First Annual Naramata Bench Winterfest brings a new holiday event to the area

Winery creates new festival

Hoping to bring some Christmas cheer and drum up a little more business for the Naramata Bench, one local winery is starting its own holiday themed event.

Joel and Linda Chamaschuk, co-owners of Chain Reaction Winery, reached out to their neighbouring businesses to see if there was interest in hosting a special weekend, creating the first annual Naramata Bench Winterfest.

"Well, when we moved here about five years ago, one of the things that struck us was how cool the events in Summerland and Ok Falls were at Christmas time and I thought, 'Hey, well, we should obviously have one here,'" Joel said, referencing Summerland's Light-up the Vines.

"So the idea is that it's a two day festival much like the other areas that we have in the Okanagan. Every winery or distillery or [cidery] is offering something to make it festive. So in our case, for example, we're going to put together some pulled pork buns, we're offering free tastings and 10 per cent discount on purchases. Other wineries might have mulled cider, they may offer discounts on their products as well."

So far, a dozen other businesses have joined in.

"The idea is just to drop by and have some fun," Joel said.

"This isn't a winery-specific event, we wanted to include all businesses on the [Naramata Bench] and make everybody feel welcome."

"We hope that this is just the first of many years to come. That this is just the inaugural year and next year, it's bigger and better," Linda added.

The event runs from Nov. 24-25, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Some wineries may have different hours listed, which are specified below.

The lineup of offerings so far are as follows:

  • Chain Reaction – Free tastings, 10 per cent off wine, pulled pork sandwiches for purchase
  • Howling Bluff - Free tastings, 15 per cent off wine
  • D'Angelo - Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 12 to 7 p.m., s'mores and a campfire
  • Lake Breeze - Open for both days, wine tasting of three wines paired with a little snack for purchase
  • Therapy - Santa/Winter Photo booth, two draws to stay at their inn after purchasing bottles
  • Moraine - Small bites and wine pairing
  • Creek and Gully - 3 to 6 p.m. both days, free tastings, hot apple cider
  • Daydreamer - Saturday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., mulled wine and s'mores

Upper Bench, High Note, Roche, La Petit Abeille and Maple Leaf will also be participating, with details to come.

Those details and additional participating wineries will be shared on the Naramata Bench Winterfest website closer to the event.

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