Column: There’s more for wine fans in the Okanagan than visiting wineries

Next time you travel to Penticton, you can save time and gas by visiting the Great Estates Wine Experience. Opened last year at the Lakeside Resort and Convention Centre, seven wineries are on site and will allow visitors to sample and purchase wines of the South Okanagan, where the desert meets the mountains and the lake. 

Enjoy daily tastings where you can sniff, swirl, and sip your way through the Great Estates Okanagan portfolio which includes Black Sage Vineyard, Inniskillin, Nk’Mip Cellars, Jackson-Triggs, Sunrock Vineyards, Dark Horse, Steller’s Jay, See Ya Later Ranch and Sumac Ridge.

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The Experience Centre also offers a range of fun and educational seminars for all levels from wine newbie to professional sommelier.

For example, at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery in Summerland, there’s the Winter Wine and Charcuterie Event ($25). Swirl, sip, and savour a selection of six wines from Sumac Ridge’s three iconic labels: Steller's Jay, Sumac Ridge Private Reserve and Black Sage Vineyard, while sharing an artisan cheese and charcuterie board. In addition to some winery exclusives, each week they'll pour an older vintage wine from their library.

This event is on December 6, 7 & 8, December 15, 16 & 17, and December 22, 23 & 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.

At NkMip Cellars in Osoyoos enjoy the Holiday Feast Food & Wine Experience ($45) on Saturday Dec 7, 14, & 21 at 2 p.m.  

Looking for the perfect wine to enjoy with your Holiday Feast? Join the fun to experience the art of food and wine pairing with specially prepared Holiday Season inspired food bites with award-winning Nk’Mip Cellars wine.

On Sunday Dec 8 from 4 – 6 p.m., Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin Okanagan in Oliver host the Bling and Blues Holiday Celebration ($20).

Come and join them for an amazing afternoon of holiday cheer celebrating with their Award Winning wines and the Blues!

Start out with a little Entourage Sparkling wine, move your way into a chilling Icewine cocktail then pair some Dark Horse Vineyard Chardonnay and Sunrock Vineyard Illumina with tasty morsels provided by Oliver Eats and the Great Estates team. All the while warming your soul with a performance by Rick Poppa Dawg Halisheff.

On Thursday December 12 at 5 p.m., experience Taste of the Season Wine & Food Pairing Series: The Holiday Feast. It’s happening at the Great Estates Wine Experience in Penticton. Enjoy Riesling with lemon shortbread, Roséwith brie and cranberry, Pinot Noir with turkey & stuffing soup, Shiraz with gouda, and Icewine with Maison Mulnati chocolate.

The wineries have also come together to bring you a truly unique offering: the Great Estates Okanagan Wine Club. Wine club members have the convenience of receiving some of the Okanagan's greatest wines delivered directly to their door. Wines are sent monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Packages include red wines, white wines or a combination of both.

Members also receive a 15-per-cent discount on regularly priced wine and accessories,  a 15-per-cent discount for up to four people at the winery restaurants, invitations to exclusive club members-only events, complimentary public wine tours and tastings for you and up to three friends, and a 15-per-cent discount at Spirit Ridge Resort & Spa discount off regular room rates at the Osoyoos resort at NkMip Cellars.

To discover more juicy details, go to

Eric Hanson is a Richmond resident and wine educator.




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