Saturday, March 19, 2005

Spring Wine Festival Only A Few Weeks Away

The Spring Wine Festival in the Okanagan Valley gets underway May 5 from Osoyoos to the Shuswap and everywhere in between. In Oliver, Penticton, Kelowna, Summerland and Vernon; the valley will be bursting with wine festival events.
Almost every winery and scads of restaurants, bars and accommodators get into the act with special dinners, tastings and musical events. With over a hundred events scheduled, there's too many to list here. But try the website to get a full picture. Some are serious and traditional; some are whimsical and some are really out there.
I've picked out a few I think are, well, interesting ideas:
  • Mastering Wine Through Golf - Harvest Dining Room, Kelowna. Wine tasting, putting and a 5 course dinner
  • Miami Vice Nights - My Martini Place - Kelowna. Enjoy the 80's and a three course dinner.
  • Volare at the Vineyard - a five course dinner and ballet at Gray Monk winery
  • Cleopatra will serve Egyptian food in the Pyramid at Summerhill Winery.

These are the big ones:

Bacchanalia - A celebration of fine local food & wine $50 Penticton. From my perspective this one seems to be getting better each year as the organizers fine tune the event. It's at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and over 40 wineries are booked.

Kelowna Consumer Tasting - $40 The Laurel Packinghouse can get a bit stuffy but where else can you get a chance to try the work of 35 wineries?

Unless you can work magic, you can only attend one of these as they both fall on May 7.

Also worth noting these "sub-regionals":

Raising the Bench - Naramata Bench Wineries Association present an afternoon of barrel tasting with local foods and cheeses

1st Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend - six participating wineries of the Golden Mile area (Oliver)

If you like to build up a little stock in the cellar, a spring tour is ideal as the wineries are full of new releases, some of which will not even make it to a conventional retail outlet.

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