Schell: Garagistes at coolest wine fest

Some unique festivals and events coming up in the Okanagan.

  • Aug. 27, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Come meet the Garagistes of the Okanagan wine world at the coolest wine festival ever.

On Sunday, September 14th at Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, wine lovers will have the unique opportunity to taste the special small lot wines created by come of our Valley’s most talented winemakers.

Following the international Garagiste movement, this festival will be the first of its kind in Canada – literally, a Small Guys Wine Festival, it celebrates the artisan winemakers who are crafting commercially produced small case lot wines (under 2000 cases).

This is the only festival of its kind that brings the hard-to-find, small-production wines and their creators together for an extraordinary taste of what lies beneath the large commercial winemaking industry.

Garagistes are coming from across the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, providing guests with a taste of the diverse terroir and varietal strengths by region. These are the “once upon a time” stories of our wine world.

Tickets are only $40 and include live music and food truck service.  September 14, 2014, 1-4 p.m., Tickets available on Eventbrite:

GARAGISTE – (gar-uh-jeest) noun, Fr. : The garagiste refers to a group of winemakers in the Bordeaux region of France, producing “Vins de garage” or “Garage wine”. They were renegade small-lot winemakers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow industry laws and protocol. Characterized as “winemaker’s wine whose attributes reflect a disregard for the traditional handling of its particular terroir”.  Their movement went on to achieve cult status with their wines achieving greatness on the world wine stage. Synonyms: Rebels, pioneers, renegades, individualists, mavericks, driven by passion. For more info:


Also coming up on September 7th is another festival that is close to my heart—a Tomato Festival.

Held at one of my favourite local farms, Jon and Sher Alcock and family at Sunshine Farm in Southeast Kelowna are hosting their inaugural Tomato Festival.  From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests will revel in the picturesque, organic setting found at the farm while tasting the culinary delights created by their talented daughter, chef Mona Johannson.

The mouth-watering morsels include Wood Fired Pizza on wild sourdough crust (wheat grown on site), Tomato Ice Cream, Tomato Tarts, Chocolate-dipped Tomatoes and tastings of dozens of Heirloom, Organic Tomato varieties with non-alcoholic drinks, tours of the farm, and more.   For more info please e-mail or order tickets (only 50 available.) from


Destination Races Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon is happening again on September 6th this year.

This super fun event course eventually runs along the greenbelt and the lake before finishing in expansive Waterfront Park where everyone gathers to celebrate their accomplishment at the Wine & Music Festival.

Go to to register to run or just come for the fun and cheer on the runners or buy a wristband to enter the wine festival and taste some of our Okanagan’s best.


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