“Slow Down, Get Together, and Be Legendary”
One of the catch phrases that Doug and Dawn Lennie, owners/operators, Legend Distilling at 3005 Naramata Road, love to share is “Slow Down, Get Together, and Be Legendary.”
It resonates with the choice they made to find a new direction in their careers to create a business in which they could collaborate together close to home and close to their hearts.
Their small batch craft distillery combines Doug’s long-time love of whisky, their passion to support local and be involved in the community. It unites their expertise in building things, culinary and hospitality. The commute between home and work is short and spectacular.
Dawn bubbles over in enthusiasm for the Village of Naramata and the people who help define it, farmers, producers, bakers, chefs, artisans one and all. She has loved it from first sight – she even met Doug on the Naramata Bench when his construction business was contracted to work on her in-laws’ Elephant Island Winery expansion.
The boost in energy within the community, she calls the “Naramata Inn” factor can not be denied. Recently sold to the highly creative partners of Chef Ned Bell, Kate Colley, Paul Hollands and Maria Wiesner, the historic inn is emerging once more as matriarch of the community.
On its website is states: “We’re a really great restaurant. With rooms.” That’s an understatement of how the over 100-year-old establishment provides a pulse on the area’s progress. Like Legend Distilling, the Naramata Inn supports local. Even its napkins were contracted to Shades of Linen, just down Robinson Avenue from it. Throughout its décor, homage is made to the quirky resident peacock Kevin.
As for the Naramata Inn’s cuisine, Dawn said she recommends it 100 per cent as she fondly recalled a recent brunch there.
When they aren’t working Dawn and Doug love to spend time in the outdoors and with friends. They love to hike and Doug has been an outdoor sports enthusiast all his life. He especially appreciates how accessible activities like dirt biking, skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling are in the area.
Strongly committed to her volunteer work with Discover Naramata and Naramata Slow, Dawn values the connections made in working toward a common cause.
Of course, they enjoy cocktails and Dawn is a huge fan of combining those with local fresh ingredients. They love wine, too, and suggest first time visitors be sure to go on a wine tour on the Naramata Bench, which they genuinely believe to be outstanding in worldwide standards. It’s okay to add a distillery or two to the tour and a cocktail at the end of a day of wine touring is a great way to refresh the palate.
There are incredible spots close by to hike and for amazing views such as the KVR (Kettle Valley Railroad) Trail. Combine family fun time, beach bathing and community catch up each Wednesday, 4 to 7 pm, June through end of September, at the Naramata Market, Manitou Park and Beach and life in Naramata is pretty good.
Grab a Bite/Collaborate
The Village offers some wonderful options for a quick bite on Robinson Avenue such as the Grape Leaf and Just Baked – a little coffee and bake shop by Ashley who once worked for Dawn at The Bench Market. Year round, Dawn points out, Real Things Pizza “rocks it” staying open for everyone.
In Penticton, Doug and Dawn love the craft breweries and have a special place in their hearts for Cannery Brewing, 198 Ellis Street and Neighbourhood Brewing, 187 Westminster Avenue West. “I love Tratto, too,” says Dawn referring to Pizzeria Tratto, 256 Westminster Avenue West.
At Slackwater Brewing, 218 Martin Street, you can try a Legend Distilling Black Moon Gin Caesar. The Legend Blasted Brew Liqueur is a collaboration between Legend and Homestead Roastery of Naramata.
Releasing Fall 2021 is a fun new Liqueur made with Naramata grown produce from Naramata Blend Raspberry Farm and Puzzlegrass Farms – stay tuned.
The list is long for a little village and it’s clear Legend Distilling is proud of its community and open to creative new connections.