Author: La Casa

Sip Happens
Jul19

An Okanagan Boat Tour with a Vineyard Twist!

Visiting the Okanagan is arguably best done in a group. Family reunions, weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties; These are just a few of the group events that are celebrated here! Since La Casa Cottages can hold and host larger groups, we are a perfect destination for family events or other group trips. West Kelowna, Kelowna proper, and Vernon have much to offer visitors; however, there are 2 stand-out options: Boat tours of Lake Okanagan, and wine tasting /vineyard tours. Luckily for us, Sip Happens Wine Tours in partnership with Okanagan Boat Charters has come up with the perfect way to combine these 2 tour options into one amazing group experience! Get a private, captained boat for the day that will make a stop at Frind winery for a wine tasting and stop for lunch.

Why is it Perfect?

With the ability to seat 11 people this is a great option for group trips. Family reunions, bachelorette parties, or other celebratory events are just a few of the things we like to host! It’s all-ages-inclusive (though minors can’t partake in the wine tastings), making it the perfect group activity for the whole family. Even the young ones can enjoy cruising the lake and enjoying the sights at each stop.

Also, Okanagan Boat Charters gives you the option to be picked up from Fintry Provincial Park boat launch. This is just a short 5-minute drive from the resort!

What is Involved?

You will be picked up by a luxury 22-foot pontoon boat from the shores just north of La Casa Cottages. Your friendly, certified captain will then welcome your group aboard. From there, you’ll sail past beautiful wine country scenery along Okanagan Lake on your way to a private vineyard dock of Frind Estate Winery. Frind is the first winery in North America to have beach front access. At Frind Estate Winery you will enjoy a 2-hour lunch stop (though the cost of the lunch is extra) as well as complimentary wine tastings. There is nothing better than tasting wine well taking in views of Okanagan Lake.

From there, you will re-board the boat and cruise into private bays along Okanagan Lake.  Enjoy swimming or lounging while you listen to your favourite music. There is a cooler on board, so you are free to pack all your favourite snacks and drinks.

How to get Started?

Part one: Give us a call or email at La Casa Cottages to book your group into any number of our available cottages. Most cottages sleep 6 – 8 guests.

Part two: Reach out to Sip Happens Wine Tours and pick your wine tour dates. Or, contact us at La Casa and we will be happy to connect you.

Traditional Holiday Treats
Dec15

Christmas is chock full of traditions, from tree decorating to gift giving, carol singing and of course, eating. Every family has their own version of a traditional Christmas dinner. Today we are looking at some long-standing Christmas desserts! These sweet creations have been around for ages (literally), so we thought it would be fun to take a slightly closer look at these time-honoured treats.

  1. Christmas Puddings

    Perhaps one of the most iconic Christmas desserts (alongside the fruit cake), this sweet treat has been around since at least the 15th century. While it has certainly changed since then (this pudding started out more savoury than sweet), and the ingredients and way we make it has shifted over time, it still remains a top pick at Christmas dinners, especially amongst the British! Check out some great recipes here.

  2. Fruit Cakes

    Though it receives more than its fair share of mockery, the fruit cake has a long and esteemed history. With roots going as far back as the Ancient Romans, this holiday dessert has the depth and strength to withstand a few jokes! There are a lot of recipes and variations out there, including the Italian panforte & Germany’s stollen. Take a look at Alton Brown’s famous version, and let us know if you have a favourite go-to recipe!

  3. Mince Pies

    Like the first 2 desserts on our list, mince pies have been around for centuries, though they have undergone some major adaptations along the way. Also like the first 2 desserts, this treat gained some notoriety during Oliver Cromwell’s time in power, when these tasty treats (among other Christmasy traditions) were made illegal. Today, recipes abound for these tasty pies, and they have become ubiquitous on Christmas tables, especially across the UK.

  4. Trifle

    This decadent yet simple layered dessert is another one with a long standing history. Soaking left over breads, cake, and fruit in alcohol was a way to preserve them. It also made sure that no ingredients went to waste. This was meant to be a simple, throw together dessert, and even the name ‘trifle’ seems to reflect that! From classic to creamy, chocolate or berries, there is no lack in mouth watering trifle recipes to try!

  5. Pumpkin Pie

    Pumpkin pie may be seen as a traditional Thanksgiving dessert in Canada and the USA, but it is also one of the most popular Christmas desserts. Originally from central America, pumpkins were first brought to Europe in the 1500’s. These gourds easily made their way into traditional British pie cooking culture; however, it still took a few centuries to become the dessert that North Americans savour today. Fun fact – pumpkins were originally called ‘pumpions’, from the french ‘pompon’, owing to their adorable pompom resemblance! Take a look at one of my all-time favourite pumpkin pie recipes!

We are officially in holiday mode over here, and would love to hear about some of your favourite Christmas treats! Leave us a comment if you would like to share! If you are a serious Christmas planner and are already thinking about next year don’t forget to check out La Casa Mirador for a larger gathering! The full professional kitchen and stunning lake views are a great addition to any holiday tradition! Get in touch if you have any questions.

Festive Winery Events Around Kelowa
Dec01

This holiday season we are slowly seeing the welcome return of some traditional festive vineyard events. Things may look a little different due to COVID-related restrictions, but we are sure there will be plenty of holiday excitement and cheer.

Take a look these 5 exciting events happening around Kelowna in December!

  1. Season of Trees at Mission Hill

    This is a holiday event with a large dose of good will. As a proud sponsor of Festival of Trees Kelowna, Season of Trees at Mission Hill is a fundraising event for BC Children’s Hospital. This is Mission Hill’s 5th year as the events’ lead supporter. A ticket to Season of Trees includes an exclusive behind the scenes tour, a seated wine tasting paired with festive bites, and of course, the brilliantly decorated trees on the covered Terrace and Loggia.

  2. Camelot Vineyards Outdoor European Christmas Market

    Visit Camelot Vineyards December 4th and 5th for their traditional European Christmas Market! Treat yourself to some authentic gluhwein, grab a bratwurst and a beavertail, and take a peek at all the local vendors for stocking stuffer inspiration!

  3. Grizzli Winery Holiday Market

    During the month of December you can head over to Grizzli Winery for their Indoor & Outdoor Holiday Market! Check off your holiday shopping list as you peruse the artisan vendors, sip mulled wine, say hello to Santa, sing along with the carollers and stroll through the dazzling light tunnel. The indoor market is open weekend 11am-4pm and the outdoor market is open weekends 11am-9pm and weekdays 4pm-9pm.

  4. Holiday Fire Pits at Ex Nihilo Vineyard

    Thinking of checking out Ex Nihilo Vineyard this December? Book a holiday fire pit and enjoy the rustic outdoors with a bucket of s’mores, a glass of wine (red, white, or mulled if you’re feeling extra festive), candy cane chocolate peanut brittle (yum!), and Italian smokies!

  5. The Market at Quails Gate

    Celebrate the holiday season with a visit to Quails Gate this December. Warm yourself around the fire with complementary mulled wine and enjoy the local entertainment and artisan market. If you feel like making the evening extra special, head to the tasting room for the Festive Foch Flight, where each hand selected wine is paired with sweet dessert bites.

We hope that you are as excited for the holiday season as we are! If you want to make a weekend out of it, check out our cottages for families and small groups, or La Casa Mirador for a larger gathering! Get in touch if you have any questions!

Winter Long Stay Rentals at La Casa
Nov22

Are you working remotely and looking for a change of scenery? With so many of us getting close to 2 years of remote work, the idea of a location change may sound pretty appealing.

Did you know that La Casa has a number of cottages available for reasonable monthly rates during the off-season?

I know – the Okanagan in winter might not have been the first thing to pop into your mind. Most of the time when we think about the Okanagan we are picturing hot days on the lake, warm and sunny vineyard tours, cycling, camping, and patio season. We know our community is popular during the summer season, but we are here to tell you that the off-season can be pretty magical as well!

When you’re not working, use your free time to head over to one of the local ski hills and hit the slopes. If you’re not into downhill, cross-country & snowshoeing are also an option! There are also plenty of breathtaking winter hiking routes, including John’s Family Nature Conservancy, Bear Creek Provincial Park and the Kettle Valley. And lets not forget the over 40 wineries around Kelowna! The hours will be shorter through the winter, but you’ll beat crowds & get to enjoy the unique view of all the snow-covered vineyards!

Back at the cottage you can cozy up by the fireplace, play a game, watch TV, or just sit back and enjoy the sunset behind the snowy hills. Since most of our cottages have 2-3 bedrooms, there is plenty of space to relax, work, and sleep. And with our fully equipped kitchens you can do all the home-cooking you want. Save On West Kelowna even delivers!

If you are interested in getting away for a month, or 6, get in touch! Monthly rentals generally run from November through May, with flexible move-in/move-out dates within this time frame.

Give us a call or send us an email to rentals@lacasacottageresort.com and we will be happy to help you find the right cottage for you!

BC Winter Wines banner
Nov05

One thing you should know about travelling to B.C. is that we are called “wine country” for a reason! We grow and produce many wine varieties right here in the Okanagan, some of which have won international awards for their quality. It’s always wine season in B.C! Now that it’s cold out, there are just certain wines that hit better. Here’s everything you need to know about winter wine in British Columbia.    

What is a “Winter Wine”  

Simple! Any wine that you enjoy drinking in winter. Sure, this can be applied to almost anything. But certain varieties pair well with in-season foods like hearty stews, bold spices, and red meat meals.   

Does B.C. Make Wine in the Winter?  

Yes! Ice wine (sometimes spelled icewine) is made with grapes that are frozen on the vine. Ice wine can be made with Riesling and Vidal grapes (most popular), Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. The Okanagan is one of the best places in Canada to grow such grapes, as the climate is perfect for these unique fruits. Ice wine is traditionally quite sweet and pairs well with desserts.   

Which B.C. Wineries Make Ice Wine?  

B.C. wineries that have produced ice wine in the past include: Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Inniskillin Winery, Jackson-Triggs Winery, K Mountain Vineyards, Mission Hill Estate Winery, Mount Boucherie Estate Winery, Nk’Mip Cellars, Peller Estates, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch, Soaring Eagle Estate Winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, and Willow Hill Winery.   

Ice Wine VS Winter Wine: What’s the Difference?  

Simply put, ice wine is made in winter; winter wines pair well with popular winter-season food choices. Ice wines can be winter wines and winter wines can be ice wines but there doesn’t have to be a correlation! Ice wine can keep for 10 years (corked), so you can drink it year-round. Meanwhile, many wintertime wine favorites are bottled in Spring or Summer.   

What Makes a Good Winter Wine?  

Winter used to be considered a “red wine” season (except, of course, Champaign for New Year’s). However, the truth is that white wine can be a winter wine, as well. A good winter wine pairs well with the hearty, spiced, red meat-centric meals of the cooler season. Acidic wines, for example, tend to work best with the typical dish served around the holidays. Any wine with a big, bold flavor will do (thick: full, oaky chardonnay).   

What are the Best Winter Wines in B.C.?  

Here are a few of our favourite B.C. winter wines. If you are travelling to the Okanagan to stay at La Casa Mirador (our season-round rental), then you should endeavor to check these out!   

Shiraz/Syrah   

This dark and full-bodied red makes for a perfect cold season wine. It pairs well with beef, venison, and lamb dishes. You can expect flavors of blueberry and blackberry along with ripe tannins.   

  • Hester Creek Syrah-Viognier   
  • Quails’ Gate The Boswell Syrah   
  • Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank   
  • Stag’s Hollow Syrah   
  • Black Hills Syrah   

Chardonnay  

Surprise! White wine can be a winter wine, too. Look for chardonnays with buttered, oak influences. Chardonnay, with its trademark fruity sweetness, will pair well with almost any dessert.   

  • Mission Hill Family Estate’s Grand Reserve Chardonnay  
  • 50th Parallel Estate Chardonnay   
  • SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95  
  • Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay  
  • Quails’ Gate Chardonnay – Stewart Family Reserve  
  • Tinhorn Creek – Chardonnay  

Cabernet Sauvignon  

With Cabernet Sauvignon, you may detect hints of green pepper, tobacco, cassis, dark fruits, and vanilla. Some varieties will be opulent and fruity and others will be savory and smoky.   

  • Cassini The Aristocrat Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Nk’Mip Cellars (Inkameep) Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Painted Rock Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Burnt Timber Estate Winery Monarch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Quails’ Gate Cabernet Sauvignon  

Want to experience B.C. wines first-hand? Our luxury Okanagan cottages are booking for summer 2021—and they fill up fast! Contact us for a reservation today.