The Okanagan’s food and wine scene has been growing exponentially over the past few years, becoming a world-class gourmet destination as well as wine region.
Want a chance to taste our locavorian cuisine and meet some of our food producers as well as winemakers? Experience Wine Tours will be happy to take you on a delicious tour de force and show you exactly what we are made of.
Owners Matt Wentzell and Shannon Hillery “will deliver a unique guest experience that will satisfy their thirst for our local wines and allow them to come away from each tour with a broader understanding of what makes the Okanagan a special place” — the local cuisine.
Matt and Shannon, who have both received sommelier training, are promising a unique touring experience different than those of their competitors. Their tours will combine the food and wine aspects of our wine country by incorporating a “food-focused stop at either a farm or artisan food producer”.
Both have strong food and beverage industry background and have worked in some of the valley’s best restaurants. Shannon graduated from a travel and tourism program, and Matt from food and beverage management — they met in a post-graduate hospitality program, sounds like a match made in heaven (as does their new venture).
The couple, who are obviously foodies and wine aficionados, are choosing their favourite wineries across the valley to share with their guests. They will offer four different tours: The Kelowna tour (which visits both sides of the lake), a Naramata tour, a South Okanagan tour and a Similkameen tour.
All tours include a picnic lunch using the highest quality local ingredients including some delicious products from Details Catering (Waterfront Wines chef Mark Filatow’s catering company). Other items will be sourced from local producers including Illichmann’s and other local growers/producers.
Experience Wine Tours are promising enthusiastic, fun and knowledgeable tour guides and offer a beautiful, custom, 11-passenger Mercedes Benz Sprinter van for maximum comfort. They will also offer fully customizable tours and will pick up and drop off guests from their accommodation.
Jennifer Schell is the editor of B.C. Food and Wine Trails magazine.