MARKIN: When art and wine collide in the Okanagan

Head out to your favourite winery to enjoy a bit of culture, usually on a sun-soaked patio.

Eventually, the summer weather will kick in.

Until then, grab a light jacket and be prepared to head out to your favourite winery to enjoy a bit of culture, usually on a sun-soaked patio. Maybe grab an umbrella, just to be safe.

Now that it’s July event season is in full swing, and aside from winemaker dinners and festival tastings, many local libation hot spots are embracing arts and culture. Liquidity Winery in Okanagan Falls kicks things off this weekend with its Arts Lecture Series, featuring visual artist Bobbie Burgers on Saturday at 3 p.m. The series takes place on the second Saturday of each month through October.

In Summerland, Okanagan Crush Pad has already begun its Live @ Crush Pad Music Series, taking place on select Thursday through August, at $25 per person. On July 28, enjoy the blues rock of Ross Neilson.

On the Naramata Bench, a number of wineries host live music on their patios. If you miss one performance, there’s probably another one the following weekend, or just down the road. Bench 1775 — with its stellar view of Okanagan Lake from the expansive patio — presents live music every Saturday at 2 p.m. Music therapy? Look no further than Therapy Vineyards with music on Saturdays at 1 p.m. till September, alongside dishes from Sig’s Grille. Perhaps the grapes will be happier with some tunes floating through the air.

But it’s not just patio performers to pay attention to, artwork abounds at a number of spots. vinAmité, formerly known as vinPerdu, Ruby Blues, Red Rooster, and more cover their walls with art, and in the case of the latter, install thought-provoking sculptures in and around their wine shops.

The making of wine is both a science and an art. Measurements, chemical compounds, sugar levels … these all must be combined with the subjective tastes of a winemaker, and eventually, those who swirl, sniff and sip a fine glass of pinot or chardonnay. Art and wine. The perfect combination of good taste.

Save the date:

July 15, Evolve Cellars: Comedy Night at Evolve featuring comedian Patrick Maliha, $65 includes dinner and a glass of wine. www.encorevineyards.ca/About-ENCORE/Events

July 17, Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery:  5th annual Paella Wine and Live Music, 11:30am to 3:30pm, $20 per person. http://paella-quintaferreira.eventbrite.com/

July 27, Play Estate Winery:  Blueberry Winemaker’s Dinner, blueberry cocktails, three-course dinner, and wine. $75 Call 236 422 2675. www.playwinery.com

July 29, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards:  Starlit Super, dine under the stars while enjoying a multicourse dinner. Telescopes will be available for stargazing. www.tinhorn.com

Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News. She can be reached at Allison@AllSheWrote.ca and on Twitter @OkanaganTaste.

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