Sometimes you have a craving for a good glass of wine and a selection of fine cheeses on a wine country patio on a beautiful summer day. It should be an easy fix if you’re in the middle of Okanagan on the Naramata bench.
Sadly, however I transversed the bench searching for such a combo and at winery after winery I came up empty handed.At the last winery on the bench I came up with the jackpot at Upper Bench Winery where I meet with winemaker Gavin Miller and cheese maker Shana Miller. The main building is divided between the cheese making facilities and the winery itself. A fabulous and very tasty cheese platter arrived as I sat down with Gavin.Gavin explained that as winemaker for Painted Rock for four years he was searching for a winery to call his own. A former winery, Stone Hill was in receivership and Gavin and partners were lucking in outbidding everyone for the new winery they renamed Upper Bench.
Gavin inherited an unusual combination of nine different varietals on seven acres. The perfect scenario for blended wines you may conclude, however Gavin had other ideas, utilizing minimalistic winemaking techniques to craft premium, single varietal wines.
Gavin crops his yields very low and his team of dedicated vineyard workers takes great care in the vineyard which provides outstanding fruit for these premium selections.
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