A humble barn saddled between heralded Quails Gate and Mission Hills wineries reveals one of the best-kept secrets of the Okanagan Valley. A melon-sized bell dangling from a farm table just inside the door greets you. This may be a poke at the grand Mission Hills Bell Tower, hinting at the lighthearted wine experience ahead because just as this bell does not compare to the spectacular twelve-storey Bell Tower, a visit to The Hatch is understated and less serious than what you have come to expect at the more established area wineries.
Despite a packed day touring Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive area (Fitzpatrick, TH Wines, Lunessence, Okanagan Crush Pad, Silkscarf, Sleeping Giant, Dirty Laundry, Sumac Ridge and lunch at Zias Stonehouse), Herb—our driver—suggested one last stop on our way back to Kelowna. Exhausted but not defeated, we pulled into The Hatch and for me, it was love at first sight.
The Hatch’s educated and personable staffers kept my wife and I engaged despite the full day of wine tasting behind us. Grayson is a true storyteller who drew us into each wine’s backstory, tasting notes and unique label name and artwork. Who wouldn’t want to buy a wine called Cyclops Love or B. Yanko? Both are great value white blends in the under $20 category. How about Octobubble if you are a fan of sparkling rosé? We tasted their high-end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Black Swift series and found them to be of superior quality. There is something for everyone at The Hatch.
We left an hour later, relaxed and in good humour as the sun was beginning to set on the lake.