Okanagan Reporter’s Fall Wine Festival Picks

left: Quail's Gate Winery, right: tasting in Penticton. images courtesy of www.thewinefestivals.com

Fall in the Okanagan is spectacular and it doesn’t get any better than the 31st Fall Wine Festival which runs from September 29th to October 9th. Experience the excitement of harvest and with over 165 wine and food events there is something for everyone including the dog. For a full listing of all the events, visit the Okanagan Wine Festival’s excellent website. EAT highlights some of the key events:


Wine Tastings:

• An excellent opportunity to try some of the Okanagan’s best wines under one roof with the added bonus of a free taxi home. In Kelowna, the Westjet Wines Tastings are held on the opening weekend of the festival Sept. 30th & Oct. 1st from 6:30pm-9:00pm at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, and feature over 40 wineries and 150 wines. Cost- $65.00 Tickets: (http://www.selectyourtickets.com/) or 250.717.5304. In Penticton, the Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings are held on the closing weekend of the festival Oct.7th & 8th from 6:00pm -9:00pm at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre. Tickets: Cost-$62.00 http://valleyfirsttix.com or 877.763.2849.


Exceptional Food and Wine events include:

• Oct. 1st: West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery’s Fall Epicurean Dinner with Toronto’s famed Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants. Highlights include a one hour wine and hors d’oeuvres reception followed by a six-course wine and food paired dinner in the winery’s exclusive private dining room-the Chagall Room. Cost: $165 plus.

• Oct. 1st Cawston’s Crowsnest Vineyards Similkameen 10K Dinner–  Annual Wine & Harvest Dinner serving a 5 course dinner with local organic ingredients within 10 km . Cost: $80.00 plus.

• Oct. 3rd Oliver’s Hester Creek Estate Winery Celebrity Chef Dinner -Kelowna’s award-winning Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar Executive Chef Mark Filatow is the 2011 Celebrity Guest Chef. Highlights: Reception, multi-course dinner and wine pairings, music by the William Leggot jazz Trio. Cost: $150.00 (incl.)

• Oct. 7th- West Kelowna’s Quail’s Gate Estate Winery hosts Vancouver’s Blue Water Café & Raw Bar in the Okanagan. An intimate dinner with both chefs creating wonderful dishes paired with Quails Gate’s finest wines. Cost: $175.00 plus

• Oct. 8th-Kelowna’s Tantalus Vineyards and Jamie Kennedy. Join Tantalus and Canadian super star chef Jamie Kennedy for a very special evening of food and wine. Limited to 40 guests. Cost: $250.00 (incl).Wine and Dine at a winery.


Winemakers Dinners:

• Sept. 29th & Oct. 6th Oliver’s Tinhorn Creek’s Miradoro Winemaker’s Dinner.  Cost: $165.00 plus.

• Sept. 30th & Oct. 7th Naramata’s Hillside Estate Winery and Bistro’s Fall Crabfest.  Cost: $89.00 plus.

• Oct. 1st choose from Oliver’s Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery Annual Lamb Feast , Cost: $135.00 , Naramata’s Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Dinner, Cost: $145.00 or Kelowna’s Cedar Creek Estate Winery’s Starry Nights, Cost: $135.00 plus.

• Oct. 2nd Summerland’s Sumac Ridge Estate Winery’s Big Bold Reds Winemaker’s Dinner, Cost: $95.00 plus.

• Oct. 5th & 6th Oliver’s Burrowing Owl Estate Winery’s Winemaker’s Dinner Cost: $159.00 a. or on Oct. 5th See Ya later Ranch Flavours from Forest and Stream Winery dinner. Cost: $95.00 plus.

• October 6th Choose from Oliver’s Road 13 Vineyards -Thirteen Sips,Cost: $99.00 plus or Summerland’s Sonoran Estate Winery’s Fabulous Winemaker’s Dinner, Cost: $79.00 plus.


Party in Style:

• Sept. 30th Kaleden’s Kraze LegZ Winery’s Roaring Twenties Tell ’em’ Joe SentMe’ Dinner Dance. Spend an evening in the roaring twenties (1920s dress recommended) Four course dinner by Chef Heinz paired with Kraze Legz wines. Learn the Charleston dance steps and dance the night away with live Jazz music by Lou Lou and the Scrappers. Cost: $100.00 (plus)

• Oct. 1st- Okanagan Falls See Ya later Ranch Dog Days of Summer SPCA Fundraiser Event. Noon til 4pm. Dogs welcome. Plus Doggy fashion show. By Donation.

• Oct. 6th and Oct. 7th -6 Lake Country’s Grey Monk Estate Winery Roll Out the Barrel Oktoberfest. A traditional German festival of food, wine and song. Dress code: Dirndl and Lederhosen encouraged. $79.00 (plus) *Wine not incl.

• Oct. 7th & 8th- Okanagan Fall’s Blasted Church 8th Annual Midnight Service Memphis Blues BBQ House serves a buffet style dinner for the masses and Ruthie Foster returns with her folksy-soulful music in the candlelit cellar. Free shuttle service between Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and the winery. Cost: $110.00 (plus)

Away for Thanksgiving:

• Oct. 9th-10th- Naramata’s Hillside Estate Winery & Bistro Thanksgiving Dinner. Traditional 3 course Roast Turkey dinner. $39.00 (plus) does not incl. wine.

• Oct. 9th-Penticton’s Lamb Fest at Bogner’s of Penticton. Sunday evening feast featuring whole spit roasted Lamb paired with Hester Creek wines. $56.00 (plus). Tickets: dine@bogners.ca or 250.493.2711

-by EAT Okanagan Reporter, Claire Sear

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