It’s not officially winter, but it is definitely winter event season and time to “calendarize” a few things.
This includes pre-ordering and planning to pick up holiday culinary feasts. A personal favourite is getting a Coulombe Family Tourtière from VinAmité Cellars just south of Oliver. It feeds six. You do the assembling and you can take all the credit when it comes out of the oven. Pick up on Dec. 22 or 23, but before then, plan on exploring Oliver-Osoyoos wine country.
Winter in Wine Country takes place in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley Nov. 24 to 25 and Dec. 2 to 3 as wineries celebrate the season. Highlights will include Hester Creek Estate Winery, which will have complimentary mulled wine, Culmina Family Estate Winery will welcome Audrey’s Breads with their baked goods and Nostalgia Wines will have a pop-up shop with gift ideas.
Further north, the wineries around Okanagan Falls and Kaleden—collectively known as the Heart of Wine Country— will host Holiday Cheer this coming weekend (Nov. 18 to 19). Highlights will include Santa at Blasted Church Vineyards, Lakeboat Winery will pair up with the famous Doug’s Homestead for meats and cheeses, Uppercase Winery will pair sips with soups, and side-by-side wineries Mayhem and Meyer will have a firepit for roasting marshmallows.
Near Penticton, indulge in the inaugural Naramata Bench Winterfest Nov. 24 to 25, with winery, cidery, and distillery tastings. Highlights will include mulled wine and s’mores at Daydreamer, baked goods and spiked tea at Maple Leaf Spirits and complimentary Provenance series tastings at Township 7.
Summerland hosts its famous Festival of Lights on Nov. 24 with Light Up the Vines on Bottleneck Drive the next day. Don’t miss mini cocktails at Controlled Entropy Distilling, fire pits and apple cider at Lightning Rock or grilled cheeses at Summerland Heritage Cider. As a bonus there will be multiple weekends for the Winter Wine Experience at Haywire.
In West Kelowna, Quail’s Gate will host its Winter "Wanderland” and a holiday gala this weekend and will raise funds for wildfire relief. Grizzli Winery will have events through mid-December and Mission Hill will hosts its annual Festival of Trees.
And finally, in Kelowna prepare for the holidays by taking a class at the Okanagan Table.
This should take us all well into the season and when you need to get in some exercise, strap on some skates and head to the District Wine Village.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.