Harvest Clubhouse

In Super Natural British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley manifests a year round pocket of sunshine for short trips or extended travel. The climate is surprising considering the northern longitude and the latitude is partly responsible for fantastic winemaking. Formerly considered as a Peaches and Beaches spot, Kelowna has evolved into a world famous wine region. Fly into the Kelowna Airport, one of the most efficient in the world, and the rental car agent might quip, “We all live here for golf and wine.” Sounds like Heaven, yes indeed and here’s how to proceed. 

Stay at Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel in a comfy suite or villa with spectacular views of the marina and mountains on the shoreline of Lake Okanagan, which floats anyone’s boat, nearly 100 miles long. Dine at their Smack Dab restaurant inside or out. In the middle of business and pleasure, it is a combo of casual and fine dining experience. The Osso Buca is superb with local Pinto Noir.

Play at any of the 18 area golf courses but don’t miss The Harvest Golf Club. Views of the Okanagan Lake are inspiring on this wide-open design by Graham Cooke. John the starter advises to help yourself to the bountiful harvest of cherries in the spring, pears, peaches, apples and grapes in the fall along the fairways. The Japanese owner of Nippon Cable Co. (cables for chair lifts) who also owns 25% of Whistler Blackcomb, built the Harvest Golf Club to honor his father, hence the Japanese Gardens that seems like an extension of Butchart Gardens in Victoria. The spectacular setting is perfect for 50 weddings a year including that of Golf Director Bruce’s daughter last month. Dine at the Harvest Grill Restaurant overlooking a pond with falls, flowers, orchards beyond, and yes Okanagan Lake. Go for the Prime Rib Dip with Caesar Salad. 

Vines have thrived in the fertile Okanagan Valley since the turn of the century, the tasting rooms since the 80s. Every wine tour delivers new viticulture lessons. At Tantalus Vineyards Stephanie manages the operations alongside her GM and winemaker hubby David. Tantalus will bring in 100 tons of grapes with a focus on sustainability and no sprays. Noisemakers might make you jump during the vineyard tour as they mimic canons, birds of prey and distressed birdcalls to dissuade hungry peckers. In this fruit basket of the valley, 20-50 beehives naturally produce a bonus crop of healthy honey. We walked among the vines, testing the sweet purple pinot noir “berries.” The seeds were soft enough to digest but the grapes needed a few more days on the vine for David’s liking because the seeds still had a little gel around them. 

Cedar Creek Estate winery is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Originally owned by a senator, he is still honored each year with special blends “Senator Red” and “Senator White.” 

Dine at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in their Sunset Organic Bistro for the ultimate culinary experience sharing delectable plates like the Campari Watermelon Salad, Burrata and more while enjoying the amazing view over the vineyards and lake as the sunset paints the sky pink. Founder and proprietor Steven Cipes believed that the clarifying geometric pyramid would enhance wine. Testing between cellars in a pyramid and out proved him right. Now all Summerhill wines made from organically, biodynamically grown grapes spend time within the pyramid. It’s pure wine poetry. 

Big White Ski Resort is open just 45 minutes away from Kelowna with champagne powder snow. In late fall and early spring you can ski or snowboard and golf in the orchards on the same great day.

In the summertime fun at the lake is endless with 30 beaches in the area for stand up paddleboards, flyboards, sailboats, charter boats – you name it. Snorkel in the crystal coves or search for Ogopogo thought to be a kin to the Loch Ness of Scotland. (Surely this has nothing to do with the wine consumption.)

The Chase Wines owner Dennis O’Rourke spends time in our Arizona backyard. His is the newest winery in Lake Country and deliciously successful. Dennis shares his philosophy with this toast, “Here’s to finding your true north. To climbing higher, digging deeper, dreaming harder. My whole life has been a chase & I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

Over 150 wineries, 100 miles of Lake Okanagan and millions of trees equal a great escape. Seasonal considerations vary by area.

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 Alice and Danny Scott are known as America’s Golfing Couple and travel the world writing for many publications. Visit their website at