Water and wine are the two things that we've been paying attention to the past couple of days here in Penticton. Water, because this year there's been big-time flooding here and Okanagan Lake is higher than it's been in sixty years. Flooding started in May and was predicted to continue into July.
The beaches along Okanagan Lake don't really exist now as the water is right up to the sidewalks. People are advised not to swim or let their dogs go in the water because it's contaminated from sewage and septic fields. All along the edge of the beach are piles of sandbags and fencing.
People tell us it's starting to recede now but we see lots of places where the docks and the benches and trees along the beach are still under water. Lots of people are contstantly pumping out their basements but the water table is so high that water just seeps back in. Hopefully now that the warm weather has arrived there will be evaporation and the waters will continue to recede and things can return to normal.
Because of the rain the hills are much greener than normal and it seems there's a magnificent wildflower bloom. The air here smells so sweet and fresh.
Now on to the wine part of this post. We've spent the last two days cruising some of the dozens of wineries in the area. Harry tastes the red and I taste the white and we've been collecting a few bottles. This was the view from a place we had lunch yesterday at Burrowing Owl Winery just south of Oliver. It was serene and delicious but rather pricey.
Today we decided to do things differently and stopped at a grocery store to pick up a sandwich and a salad plus some olives, cheese, dip and crackers. We ended up at Sage Hills organic vineyard north of Summerland, where we purchased a bottle of cold Pinot Grigio and sat outside sipping and enjoying our picnic lunch. (For the observant ones, the wine in the photo is a rose, which we decided at the last minute to take home with us rather than open for lunch.)
Tomorrow we're heading up to the Naramata Bench, home to some well-respected wineries and we have a list of suggestions from the young woman at Sage Hills to guide us. There are so many to choose from and we're not the greatest researchers. And there's only so much wine that can be tasted in an afternoon. Thank goodness Harry is my designated driver. He usually has only one or two sips.
Here's a last photo of one of the lakes that we've been driving past. It's because of the water here that wine industry flourishes, of course. They really are connected.