Winter Okanagan Wine Festival At Sun Peaks, Canada
Are you a winter and wine lover? Consider attending the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival at Sun Peaks!
In January, I was in serious need of some winter fun. When an invitation to tour British Columbia’s wine region and go Sun Peaks Resort for the 18th Annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival came up, I couldn’t say no. Wine touring and adventure? Could it get any better?! Combining my burgeoning interest in wine and my love for winter sports in one trip was a dream.
After touring Okanagan wineries for a few days, my travel companions Elizabeth Schneider, who is behind the blog and podcast Wine For Normal People and Stefanie Michaels, from Adventure Girl headed to Sun Peaks. I learned the resort is the second largest ski area in Canada. There is something for everything there. You can choose from cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, and dog sledding. There’s a village in the center of the resort with accommodations, restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops.
The night we arrived, we attended the West Jet Progressive Tasting, the signature event of the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival. At the tasting, there were over 100 wines from 30 wineries. The different wineries were stationed in different businesses throughout Sun Peaks Village. We got a dose of fresh mountain air, tasty wines, cheese, chocolate, and snacks. Everyone in attendance was in jovial moods as we moved from each “wine station” to taste different wines. Since my time at the resort was short, I loved being able to explore the Village while tasting wines at the same time. I made some mental notes for places to eat for breakfast before going out on the hill.
Sadly I did not take a lot of photos from the event….I blame the tasty wine and the cold for wearing out my phone battery!
West Jet Progressive Tasting – Photo courtesy of Kieren Frey
Tasting wines from Culmina Winery
West Jet Progressing Tasting at Sun Peaks – Photo courtesy of Royce Sihlis
The next day I went dog sledding and snowboarding for most of the day. After snowboarding, I rode to the bottom of the hill and attended the Spirited Après, also part of the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival. It was at the Cahilty Bar & Grill which is just at the base of the mountain. We sampled different offerings by Okanagan Spirits like their fruit liqueur and their whiskey. They also had some locally made sausages on the grill, some fire pits, s’mores and a fireworks show!
Whiskey and fruity wines at the Spirited Apres
I didn’t stay too long because I had a Winemakers of BC Dinner at Mantles Restaurant which is in the Sunpeaks Grand Hotel. We had a multi-course dinner prepared by Chef Darren Kashin and his team with wines from Culmina, Church and State Wines, Okanagan Crush Pad, Tantalus, and Gehringer Brothers. Since we had not stopped at these wineries on our tour, it was amazing to be able to taste the wines and meet the winemakers in person.
A collage from the tasty BC Winemakers’ Dinner at Mantles
Tasting reds at our BC Winemakers dinner!