Wine festival extravaganza

A sure sign of fall for wine lovers – planning an agenda of tastings, dinners, seminars and events during the annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival.

There are more than 100 at the Oct. 3-13 festival, so how do you choose?

Thankfully, the festival website lets you search by date, region of the valley, and a few other options.

My advice? Choose a variety, and book soon.

There are a handful of signature events, some may be familiar. The British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards and Reception starts things off and provides a good shopping list for stocking your cellar.

The WestJet tasting event takes place on a grand and dramatic scale in Kelowna with dozens of wineries taking over the Carson Air Hangar at YLW. It is also a good event for taking note of wineries to visit, and bottles to buy.

New this year in Penticton is Sensation, presented by Valley First.

“This is a one-of-a-kind experiential tasting, where wines have been paired with different cultural experiences, keeping the five senses in mind. Guests can see, touch, hear, smell, and (of course) taste their way through dozens of B.C. wines at this sensational event,” said Angela Brown, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society chair.

On top of these larger celebrations, throw in a few more intimate experiences.

How about a Pork and Pinot Long Table dinner at CedarCreek? Exploring Roots and Vines at Ex Nihilo by shopping at a Farmers’ Market in the vineyard? Or live music and barbecue at Rust Wine?

You can also learn a few things at Township 7 for the 7 Sensations of Wine, participate in winemaking at Harvest Work Days at Noble Ridge, attempt a winery-based Escape Room at the Vinstitute at Intersection, or take in Fromage and Ferment and learn about cheese at River Stone.

And don’t miss the 8th annual Garlic Festival at Hester Creek, the Lamb Dinner at Quinta Ferreira, and the Best Paella in the Okanagan at Da Silva.

There are too many events to list here, and many sell out in advance of the festival, so choose soon, and reserve your seats before you miss out.


Sept. 27, Okanagan Falls: Meatstock takes place at Wild Goose Vineyards. An evening of meats prepared by the Smoke & Oak Bistro, plus wine pairings.

Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, Penticton: Learn about the 7 Sensations of Wine at Township 7, a fun and interactive event for all wine lovers.

Sept. 28, Kamloops: SunPeaks Resort hosts its second annual Cider Fest, part of a weekend of autumn activities.

Sept. 28, Naramata: Da Silva Vineyards hosts a rustic hearty Portuguese farm table dinner with Chef Abul Adame.

Sept. 28, Osoyoos: Reserve your spots for the annual Winemakers’ Dinner at Nk’Mip Cellars.

Oct. 6, Oliver: The annual Festival of the Grape returns with numerous wineries and its famous grape stomp.


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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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