While I hear folks repeatedly claiming they want to reduce drama in their lives, I’m guessing they haven’t been to a Stagewest Hospitality site in Alberta or Play Estate Winery in Penticton. Well known for the Stagewest Hospitality brand, the Pechet family have long been wine connoisseurs. The dream of adding a winery to the portfolio was fulfilled in the Skaha Hills Development on Penticton Indian Band land with its dramatic location overlooking Skaha Lake.
The business partners working initially with Mohamed Awad quickly secured a land lease to create a show piece within an attractive modern residential area just minutes from the Penticton Airport. Awad was a former hotelier and winery manager in the Okanagan and possessed local knowledge to assist in getting Play Estate Winery established. The winery features a contemporary wine shop, tasting bar and bistro adjacent to its 14-acre vineyard planted with varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and Viognier. An additional vineyard site is leased in Kaleden.
Launched in 2016, Play has presented a number of styles and influences in its wine since the opening act. Since 2019, winemaking is guided by the talented Stephanie Bryers, formerly assistant winemaker at Culmina Family Estate Winery of Oliver.
General Manager Gordon Ritchie is always proud to share the latest vintages and I’ve happily been a recipient of a complimentary glass or two of the effervescent and delightful Moscato. Okay, full disclosure, like a proud Papa of the Play wines, he has ensured I’ve tasted the full flight of the wine selections! I am a huge fan of Bryers’ style of winemaking.
The Moscato sports a blue cap that’s a nod to Harry McWatters who assured Ritchie that Play should have a sparkling in its portfolio. (Sadly, McWatters died in 2019 and Gonzo Okanagan tributed him in the post https://gonzookanagan.com/harry-mcwatters-gonebeforehistime-not-before-his-time-winery/
It would be easy just to settle in on the fabulous deck cantilevered over the production facility with a bottle of wine. However, you’ll want to avert your eyes from that fantastic view to peruse the bistro’s menu where there’s always some delectable choices varying with the season.
Take time to view the interior where theatrical motifs are found throughout the elegant facility and in the naming and labelling of the wines.
With the summer season in the rear-view mirror, hours are reduced to Thursday through Saturday, 5 to 8 pm, with the full dinner menu; and Sunday, 5 to 7 pm, dedicated to prime rib dinner by reservations only. Other specials include a Prix Fixe Menu on Thursdays and Fridays of three courses for $45, or on Friday two burgers and a bottle of wine for $50.
The tasting bar is by appointment and wine sales are available throughout the week based on office hours and online based on your own schedule.
Yes, there’s always something happening at Play Estate Winery. That’s my kind of drama! Follow @playestatewinery on Instagram, @PlayWinery on Twitter and keep tuned to playwinery.com.