Weekend of wine touring under one Penticton roof

Shout-out to the fall grape harvest culminates next weekend at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

The big shout-out to the fall grape harvest culminates with the Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

“It is really exciting this year because we have revamped it and added some really cool new stuff,” said Lori Pike-Raffan, public relations director for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “We wanted to add a new experience this year.”

The Grand Finale Consumer Tastingswill go on a valley-wide wine tour under one roof at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre Oct. 10 and 11. It wraps up the 34th Okanagan Fall Wine Festival with over 80 wineries will be pouring a wide spectrum of British Columbia wines.

“It’s virtually impossible for someone to experience 80 wineries on a tour over a weekend, but we make that happen here,” said Pike-Raffan. “It is an awesome opportunity to get to sample from across the Okanagan in one or two evenings.”

Pinot noir, pinot gris and pinot blanc are well-known varietals in B.C. and this year outside the main tasting room various styles of the three varietals produced in the Okanagan will be showcased. Wine experts will be on hand to explain their characteristics to those sampling them. The Sensory Smell Test, in concert with the Pinot Bar, will offer consumers to try their hand at sensory evaluation to guess the aromas associated with each pinot.

“We are developing an amazing reputation for pinot because of the unique microclimates from Osoyoos to Kamloops that makes it so special,” said Pike-Raffan. “We are able to grow really well in all types of varietals from big reds in Osoyoos to beautiful reislings in Lake Country.”

The two-day Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings also includes live entertainment, artisan breads, gourmet cheeses and samples from Nesters Market will be offered as well. Event-goers can purchase their favourite wines at the on-site store presented by BC Liqour Stores.

Also included in the price of admission are two interactive seminars. Learn about B.C. wines in Wine 101 presented by an Okanagan winemaker. It is everything you wanted to know about wine, but didn’t think to ask. The Dairy Farmers of Canada will host an Introduction to Canadian Cheese seminar. Both of these are offered during the evening on a first come, first served basis.

The Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings is a Get Home Safe event, sponsored by the BC Liqour Stores and Valley First Insurance.

Tickets are available at www.valleyfirsttix.com or by calling 1-877-763-2849. Prices are $65 for one evening or $110 for both nights. The tastings run from 6 to 9 p.m. on both Oct. 10 and 11.

The Okanagan Falls Wine Festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors to over 125 wine and culinary events throughout the valley.

“And, we have this amazing weather right now and that is part of the whole experience for people. They get to escape rainy Vancouver or snowy Calgary and come to the Okanagan. They get this quintessential sunshine which is perfect for wine touring,” said Pike-Raffan.

For more info on events visit www.thewinefestivals.com.