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Pack your appetite and get set to embark on Chef and Chauffeur's premiere culinary adventure. They've mapped out the best food and wine experiences that British Columbia has to offer. You will sip and sample, as they share insider secrets with you, gleaned from trail-blazing local chefs, farmers, winemakers, and cheese artisans, all of whom produce common things uncommonly well. As for the meals, a handpicked chef will showcase the day's bounty in a memorable lunch and dinner at renowned local restaurants, paired of course with expressive, emotive regional wines.
Overlooking the Quail course at the Okanagan Golf Club's championship courses, these spacious 2-bedroom villas offer the space and privacy of your own personal condo, with the style and atmosphere of a resort.
The guest house at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is your sanctuary and is steps away from the Sonora Room Restaurant and our Wine Shop. Nestled into the 140-acre vineyard, this is your time to reconnect, retreat and rejuvenate.
As you drive out to Agassiz, your guide will talk about the region and its wealth of culinary resources, the area's "food heroes" whom you will also get the chance to meet, and the glorious food and wines you are about to taste. Feel free to ask questions about the food, wines, restaurants, and history of the area. Your guide, a keen professional and foodie (some are chefs), is your key to inside information about the best eating in Vancouver and the region. They've dined widely and have the inside track with chefs and restaurateurs alike. Some of the day's highlights include:
Wake up and smell the coffee at this cool little country coffee roaster and farm business that roasts its beans in a 1919 Flame Roaster. Character farm buildings, chickens, vegetable crops and antique garden décor and collectibles will prepare your appetite for what's to come.
Here you will see herds of contented cows and goats, view the cheese-making process, sample plenty of handmade artisan cheeses and enjoy a milk tasting.
This farm grows organic hazelnuts and produces fresh, roasted, and candied nuts, chocolate bark, protein powder, flour and cold pressed hazelnut oil.
You will enjoy an al fresco lunch with Fraser Valley wines at Farm House Natural Cheeses prepared by Red House Catering's Chef Sohlberg, or a Quince Express gourmet picnic.
After lunch, you will head to Hope and take the Coquihalla Highway north through British Columbia's High Country to Merritt, the center for the valley's five aboriginal communities, in the heart of ranch country. Veering southeast, you will take "the Connector" highway to Westbank on Okanagan Lake. You will now be in wine country, minutes from your first tasting.
Your first stop is landmark Mission Hill, perched atop Mount Boucherie, overlooking the Lake Okanagan and nearby Kelowna. On his first visit to Mission Hill, Robert Mondavi remarked to proprietor Anthony von Mandl that he'd "out-Mondavied" him, referring to the stunning architecturally significant winery. You will tour this outstanding winery and taste award winning wine.
This will be your second stop. This family-owned winery's vineyards slope gently down to Lake Okanagan. After the tour, you will step into the tasting room and shop, a quaint old log and stone house built in 1873 by the property's original settlers, and enjoy Quails' Gate's hospitality and some excellent pinot noirs, marechal foch and more.
At 20:00, you will sit down to a regional six-course Winemakers' Dinner at Fresco, the Okanagan's most lauded restaurant, where you will enjoy the region's bounty paired with an array of spectacular local wines.
After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel and head south along the shores of Okanagan Lake to the Naramata Bench where you will find a concentration of excellent British Columbian farm gate wineries stitched together by quality and community.
You will visit the best-of-the-best wineries including Laughing Stock Vineyards, Hillside Estate Winery, Lake Breeze Vineyards, Poplar Grove Winery, and Elephant Island Orchard Wines.
You will enjoy a fresh and flavorful meal at The Cobblestone Restaurant in historic Naramata Heritage Inn.
Head south and enjoy tastings at the highly regarded Blue Mountain Vineyards and Cellars and the aptly named Blasted Church Vineyards. The stories behind these are fascinating. Do check out Blasted Church Pinot Blanc. Two Chef and Chauffeur guides, Robin Mines and Judith Lane, are depicted on the label together with a "choir" of their wine-scribe colleagues.
Traveling further south to the Osoyoos Lake Region, you will check into your four-star lodgings, Spirit Ridge Vineyards Resort and Spa, adjacent to North America's first aboriginal-owned winery, and situated in Canada's only desert.
You will relish a southern Okanagan-focused dinner with regional wines at nearby Sonora Room at scenic Burrowing Owl Winery paired with elusive Burrowing Owl wines.
After breakfast at Passatempo, the restaurant at Spirit Ridge, you will check out of your hotel.
Mere steps away, the center affords a fascinating look at the history of the region and the Osoyoos Indian Band who also own nearby Nk'Mip (ink-a-meep) Cellars, North America's first aboriginal-owned winery.
Ready for the first wines of the day? His striking winery is a joint project between the Osoyoos Indian Band and Vincor Canada.
Next, you will visit an area called the Golden Mile, just outside of Oliver, "the wine capital of Canada." Stops will include Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and Golden Mile Cellars.
This happening restaurant is the go-to spot in the area for good food and a huge selection of Okanagan wines. You will enjoy a hearty lunch and a few more luscious wines.
This is one of Canada's most awarded wineries. There you will have the chance to taste some of them in the sleekly designed tasting room or on the adjoining patio, weather permitting.
You will be making a short stop here to pick up more information about Okanagan Wine Country, plus stock up on some of those wines you'd wished you bought. The Center's large VQA Wine Shop has an enormous selection of British Columbia wines. And if you're up for tasting, there's always a few bottles uncorked, waiting to be poured.
You will return to Vancouver at 16:45 via air from Penticton. Flying time is approximately one hour.
Alternatively, you can opt for a return drive to Vancouver, along the scenic Hope-Princeton Highway, winding through the rugged Cascade Mountains, arriving in Vancouver at 22:00. A deluxe, gourmet boxed dinner will be provided to eat en route.
Agassiz is a small community located in the Eastern Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada, about 97 kilometers east of Vancouver and immediately north of the city of Chilliwack. The region is ripe with fresh and organic products, as agriculture is in bloom and many artisan producers have set up shop in the area.
The Okanagan, also known as the Okanagan Valley and sometimes as the Okanagan Country, is a region located in the Canadian province of British Columbia defined by the basin of Okanagan Lake and the Canadian portion of the Okanagan River. Agriculture has been focused primarily on fruit orchards, with a recent shift in focus to vineyards and wine. Now, the Okanagan Valley is the second largest Canadian wine region, and offers some of the country's most renowned wines.
During your holiday, you will enjoy fresh and flavorful meals, cooked in regional tradition, as well as sample the local products such as cheese, coffee beans, hazelnuts, and of course, the wine.
The nearest airport is Vancouver International Airport (YVR).