Wine centre celebrates anniversary

On Saturday the B.C. VQA Wine Information Centre will be giving its annual open house a boost to toast 15 years

The B.C. VQA Wine Information Centre is getting ready to toast its 15th anniversary with a celebration this weekend.

On Saturday the B.C. VQA Wine Information Centre will be giving its annual open house a boost as it celebrates the occasion.

“This event marks the perfect occasion to start Christmas shopping or discover some fantastic local wines you may not have tried,” said manager Laura Kowalchuk.

Starting at noon, the event will include winemakers and winery owners handing out tasting samples of their product and answering questions about their product and the 2011 harvest. There will also be food samples and the opportunity to meet chef and author Ricardo Scebba from Riccardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen, who will be on hand to sign his new cookbook That’s Amore.

What’s wine and food without entertainment? The fabulous musical stylings of William Leggott on classical guitar will also add to the celebratory atmosphere.

Penticton’s Wine Information Centre was the first VQA Wine Store in British Columbia. Today there are 21 stores across B.C.

Operated by the B.C. Wine Information Society, profits are put back into the local community supporting the wine industry. A recent donation was made to the Okanagan College Centre of Excellence in Penticton in the amount of $150,000. In addition, two annual scholarships are given in the mount of $3,000 to local viticulture students.

The wine centre, open year-round, offers wine touring advice, wine maps and for those first timers, an introduction to wine tasting before they head out to visit the 100-plus wineries in the area.

The wine centre is located at the corner of the Channel Parkway and Eckhardt Avenue.

With over 500 VQA wines, allows customers to purchase an abundant selection of wines at winery price, without having to drive through-out the region. During the winter many small wineries are closed, but the wines are still available at the Wine Centre.