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Trip Report Kelowna & Okaganan Wine Region

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DW and I headed for Kelowna to attend parts of the Okaganan Fall Wine Festival. After flying into Vancouver we picked up a rental car and headed for Kelowna. Discovered there is nothing, except forest, between Hope and Merritt and not much more between Merritt & West Kelowan. If you go, keep that in mind for lunch time (and gas).
Stayed in an excellent B&B, The Hopeless Romantic, on the east side of Kelowna. Great rooms, breakfast delivered each morning and a hostess anxious to help you find the best of the area.
First dinner was at the Waterfront in central Kelowna's cultural district, Enjoyed a very nice cheese plate and a chicken and corn rissotto. This paired with a good BC chardonnay from La Frenz in the south of the Okaganan region.
The best dinner was the the restaurant attached ot Quail's Gate Winery in West Kelowna.
We also enjoyed a tasty lunch at the nearby Mission Hill Winery bistro.
Would highly recommend the WestJet wine tasting to anyone attending one of the festivals. More than 60 wineries and a couple of hundred wines. The best part was admission included not only a logo glass, but a free taxi ride home - no DUIs here!
Other wineries worth a visit included SpierHead, Cedar Creek and Summerhil on the east side of the lake. Near Cedar Creek is a goat diary producing some really good goat cheeses.
Also Hillside, Poplar Grove and Ls Frenza, south in the Naramata area and Sumac Ridge near Summerland are wineries worth a visit.
In an effort to avoid the end of vacation blues you get with air travel today, we drove back to Vancounver and took a Holland America Line cruise ship to San Diego and Amtrak from San Diego to LA before getting back in the car for the final leg. No TSA, no taking off your shoes, no limits on liquids, no pat downs, or full body scans....what a concept - travel as fun!
Just 1 note of warning, don't expect CA style lush, fruity wines, the BC wines are much more in a European style and are often excellent. It was a great experience.

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