Tailgating back to the beach

The annual Tailgate Party by the Naramata Bench Wineries Association is back for the 10th year

Ian Sutherland of Poplar Grove Winery fills glasses and chats about wines with the crowd at a previous Tailgate Party

Ian Sutherland of Poplar Grove Winery fills glasses and chats about wines with the crowd at a previous Tailgate Party

Back in 2004, there were only 15 wineries pouring at the first-ever tailgate party on the Naramata Bench.

Ten years and 10 tailgate parties later, the event has grown into one of the biggest wine parties of the season and the number of wineries on the Bench has grown as well. This year, there are 24 member wineries of the Naramata Bench Wineries Association circling their trucks and dropping their tailgates for the wine and food event enthusiasts plan an Okanagan fall weekend around.

The theme of the 2013 Tailgate Party is Fish ‘N Sips, a Naramata picnic at the beach, taking place in the heart of Naramata village at Manitou Beach and Park from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 7.

Harkening back to the days of picnics in the 70s, along with the 24 wineries pouring a wide selection of summer and fall wine releases, seven talented chefs from Naramata Bench restaurants will be creating a fabulous menu of gourmet offerings featuring a wide selection of seafood.

Participating restaurants include The Bench Market, The Vanilla Pod, The Kitchen, The Pecking Room, Hillside Bistro, Lake Breeze Patio and the Naramata Heritage Inn.

Music will be supplied by Peach City Radio. The local co-op radio will be broadcasting live and local on the site, playing retro beach and surf music while interacting with the crowd, winemakers and chefs.

The 24 Naramata Bench Wineries Association members pouring are: Kettle Valley Winery, Therapy Vineyards, Serendipity Winery, Van Westen Vineyards, Elephant Island Orchard Wines, Lake Breeze Vineyards, Lang Vineyards, Terravista Vineyards, Moraine Estate Winery, Bench 1775, Black Widow Winery, Laughing Stock Vineyards, 3 Mile Estate Winery, Howling Bluff Estate Winery, Hillside Winery & Bistro, D’Angelo Estate Winery, Red Rooster Winery, La Frenz Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, Monster Vineyards, Perseus Winery, Township 7 Winery, Misconduct Wine Co. and Upper Bench Estate Winery.

Tickets are $89 and are now on sale. More info and tickets: www.naramatabench.com or call 1-800-663-1900. Free shuttle service to and from Penticton is sponsored by Westland Insurance.