“I really want to whoop,” my friend Nicole says quietly, nudging me in the arm.
“Me too,” I whisper back—but neither of us dares break the spell.
It’s Sunday evening and we are sitting with a thousand fellow music lovers at Mission Hill Winery’s stunning outdoor amphitheatre, listening in awe to a quiet, controlled, and utterly beautiful solo performance by best-selling American jazz artist Chris Botti. He and his band are here in West Kelowna to kick off the Mission Hill Family Estate Summer Concert Series.
And they’re doing a tremendous job. Soon, there is no holding me, Nicole, or the rest of our listening cohorts back from whooping, cheering and bobbing in our seats. We’re all just so happy to be here, enjoying a world-class performance in such an enchanting setting.
It’s one of those rare times when you feel like you’re not just witnessing something really special, you’re actually taking part in it.
Heightening the Experience
Mission Hill Winery began its summer concert series back in 2010. Now in its third year, the series offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an intimate evening of wine, cuisine, and live music. Throw in an incredible hilltop view of the Monashee Mountains and Lake Okanagan and you’ve got an experience you won’t soon forget.
While you can purchase tickets by themselves, you may also choose from a variety of “experiential packages.” There’s the Reception & Concert option, which gets you reserved seating for the concert as well as food and wine pairings at the winery’s Visitor’s Centre. There’s also a Dinner & Concert option, featuring a three-course meal and wine pairings at the estate’s award-winning Terrace Restaurant.
Then there’s the Loggia Wine Lounge & Concert package, which Nicole and I were lucky enough to experience. Under the property’s outdoor covered gallery (the Loggia), we sipped wine, munched on hors d’oeuvres and chatted happily with other guests about everything from jazz and art to the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. We also loaded up on goodies to enjoy during the concert, including gigantic cookies, exquisite chocolates, and—yum—bags of truffle oil popcorn. (Full disclosure: Once the concert started, we were too moved to delve into our treats. But we sure enjoyed them back at the hotel later that night.)
There are two more performances scheduled for this year’s summer concert series. Lyle Lovett and his acoustic group perform on July 12, and Chris Isaak returns to the winery for a second year in a row on July 27.
Sorry Isaak fans: his concert is sold out. But tickets are still available for Lyle Lovett. And my advice is to grab them fast. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Visit missionhillwinery.com for more information.