Robert Bell's Wines of Canada


Okanagan Trip 2020

Keremeos Vineyards -photo by Barbara Bell
Keremeos Vineyards -photo by Barbara Bell

Four friends gathered early Monday morning Sept 14, 2020 and set out for the Okanagan. It was a long overdue trip to visit the wineries plus enjoy some friend time. The smoke from the forest fires that had settled over the lower mainland and the Okanagan might have prevented us from seeing some extremely beautiful countryside but it would not dampen our spirits. Our first destination was Summerland, a community on the west side of Okanagan Lake

Summerland Waterside Resort
Summerland Waterside Resort-photo by Jane Phillips

We settled in at the Summerland Waterside Resort. The restaurant was closed, however the staff set us up with a bottle of wine, and turned on the fire. Time to relax before heading off to dinner at Zias Stonehouse Restaurant.

Zias STonehouse restaurant
Ken and Jane -- Barbara and Bob

Zias' was most impressive; from amazing hospitality to excellent food. Everyone was very impressed with their meal. My meal began with a glass of 2018 Viognier from Van Westen Vineyards. It was so good a second glass was ordered.

Some of my favourite foods are French Onion Soup, Beef Dip and Pecan Pie. Guess what I had.

The following morning we explored Summerland's town centre before venturing on to the wineries on our schedule. Arriving early at our destination, Okanagan Crush Pad, we dropped in on Sage Hills Winery. They have a magnificent view of the lake; sadly the smoke prevented us from enjoying the view but not the hospitality and wines.

Sage Hills Estate Winery

Sage Hills Estate Winery

Upon arrival we found owner Rick Thrussell up a ladder. A new sign was being set up.

Rick's farming practices have been organic along with following the Salmon Safe program.



Due to the COVID situation the winery limits the number of guests to 12 in the tasting room. As it happened there were four spots available; we lucked out! Rick came down from the ladder to guide us through our tasting experience. I enjoyed their 2017 Pinot Gris and the 2018 Gewürztraminer.


Okanagan Crush pad

It was now time to visit one of BC's most renowned wineries. Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Narrative, Bizou + Yukon, Free Form and Haywire wines. We were excited to see what the winery had to offer. Our expectations were met. We would like to thank Town Hall Brands for arranging our visit. We were also very fortunate and pleased to have Christine McConnell Coletta co-owner as our host.

Matt Dumayne cheif winemaker
Matt Dumayne - chief winemaker

The Okanagan Crush Pad winery is state-of-the-art. It features long banks of concrete tanks, clay amphorae, and large format neutral oak casks. The guest center is built into the heart of the facility, offering visitors a rare glance into the art of wine making.

We could not have had a better presentation of the wines. Christine was assisted by Julian and winemaker Matt Dumayne. Matt has produced a truly "fine" cellar of wines. Including their new Bizou+Yukon label named for the two Great Pyrenees that guard the flock of sheep at The Ranch.

The Bizou + Yukon Savvy Gris 2019 is a very smooth wine with intense flavours. In my notes I wrote "buy" and we did. We had a wonderful time at the winery taking home a select few bottles of wine.


Day two of our trip will take us to three more wineries.

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Welcome to Robert Bell's ! This is a personal website. We do not represent the wine industry or any aspect of the Canadian Government. We have been promoting Canada's wines and wineries since 1992. We do not sell or purchase any products. Please enjoy the website. Your comments are welcome.