I’m sure by now many of you know that one of my all-time favourite wineries here in West Kelowna is Quails’ Gate Winery. Quails’ Gate is a 100% family-owned award-winning, sustainably run and operated winery. In fact, they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary this year with a big celebration at the Winery on November 22 which will include lots of rare library wines, a wine cocktail station, grazing stations, and the vineyard will be lit up with Andrew Allan playing live!
For YEARS Quails’ Gate has been my go-to for date nights, the team welcome lunches, Christmas party dinners, and so much more. It’s my favourite spot to bring friends and family from out of town (such a great way to show off what the Okanagan has to offer!) and now it has also become our spot for Team Jilly meetings (more on this at a later date!).
While many of you have probably caught an Insta story or two from my dinners (and a few lunches in between!) on the Quails’ Gate patio at Old Vines Restaurant sippin’ some Rosé and soaking in the view (I look forward to these days every summer!), many of you might not know that Quails’ Gate has even MORE to offer than you think. And the best part? It’s all offered throughout the fall and winter (yup, they’re open ALL year!). In fact, it’s JUST as great in the cooler months as you get to enjoy the warmth and coziness of the winery and still enjoy the view … plus, this is about the time I give up my Rosé and start sipping on some of their Pinot Noir and my beloved Foch.
Recently Team Jilly and I participated in some of the incredible experiences offered by Quails’ Gate. Some we were already familiar with such as the Sunday Brunch and others (even as seasoned Quails’ Gate-goers … 😂) we didn’t even know about! So, today I’m going to walk you through some of these experiences to show you what they’re all about.
If you live in the Okanagan or are planning a visit here … you NEED to add one or all seven of these unique experiences to your fall (and winter!) bucket list!
I’m going to kick things off with the Sunday Brunch! As I mentioned, this is something the girls and I have done before but it’s one of those things that NEVER gets old. It’s the most incredible way to wrap up your weekend and the best Sunday outing. If you have friends or family in town and want to show them a great time, this is the way to do it. It’s incredibly relaxing … I mean, does it really get any better sipping on your morning coffee (or Rosé?!) while indulging in a delicious brunch?! I think not!
If this is something you would want to do, I recommend making a reservation as it fills up pretty quickly with both locals and visitors! Sunday Brunch is available each week from October 20, 2019, through Mother’s Day 2020. Ahem, speaking of Mother’s Day 2020 … Justin, if you’re reading this … make us a reso, please! LOL!
If you’re looking for a reason to get all of your girlfriends out for some much needed girl time. This is it. High Tea is served every Saturday and Sunday beginning in November through Mother’s Day 2020. Sip on some bubbly, have your perfect cup of tea and catch up with each other while enjoying decadent sandwiches and mouthwatering desserts. The hardest thing about High Tea is sharing! LOL!
3. Happy Hour
I didn’t know that Quails’ Gate offered a Happy Hour so when we found out about this, we obviously knew we had to try it! Happy Hour at Quails’ Gate is the perfect opportunity to unwind with friends (or in this case, friends that are also co-workers!).
Not only are there specials on glasses of wine (wine and appies start from just $5!) but you can also get a variety of appetizers daily from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm! The Happy Hour food menu changes constantly so it’s a fun surprise to see what’s going to be offered! Happy Hour runs from October 14th, 2019 through to May 29th, 2020.
Psstttt … their White Bean and Roast Garlic Dip is to die for … so if it’s on the menu, I suggest you give it a try!
4. Wine and Chocolate Tasting
Just when you thought these experiences couldn’t get ANY better we hit you with WINE AND CHOCOLATE! This was one of our favourite experiences … I mean, how could you go wrong with this match made in heaven?! The Wine and Chocolate Tasting is a 45 minutes experience and consists of 5 wines, 4 of which are paired with Chocolate from Karat Chocolate, made right here in Kelowna, BC.
I’m going to give you a little insiders scoop and let you know that they serve these insanely delicious salted brownies … eat it slowly. Enjoy it. Because when it’s gone you might just cry. It’s THAT good!
Wine and Chocolate Tastings are held every Saturday at 1:30 pm and are $30 per guest with $10 redemption on bottle purchase! This experience starts at the Concierge where you are poured a welcome wine, you’ll then walk (and sip!) while you make your way through the vineyard to the library for the chocolate pairing!
Tip: Private bookings are available with a minimum of 6 people.
5. Black Out Blind Tastings
Okay, maybe this is a tie with the Wine and Chocolate Tasting because this Black Out Blind Tasting was SO COOL too! Black Out Blind Tastings are offered in the Library (which is the Owners personal wine cellar which is equally as cool!). You get to taste 4 reserve wines but you have NO IDEA whether they are red or white because they are served in black wine glasses that block the colour and the wine bottles themselves are hidden in black bags (wine is pre-poured so you can’t cheat! 😂).
The goal of this tasting is to put your palette to the test and see what sort of notes you pick up on. It’s pretty neat to see what sort of flavours you pick up on when you have no idea what varietal of wine you are sipping on. Black Out Blind Tastings are offered Thursday through Saturday at 5:00 pm and cost $25 per person.
6. Enjoy the View
If there is something special about Quails’ Gate Winery (other than their delicious wine, of course), it’s the incredible picture-perfect view they have of Okanagan lake. Bring a picnic and your friends, grab yourself a bottle of your favourite wine from the Wine Shop and make your way down through the vineyard to the picnic area where you can kick back and relax for as long as you want!
7. Wine Tastings
There are so many options when it comes to wine tasting here at Quails’ Gate so whether you are popping in to do a drop in bar tasting or one of the tastings I mentioned above (they also have a wine and cheese tasting!) there is honestly something for everyone here! Please note, the private tastings and experiences can be prebooked with a little notice at times outside the regular schedule!
There you have it! I hope I’ve inspired you with a few fun ideas to add to your fall/winter bucket lists this year! Which experience would you be the most excited to try? Share your answers in the comments section below!