Okanagan Buzz: September | October 2013

Okanagan Buzz: September | October 2013

Dinner in the vineyard at Quails Gate. Photo courtesy of Quails Gate

As the kids head back to school, wine-lovers flock to the Okanagan to enjoy the last of the fall summer days and the excitement of harvest. Want to know where the Okanagan chefs’ shop?  Pick up a copy of An Okanagan Cookbook- The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheesemaker by Jennifer Schell. Inside the pages, chefs’ reveal their favorite local farmers and food artisans as well as recipes.   Have you tried the Okanagan’s best salad dressing? Little Creek Gardens’ salad dressings have a cult following in the Okanagan and their Original Vinaigrette is a best-seller across British Columbia and Alberta.  Their dressings are created with organic ingredients and made in small batches directly on site at their farm, located on the west side of Okanagan Lake.   No time to make preserves? Many of the Okanagan’s best chefs sell their handmade preserves at their restaurants. Kelowna: Okanagan Grocery Artisan BreadsRauDZ. West Kelowna: Mission Hill Winery Penticton: Taste BrodoJoy Road Catering at the Saturday Penticton Farmer’s Market ▪ Walla Bakery  Naramata: The Bench MarketHillside Winery  Oliver/Osoyoos: Dolci Deli. Mission Tap House has opened in Kelowna in the space formerly occupied by the Pheasant and Quail Pub. Following in the steps of the recently opened Smack DAB at Manteo Resort, Mission Tap House also specializes in micro-brews and local pub-fare. Buy the Sea in Penticton has moved to new digs located at #106 – 2100 Main Street. (two blocks south of their old location.) Along with fresh seafood, there is now a bigger seating area for their tasty fish & chips. Sadly, the Naramata Camp Creek Station Pub has closed. September events: Love Pinot Noir? On Sunday, September 1st join wineries: Quails’ Gate, Tantalus, Lake Breeze, Blue Mountain, Averill Creek, Howling Bluff & Black Cloud at Meyer Vineyards in Okanagan Falls for a Pinot Noir tasting and Salmon bake prepared by Joy Road Catering from 3pm-9pm. Tickets: $125.00   Not to be missed. On Saturday, September 7th the Naramata Bench Wineries hosts their signature wine event, The Tailgate Party at Manitou Beach. This is one of the best of the wine association events with 24 wineries participating along with 7 local restaurants. 6:30pm-9:00pm. Tickets: $89.00+   The Okanagan Food & Wine Festival debuts in Kelowna Sept. 13th-15th.  Held at the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, the festival showcases food and wine films with the added bonus of eating and drinking afterwards during special receptions. Line-up of films include “SOMM”– a must see for wine-lovers, “Betting the Farm”, “The Restaurateur”, “A Matter of Taste” and “Pressure Cooker”. Special all weekend pass as well as individual tickets available.   The 2nd Annual Freak’n Farmer Adventure Obstacle race returns to Covert Organic Farms in Oliver on Saturday, September 21st.  While the 12km race will challenge the best athletes, the 5km Half-Plowed is sponsored by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association and will be a whole lot of fun with wine tastings along the way.   Sunday, September 22nd, Turtle Mountain Vineyard in Vernon hosts the 3rd Annual Iron Chef Competition accompanied with Okanagan Spirits signature cocktails all in support of the local Family Resource Centre. 2pm-5pm. Tickets: $50.00.

Hester Creek Estate Winery

Hester Creek Estate Winery

The Okanagan Fall Wine festival runs from October 4th to 14th.  For food and wine lovers, the winemakers’ dinners held at the individual wineries are the highlight of the festival, and these sell out quickly.  Our top picks: Ex Nihilo Vineyards Winemaker’s Dinner. Cedar Creek Estate Winery’s Starry Nights Winemaker’s Dinner. St. Hubertus Winery Harvest Lunch. Quails Gate Winery dinner with guest Chambar Restaurant. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery’s Fall Epicurean dinner. Stags Hollow Winery dinner with Joy Road Catering. Tinhorn Creek Winery’s Miradoro Restaurant Chef Jeff Van Geest versus Guest Chef Adam Pegg of Vancouver’s La Quercia Restaurant. Annual Wine Dinner at Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery. Cellar Grazing at Hester Creek Winery.   Winemaker’s Dinner at Nk’Mip Cellars. Farm to Field Harvest Dinner at Covert Farms. Lake Breeze Vineyards Seven Poplars Cellar Dinner and Hillside Winery & Bistro Annual Graze among the Grapes. From $35.00 to $185.00 See Okanagan Wine Festival website for pricing and dates.   Other events in October include: Saturday, Oct. 5thHester Creek Estate Winery’s 2nd Annual Garlic  Festival. Sunday, Oct. 6th Oliver Osoyoos Festival of the Grape.  Saturday, Oct. 19th Penticton Oktoberfest .  It’s good to eat and drink in the Okanagan.           .

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