May 13, 2013 / 5:00 am
We hope everyone had a great time at Spring Wine Festival! We hope that the events left you inspired to incorporate wine touring into your weekends and days off. With this in mind, Tourism Kelowna has just delivered our 2013 (hot off the press) Kelowna Wine Trails brochure to households throughout Kelowna in conjunction with Saturday’s (May 10) Capital News delivery. The idea being that you’ll be equipped to play host or guide to your friends and relatives when they come to town, and will have the Kelowna Wine Trails ready to go and at your disposal. Or maybe you just want to get out for a little wine touring adventure of your own.
The great thing about the wineries in the Kelowna area is that they are rich in stories and personality. Elegant, bold, flavourful wines are backed-up by intriguing stories and vivacious personalities at all of Kelowna’s 5 wine trails. It’s a winning combination. If you didn’t receive the Wine Trails Brochure in your Saturday Capital News, you can find this new brochure at local Visitor Centres and wineries, as well as select local tourism businesses. We also posted it on our website so that you can peruse it online.
The brochure includes 19 local wineries, 2 distilleries, and one brewery grouped together in natural geographic clusters along 5 wine trails. You might choose to tour along the Grapes and Grains Trail downtown (Calona Wines, Tree Brewing, Urban Distilleries, and Okanagan Spirits) and finish the tour off with a great dinner at RauDZ Regional Table. Or you may wish to get into the orchard-line roads of East Kelowna and tour the Kelowna Fab Five Trail and finish off with a farm-sourced pizza at Bellissimo Pizza on Spiers Rd.
How about the Lakeshore Wine Route and the spectacular lake views along this wine trail? Choose to start at Tantalus Vineyards, then head over to Lakeshore Rd and stop in at St. Hubertus Estate Winery, CedarCreek Estate Winery, and finish up at Summerhill Pyramid Winery where you can also satisfy your growling tummy with a fantastic winery dinner.
The Westside Wine Trail offers equally stunning (but opposite) views of Okanagan Lake. Be sure to start your tour at the north end of Boucherie Rd but save Quails’ Gate Estate Winery as your last stop to enjoy an elegant dinner at Old Vines Restaurant right amongst the vines. Lake Country also has a terrific wine trail: the Lake Country Scenic Sip Trail. Here you’ll find 5 wineries set in achingly beautiful pastoral countryside. If you plan to dine at Gray Monk Estate Winery’s Grapevine restaurant, you’ll be treated to hearty wine country cuisine, some of it with a nod to Chef Willi Franz’s Bavarian roots.
Photo of Tantalus Vineyards by Brian Sprout, courtesy of Tourism Kelowna.
Beautiful scenery along Kelowna Wine Trails.
There’s so much to learn, right in our own backyard. That’s the beauty – you don’t have to go far to get into some gorgeous vineyard-lined countryside and taste some staggeringly yummy wines. Well, now you can use this fresh tool to check out the trails! Enjoy!
Apr 29, 2013 / 5:00 am
Kelowna, we have some cool customers in town this week. If you see them around, be sure to give them a warm welcome. The Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop is taking place this week in Kelowna. This scholarly group is here to dive into professional development workshops on writing, pitching, crafting a story, coming up with angles, and how to present their work. They will do this from the focused environment of their Delta Grand Okanagan Resort digs, and then put their learnings into practice by visiting local hot spots for food and wine and using the experiences and characters they meet here as fodder for their stories, blogs, and writings.
The workshop is organized by ‘seasoned’ food writer Jennifer Cockrall-King (pardon the pun), and has become an annual occurrence in Kelowna. Cockrall-King has had her articles published in numerous publications across Canada ranging from West World Magazine to enRoute magazine and has written a book on urban agriculture called Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution.
The participants for the workshop come from all over Canada to hone their writing, including Calgary, Edmonton, Swift Current, Ottawa, Toronto, and several local writers. She has assembled an impressive cast of instructors who will join her in leading the workshop sessions of the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop.
- Amy Rosen - James Beard-nominated journalist and the acting food editor at Chatelaine magazine, columnist with the National Post, and a regular contributor to major food pages in Canada and the US. www.amyrosen.com
- Shelley Boettcher - wine columnist at the Calgary Herald. Her second wine book, Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta's Best Wines $25 and Under, was released in November 2012. www.shelleyboettcher.com
- Jennifer Schell - food and wine writer, columnist, editor of B.C. Food & Wine Trails Magazine and author of the best-selling cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker – An Okanagan Cookbook.
- Curtis Gillespie - editor and co-founder of the multi-award winning new Canadian magazine, Eighteen Bridges. His writing has appeared in magazines worldwide, and he is the author of five books, most recently Almost There: The Family Vacation Then and Now.
A few highlights of their food and wine experiences in Kelowna will be meeting some of Kelowna’s top chefs at exclusive dinner venues, including Gold Medal Plates competitor Mark Filatow (Waterfront Wines), Stuart Klassen (Delta Grand Okanagan Executive Chef), Bernard Casavant (Manteo Resort’s Smack DAB), Jesse Croy (Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Sunset Bistro), and Jeremy Luypen (Cabana Grille).
They will also tour the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market, enjoy a winery tour at Summerhill, have dinner on the Lake Lounge houseboat on Okanagan Lake, take in a canning demonstration with BC Tree Fruits and lunch with orchardists, learn food preparation and cutting techniques at Knife Wear, make bread at Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads, learn about roasting coffee at the Bean Scene, and enjoy a spirits tasting experience at Okanagan Spirits. Distinctly Kelowna Tours will provide the group with knowledgeable guided transportation.
There is so much to see and do in Kelowna if you’re a foodie… and if your passion is to write about it, then this workshop is undoubtedly the crème de la crème in professional development. Enjoy our food and wine charms, workshop participants – we hope you’ll be back in town again soon!
Apr 15, 2013 / 5:00 am
Remember when you were a kid and set up obstacle courses for yourself and friends? Don’t stare at me blankly, I know you did this too! Some of the best days of the summer were filled with monkey bars, things to jump over, openings to crawl through, and obstacles to run around. Well, that’s exactly what this race (meant for adults, mind you!) is all about: Mudd, Sweat & Tears will take place on May 4 at Lake Okanagan Resort, and will undoubtedly be the obstacle course to end all obstacle courses!
The Kelowna race on May 4 is the first of six Mudd, Sweat & Tears races across Canada, each highlighting obstacles particular to their destinations. This will be the inaugural race in Kelowna of its kind. Promising to be an epic 10 km race, the website for Mudd, Sweat & Tears hints at “10k hardcore course with lots of mud, obstacles and natural elevations.” I’m curious to know what environmental elements of our area will be used as obstacles in the race!
Team and individual registrations are available now for all locations and dates. Prices range from $101 - $116 per person. The race donates a percentage of its proceeds to its chosen charity, the Breakfast Clubs of Canada (you can also choose to donate more at registration if you like, and receive a charitable gift receipt).
The helpful race website provides information to out-of-town guests on accommodation, race and registration details, and also a helpful (er, frank) statement about what racers should expect: “Mudd, Sweat and Tears is a 10k obstacle course mud run event of extreme proportion. Our courses combine the best organic and natural features found throughout each site, with a series of constructed obstacles, which will have you – crawling, climbing, swimming, carrying and dragging yourself, possibly fellow competitors, and a series of objects: up, over, under, through and around hill and dale.” And then, “MST is not for the faint of heart or unprepared. You will get dirty, muddy, scraped up, cold, physically and mentally punished, and may end up smiling continuously.”
So there you have it, friends: this race is tough but achievable (with proper nutrition, training, and the right attitude)! If you fall into this category or know someone who does, then be sure to check out the website to register. Race participants, rev up your confidence, and have fun!
2013 locations and dates are:
- MST Kelowna – Lake Okanagan Resort, Kelowna, BC – May 4
- MST Rockies – Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie, BC – July 6 and 7
- MST Vancouver Island – Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Mount Washington, BC – Aug 17
- MST Ottawa Valley, Wilderness Tours Resort, Beachburg, ON – Aug 31 and Sept 1
- MST Ottawa Urban, Mooney’s Bay Park, ON – Sept 28
- MST Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, ON – Oct 5
Apr 2, 2013 / 5:00 am
Wednesday, April 3 is the day that the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market returns to its outdoor location at the corner of Springfield Road and Dilworth Drive. The market was open throughout the winter on Saturdays in the Parkinsons Recreation Centre, and typically returns to its outdoor location the first Wednesday or Saturday of April – whichever day of the week comes first. This year, the outdoor market begins on a Wednesday.
This marks an exciting cycle for the Farmers’ Market and is always my first undeniable signal that Spring has arrived in Kelowna each year. The Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market has the distinction of being BC’s largest outdoor farmers’ market, with about 80 stands at the beginning of the season and over 165 stands at the height of the growing/harvest season. It’s an exciting place to wander through the rows of vendors, see the wide array of locally grown and made foods, find some nifty keepsakes, and get to know our local artisans and food producers. I’m not the only one who feels this way, judging from the bustling atmosphere of the market and the folks of all ages who get to enjoy it!
Each stand you visit has an interesting story and sometimes it’s fun just to stop in and speak with a vendor you might not know yet, just to get the scoop on their business and story. In our Tourism Kelowna consumer blog, I have written about some of my favourite stands and their unique backgrounds (although I see that since this post, Okanagan Street Food has moved into their own restaurant location in the North End of Kelowna).
The motto of the Kelowna Farmers’ market is “We make it, bake it, or grow it” meaning that all products are either homemade by the seller or grown by the seller. This is a tremendous way to maintain locally-made integrity for the market, and is a big element of our markets’ popularity. The ambiance of the market is energetic and fresh, and local musicians often grace the market with their musical talents.
Come on out and enjoy our Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market this Wednesday or Saturday – open these days of the week throughout the summer and fall until October 30 in its outdoor location from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. It’s a great way of supporting local artisans and producers, keeping our environmental footprint small, and nourishing our bodies and souls with great local products. Welcome back to the great outdoors, Kelowna vendors!
Read more Ripe with Surprises articles
- Kelowna golf season 2013 has arrived Mar 18
- Kelowna's shining collection Mar 4
- A guide for all seasons Feb 18
- Culinary Championships ignite Kelowna Feb 4
- Free Classical music concert Jan 21
- Resolving to think local Jan 7
- A beautiful skate Dec 10
- Getting in the Christmas Spirit Nov 26
- Never a bad day for a wine tour Nov 12
- Breakfast of champions Oct 29
- Wine Festival is underway Oct 1
- One fish, two fish Sep 17
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