Beyond The Tasting Room: B Cellars New Winery in OakvilleAuthor:Annette Hanami
Forget everything you know about anonymous, standing-room only tasting rooms. B Cellars in the heart of Oakville represents a new wave of wineries offering relaxed, bespoke hospitality where the food is just as important as the wine. B Cellars is the first winery built on venerable Oakville Cross Road in 18 years but the Hart Howerton designed buildings fit right in with its rustic agrarian look.
The first thing you notice upon approaching the Hospitality House is the generous amount of inviting outdoor seating on three sides of the building, and the concierge’s desk to welcome you. Chief Concierge Jennifer Hazzard, who worked with April Bloomfield at Spotted Pig and Tosca Café, is an example of the broad-based hospitality backgrounds of the team starting with co-founder and Four Seasons veteran Duffy Keys.
Inside, the light floods in through the oversized cupola above and bifold patio doors. The focal point of the room is the professional demonstration kitchen that serves up freshly-prepared bites for their unique food and wine experiences overseen by chef de cuisine Brian Green. The warmth of the open flame hearth is complemented by the rich, repurposed walnut finishes and accent tables.
Expect wine pairing bites to reflect what’s growing in their culinary gardens or raised in their chicken coop just outside, like this house-made flatbread topped with Coppa ham, arugula and freshly harvested egg. I love the attention to detail here at B Cellars, the cold oshibori hand towels offered before tasting, thoughtful place settings and well-spaced lounging and table seating throughout. The hospitality experience is overseen by Director of Operations Jonathan Ruppert, former Corporate Food & Beverage Director at Nantucket Island Resorts (The White Elephant), and delivered with a low-key, Wine Country approach.
The Chef’s Garden Pairing experience leads guests on an interactive tour of the culinary gardens and orchards, ending with a tasting at the garden table above. Both the garden and Oakville Winery Trek tours end with tasty bites paired with their flagship, food-friendly blends like the B Cellars Blend 24, a fresh Sangiovese, Cabernet and Syrah red, or the Blend 25, a bolder, spicier Cabernet and Syrah red. B Cellars also offers a Heritage Excursion focused on famed single vineyards like Tokalon, Lewelling and Stagecoach, while their Appellation Excursions focus on appellation wines from Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Atlas Peak. All wines are made under the direction of Kirk Venge.
Soon to Come
Designed as a food and wine destination, B Cellars is nearing completion of additional private tasting and event space in the caves. Pending food and wine experiences include interactive cooking classes and a Luminaries Series focused on local food or wine heroes who will educate guests about their passions. These programs are expected to be available this fall in time for harvest, so inquire when you book your reservation.
B Cellars is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., tastings are by appointment. 701 Oakville Cross Road, Oakville
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