Wednesday, December 21, 2016

September 14, 2016 - Kelowna & Penticton, BC

The weather was just perfect for today's trip to Kelowna, BC.

Before leaving Penticton, BC we, along with Wayne and Janice, stopped at Blasted Church Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, BC.  Why the name?  Well, in 1929, a small crew from Okanagan Falls went to a desert mine 16 miles away to dismantle an old wooden church and bring it to Okanagan Falls. What they did to "dismantle" the church was to use controlled dynamite sticks inside the church. The purpose was to "loosen the nails". It was successful. They only lost the steeple when it fell over during the disassembly.

Blasted Church is a small vineyard overlooking Lake Skaha.  The tasting room is in a log cabin and is open 7 days a week May 1 and October 31.  Their bottle labels are very cartoony and outrageous; such as, The Big Bang Theory, OMG and Blastphemy.  After sampling complimentary wines we bought two bottles.
Double Magnum Merlot
Selling for $305!!!
The store/tasting room

Blasted Church
Door Stopper
Colorful Foliage
The Grapes
The Vineyard

One more stop before we head out of Penticton area was to visit Red Rooster Winery.  On way there we wet past the vineyard where there are nets over the grapes to protect them from eating by birds/animals.  Guess what we saw inside the vineyard? Two deer... Did they manage to get some grapes?
Red Rooster Winery is perched above Okanagan Lake,  There are few unusual sculptures in the garden,. The view of the vineyard and the lake was awesome. This is the place that Prince Charles of England ordered a bottle of wine when he visited Canada.
The Naked Man
What was Edith trying to do?
Erwin, "I know, I know!!"
Erwin walking along the vineyard
Beautiful purple grapes
Wish we had bought the T-shirts
Gallery of Roosters from around the world
Erwin and Wayne sampling wine
Wayne sampling one of many!
Nice view of the vineyard and the lake from the window
Metal Mermaid Sculpture
On way to Kelowna via Highway 97 we pulled into Okanagan Lake Provincial Park for our lunch break.  The park is situated between Peachland and Summerland, BC.  it has two campgrounds, and sandy beach.  Wayne found an empty site with a picnic table.  Early this morning Janice prepared sandwiches to go, along with fruits and snacks for our lunch.  Of course, we had a bottle of wine!
"Spots, I already gave you a piece of my sandwich", Wayne signed
Janice enjoying her lunch
The traffic to Kelowna, BC was not too bad.  Kelowna is the biggest city on Highway 97 in Canada and USA and is the third largest city in British Columbia. The name derives from an Okanagan language term for "grizzly bear".  This city has wineries, golf courses, beaches, shopping malls and lots of outdoor activities. 
There was one winery that Wayne wanted to take us to visit: Mission Hills Family Estates.  Anthony Von Mandl was born to European parents, and after graduating from college he realized that wine was his passion. In 1981 he decided to buy 'Golden Valley winery in Kelowna and changed the name to Mission Hills.  His patience paid off when he entered some of his wines in the competition and the "World's Best Pinot Noir Trophy" award put Mission Hills, Kelowna and Okanagan Valley on the map.  Since then that winery business became a major industry of B.C, andCanada.

There is a rose garden in front of the visitor's parking lot.  There are sculptures scattered through the garden and the grounds around.  The estate has a sixty-seat restaurant called "Terrace" that opened in 2002.  It overlooks Lake Okanagan.  In 2008 it was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the best five winery restaurants in the world (wiki).

After walking about the grounds we went inside the store/tasting room.  The store was very well stocked and the service was friendly.
No idea what these guys were up to?
The Terrace (restaurant)
Gorgeous view of Kelowna from Mission Hills Winery
Unusual door handles
Sculpture in the main courtyard in front of the store
Wayne wanted to check out Canon cameras at a camera shop in downtown. He and Edith went in the store while Erwin and Janice waited in the van.  The store did not have one particular camera that Wayne was interested in.  While there Wayne bought a selfie stick for IPhones for Janice.  Of course, Janice was surprised and was anxious to start using it right away.

On way back to Penticton we went past Squally Point where there is a sculpture of Ogopogo, the legendary lake monster that looked like a snake, a horse or a goat.  In 1920's people claimed to have seen the monster in the lake.

Kelowna Skyline
Leaving Kelowna
Another Ogopogo
We arrived back to Penticton tired, but content.  The trip to Kelowna was wonderful with the good weather and great company.

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