At Mount Boucherie’s new winery in West Kelowna, there’s an irreverent attitude soaked in serious wine.
How else do you explain the “eating and drinking with reckless abandon since 2020” motto of winery restaurant The Modest Butcher?
“We offer a high-end experience in a fun atmosphere,” said general manager Jesse Harnden.
“You can have a laugh and still respect the wine.”
The Modest Butcher is on the second level of Mount Boucherie’s new three-storey, 15,000-square-foot industrial chic building.
The restaurant features stunning views over vineyards to Okanagan Lake and a wine-friendly menu of everything from charcuterie platters and cheese boards for sharing to full entrees.
The Modest Butcher name is a nod to early West Kelowna settler Isadore Boucherie, a farmer and butcher, who also lends his name to nearby Mount Boucherie, the winery’s namesake.
When my wife and I dropped by for charcuterie and glasses of the just-released 2019 Riesling, chef Dan Carkner popped by our table to explain The Modest Butcher is all about unpretentious, quality food in a spectacular setting.
Viticulture manager Brett Thiessen, who works closely with winemaker Jeff Hundertmark, was also mingling, touting how the grapes are grown to make remarkable wines.
The pair are particularly proud of the aforementioned 2019 Riesling ($19), a lush wine with aromas and flavours of lime and honey; as well as the the 2019 Rose ($22); 2019 Pinot Gris ($19); 2018 Pinot Noir ($25); 2018 Syrah; and Hundertmark’s favourite and the winery’s flagship red, 2017 Summit, a plum-and-blackberry Bordeaux-style blend.
The new building, which also houses a wine shop, tasting patio and tasting rooms, meeting rooms and rooftop terrace for weddings and corporate events, was supposed to open in March.
But the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that.
So, Mount Boucherie debuted its new digs last week quietly as novel coronavirus restrictions eased.
Word got out and it’s quickly become busy as the newest-and-hottest destination on the Westside Wine Trail.
Of course, Mount Boucherie has had a winery on-site for years, but it knocked down the previous premises to make way for the $10-million, bigger-and-better landmark.
In honour of the opening, the winery has also released a limited-edition line of Modest Wines, The Elder Vicar (white blend), The Last Hurrah (Syrah Rose), Little Green Red (Petit Verdot), Green Lightning (Gruner Veltliner), No. 4 Orange (skin-contact Gewurztraminer) and The Odd Couple (Riesling and Merlot blend).
Stag’s Hollow Winery in Okanagan Falls continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary year with the release of three more wines made exclusively of grapes grown on the estate.
The 2019 Pinot Gris ($26) is an off-dry, apple, peach and honey expression of the varietal in the style of Alsace, the region of France near the German border where Pinot Gris is revered.
The 2019 Blanc de Noirs ($25) is literally white wine from red grapes that emerges pink with a profile of peach and marzipan.
Stag’s Hollow winemaker Keira LeFranc upped the percentage of Gamay Noir (63%) in the 2019 Simply Noir to create a juicy, light red bursting with strawberry, cherry and dried herbs aromas and flavours. The rest of the wine is made up of Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Dolcetto.
What do wine and gelato have in common?
Answer: the Raffans.
Mike Raffan, general manager at Township 7 Winery in Naramata and Langley, and his wife Lori Pike-Raffan, who does public relations for Township 7 and Hester Creek Winery in Oliver, are the power couple behind Uno Gelato.
The two-year-old business has three shops in Vancouver, but is looking at expanding to Kelowna.
To start the process, Uno is offering home delivery in Kelowna via a freezer truck driven by partner Paddy Mahony.
Seven flavours of gelato and four of sorbet can be ordered online at UnoGelato.com/Shop for $12.50 a pint and delivery is free.
Some of the farm-to-cone flavours include Very Cherry, New-Fashioned Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Mango.
Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover. Email: email@example.com.