Quality food, wine offered on The Naramata Bench, written by Shelora Sheldan
Spring is a time of renewal and with it changes to our eating and drinking landscape.
The Naramata Bench, with its award-winning wines, elevated cuisine and spectacular views, is seeing its fair share of transformation: expansions, businesses sold, new ones being built, chef changes and new vintages, it’s an exciting time to be a tourist in your own town.
Celebrating 25 years, Lake Breeze Winery is looking back while moving forward with the opening of the Farmstead at Lake Breeze. The expansive property inhabits the land where the pioneering Sammet family settled a century ago, and as tribute, a two-acre farm located on the original farmstead is almost complete.
Just steps from The Patio restaurant and Courtyard Tastings, the vision is to not only provide guests with a genuine farm experience but expand the kitchen’s farm-to-table mandate with a vegetable and herb garden, orchard and animal pasture.
This connection to the land is a dream come true for longtime Lake Breeze chef Mark Ashton who has added farmer to his skill set. As building commenced last year, he ethically raised heritage pigs on the site, fed in part from whey from Poplar Grove Cheese, organic feed and tasty scraps from the garden.
It’s culminated in The Patio’s first charcuterie program, and the harvest from last year’s garden means more preserves, sauces and dressings for their line-up of take-home provisions. This year, chickens are settling in to supply eggs, and extensive plantings of herbs and vegetables will support the restaurant’s seasonal menus. And most adorably, four new heritage piglets are getting used to their new home.
While The Patio at Lake Breeze will open for al fresco dining in May, the Farmstead will join forces late spring/early summer with a picnic area and paths leading around the expansive farm grounds for chicken and piglet viewing.