Old Vines Restaurant
3303 Boucherie Road
Kelowna, BC V1Z2H3
Located on the stunning grounds of the Quails’ Gate Winery, is the Old Vines Restaurant. Having heard many good reviews from close friends, and finally had the chance to get out to Kelowna, we were excited for the chance to enjoy the sun & water, the local food & wine, and take-in the incredible views. Unfortunately due to some last-minute scheduling changes, we didn’t have a chance to book reservations and were “winging it” for most of our trip (which admittedly is my preferred method of travel).
After a lengthy stop in the wine shop to sample some (I should be honest - ALL) of their wines, and subsequently hauling boxes of my purchases to the vehicle, we peeked over at the restaurant to see if we could secure a table for the evening. Thinking that we didn’t have much of a chance for a table at such short notice, we were pleasantly surprised to find they could squeeze us in for a late dinner. In this case, it was truly better late than never!
Just a short walk down along the vines, we found a few picnic tables overlooking the lake and vineyards. Row upon row of vines make for a pretty landscape, but I’m sure the grape-pickers see this in a completely different light.
We didn’t sign-up for any of the tours, so I can’t share any useful information about which particular variety of grape is in this photo. If anyone knows the variety of grape photographed below – I’d be interested to know…
As previously noted, our reservation wasn’t for a few more hours, so we killed the remainder of the time at our friends new home – overlooking these vineyards, with a bottle of Quails’ Gate 2007 Merlot. Upon arriving at Old Vines, we immediately ordered the 2006 to compare vintages and to taste this hint of “chocolate” rumored to be prominent in this bottle.
Power of suggestion – or do you taste similar things to what is written about wine?
“It begins with attractive aromas of red berries. It is layered and complex on the palate, tasting of plums, red fruit and chocolate, with long ripe tannins.”
Finally getting to the meal, we were presented with an amouse-bouche, of marinated beets and crushed walnuts served on asian soup spoons. It was a nice pairing to the countless glasses of wine – and was the first of many amazing plates to hit our table.
Queen Charlotte Islands Halibut: $29
Cranberry almond crust, citrus potatoes, braised leeks, blood orange butter. Paired with the ’09 Rose or Chenin Blanc – my wife and friend both found it to be very good. Strawberry notes in the Rosé, complimented the cranberry almond crust of the fish.
North Okanagan Lamb: $35
Roasted sirloin, French beluga lentils, red wine pear onions and thyme jus. Cooked to a perfect medium rare, with a jus that was so good I wanted more to bottle up in our empty wine bottles to take home. Paired with the ’07 Cab-Sauv or ’08 Pinot Noir, I would have expected a pairing with their O.V. Foch (a personal favorite of mine from this winery – which just got restocked)!
All-in-all, a wonderful couple to share the night with, gorgeous full moon glistening off the lake, and a view dreams are made of – matched with an excellent server (Thanks Steve), made for a night to remember. I will be back, with more room in the car for cases of wine and an empty belly for more of this exquisite food.