|Welcome to the latest series of Super, Neighbours blog posts where we highlight incredible travel destinations in British Columbia!Back in the fall I met some of the wonderful team from Hester Creek and was invited to come up and stay at the Villas in the spring.
In the time in between I learned of the awesomeness that was the Half Corked Marathon, and knew I needed to make a weekend of it over in Oliver and Osoyoos.
Throughout my series of posts I’m going to show you some awesome places to stay, to eat, to visit, and of course all of the festivities around the Half Corked Marathon.
In Part One we checked out my ride from Ford and Spirit Ridge Resort! In Part Two, you got to see some of the scrumptious food, and beautiful places I saw… In Part Three I took you along for the Half Corked Marathon! and in Part Four I took you to the Villa at Hester Creek. Now, in my last post, you’ll get to see the amazing food, wine and a little behind the scenes at the winery…
This is going to be a gluttonous post, and an enviable one I’m sure as well. The food I experienced at Hester Creek was phenomenal; two gourmet breakfasts and one hell of a dinner! And wine…lots of wine.
I don’t know if there is any better way to start your day than a with a meal like this and a view like that. I was lucky enough to have sun both mornings and could sit on the deck at the villa and enjoy the sunshine before heading out for the day.
During the summer months the winery has started doing BBQ lunches on Fridays and music on the patio on Saturdays. And then in the fall they host a Garlic Festival with food carts, entertainment, crafts and more (esp garlic). You can check out the schedule for all of those on their event page.
The winery also hosts cooking classes (the schedule for which can be found HERE) with chef’s from around BC – past ones include Chef Neil Taylor of Cibo Trattoria, Chef Heinz Schmid of Kaleden’s Catering Done Right, Chef Roger Planiden, and restaurateur Umberto Menghi.
The intimate setting of a maximum of 14 has chefs preparing a gourmet meal (at the table/kitchen pictured above), paired with Hester Creek wines, and you can even take home the recipes.
I got to go on a behind the scenes tour of the cellars and even got to taste a yet-to-be-released wine before and after it was filtered (see the video of that process here)…
Then I did a tasting of the Hester Creek portfolio – left to right – Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc Rosé, Character Red, and Reserve Merlot. I really enjoyed them all but especially the whites and the rosé. By the way, if you ever get the chance, be sure to try The Judge – our favourite wine blogger at VIA, Anne Cottingham, and I tried this at the VIWF in February, and she ended up taking a bottle home. You can read more into each of the Hester Creek wines by clicking this link here.
Dinner at Terrafina, the restaurant at Hester Creek is a treat, esp. when you’re treated to an amuse-bouche to start the meal off (thanks Chef!):
I dined that night with Melissa, who runs the Villas (and does an outstanding job), and we split the appetizer of seared scallops and then each had our own entree.
Pan Seared Scallops – quinoa, preserved lemon, peashoots, warm bacon vinaigrette (pairs with the Hester Creek Pinot Blanc)
Melissa’s entree was a special that night prosciutto-wrapped halibut with gnocchi:
And I had the baked gnocchi!
No matter how full I was, I was no about to pass up a dessert that looked as amazing as this tiramisu did!:
Mid conversation I saw deer out the window and was gone in a flash with my camera. They were pretty adorable, and apparently very common, and the fawn didn’t know what to make of me or my giant camera. It eventually figured a way around the vines to join it’s mum on the hillside. Great way to top off dinner.
My final breakfast at the villa was another delicious meal – crepes with blueberry compote and fresh fruit (and bacon), once again enjoyed in the Okanagan sunshine.
A huge, HUGE thank you to Hester Creek for hosting, and wine and dining me. It was an experience I’ll never forget and recommend to all of you to check out if you get the chance.
Happy travels and we’ll see you on our next “Super, Neighbours” adventure.