Lifestyles

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival kicks off

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival offers over 70 culinary and wine events in the 10-day celebration running May 1 to 11 including wine tastings, signature events, barbecues, picnics and more. - Submitted Photo
Okanagan Spring Wine Festival offers over 70 culinary and wine events in the 10-day celebration running May 1 to 11 including wine tastings, signature events, barbecues, picnics and more.
— image credit: Submitted Photo

What started two decades ago as a one-day event with 16 wineries has grown to an Okanagan-wide 10-day celebration with 119 wineries.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is kick-starting the wine season with the best in food and wine from May 1 to 11 with over 70 culinary and wine events, a Best of Varietal competition and uniquely Okanagan experiences.

“The wine culture of the Okanagan offers something for everyone from the foodie to the oenophile to the budding enthusiast,” said Lori-Pike Raffan, public relations director for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “From farm to table winery dinners, barbecues and picnics in stunning settings, the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival brings visitors face to face with the chefs, winemakers and growers that have not only built our wine and culinary industry but those poised on the leading edge of change. With the Okanagan Valley really coming of age on the world stage it’s time to visit and see how we’ve hit our stride.”

Over 7,500 people are expected to participate in the 10 days of activities that include ticketed soirees to complimentary events.

Celebrate a tasting of the best of varietal wines in B.C. for 2014 on May 1 at the Penticton Ramada Inn from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Awards will be presented in over 20 different varietal categories. Be the first to taste the Best of Varietal winning wines and sample fresh tapas from the Kettle Valley Station Pub as you mingle with the winemakers and winery owners. A record 32 wine varietal categories will be judged by 15 B.C. sommeliers and wine experts. Tickets are $50.

Follow that up with the Bacchanalia Food and Wine Festival at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on May 3. Experience over 200 wines from 50 different winners and executive Chef Chris Remington’s culinary masterpieces. Tickets are on sale now for $75 at the Penticton Lakeside resort front desk, or by phone at 250-493-8221. Black tie and cocktail attire is strongly encouraged.

“That is one of the neat things about this event. It is an opportunity for people to get dressed up to the nines either with their significant other or a group of friends,” said Brannigan Boyd, director of regional sales and marketing at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. “We still have tickets left, but they do go very quickly at this time of year and it is always a sell out event”

Some delectable new festivities this year include the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, apprentice chefs competing in the cheesiest sweet and savoury competition, a Bubbly Bootcamp and grand openings of the newest architecturally distinctive tasting rooms.

Celebrate food and wine at Covert Farms Pig Out with 29 wineries from the Oliver/Osoyoos Wine Country. This is a outdoor, tented affair set at Covert Farms with the latest releases and fan favourites from the area. Interact with local chefs who will impress with their pig roasting skills while local musicians entertain throughout the afternoon. Tickets are $55 and include admission, entertainment, souvenir wine glass, food and wine. They can be purchased at www.oliverosoyoos.com/Tickets/Pig-Out.

The Blind Wine and Cheese Soiree By Valley First on May 10 at the Ramada Inn in Penticton is one of the unique signature events testing your pallet. Conspire and connive your way to guessing which wine is in the bag and try your hand at identifying some of the best cheeses from Dairy Farmers of Canada. This is a Get Home Safe event, sponsored by B.C. Liquor Stores and Valley First Insurance.

Tickets for all events are available at valleyfirsttix.com or by phone at 1-877-763-2849. For a list of all events visit www.thewinefestivals.com.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.