I know I’ve written about Naramata a few times now. It has been and remains a favourite of mine within the Okanagan wine valley. But this time was very different.
I hadn’t explored the depths of Naramata’s wine country in over 3 years. Normally, prior to 2016, I went each summer exploring as many wineries, restaurants and beaches as I could muster in a 24 hr period. But then we sold our house, then I got pregnant, then I had a baby and now that baby is 14 months old. Life happened and just like that it was 4 years since I visited Therapy Vineyards (who recently underwent a huge reno to their labels and tasting room), or dined at Naramata Heritage Inn.
Basically, I was no longer an insider who knew the best stops, the best restaurants because in those 4 years there have been so many new wineries and changes made that I was spinning with both overwhelm and delight.
I plan to go back this fall to capture the changing leaves as well as try even more food because, well, there are some new chefs in town and they deserve our attention. Basically, I aim to be that insider you all know and love 😉
Aside from new establishments I also stayed in a new spot, The Singing Marmot Guest Suites, which you can find on AirBnB here.
It was unreal and I have never seen a better view of the Okanagan Lake, surrounding mountains, vineyards in the entire Okanagan Valley. If you are saying, ‘Oh Murissa, but don’t you remember See Ya Later Ranch in OK Falls?’ To which I say, yes but that doesn’t have a view of Okanagan Lake but rather Skaha Lake and the valley.
During my visit it was veraison, when the grapes transition their colour in preparation for full ripeness. It made for some gorgeous walks in the vineyards in which I may or may not have snuck a few grapes to taste. For educational purposes of course!
Now that we’ve cleared that up let’s get into the nitty gritty. The good, the bad and the updated.
One of my all time favourites has underwent a huge update. What was once a humble and rustic tasting room in the actual wine making facility, has now expanded! You now can head into a designated tasting room or opt for the outdoor patio with Chef Bongo at the helm. Do try one of the best cheese boards I have ever had, more for its creativity and the way everything jives so perfectly. If you’re a bit hungrier then I urge you to get the burger!
I convinced myself I was returning the next day for more but we were rained out thus I must take a rain check (pun intended).
Who is Chef Bongo and how can you get your hands on his food? Named one of Canada’s top chefs, there are a couple of ways but this guy is completely new to me. I discovered about his fame on Instagram and put his establishments on my list.
You can have BBQ and pasta at co-joint with local coffee shop The Village Grounds, downtown Naramata, or head to Serendipity Winery, luck you!
A new favourite of mine yet it has been there for years. Their tasting room opened in so I can be forgiven in light of my situation. You know, having a child and all.
The property is absolutely stunning making photography very simple and their wines were very tasty, including their orange wine called Chic Fille (not to be confused with Chick-fil-a after a few glasses of wine) which is Gewürztraminer with skin contact giving it that orange hue.
If you are on a budget or just want to sip some wine surrounded by orchard and vineyard then check out their Picnique area. You’re welcome to bring your own food and grab a glass or a bottle then sit on their picnic tables, loungers and enjoy!
Again, found this little gem on Instagram.
Oddly enough, Chute Lake Lodge is closer to my house yet there is no drivable road to get there unless I take the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR hike/bike path). It is only accessible by car if you drive the long way from Kelowna which means heading to Penticton then up the mountain passing the Naramata turn off.
My husband and I headed up there first and grabbed a locally brewed craft beer as well as some expert nachos. Next summer we’ll bring my little one, my SUP board and rent a cabin! You can also pitch a tent for a more rustic camping experience but it is so convenient to have a restaurant with a fully stocked bar wouldn’t you say? I need my modern amenities!
Singing Marmot Guest Suites
So let me get back to one of the best AirBnB experiences I have ever had in Canada, almost the world (like how can anything beat a Scottish lighthouse from the 17th C?).
But as soon as we parked the car we knew we had something special. The view sold us but the amenities are what will keep up coming back.
A hot tub ideal for stargazing, breakfast with homemade muffins and jams, a kitchenette and BBQ perfect for a summer wine down wind down, I was in heaven. Our first evening my husband and I drank beers (what’s with me and beers in wine country?) and counted shooting stars in the sky while soaking away in our hot tub. I can’t recall a recent day I was so utterly relaxed!
No diapers to change, no high chairs to wipe down, no hair pulled in more than 48 hours. Just wow.
Yes of course I missed my son. But mama needed some breathing room that weekend.
Additionally, the KVR is literally at their back door and owners of Singing Marmot Guest Suites, Steve and Susan, provide bikes for their guests.
Plus, if you love tree frogs, Susan told us this year was a banner year for them on her property. We’ve had a cooler and wetter summer than usual so she warned me that I’d have to check my outdoor seating before I popped a squat. Sadly, I did not see any during my visit.
This is the tip of the iceberg, or rather wine bottle, when it comes to all the new and exciting things happening in Naramata. If you’d like to see more, including an AirBnB tour, check out my IGTV on Instagram!
Alternatively, if I didn’t cover some of my food experiences on this trip it is because it was not worth sharing. I prefer not to write bad reviews but if you ever need any Okanagan or world travel advice please send me an e-mail!
* Nothing was sponsored and I paid for all the accommodations, wine and food on my own. This is a passion project and I rarely get paid for this site. All I ask is that you share with your friends and leave a comment below 🙂