Perched on the hills of the Upper Mission neighborhood in Kelowna, overlooking the sparkling lake and the city of Kelowna at a not-too-far distance, you'll find Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan. The experience of going to Carmelis offers a glimpse into farm life, and yet it is so close to town, just a little way past CedarCreek Estate Winery, winding from Lakeshore Road left onto Rim Rock Rd and then right onto Timberline.
The spring is a very special time at Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan. It is the time when the mama goats welcome their kids into the world, and so right now you'll find several babies scampering around the barn and property; a property where every square inch of wood has been nibbled on and rounded-out by the goats. Truly, it is all there for them to enjoy: the steep hillside with felled logs for them to play on, the troughs in the barn which many a goat will climb into like a canoe they are characters to the max, and it is good for a belly-laugh or two just to watch them ham it up.
But the star attraction at this lively farm is the cheese that owners Ofri and Ofer Barmor make with the nutritious goats milk almost 20 varieties of it! You'll find simple fresh goat cheese, plain or seasoned with herbs de Provence or dill and onion; some soft ripened varieties (think Brie or Camembert); and even hard aged varieties. One of my personal faves is the Goat Gruyere they make, which is an amazing flavour that is both mild and nutty. Another crowd favourite is the Goatgonzola, a creamy and mild blue cheese that really turns heads.
Since this farm is just at the end of one of Kelownas wine trails, the Lakeshore Wine Route (Tantalus, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, St. Hubertus Winery, and CedarCreek Estate Winery), it offers a perfect complement to wine tours: something perfect to pair with your wine purchases. But it can also comfortably stand on its own as a draw for people of all ages and interests, with its goofy goats, commanding vista, delicious cheese, and friendly staff and family. You can even make an appointment to schedule a tour of the facility.
Lets not forget another star attraction here: the gelato! While there are just a few flavours in the spring for people to choose from (not that the choice is easy by any means the flavours are all fantastic), there will be a full roster of 24 flavours in the summer, all made from the goats milk on site. A point of interest for Lactose intolerant readers: since the molecules of goats milk most closely resemble human milk, it is easily digestible and a tasty treat with no adverse effects for those with Lactose issues.
Carmelis is a must-visit for tourists in Kelowna, but also for residents who will be wowed by what is in our own backyard. And for anyone who loves watching the comedy act of baby goats doing their thing, this is a perfect time to treat yourself to a visit to Carmelis, right here in Kelowna.