By Roslyne Buchanan.

As the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Quails’ Gate Winery opening its doors on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna winds to a close, there is much to applaud.

Guests are welcomed to 30th Anniversary celebration at Quails’ Gate Winery. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

CEO Tony Stewart admits the early wines weren’t up to the high standards that have now been consistently achieved at the winery.  “Today, we make flagship Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays and are part of North America’s leading culinary destination. It’s been quite a journey.”

Quails’ Gate Proprietor Ben Stewart mingling with guests at 30th Anniversary. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan

The evening featured small lot and library wines so guests could taste for themselves how far Quails’ Gate has come. There were many vintages that were a surprise to sample. Guests even had the rare opportunity to taste some California selections. Along with the special vintages, there were multiple grazing stations prepared by Old Vines Restaurant, live music from chart topper Andrew Allen, and lots of opportunity to interact with representatives from the Stewart family and other key personnel. Winemaker Ross Baker spoke to the legacy of winemaking at Quails’ Gate and discussed current approaches.

30th Anniversary celebrations at Quails’ Gate included appetizers that were artistic as well as tasty. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

With Quails’ Gate decked out in holiday décor and the amazing wine and fabulous cuisine, the ambiance made it truly a night to remember.

Drawing from Quails’ Gate library, historic vintages were poured at 30th Anniversary. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Quails’ Gate continues to evolve and expand with wineries now in California’s Lake Sonoma and Valley of the Moon and the original 81-hectare Stewart Brothers Nursery property purchased from other family branches in East Kelowna to be planted in grape vineyards. The Westside property has been family farmed since 1956 and actually members of the family have farmed in the Okanagan Valley since 1908.

The Connemara 2016 was one of many Quails’ Gate modern wines poured. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Trophies for business of the year and large business of the year were bestowed on the winery at the Greater Westside Board of Trade Key Business Awards 2019. Quails’ Gate had been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. It was voted one of Canada’s Top 100 Restaurants, ‘Most Romantic Restaurants’ and ‘Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants’ by Open Table. At the Best of BC Wine Country Awards is rated ‘Best BC Winery Restaurant Showcasing Local Food’.

Quails’ Gate Winery Chef Roger Sleiman and his culinary team presented exquisite cuisine. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

There are so many notable awards I hesitate to list them given I’m liable to miss one or not get it entirely accurate: For example, the 2017 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay was awarded Platinum at the 2019 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada. WineAlign 2019 awarded Gold for 2016 The Boswell Syrah; Silver for 2018 Dry Riesling, 2017 Rosemary’s Block, and 2017 Chardonnay; Bronze for 2018 Chenin Blanc, 2018 Lucy’s Block Rosé, 2017 Richard’s Block Pinot Noir and 2017 Riesling Icewine.

Quails’ Gate CEO Tony Stewart, Winery Chef Roger Sleiman and Proprietor Ben Stewart. Photo credit: Quails’ Gate.

Additionally, 2017 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay was awarded Silver medals at Chardonnay du Monde 2019 and at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2019.

Plume 2016 Chardonnay was poured from Quails’ Gate Napa Valley property. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

At the 2019 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards, Quails’ Gate received a Gold Medal for 2017 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay; Silver for 2017 Richard’s Block Pinot Noir; and Bronze for 2017 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay and 2017 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir.

Guests at Quails’ Gate 30th Anniversary grazed through tasting stations. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

The real award is just spending time at Quails’ Gate whatever the season. Given its stunning scenery, warm architecture, outstanding restaurant, great gift shop and consistently delightful wines, it’s always a highlight of the Westside Wine Trail. Quails’ Gate is an iconic Okanagan winery and restaurant you love to show off to company or just bask in the glory of living in the region.

For current hours and specials, go to quailsgate.com

Featured photo: Quails’ Gate Senior Sommelier Louise Dabisza pours special vintages

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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and blog.hellobc.com. Based in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Facebook @roslynebuchanan


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