Pause the go, go, go of everyday life and take a break to indulge in life's finer pleasures this May long weekend. Ex Nihilo Vineyards and CHAOS Bistro, nestled in the heart of Lake Country, offer the perfect escape. Visit us for a long weekend experience of relaxation, wine tastings, and exquisite dining.
Our wine and culinary offerings are a testament to passion and craftsmanship.
Indulge in wine tastings:
Prepare your taste buds for an extraordinary adventure as you immerse yourself in the world of Ex Nihilo wines. From crisp whites to full-bodied reds, our portfolio showcases the richness and diversity of the Okanagan terroir. Knowledgeable and friendly, familiar faces on the Ex Nihilo team guide you through each tasting, sharing insights into the winemaking process and the stories behind every bottle. Whether you're a seasoned wine enthusiast or just beginning your journey, Ex Nihilo Vineyards promises an experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Membership has it’s privileges:
Wine Club members can book complimentary Signature Seated Tastings for two using their Wine Club email address via our Tock reservation system. Click here to book a seated tasting experience for you and a guest.
Indulge your cravings:
CHAOS Bistro at Ex Nihilo Vineyards awaits with its warm ambiance, culinary delights, and a commitment to sourcing the finest local ingredients. The bistro's skilled chefs create dishes that perfectly complement the vineyard's wines, providing an unforgettable dining experience. Indulge in carefully crafted menus featuring farm-to-table offerings, where each bite transports you to a world of culinary bliss. From the first sip to the last bite, CHAOS Bistro offers a symphony of flavour. Don’t take our word for it, click here to book your reservation and taste for yourself.
With its picturesque setting and award-winning wines, Ex Nihilo Vineyards is the ideal spot to spend quality time with Mom this Mother’s Day. Whether you’re planning a day together, or planning a special gift for Mom, we have everything you need for a celebration worthy of her.
Mother’s Day Tasting Room Experience
Enjoy stunning views from our perch above Okanagan Lake in Lake Country when you treat Mom to our Signature Tasting experience. This is a 20-30 minute tasting that gives you an introduction into our five of our elegant wines, grown right in our backyard!
Upgrade Mom to a Memor Vivo Tasting to elevate her experience with our six (1 oz. pours) of our top-tiered wines in varietal specific stemware, including our Privata and our limited Reserved series*. The duration of the tasting will be approximately 45 minutes and hosted by a guest experience associate. To complement the wine, we curated an antipasti platter that we know she will love! This add-on option is available during the reservation process.
As a special feature, during Tasting Room hours only, we are offering an exclusive Mother’s Day dessert of Buttermilk Panna Cotta with strawberry rhubarb compote, accompanied by rosé jellies, lemon crumble and a sweet and savoury basil syrup. Reserve your Mother's Day Tasting Experience now.
Mother’s Day Dinner at CHAOS Bistro
If Mom’s love language is quality time, consider joining us for dinner. Ex Nihilo's restaurant, CHAOS Bistro presents stunning views of the vineyards and Lake Okanagan and a menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal flavors, all expertly prepared by our talented Executive Chef, Danny Tipper and his team. And of course, the wine list is extensive, showcasing expert pairings of our award-winning portfolio we know Mom will savour.
Gifts for Mother’s Day
If you're looking for a special gift for mom, stop by Ex Nihilo's wine store or shop online to choose from a selection of our wines, including our special Mother’s Day Bestsellers Bundle, with shipping available directly to her. If you’re a local Okanagan resident, we offer free local pick up of wines plus our curated selection of beautiful gifts from local vendors including Lululemon Ex Nihilo gear, our latest jewellery from Kelowna’s Karen Wentzel (in store only), and our Ex Nihilo exclusive candles. Whether your mom is a wine lover or just appreciates beautiful things, you're sure to find something that she'll love.
Let us make your Mother's Day at Ex Nihilo Vineyards a truly special experience.
Reservations are strongly recommended for Mother’s Day Tastings at Ex Nihilo and dinner at CHAOS Bistro. Reserve Now to avoid disappointment.
A Vineyard in the fall months is a sight to behold, especially in the Okanagan. As the foliage starts to show its autumn colours, and the grapes burst off the vine, beckoning harvest time, enjoying a wine tasting is a wonderful idea. Fewer crowds and milder temperatures are just a few reasons why you might want to embark on a wine tasting or tour at this time. Here are some more considerations, for those still on the fence.
A Winery in the Fall
For many wineries, visiting after the summer rush may allow you to observe some of the inner workings of the facility, from the harvest, to the winemaking process, to the bottling stage. In addition, you may be one of the first to taste a newly produced wine by sampling new releases that become available at this time!
Veraison, or the change of colour of the grapes on the vine, is a beautiful sight as grapes take on their signature rich and appealing appearance, but once the grapes are ripe enough for harvesting the winemaking magic truly begins. Deciding when to harvest is an important decision, as the ripening process for a grape ends once it is picked. Harvesting a grape later will yield a sweeter taste than a grape of the same crop harvested earlier, as more sugar remains with the later-picked grape. Thus the date a grape is picked can contribute to the sweetness, flavour and alcohol content of the resulting wine.
At Ex Nihilo, wine tastings are available in the fall months and Chaos Bistro is open until October 29th, with special dinners and events throughout the winter season for our guests. Check our website for details, and subscribe to our entertaining and informative e-newsletter to keep on the pulse with what is happening at the winery during this time.
Wait, Wine Touring in the Winter?
No, you are not crazy if you are curious about wine touring in the winter. It is indeed a thing, especially in the Okanagan. Some wine tasters even swear by touring in the winter. Doing a tasting or tour in the winter is smart, as the main harvest is over and winemaking is in full force.
Of course you don’t experience the stunning budding stage of spring, the vibrant colours of fall, or the summer heat, but winter has something special to offer visitors. Staff may be more available to answer your questions in depth and give you their full attention. There are often VIP or special events and experiences to take advantage of as well.
And it is icewine’s time to shine as the temperature falls and grapes are picked frozen off the vine. Canada is one of the countries at the forefront of icewine production, and Ex Nihilo offers a few icewines that you might want to explore.
It is abundantly clear that there is much going on beneath the surface at many wineries in the winter. It is the perfect time to cosy up and enjoy a winter wonderland, with a glass of premium wine as you peer out at the vineyard quietly hibernating, and perhaps lightly covered in snow.
Note - Be sure to check a winery’s website before embarking as not all may operate to the public at this time, or may have reduced hours. At Ex Nihilo tastings appointments are recommended in the winter, but not absolutely necessary.
Wine for Every Season
While the spring and summer put lighter white and rosé wines at the forefront, the fall and winter may bring focus to more full-bodied red wines that can be consumed warmer. Snuggling up with a glass of red wine in the colder months is common, but you can obviously enjoy any wine during any time of the year!
Of course the type of wine we choose does not solely depend on the temperature outside, but many other factors, such as the seasonal foods and meals you are enjoying. Having a hearty beef stew to celebrate a bountiful harvest? Perhaps pair it with a medium to full bodied red like our 2018 Privata Malbec, offering up notes of cherry, blueberry, star anise, and eucalyptus on the nose. Enjoying a rustic roasted chicken and veggies around the dinner table? A rosé may be an appropriate addition, and chardonnay can go well with many savoury seasonal foods of fall and winter. Overall wine sales are quite high in the winter, making it clear that people like their wine year round!
The Okanagan is known as a “four season playground” and the wineries in the region bring no exception. There is a common misconception that a winery’s doors close as the summer ends, but this is just not often the case. In fact some of the excitement is just beginning! For ideas of what to wear and etiquette for a wine tasting, check out our article “Wine Tasting and Touring Etiquette”. Doing a wine tour or tasting in the cooler months can be a very rewarding and fun experience. See you soon!
With the wine touring season beginning to ramp up in the Okanagan (April is BC Wine Month), it is important to understand the ins and outs of tasting and touring. Wine touring and tastings can be a joyous way to connect with others, explore the region, and learn about the wines in the area. There are not a ton of hard rules to enjoying a tour or tasting, but here we offer some etiquette, along with general tips that will help you get the most out of the experience.
When and how many wineries to visit?
When planning out your day, this can vary by region and how close the wineries are together, as well as how intimately you want to explore each winery. In the Okanagan, most full day packages offered by tour companies include 4-6 wineries. If you can, you may want to start with the furthest winery from where you are staying and work your way back, so you are closer to home at the end of the day.
In terms of the seasons of the year, this can depend on the region you are in. In the Okanagan, many wineries are open year-round, and each season has something unique to offer the wine tasting experience, such as hot weather and picturesque views in the summer & milder temperatures, coupled with the beauty of budding vines in the spring.
The Tasting Experience - Sight, Smell, Taste: Savour, Don't Rush
Whenever you decide to go, try to give yourself time to enjoy what each winery has to offer. If you can, dine at the restaurant; explore the vineyard; and discover the special offerings unique to each winery, (such as Ex Nihilo’s Creatio art exhibit!).
Be ready to ask questions at each winery, and go with an open mind. In terms of consumption, don't overdo it, and make a bit of a plan of what wines you want to explore. You can also use the practice of spitting.
Some General Tasting Tips
It is recommended to work from light to heavy wines and to cleanse your palate in between. Make sure to sample wines that you may not usually try to open your mind, not just your trusted favourites, and be sure to enjoy some food throughout the day with your wine as well.
When tasting, ask yourself a series of questions. For example, is this wine sweet? Is it heavy? Are the flavours somewhat balanced? Reference the tasting tips below for further questions to explore.
The Tasting Process
There is a myriad of advice out there on the tasting process, but here is a good starting point from Tour DeVine and the Wine Atlas of Canada:
- Look: Tilt your glass ever so slightly to observe the colour, clarity, and appearance. Young wines hold their colour to the rim and older wines begin to fade at the edge. White wines also gain a bit of a more golden colour with age. Red wines lose some of their deep colour over time.
- Swirl: Swirling helps the esters in the wine to rise to deliver the wine's aromatics. Swirling also helps you observe the wine’s viscosity. More droplets sticking to the side indicates higher alcohol content.
- Smell: Focus on the aromas as you bring the glass to your nose. Ask yourself what you pick up on & do not pick up in terms of smell. Imagine what the wine might taste like before-hand just based on the smell.
- Sip: As you sip, roll the wine around slightly in your mouth for a short amount of time, savouring it. First, you will notice the sweetness as it washes over your palette and the tip of your tongue -where sweetness is registered. The back of the tong picks up the acidity or the bitter aspects of the wine (tannins). Tannins soften with age. The weight of the wine in your mouth also tells us something. Heavier wines contain more alcohol than a lighter wine.
Random Tips & Winery Etiquette
- Hold your glass by the stem to avoid affecting the temperature of the wine and smudging the glass, which will affect your ability to judge the wine’s appearance.
- Bring a small notebook to take notes.
- Check the weather ahead of time and dress appropriately. Wear dark clothing to avoid stains and check the dress code at the wineries you plan on visiting before leaving. Avoid wearing dangly sleeves that may knock over a wine glass, and wear comfortable shoes for getting around. Also consider bringing a small purse or bag to stash your guide, notebook, water bottle, sunglasses, and other essentials.
- Avoid wearing fragrance as it competes with the aroma of the wine.
- Feel free to tip the pourer.
- Call ahead if you are with a big group.
- Come to sample, not just to party.
- Don’t talk over the guide, and take turns with others on the tour for questions.
- Pick out a bottle or two on your way out to help support the winery and enjoy your favourites at home, but consider bringing a cooler and don't leave it in a hot car.
- Call to check ahead if planning on bringing a pet.
- Do not drink and drive! Invest in a tour experience or have a designated driver.
- Take a few pictures to remember your experience.
Lake Country’s Scenic Sip Trail
The Lake Country region has much to offer those interested in wine touring and the Scenic Sip Trail is one such gem in the area. Experience it by hiring a Okanagan wine tour company, or on your own, responsibly. Enjoy world class award-winning wines and views along stunning Okanagan, Wood, and Kalamalka Lakes. This charming trail consists of 8 wineries:
50th Parallel, Ex Nihilo, Gray Monk, Peak Cellars, Ancient Hill, Intrigue Wines, Arrowleaf Cellars, Blind Tiger, O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars
With vineyards, orchards, rolling countryside, and remarkable wines, this is a great way to spend a day. Check the website for activities and events on the trail.