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August 20, 2010
Yee Haw! An Okanagan Round-up

Heading to the Okanagan this weekend? Perhaps to take in the Feast of Fields Event in Okanagan Falls? Here's some local news to help you get caught up before you go

After moving venues to different cities across Canada each year, Gold Medal Plates, the Canadian Chefs Championship finals is moving to Kelowna - and will take place in that Okanagan city for the next 5 years. Stuart Klassen, the Executive Chef from host venue the Kelowna Delta Grand Okanagan will compete at the regional finals in Vancouver, which means we could see him as both competitor and host chef for the event. The eight national finalists will compete at the Delta on February 19, 2011. Tickets may be purchased online.

Cameron Bond and Crysta-Lee McWatters Bond, the owners of the fabulous new restaurant Local, will be adding a new liquor store to their Summerland properties. The retail shop will be located near the town IGA store complete with built-in facilities for in-store cooking classes and wine tastings.

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery is getting ready for a major expansion. The hilltop winery will soon see the addition of a hotel with cottages, a holistic health spa, and a full fine dining restaurant. (The winery's Terrace restaurant is currently open for lunch and mid afternoon tapas and dinner for special events only.) In the meantime, proprietor Anthony von Mandl has released an elegantly crisp bottling of Martin’s Lane Riesling 2009, named after von Mandl's father, Martin, who passed away in 1994. The wine comes from single vineyard, Martin's Lane, that has been under development for five years and located directly below the Mission Hill Winery.

Having taken two of this year's Governor General's Wine Awards, John Skinner's Painted Rock Winery is looking forward to some major contruction projects on its 60-acre property as well. Plans are in the works for a larger tasting room, a B & B with a restaurant, and a number of townhouses constructed behind the winery. Most recently, the winery added a bottling of 2008 Chardonnay to its outstanding collection of reds. We sampled some of the 2008 and 2009 vintages in barrel at the winery and they already showed remarkable distinction. Its possible some could even surpass the award winners.

Begun as "Synergy", the winery partnership of Larry Lund, Jim Morrison and Ron Bell officially re-opened last month under the new branding of "Perseus Winery & Vineyards" (as in the constellation). The new tasting room, located in a '50s style bungalow house on the elbow of Vancouver Road as it leads up into Naramata from Penticton, making it the first winery on the Naramata Bench), is starting off with a small selection of red and white wines under the $30 price point. Researching the Perseus constellation, General Manager Anthony Bure, discovered that the heavenly body contains a black hole right in its centre. "I hope that's a lucky thing", he laughs.

Oliver's Dunham & Froese, a boutique size winery known for its organically farmed vineyards, will be part of the supporting team of the 2010 Subaru Ironman Canada Triathlon Not only that, but on August 29th, Shelly Covert, a winery partner, will be participating in the race for the very first time. To celebrate the fact that the Triathlon will be held in the Okanagan, they have chosen 3 wines to special label in honour of the race: the 2008 Pinot Blanc, the 2008 Merlot and the 2008 Amicitia Red Reserve Blend. Find them at the BC VQA Info Centre store located on the corner of Eckhardt and Power in Penticton, or from the winery shop, organic restaurant & market (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.)

AUGUST 26, SEPT 2, 9, 2010:
Joy Road Winemaker's Culinary Series.
Chefs Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart continue their popular winemakers dinner series at God's Mountain Estate on Thursday evenings throughout August and September. Enjoy an inspired menu featuring the freshest, regional cuisine expertly paired with Okanagan wines from select boutique wineries. Dine with the valley’s leading winemakers in an idyllic vineyard setting overlooking Skaha Lake. Upcoming wineries include Meyer Family, Lake Breeze, Joie Farm, Painted Rock and La Frenz. Reservations are required. $110 per person + HST. 6:30 p.m. 4898 Lakeside/Eastside Rd. (Inquire also about their Sunday Alfresco Vineyard Dining.)

AUGUST 17 & 27, 2010:
Hoodoo Adventures Kayak Wine & Dine.
There are many ways to do a wine tour - in a car, a bus, on foot or by bike. Now Hoodoo Adventures is offering a chance to experience wine country by kayak. The Kayak Wine & Dine tour includes a paddle to a local winery and a gourmet lunch from a top local chef. The four hour tour is just $70 including lunch. Hoodoo Adventures has this great tour available both August 17 and 27. To register or for more information, contact Hoodoo Adventures at 250-490-6084 or fill out the email contact form at the link above.

AUGUST 20, 2010:
Hoodoo Adventures 3 Mile Sunset Paddle.
The perfect way to end a hot summer day in the Okanagan, Hoodoo Adventures will be guiding a sunset paddle on Okanagan Lake to the lovely and secluded 3 Mile Beach on August 20 from 6-9 p.m. This relaxing and scenic kayak trip will take guests from Marina Way Beach in Penticton to 3 Mile Beach, where guests can take a swim and enjoy a snack before returning to Penticton as the sun sets over the horizon. The  3-hour excursion is $40 per person. To register, or for more information, contact Hoodoo Adventures at 250-490-6084 or fill out the email contact form at the link above.

AUGUST 22, 2010:
Okanagan Feast of Fields.
FarmFolk/CityFolk is staging its second Feast of Fields at Brock Farm in Okanagan Falls on August 22. Feast of Fields provides the public with an up-close-and-personal opportunity to sample and swirl local products. Wandering throughout the farm, patrons will be able to meet the chefs and farmers, the vintners, brewers and food artisans, taste their products, ask questions, and learn more about where their food comes from. It is a day of celebrating the bounty of the Okanagan. For more information on Feast of Fields or to get tickets, go to

AUGUST 27, 28 + September 10, 11, 2010:
Oscar Wilde at Township 7
Join the Naramata winery for a performance of Wilde at the Winery. Twisted Tree Theatre will perform Oscar Wilde’s most popular play, The Importance of Being Earnest, in the open air setting amongst the vines. Performances run from the end of August to mid September. $20 per ticket with 10% of all proceeds from ticket sales in support of the Rotary Okanagan International Children’s Festival. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy Township 7 wines. 1450 McMillan Avenue. Open seating commences at 5:30, with the play beginning at 6:30 pm. Purchase tickets through Twisted Tree Theatre Company at 604-803-1166, or Township 7 at 250-770-1743 or

SEPTEMBER 9, 2010:
Hoodoo Adventures Kayak Beach BBQ.
The plan goes a little something like this: Work up an appetite by paddling to 3 Mile Beach in Naramata, enjoy a BBQ on the beach featuring fresh, local and organic food, and then paddle back on the calm waters of Okanagan Lake as the sun sets. It doesn't get much better then that. Join Hoodoo Adventures for this summer evening of paddling and food. September 9 from 6-9:30 p.m. $80 per person. To register or for more information, contact Hoodoo Adventures at 250.490.6084 or fill out the email contact form at the link above.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2010:
7th Annual Naramata Tailgate Party.
The event features tastings from fifteen wineries of the Naramata Bench, great food, and great entertainment in a casual outdoor setting surrounded by the beauty of Naramata and Okanagan Lake. This year they will be gathering at The Commons at Naramata Centre, with the party taking place by the lake, right in the heart of Naramata Village where it all began! Free shuttle service to Penticton for ticket holders. 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $85 and available online at the link above, or by phone at 1-800-663-1900.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2010:
Similkameen Wine Tasting.
The wineries of the Similkameen Valley will gather on the grounds by the newly restored Grist Mill (circa 1800's) to share good wine, food and fun for the whole family. Tickets are $30 and include a lunch of locally grown and prepared food (proceeds supporting the Grist Mill), two wine tasting tickets, a Similkameen Wineries Association wine glass (to take home), live music from the Darylectones and children’s activities. Extra tickets for food and wine can be purchased for $2.50 for wine tasting and $6 for food. 1-4 p.m. More information on the Similkameen Wineries Association can be found at, by email at or by phoning Rhys Pender at 250-317-8796.

OCTOBER 1, 2010:
11th Annual GrapeStomp, BBQ & Wine Tasting.
Get ready to channel your inner Lucille Ball at the Penticton Lakeside Resort's 11th Annual GrapeStomp October 1. Get your friends together to see how much juice you can stomp, press and squish out of grapes. Then enjoy a delicious BBQ and wine tasting with 20 award-winning Okanagan wineries. The fun begins at 6 p.m. To register your team, contact Vanessa at 250.493.9774 or email Tickets are just $20 and can be purchased at the Penticton Lakeside Resort - 21 Lakeshore Drive, Penticton or call 250.493.8221.

OCTOBER 1 - 10, 2010:
Okanagan Fall Wine Festival.
The Annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival is an experience for all who love fabulous wine accompanied by great food and unique events. Autumn in Okanagan Wine Country is the perfect time to watch the grapes ripen in the sun and indulge yourself in the harvest celebrations. This is the only wine festival in North America that takes place during the heart of grape harvest. During this festival, experience vineyard tours, lunches, dinners, events and the fall wine harvest – there is no better way to visit Okanagan wine country. For ten days in early October enjoy over 165 events throughout the valley which are focused on wine, food, education and the arts in one of North America’s most spectacular settings – the Okanagan Valley.

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