Next Stop: Kelowna

Snowbiking, Snowshoeing, #1 Family Ski Resort in N. America Big White, Mission Hill & Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Okanagan Lake, Rowdymen



00:00-00:04 JON: Hi I’m Jon Olson. Welcome to Next Stop, from the Okanagan Valley.
00:05-00:10 Next Stop Intro rolls
00:11-00:34 JON: Kelowna British Columbia is a city full of pleasant surprises. In the past several years almost 200 wineries have sprung up, and with wineries comes fine foods and a rich culture. Less than an hour from Kelowna is BC’s second largest ski resort, Big White, a world class ski resort offering all the awesomeness that you can experience in a winter wonderland. Our featured band, Kelowna’s own Rowdy Men. The fun starts now!
00:35-00:36 Next Stop logo
00:44-01:09 JON: Some people kick their day off at the gym, we kick our day off snowshoeing with Ed from Monashee Adventures. I invited my friend Catherine along from Tourism Kelowna, she’s from these parts so she knows what she is doing, but I need a little snowshoeing 101.
ED: These are quite easy, most modern snowshoes, the idea is you wanna generally be your toe about 2 fingers from the front loops. You’re on a pivot so these have a nice pivot action to them so you have a more natural walking motion with the snowshoe.
01:14-01:45 ED: Guys, as we head off the trail, notice the signage here, a lot of the different animals we will see, fishers, squirrels, even black bears in season, they are hibernating right now so…nice fresh snow today so every track we’ve seen today is fresh and here is the first one. Here we have a squirrel. Squirrels are quite interesting how they move along, a 5 toed animal, you can actually see the 5 toes in imprint in the snow.
01:50-02:17 ED: Hey guys, we found a really unique track here, of a Least Weasel. Sort of like a ferret in size generally, they weigh about 2 or 3 ounces, quite light but right at the base of that tree well there he’s got a tunnel going down into his hollow, his sleeping area. We’ve been hiking along a pretty packed down trail from a few people this weekend, we burn about 400 calories an hour doing a packed trail, but let’s head off into some fresh powder and we can double our calorie burn.
02:24-02:38 JON: Ok, you’ve probably seen snowshoeing before, most people have seen that, burned a lot of calories, that was a lot of fun. But here’s something I can almost guarantee you’ve never seen, snow biking.
ED: In half an hour you’d swap out your back wheel, put on your disc brake on this unit.
JON: Awesome, so show us how it’s done.
ED: OK, so off we go.
02:54-03:22 ED: Alright, let’s try the skis now, see what they feel like.
JON: Let’s convert this baby!
ED: So here we’ve got the skis on there now, so this is a little different, we don’t have the rolling of the front tire so big thing is, no real quick motions, you kind of flow more.
JON: Now you have a patented close you like to do on every tour, don’’t ya? That’s what I hear.
ED: Well yeah, I’m kinda known for my ‘Monashee, Monashee!’
03:24-03:25 Next Stop logo
03:30-03:40 JON: Mission Hill Family Estate is world renowned for it’s award winning wines, it’s stunning setting and architecture, and it’s cuisine. Let’s learn about their wines and dive into one of their cooking classes.
03:44-04:58 JON: This winery, this structure, this setting, the architecture is just amazing.
JESSE: Anthony really wanted a winery that would be recognized on a global scale not just within Canada. The architect calls himself a second glance architect, being every time you come here you see something in a different light, or a different perspective, the vista’s playing off the architecture in a different way, and it’s truly world class.
JON: Something that is new for us, not new for you cuz you guys have won several awards, is your ice wine. We went out, and went into the vineyards are were actually able pick some of these grapes.
JESSE: Well that’s a great experience to do once! Ice wine I really consider Canada’s gift to the wine world. Ice wine was first established in Germany in the late 1700’s, you are really looking for a balance of sweet and sour and a lot of versatility as far as food pairing goes with, or just dessert in a glass as you’ll see in a sec here.
JON: I’ve never tasted it, without further ado! Wow, that’s really sweet. So do you guys actually have cooking classes twice a week during certain times of the year?
JESSE: Yes, the cooking class will take any sort of different theme, whether it is italian, or indian or what not and start with a specific wine and try and create a dish around it.
05:01-05:21 MATT: We offer, actually offer 2 different styles of classes. This one will be entirely demonstration and whether it be a class or in the terrace or alfresco dining environment, all of our food is actually built around our wines. That is one of the keys, because tonight we will actually use both of those 2 beautiful sort of experiences if you will, both going onto the beautiful palette.
05:23-05:35 JON: Many of you can find Mission Hill wines in your local markets, but if you can’t find them locally I know one place where you’re guaranteed to find them, right here at the world class, state of the art Mission Hill winery located in Kelowna British Columbia. It’s well worth your visit.
05:38-05:39 next Stop logo
05:40-05:45 JON: When Next Stop returns, a Kelowna overview and Canada’s most visited winery.
05:47-05:48 Next Stop logo
05:57-07:20 JON: Charles from London Influence in Portland Oregon, th guy who takes care of my locks told me about a legend here in Okanagan Lake much similar to the Loch Ness legend, now Catherine from Tourism Kelowna is going tell us all about it.
CATHERINE: You can’t talk about Ogo Pogo without first talking about Okanagan Lake. It’s a very long, 68 miles from end to end, was formed by the glaciers and it’s very deep. From the top of the mountains around us to the bottom of the lake is actually deeper than the Grand Canyon.
JON: Wow.
CATHERINE: That gives the faint possibility that there could be something in this lake that we don’t really understand.
JON: Recently you guys had a little bit of a sighting though, right?
CATHERINE: We did. In fact we get usually about one a year, maybe a couple extra.
JON: After some of the wine from all the wineries on the hill.
CATHERINE: The more wine, the more sightings.
JON: But you actually got this on camera though, you have pictures of this.
CATHERINE: Yeah, we do. We had a resident who saw a very strange water spout in the middle of the lake for no apparent reason and she took a picture.
JON: The waterfront is beautiful. Our hotel, Manteo Resort is a first class hotel, you just wouldn’t expect that right here.
CATHERINE: Yeah it is, it’s an absolutely stunning resort hotel, and right on the lake as you can see, very central, lots of wineries. The other great thing about the Manteo is the Wild Apple Restaurant, and their chef, Berard Casavan is a BC superstar chef.
JON: And it’s right on the lake too, so it’s beautiful. Now I want to see more of Kelowna, because we just got here and we’ve never been to Kelowna.
CATHERINE: Well come on, I’ll show you.
07:29-08:27 JON: Kelowna means grizzly bear which is the significance of this right here, right? And this is relatively new.
CATHERINE: It is, we just opened this park where we are standing, Stuart Park, in, just a couple of months ago actually. We’ve got City Hall across the street, we’ve got the downtown core and the cultural district, so we are right in the middle of it all. The cultural district was at one time the heart of the fruit industry, and the packing house kind of quarter of Kelowna.
JON: And the fruit industry kind of grew into the grape industry which has grown into an explosion of wineries here.
CATHERINE: Absolutely. So it was, the soils around here are ideal for growing pretty much anything.
JON: Besides that, what is unique to Kelowna? What is different about this town than maybe say, Vancouver BC or other towns in Canada.
CATHERINE: The climate is very different, the lifestyle too, lots of outdoor activities, mountain biking, skiing, any winter sport that you can think of, snowshoeing, snow biking, whatever it happens to be, and you can do it right here.
08:29-08:30 Next Stop logo
08:32-08:51 JON: I’ve never been to Kelowna so to learn about this area I went to and clicked on city guides under the destinations tab. I was surprised to learn that Kelowna was built around the fruit growing industry which explains it’s many heralded wineries. For more information on Kelowna and other Alaska Airline destinations, visit today and click on destinations.
08:52-08:53 Next Stop logo
08:54-10:57 JON: We are at Canada’s busiest winery, Summerhill Pyramid winery. I’m going to go ahead and say that this is the most unique wine tasting we’ve ever done, and we’ve done lots of wineries. Ezra, thanks for having us.
EZRA: It’s my pleasure.
JON: Take us back to the 1980’s when you moved out here, you were 6 years old you moved out here and your father had a vision. What was happening?
EZRA: He did. At the time his vision was to retire and become an organic farmer but it evolved as we settled here and started growing grapes and realized the potential this region had for producing world class wines
JON: So what you guys do at your…your philosophy is a little bit different than what other people do.
EZRA: Well this place is based on passion an nothing else.
JON: Why a pyramid?
EZRA: It’s just an extension of the same philosophy, you know, wine is alive and everything we do you know, vibrates and affects the whole world around us, the natural ratios of Pi and Fi are integrated into this building, it’s actually aligned to the stars, true north.
JON: Do you think that affects the wine?
EZRA: I absolutely do. yeah. I totally think it does, and we have done years of taste testing.
JON: And you actually won a huge award with this one that we are going to taste, tell us about that, that’s pretty amazing.
EZRA: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, this is Cipes Gabriel, it’s 100% chardonnay grown right here in our Kelowna Vineyard right where we are standing. So I don’t want to lead you and give you tasty notes before you try it, so just put your nose in there.
JON: It’s nice. It’s different. What am I tasting that is different in this?
EZRA: Well this wine had extended surly aging, note of sort of brioche and biscuit.
JON: Yeah, yeah, much more full.
EZRA: But the fruit really comes through and that is what’s so amazing about the Okanagan Valley.
JON: Well this was definitely one of our more unique tastings, and thank you for putting this together for us, it was awesome.
EZRA: My pleasure
JON: Congratulations on all your success. I think you guys made the right choice moving from New York to Kelowna.
EZRA: Oh yeah, I like it here.
JON: Yeah, it’s beautiful.
10:57-10:58 Next Stop logo
11:08-12:36 JON: Less than an hour away from Kelowna and voila, here we are at the Big White ski resort. Katie, I hear you have like a great itinerary planned for us, starting out with this awesome party! For us?
KATIE:  Welcome to the crown jewel of the Okanagan Jon! We heard you guys were coming so we threw together 30 of the Okanagan’s finest wineries and we’re going to release the reds tonight.
JON: Ok, this isn’t for us. What is this actually?
KATIE: It’s actually, we call it the 3rd annual big reds at the Big White. So all the Okanagan wineries, we select 30 of the finest and they come up and they are releasing their reds tonight and we also are going to have many of the restaurants doing more intimate wine pairings with some great dinners.
JON: Well we had a good time at the wineries in Kelowna, its amazing. But we’re here to enjoy your winter wonderland.
KATIE: A lot of people don’t know we are actually Canada’s largest fully ski in, ski out resort. We can accommodate 17,000 people on the mountain. So, if you are the avid skier and just want a clean bed to lay in at night, you know, a small room, we’ve got your full service hotel rooms, self contained condominiums.
JON: What does Big White have that maybe other ski resorts don’t have, what makes it number one in North America?
KATIE: We have an outdoor skating rinks, we have an outdoor tubing park that we are going to let loos on tomorrow night.people think its just for the kids but its for the adults as well. We do horse drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding we actually let you stand behind and mush a dog sled. We have a signature drink Jon that is only served at Big White anywhere in the world. All I’m going to tell you is head upstairs, Snowshoe Sams, and check it out. I’m going to meet you downstairs and we’ve got one heck of a night in store for us.
JON: I’m game, cheers.
12:42-12:54 BARTENDER: Little marnier, little flame, little shotgun
JON: Whoa!
12:58-13:329 JON: Ok so you guys know how to roll out the red carpet. First, you’ve got the wine reception, then the most amazing coffee drink I’ve maybe ever had and then this crazy white party inside here, you guys know how to do it right. Tomorrow what are we going to do, we’re going to ski, what else are we going to do?
KATIE: We’re going to hit the slopes all day tomorrow, just when you think your body is going to give out, we’re going to go climb the brand new 60 foot ice climbing tower. Once the sun goes down we’re going to pretend we are kids and we’re going to hit the tubing park.
JON: Oh, I love it, sounds great. I suggest we go back in and play with the kids though.
KATIE: Sounds good, let’s head in and see where the night takes us.
13:36-13:37 Next Stop logo
13:38-13:44 JON: Coming up on Next Stop, find out why Big White was voted the number one ski resort for families in North America.
13:45-13:46 Next Stop logo
13:47-14:07 JON: Big White is British Columbia’s second largest ski  resort, featuring ski in, ski out accommodations for 17,000 guests. They have 16 lifts and 118 runs for people of all abilities. But the best part is its located less than an hour from Kelowna. It’s equipt with everything you would expect from a world class ski resort including this quaint village, so those of you that don;t like to ski, you’ve got your shopping therapy.
14:08-14:09 Next Stop logo
14:10-14:53 JON: Today on Big White we are kicking it off with downhill skiing, and some snowboarding. Josh here is the director of snow sports, and before we get kicking off with a lesson for me because I need some pointers, it’s called Big White for a reason. How big is it?
JOSH: Well there is about 3,000 skiable acres.
JON: How high are we up here, are we at the top right now?
JOSH: We are pretty close to the top, the top of the mountain is about 7800 feet, and the top of the top lift is 7600 feet. Do you see this stuff behind us here? These are what we call snow ghosts, that is one of the things that we are famous for.
JON: Those are way cool, how are these formed? Are these…what’s underneath these things, trees, what?
JOSH: Yeah,they are super old trees actually, some of these trees will be 2, 3 hundred years old, they are like concrete.
JON: I’ve skied for a while but I’m sure I have some bad habits, and just we’ll come back up and meet at the same place and tell me what I’m doing wrong.
JOSH: Sure, I’ll do my best, let’s go.
15:03-15:22 JON: Alright Josh, I’m a big boy, I can take it.
JOSH: I think it’s pretty good skiing you know but it was a little bit old school, so you know what we’re going to do, we’re going to adjust your stance a little bit. Pick up one of your legs, it’ll go right? But it’s not real easy. Now drop your shoulders, now pick up one of your legs, you see how much easier that is?
JON: Yeah I do.
JOSH: Right, so that’s going to give you some mobility, so that’s what we’re going to do down here.
15:34-15:43 JOSH: That’s good, that’s looking good Jon. Just keep those shoulders down over your knees and that’s going to help your legs move a little bit easier and you can take advantage of those awesome skis you are on.
JON: Thanks buddy, that definitely worked.
15:45-15:58 JON: Ok, you guys all know Ben our camera guy. Ben, meet my new friend from Australia, Olivia. She’s going to give you some pointers on your snowboarding.
OLIVIA: I haven’t seen you ride before, so maybe we’ll ride down this little section down here and I’ll watch you and when we get down there I’ll give you some pointers.
BEN: Alright, sounds like a plan.
16:07-16:35 OLIVIA: Umm, do you feel maybe a little shaky on the one side?
BEN: Yeah. a little rusty when I carve on the toe side.
OLIVIA: On your toe side. So when you are coming across the slope, kind of get down, open your knees and sink into your board.
JON: Josh, Olivia, thank you very much. Ben, did you learn?
BEN: I learned!
JOSH: Well I’m glad you guys had a lot of fun but you know whats really fun, you should head down to the bottom of the gondola at Happy Valley and check out the 60 foot ice climbing tower.
16:37-16:38: Next Stop logo
16:43-17:36 JON: Hey Jim, I’m Jon.
JIM: Hey Jon.
JON: I gotta admit, I’ve never done this before and I’m a little bit nervous but at least I look the part, Tony got me dialed in, how do I look?
JIM: I think you’re looking good, we’ll check that just before your climb.
JON: Ok.
JIM: The object is, hit these things on top of ledges whenever possible rather than if you hit it here, it will bounce off, if you hit it on top of a ledge it will stay. The way these ice tools work is you put your hand in the wrist loop, right on your wrist because you want most of the weight on the wrist, not squeezing. You do one turn and grab the bottom of the shaft, And I’ve shown you how to whack it in, use those front points, have fun.
JIM: Now right foot also over on that ledge, there ya go, that’s it. That’s even better.
17:48-17:52 JON: This is as far as I can take it. Let’s let a pro show us how to really do it.
18:06-18:25 JON: OK, so we know Big White has awesome skiing and snowboarding, but it is the number one family resort in North America meaning there is lots to do for kids, and let’s face it, I’m just a big kid. And away we go, woo hoo!
18:52-19:08 JON: I don’t know who has more fun, the adults or the kids, I’m guessing the adults. What a fantastic day on Big White, skiing, snowboarding, climbing the ice wall, tubing, and experiencing their culture. It definitely lives up to the billing of the number one ski resort in North America, you guys gotta check this out.
19:12-19:13 Next Stop logo
19:15-19:20 JON: Up next, our featured musicians, Rowdy Men, a band that definitely lives up to its name.
19:21-19:22 Next Stop logo
19:55-20:12 JON: We are with Kelowna’s own Rowdy Men. What’s the music scene like here in Kelowna?
ARCH: Oh its absolutely diverse. Diverse. Country and western, you have all different genre’s of music. And that was a word, genre, You notice that? I slipped that in as if I know what I was talking about.
JON: You guys sound smart right now.
20:41-21:08 JON: What do you love most about Kelowna, this is a beautiful city, we love it.
LEO: Anything you want to do, anything you want to do be it music or sports, indoor, outdoors, Kelowna has it. It’s one of the few places where you can go on the water.
ARCH: Tell him Leo, tell him!
LEO: You can go on the water, you can go golfing, and you go skiing in the same day.
ARCH! In the same outfit!
JON: You know what, you earned your name, and I have got last thing to say, Slainte!
21:16-21:17 Next Stop logo
21:19-21:50  JON: Thanks for tuning in to Next Stop from Beautiful British Columbia, Kelowna, a vibrant city with almost 200 wineries ripe with culture. And Big White ski resort, you definitely live up to your name, the number one family ski resort in North America. I’m definitely coming back to both and I think you should join me. Thanks to Tourism Kelowna and Big White ski resort for your help in making this show awesome. Thanks also to our title sponsors Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Airlines Visa signature card for your partnership. Next Stop, where will we take you next? Make good memories everybody.
21:52-21:53 Next Stop logo