Christmas in wine country

Tis the season, or it soon will be, for holiday events and gatherings all over the Okanagan and wine country.

It’s a good time to take in special wine tastings, open houses, craft fairs, or some combo of all three.

In the spirit of keeping the calendar organized and tackling the gift list at the same time, think about adding these seasonal celebrations to your schedule.

Rancho Vignola has its annual harvest sales around the B.C. interior over the next few weekends, including Vernon and Penticton on Nov. 16 and 17, and Kelowna Nov.24-25.

If you haven’t been to one, be prepared for one of the most organized sales of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. Plus, the seasonal confection collections are great gifts.

A personal favourite: chocolate banana chips.

Want to learn to make your own treats? Predator Ridge is hosting an Xmas Chocolate and Candy Class on Nov. 28.

Wineries and wine shops are hosting one-stop-shop events – pick up some wine and shop for the holidays at the B.C. VQA Wine Information Centre’s annual open house this Saturday.

Under the Mistletoe at Summerhill Pyramid Winery takes place Nov.24-25 with Tomo Jewelry, then head to Quail’s Gate the same weekend for its Sugar Plum Fair. Make it a weekend by taking in Mission Hill’s Festival of Trees Lighting Ceremony on Friday night, Nov. 23.

Winery associations are getting into the season with their annual winter festivals and events.

Holiday Cheer Open House takes place at Okanagan Falls wineries this weekend, as each opens its doors for tastings, holiday treats, maybe some mulled wine, live music and craft makers selling their creations on site.

Wineries in the Oliver-Osoyoos area celebrate Winter in Wine Country with a variety of events.

On Nov. 24, Road 13 will have complimentary tastings and barrel samples, and Nov. 23-25, VinAmité invites you to its fourth annual Cheese Fondue Party.

Then pop over to Tinhorn Creek for its open house.

A signature event in the South Okanagan, Light up the Vines takes place at the wineries, cideries, a brewery and a distillery along Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive on Dec.1-2, as the lights are illuminated on the vines.

And on Dec. 2, the wineries of West Kelowna’s Westside Wine Trail present Sip into the Season, an annual wine and craft tour.

Rumour has it that traditional tourtiere will be available at the Naramata Christmas Faire on Dec. 2. Spend some time visiting a few Naramata Bench wineries on your way there.

Save the date for the first Oliver Eats Winter Maker’s Market on Dec. 8, with members of the South Okanagan Artisans Collective.

There will be gift ideas galore, and if company is in town (or about to descend upon you), the “dash away” options may save you cooking at least one meal.

And finally, if you didn’t get your hands on it last year….the Christmas King Cole cheese at Upper Bench Winery and Creamery, infused with cacao nibs, is waiting for you.


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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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