A quick trip to Gray Monk Winery

You simply can’t go to the Okanagan without visiting some wineries. From Predator Ridge at the north end of the Okanagan, all of the wineries are found to the south. There are dozens within a one-hour drive, but the closest (and one of the best)  is Gray Monk Winery, which is only a 20-minute drive. That is, if you go the short route.

From Predator Ridge, head south down Highway 97.  Checking your odometer, turn right at 26 km to Berry Road, on your right. After 450 metres, turn on to Okanagan Centre Road. Drive 2.3 kilometres and turn left on to Davidson Road.  Continue straight 1.1 Km to Camp Road. Turn left here and the winery is on your left at 1055 Camp Road.

Gray Monk is located on a steep hill with magnificent views of the lake.  The main winery building is a lovely beige stucco structure built in the Mediterranean fashion and surrounded by acres of lush vineyards, which are quite a sight to see.  The main building containing the wine store and winery is easy to find, and parking is right outside the front door.

As you enter the wine story is on your left.  It’s huge. They must grow a lot of wine at Great Monk because you could get lost in their store. Photographer’s note: There’s a great view from out on the deck just outside the store.  Inside, wine lovers can spend ages browsing through the various varieties and other wine-related items on sale. Gray Monk maintains a great reputation among wine lovers, but I’m not the person to ask for recommendations.  I usually go for a dry white, and as long as there is time to pop it into the fridge before dinner, that’s fine.

There is a steep set of stairs down to the next level. (I think there is also an elevator.)  At this level you will find their restaurant, appropriately called The Grapevine. The views out on their deck are incredible. Sadly, I can’t say anything about the food because we had just finished lunch and had a fancy dinner planned back at Predator, so we didn’t eat.

On the menu, appetizers included an almond-crusted Okanagan Goat cheese sampler ($12) with organic mesclun greens and citrus dressing. The entrée that caught my eye was the Red wine rosemary braised lamb leg and grilled lamb tenderloins ($29), paired with an estate Pinot Noir. Next time we stay to eat.

The above directions from Predator Ridge south follow paved roads, but they take longer than 20 minutes to drive.  Now that you have found Gray Monk, you may wish to wander back along the lakeshore, which is a divine route to follow on a sunny day. The road meanders through the little hamlet of Okanagan Landing, where a ferry servicing this region used to land.  There are great views, lovely little beaches (swamped at the time of our visit by high water) and wonderful photo opps. One word of caution is that the road turns to dirt shortly south of Predator Ridge, but it’s a lot quicker than Highway 97.

There are many other wineries to be found in the north Okanagan, many of them close enough to Predator Ridge to drive for lunch or dinner.  I think the lodge staff at the Ridge organizes wine tours via a bus or shuttle on a regular basis, so give the front desk a shout and ask them for details, or for driving directions. Enjoy.

http://www.graymonk.com/

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Categories: Day Trips

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