The Golden Mile Bench is the first official sub-region in the Okanagan, located south of Oliver. The area is on the cooler west bench across from the warmer Black Sage bench. Some of the best premium varietals produced in the region are Chardonnay and Merlot. The views are incredible over the valley, and there are a variety of well-established vineyards to tour, taste or dine at.
Here are a few highly recommended spots:
One of the larger South Okanagan wineries, Tinhorn Creek owns land in both the Golden Mile and Black Sage appellations, which allows them to produce a wide selection of wines. The winery has incredible views over the valley and its possible to take a self-guided tour of the winery and vineyard. It’s a great way to learn more about the winemaking process and stay a little longer while enjoying the property, sampling the wines and browsing the gift shop. Try the Merlot or Pinot Gris.
Hester Creek Estate Winery
Hester Creek is a well-established winery in the Golden Mile bench and has a stunning tasting room, bistro, patio and grassy picnic area. They also host a variety of events and have a gorgeous villa to accommodate guests. Their Pinot Gris is one of my favorite whites in the area, with pears and melon flavours, or their Cabernet Franc and Merlot are standouts for strong reds.
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery
Located across the street from Hester Creek, the Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery is one of the original wineries in the South Okanagan. Most famous for their Riesling, but their Ehrenfelser is one of my personal favourites if you are looking for something different. It is smooth with refreshing acidity and flavours of apricot and honey, delicious on a hot day.
Road 13 Vineyards
Road 13 looks like a fairytale castle upon first appearance, but their wines are serious. Their blended reds, like ‘Honest John’s Red is a winner at a very reasonable price point, with an interesting blend of Merlot, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Viognier. If you prefer whites, try the intensely fruity Viogier, with stone fruit and honey flavours.
The Golden Mile bench has some amazing vineyards to visit. Make sure to saviour in the crisp whites and cooler temperature reds, which gazing out at the views. This is a special wine region that you need to experience.