Summerland, BC. Home to the Bottleneck Drive, 14 Wineries and one cidery. What does that mean? It means that for every 733 people that call Summerland home there is a winery or cidery producing award winning BC Wine and Cider. That is a pretty impressive ratio if you ask me. Researching wineries on the Bottleneck Drive I mistakenly thought I had visited most of them, wrong. It turns out I have been to less than half of them so I thought I should fix that. Today I discover Thornhaven Estates Winery. A new winery to me, but one that has been around since 1999. Run by proprietors Jack and Jan Fraser, the winemaker is Jason Fraser, and all the vineyards are family owned. It’s a true family winery with some spectacular vineyard views to enjoy.
The road up to Thornhaven Winery from the highway is a twisting and turning ride. It forces you to go slow and enjoy the view. When I pulled into the winery on the slopes of Little Giant’s Head Mountain the first thing I said to myself was WOW, what a view. Many of the wineries in the Okanagan have lake views, Thornhaven’s views are of the rolling hills filled with rows upon rows of vines. I feel immediately transported to an exotic European location.
Do you see what I mean? The winery has the best view. Could you imagine yourself relaxing here with a glass of wine as the sun waxes and wanes across the sky? I certainly can.
Once you get over the wow of the view, you’ll move towards the winery and the covered patio. Bring a picnic and enjoy yourself here. They’ll supply the wines, you supply the thirst.
This is the view you get when you are sitting on the patio.
When you step inside to the Tasting Room, you’ll find lots of wines to choose from. Thornhaven produces over 11 different wines for to try. Tasting are free and are run by Danny Evanishen, who has been here so long he’s almost family.
All of the grapes are grown on family-owned vineyards with the exception of a couple. I followed Jason to another vineyard just a few minutes away where they have planted some Orange Muscat grapes. These are almost ready to burst and are being watched closely as it is almost harvest time. The 2015 Summer has been a hot one, so everything is a few weeks ahead of schedule.
One of the things I love about wine touring throughout the Okanagan is that even if you’ve done it a 1000 times before you can always find a new experience and discover a new winery on every trip. At Thornhaven Estates Winery, it’s a treat to drink their wines, but it’s a joy to see it’s all in the family.
- Is wine tasting free? Yes.
- Can you eat on site? Bring a picnic and on weekends enjoy live music on the patio Saturday and Sundays.
- Where can I buy these wines? Certainly at the Wine Shop itself, at government and private liquor stores or online,
- Are they have a Facebook and Twitter? Yes you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter