Schell: Garagiste wine festival this Sunday in Kelowna

Garagiste North has recaptured the spirit of the winemaker—small-scale.

Garagiste North—The Small Guys Wine Festival.

On August 21, the London Financial Times ran an article listing the “5 Best Wine Festivals in the World”.

Incredibly, that list included a local festival: Garagiste North Wine Festival in Kelowna.

What makes this festival so unique? The first of its kind in Canada, Garagiste North—The Small Guys Wine Festival, celebrates the artisan winemaker creating commercially produced small case lot wines (under 2000 cases).

An eclectic gang, they are a blend of passion and experience, new and old, the cult and the boutique, the virtual and custom crush—all gathered in one spot. The inaugural festival in 2014 held in Okanagan Falls captured the hearts of the wine-loving crowd who were delighted to taste these exclusive wines and have the opportunity to talk directly to the winemaker.

Garagiste North has recaptured the spirit of the winemaker and celebrates the passionate art of winemaking.

The next festival is coming up. Tickets are on sale now for Garagiste North: Small Guys Festival, Sept. 27 at The Laurel Packinghouse, 1304 Ellis St. in Kelowna, from 2 to 4 p.m. Ticket price of $49 includes exclusive wine tastings, food truck fare by Roxy’s Diner & cool music by Slap Dog. Tickets on Eventbrite.ca.

Partial proceeds from the festival will benefit a new Garagiste North Wine Scholarship at Okanagan College, helping young people in our community get involved in this industry. www.garagistenorth.com

And on that international theme, have you dreamt of going to Italy and living like a local? First step to being able to do that is to learn the language.

A now Kelowna local, Italian ex-pat and journalist Gian Marco Litrico, is offering a fabulous course combining Italian language and culture. He will teach you the basics of the language as well as divulging some cooking secrets like how to make perfect risotto and homemade pizza. He’ll give 10 weekly classes at the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club starting on Oct. 2. Email: gmp.litrico@gmail.com.