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Mission Hill Winery – Food & Wine Part 1 – the Tour

Kelowna, BC vineyards in fall - Mission Hill Estate Winery

Recently my husband and I were lucky enough to be invited guests at Kelowna’s beautiful Mission Hill Estate Winery and while I know this isn’t exactly a “recipe” or one specific “artisan product” but it was such a fantastic time that I had to post it. But first…. here are a few photos.

The first half of our day was spent taking a private and intimate tour of the winery buildings and grounds with Sommelier Cory who was absolutely excellent. We tasted the 2009 Reserve Pinot Blanc, the 2008 Select Lot Sauvignon/Semillon (paired with herb goat cheese, orange, lemon peel & pumpkin oil) and the 2008 Perpetua Chardonnay all within the beautiful tasting room created by proprietor Anthony Von Mandl. We then ventured out onto the vast grounds with glasses of the 2008 Pinot Noir and wandered amid the vine while Cory answered our endless questions and encouraged us to taste the grapes directly from the vine which were responsible for the Pinot Nior we were enjoying right then, as well as tasting some Chardonnay grapes along the way.

We eventually made our way to the cellar where I very nearly peed my pants with joy. As it has been carved directly into the mountain itself, the jagged stone walls are the perfect stage for the rows of aging barrels as well as a private area containing cellar bottles worth more than my first car and also an amazing array of antique wine amphora. It was in this room that we enjoyed  the 2008 Select Lot Syrah paired with an amazing bite of wild boar rillette with coarse salt, truffle oil and topped with an Oculus cherry. Eventually they managed to drag me away from that mind blowing room and we made our way back to the tasting room where the 2007 Oculus was waiting for us. Though all of the wines were spectacular, this was by far my favorite. Deep & velvety and so incredibly sexy, I can honestly say that it’s worth every penny of it’s $80.00 price tag. We ended the tour with the 2009 Reserve Riesling Icewine paired with a bite of blue cheese and preserved quince- and I need to add that all of these delicious little nibbles that we enjoyed were all created in house by Chef Matthew Batey (but more about that and our cooking class and meal with him in Part 2) Much to our delight, Cory then presented us with an enormous gift basket which contained 3 different bottles of their spectacular wines as well as about a dozen artisan products all created in house including; blueberry jam, fig & olive tapenade, Oculus soaked cherries, vanilla scented pears, salted butter caramel sauce and Pinot Noir beets which are in the top ten of most amazing things that I’ve ever put in my mouth.

If you ever get the chance, spend the day up at Mission Hill Estate Winery. I grew up in the area and can say without a doubt that they take the idea of a wine tour a step above anything else I have ever experienced. My great thanks again to Mission Hill for having us and to our Sommelier Cory for making it so memorable.

Next on our adventure at Mission Hill Winery was a cooking class and dining experience with Chef Matthew Batey in the Mission Hill demonstration kitchen, or as I like to call it; “Heaven on a plate.”

More on that in part 2 – cooking classes.

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