Wineries asked to stage fun events

This summer’s Okanagan Wine Festival is expanding to a 10-day, valley-wide event with a kick-off wine tasting in Kelowna set for Saturday, July 9, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

This summer’s Okanagan Wine Festival is expanding to a 10-day, valley-wide event with a kick-off wine tasting in Kelowna set for Saturday, July 9, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Blair Baldwin, event coordinator for the Okanagan Wine Festival Society, explained the summer festival has been re-designed to emulate the successful spring and fall festivals, both of which are now 10 days long.

The summer wine festival has in the past been a weekend affair at Silver Star Mountain Resort, but it’s now focussing on mountain biking, said Baldwin.

The other wine festival society-sponsored events being organized for this summer include an after party and wine tasting following the Granfondo cycling event in Penticton, Sunday, July 10; a beach party with the Dairy Farmers’ of Canada July 15 at the WaterMark in Osoyoos and an outdoor event in Poulson Park in Vernon the afternoon of July 17.

A call for the 100 member-wineries of the society has just gone out for them to put on their creative caps and come up with some fun things to do, he said.

“There’s strong support for it. They’re saying those are dates when they need to bring in new business,” said Baldwin.

The society’s research indicates hotels, wineries and restaurants are all interested in such a summer event, he said.

There will be more official events such as wine seminars, and a promotional brochure listing events likely will be produced in March.

The new-style Summer Okanagan Wine Festival will run from July 8 to 17.

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