It was a warm and sunny evening when we recently met with friends to enjoy wine and poutine at SummerGate Winery in Summerland.
SummerGate Winery is one of our favourite wineries. It’s a small, family-run winery owned by Mike and Gillian Stohler. They have six children and you will likely be warmly welcomed by one or many members of the family. The winery is set amongst the vines, with a majestic mountain view. Winemaker Gillian Stohler creates delicious, fresh, fruit-forward wines from their organic estate grown grapes. The winery, the family, and the wines are all worthy of being named as hidden gems of BC.
“Winemaker Gillian Stohler creates delicious, fresh, fruit-forward wines from their organic estate grown grapes.”
The winery is just a few kilometres from where we live, so we enjoyed a leisurely bike ride there and back. We thought we would burn off some calories before indulging in a delicious evening.
In addition to their normal wine tastings, for the past couple of years, SummerGate Winery has offered poutine by donation on Fridays, paired with a featured wine each week. We’ve attended a few times in the past, and really enjoyed these weekly events, which are popular with locals and tourists.
This year, because of COVID-19, they have adapted the event. They have expanded the seating to space guests out at picnic tables in the field. They also added an online reservation system to manage the numbers.
Sitting at an outdoor picnic table with friends, sipping a glass of wine, and enjoying poutine is an ideal way to start the weekend in the Okanagan Valley. It is a relaxing, peaceful setting and a perfect place for friends to gather and get a good start to the weekend. After a couple of minutes, the pandemic seems like a distant memory.
If you want to check out the vineyard, you can take a walk through the vines and see how the grapes are coming along for the season. When we went, we enjoyed looking at the tiny bunches of grapes that are starting to grow on the vines.
This year, SummerGate Winery has partnered with The Fry Guys, who have a full food truck station set up on the patio. It’s a great example of two businesses partnering and working together during these times. The Fry Guys offered a variety of food options — all reasonably priced — including fries, a number of different poutine options, and desserts of chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate cheesecake.
“Sitting at an outdoor picnic table with friends, sipping a glass of wine, and enjoying poutine is an ideal way to start the weekend in the Okanagan Valley.”
With the long evenings at this time of year, we had plenty of daylight left for the ride back home. We’ll look forward to partaking again in the weeks ahead.
We paired our chicken, bacon, cheese fries and our chicken poutine fries with the featured wine for that evening, which was their Moscato Frizzante. This lovely bubble contains Muscat Ottonel with a dash of Riesling.
If you find yourself in Summerland, definitely check out SummerGate Winery and these events. They run twice a week, with Friday Fries and Saturday Sips and Spuds. Events both days are from 1 to 7 p.m. Advance reservations for a 50-minute block of time are required.
The Friday and Saturday wine and fries evenings at SummerGate Winery will continue through the summer. SummerGate Winery is part of Bottleneck Drive, a collection of wineries, cideries and distilleries in Summerland.