Monday, November 26, 2012

The Travel Group 25th Anniversary Okanagan Retreat

The Travel Group celebrated 25 years in business this year. March 17th being the official day the doors opened, and in celebration we went up to the Okanagan for some wine tasting and spa treatments.

Saturday morning we started out at Kelowna airport in a 14 seat bus with lots of room for wine purchases.

Our first stop was Rollingdale Winery, an organic winery in West Kelowna.  We arrived to the view of large crates full of grapes ready to be processed into wine! Walking into the Quonset hut there was a strong aroma of wine, James happily greeted us and was ready to serve.

Next stop was Volcanic Hills where our Sommelier Guide, Shalyn from Wine Your Way Tours took us through a food and wine pairing lesson. Tasting your wines with cheese, sausage, lemons, dark and milk chocolate will quickly teach you what works and what doesn’t.

With a few glasses of wine in our bellies it was time to get some food. We headed on to Quail's Gate Winery for a private tour with Peter. He shared a lot of knowledge as he took us through the vineyard and their wine library and finished with a tasting in their beautiful fireplace room.   We then moved into the Old Vines Restaurant for a spectacular lunch overlooking the Vineyard.
Needing a few hours to enjoy the Sparkling Hill Resort we finished the day at Quail's Gate and made our way to the resort. A quick check -in and change we headed down to the spa to enjoy their 7 different plunge pools. Sweating out the wine we drank in the morning preparing for a 3 course dinner and some more wine, to test our new wine / food pairing skills.
On Sunday morning some we were up early to get the most from the fantastic pools and the breakfast before our start.

Our first stop was Ex Nihilo Winery. A beautiful winery because of all the local art they have around and about included in their store and displays. They also are the home of Sympathy for the Devil, Rolling Stones Ice Wine.
 Next stop was Gray Monk Estate Winery. Known mostly for their bubblies and pinot gris, they won our hearts with the Odyssey Port, I personally purchased 3 bottles, a great price and Christmas gift. 
We managed to fit in a third winery on the way to the airport, we stopped into Intrigue Winery. They are associated with Gray Monk but are making their own wines, and they are tasty. 

Arriving at the airport in plenty of time for our flight we enjoyed a beer at the bar, we were wined out. And headed home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November BBQ

That is correct we are still using our BBQ in November !


On the menu: sliced BBQ potatoes with onions. And all the fixin's to go with it !