For Immediate Release
June 28, 2023
Enjoy the Best Sips of the Naramata Bench in a Single Scenic Stop
Visit the Aikins Loop Wine + Spirits Cooperative for Five Distinctly Local Beverage Experiences in a Walkable 1.5 Kilometre Radius
Naramata, B.C. - As fun as it is, wine and spirit tasting on the Naramata Bench can prove a bit daunting. With more than 40 wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries on the Naramata Bench, it helps to have a game plan. Enter the Aikins Loop Wine & Spirits Cooperative. It’s Naramata Bench wine and spirit tasting made simple. Start anywhere, park once, sip, bike, walk and wander to your heart’s delight while enjoying a variety of wine styles, ciders, spirits and cocktails.
The Aikins Loop Wine & Spirits Cooperative is an informal collective of five neighbouring businesses, all within a 1.5 kilometer radius, keen to offer Naramata Bench visitors a safe, fun and easy way to enjoy some of the best sips and sights on ‘the Bench’. From aromatic whites and bold reds, to fruit wine, ciders, silky reds, racy rosés and locally made whiskys, gin and cocktails - Aikins Loop offers exceptional variety.
The five businesses include Deep Roots Winery, Elephant Island Winery, JoieFarm Winery, Legend Distilling and Van Westen Vineyard. Each represents a thoughtful and authentic experience of Naramata’s evolved orchard and vineyard history for more than a century.
With all the right things in common, all members of the Aikins Loop crew focus on quality, sustainability, history and craftsmanship. It’s all about farming with a focus on growing the very best fruit and using premium ingredients to create beverages with integrity. All five offer tastings - both drop in and by appointment - wine clubs, shipping, special events and more. All Aikins Loop stops are also family friendly. See chart below for details.
Despite the short distance, visitors to the Aikins Loop Cooperative can cover a lot of ground - and a lot of the area’s history. There's so much to discover here including cocktails and spirits, picnic friendly cans of zippy bubbles, big reds, bright whites, light reds, fruit wines, ciders and everything in between.
The Aikins Loop Cooperative is here to help. It’s wine and spirit tasting made simple, convenient and walkable. Take advantage of the hop-on, hop-off wine trolley's regularly scheduled stops at Van Westen Vineyards and leave the car behind completely.
Total Distance - 1.5km or a 15 minute walk in total
884 Tillar Rd
Deep Roots is right. This family-run winery represents four generations growing in Okanagan wine country. The Hardman family has been farming here for more than 100 years and are beloved for their welcoming approach to wine tasting and their exceptional Syrah and Gamay. Both kid and dog friendly, this small, personal and inviting winery doesn’t take itself too seriously; winemaker Will Hardman says, “we’re farmers who ferment.”
~ 180 metres or a 2 minute walk to ~
2730 Aikins Loop
For 23 years running, Elephant Island Winery has been one of the top rated experiences on the Naramata Bench. With their seated tastings centred in the heart of an operating cherry orchard, “stay awhile” service, and variety of expertly crafted wines and ciders, it's no wonder. In the bottle, the focus is on agricultural diversity and regenerative farming. Elephant Island creates wines and ciders that reflect the unconventional voice of vanguard fruit. Wines that are balanced by a reverence for traditional winemaking practices. And ultimately, a family of beverages that are a reflection and a companion to life well lived.
Elephant Island is a magical place to sit under the trees, to be amused and amazed by wines that seek to capture the spirit and essence of this place: of fun, and of whimsy ... all afternoon long. Life's a Circus ... drink beautifully.
Fun fact: Built by one of Canada’s first female architects, Catherine Chard Wisnicki.
~ 190 metres or a 2 minute walk to ~
Situated in one of the most scenic wine regions in all of North America, Van Westen Vineyards has evolved from over 65 years of family tradition, cultivating the soils of the Naramata Bench and producing some of the best wines in British Columbia. With expertise and emphasis on sustainable, cool climate viticultural practices, Van Westen grows quality vinifera grapes and makes premium, award winning wines without pretence. At Van Westen, tastings take place in a working winery, with the opportunity to see the action and watch the winemaker at work. This is the year to celebrate Van Westen’s 20th vintage and exciting 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s Platinum award winning wine, Viscous - a delicious riesling.
Fun fact: Van Westen was once a theatre that welcomed a Canadian Prime Minister.
~ 220 metres or a 3 minute walk to ~
2825 Naramata Road
JoieFarm Winery has been creating focused, award-winning wines on the Naramata Bench since 2004. The winery is renowned for its aromatic white wines, mouth-watering rosé and world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are expressive of the cool-climate, lake moderated, desert terroir of the Okanagan Valley. JoieFarm wines are known for the ultra-crisp, refreshing, fruit-forward nature of their winemaking and are revered for raising the bar within BC winemaking. The JoieFarm winery experience is bright, fun and welcoming with a stunning view, glorious orchard vibe, and warm Naramata welcome. JoieFarm’s celebrated ‘A Noble Blend’, is the number one white wine in BC with an eye on earning the national title. And yes, you can get A Noble Blend, Tiny Bubbles and Rosé to go, in the most adorable cans ever - sure to turn every summer activity into a celebration. Small but mighty, the collaborative team at JoieFarm has big plans to share their wines with a broader audience sharing, “we do a lot for a crew that could fit in a canoe!”
Fun Fact: the JoieFarm meadow contains dozens of native perennials and ornamental grasses as well as a bocce court made from crushed oyster shells.
~ 700 metres or a 9 minute walk to ~
3005 Naramata Road
Celebrating their 10th season, Legend is a small, family-run business born from a passion to create innovative handmade spirits. Housed in a historic former doctor’s office, visitors will enjoy premium whiskeys, vodkas, gins, and liqueurs inspired by the legends of the Okanagan. Made in small batches with the finest locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. Their ready to pour cocktails are a MUST for every liquor cabinet, cocktail party and pre-dinner drink. The Legend experience is all about enjoying incredible views and hospitality and enjoying cocktails with meaning. “The stories we share through our products are based in the rich and creative history of Naramata. Our heritage and this community inspire the way we live and everything we make,” shares owner Dawn Lennie. Join a weekend cocktail class, stock the bar with spirits with a story and pick up the best picnic supplies available.
Fun Fact: Legend is located in the original Naramata doctor’s office - who made house calls and taught ballroom dancing.
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