceeds will go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

• Spring Wine Festival May 8 Communal Table Dinner at Miradoro Restaurant.

• Join the Tinhorn Creek winemaking team (Sandra Oldfield, Korol Kuklo and Andrew Moon) at Miradoro for one of their highly popular Communal Table dinners.

Go to www.tinhorn.com for more information on events, the winery, restaurant and their popular summer outdoor concert series.

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