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Wine Fest kicks off with sold out events

The Okanagan Winter Wine Festival kicked off at Sun Peaks this past weekend with a sold out event.

The festival had previously taken place over just one weekend, but this year the event has been extended over nine days, stretching from January 11-19.

The Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine was the first event for the festival, and was a brand new concept.

General Manager of The Okanagan Wine Festivals Blair Baldwin says the event came together better than expected, with a sold out group of 50 people participating in a very intimate cheese and wine education session.

"When you are talking to 50 people, you get to know 50 people well over two hours, there is not a disappointed face in the crowd everyone is having a good time."

Baldwin says the new event was the perfect way to kick off the festival, and to get the Okanagan Wine Festival's team energized for the coming days.

"It takes a lot to put this all together. From the Dairy Farmers of Canada, from the Delta, our own team, the bread supplier to the four wineries -- it would be appropriate to kick of the festival with something like this and say 'hey guys lets bring our A game', rather than warm up with something we are more familiar with."

The Grilled Cheese and Wine event took over four months to put together, says Baldwin as it took time to source the many cheeses from around Canada.

"I think anytime you put a lot of planing into something like this for a personal crowd over two hours, it is truly amazing. It is a wine event, completely different than a wine education or cheese education session. Each have their own places, but we are at a resort and it is a dream to put on a great Après event for them."

The following days events like Starbucks Sparkling Brunch and Wine. and Appies & Art with Peter Stuhlmann of the Hampton Gallery, were also both sold out.

The Okanagan Wine Festival has had a long term contract with Sun Peaks Resort to offer exclusivity to the winter wine festival, which Baldwin says has proven successful year after year.

"We love our relationship with them and it is working very well."

Over 1,500 guests are expected to visit the mountain during the festival, and take in everything from winter sports to savouring BC wines.

Tickets range from $29.50 to $85 with packages for accommodation starting at $149 per person per night.

For more information or tickets for the festival click here.



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