KELOWNA - It's not wine, it's not cider, it's not made from fruit, it's mead.
Mead is a traditional beverage that is made from fermented honey, predating even beer and wine.
The bliss sparkling cherry mead is released every summer at Meadow Vista Honey Wines on June Springs Road in Kelowna, and it's a popular choice for any Okanagan patio-goer.
Right after fermentation, mead maker Andrew Durrant adds fresh B.C. cherry juice and a bit of carbonation to create their signature summer drink.
The mead is more comparable to wine, as it has a 12 per cent alcohol content, so although you may want to down the whole thing like a cider, drinkers should perhaps exercise a little caution.
"It also pairs really well with spicy food, or with brunch," co-owner Emily Vanderschee says. "It's like a fun, fresh mimosa."
The honey is sourced on location at the Meadow Vista Farm, as they have their own apiary.
"Our beekeeper keeps about 120 hives," Vanderschee explains. "We extract all the honey here, we make everything on site."
Vanderschee stresses that she and her co-owner Electra Logan both strongly believe in advocacy for bee preservation. That's why all the tasting fees at Meadow Vista go towards their Pollitanor Project, which sends seed packets across the province to promote pollination and the creation of bee gardens in order to increase the bee population.
"You can come and walk our bee tour, it's complimentary and self-guided," Vanderschee explains. "See the bees, learn about the bees... it's cool."
The meadery is located in East Kelowna, where you can see the bees, taste the mead, and purchase your favourites (or all of them) from the shop.
You can browse all seven types of mead on Meadow Vista's website here.
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