Sunday, August 19, 2012

TOP TEN Reasons You Should Go to WBC13 in Okanagan

#10 The Fruit is Really Big
The fruit in Penticton is really big – and big fruit means good grapes. Peaches, Cherries, Apricots, Apples--it’s all growing in Okanagan.

#9 - The Food
Restaurants like Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery, Hillside Estates Winery Bistro, Lake Breeze Winery and the Hooded Merganzer are all run by innovative chefs that work in a supporting role with the bounty of the region, coaxing out the flavors of a dish with finesse and imagination not overpowering them.

#8--Sparkling and White Wines-- 
The Whites and Sparkling wines in the Okanagan are crisp, refreshing, and full of fruit and acidity. Standouts for me were the Blue Mountain Sparkling Brut non vintage made of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris --a tart dry delight. Also wonderful was the creamy Sauvignon Blanc, the bright Pinot Gris and-- I can’t really believe I’m saying this -- my favorite their amazing Chardonnay-- soft and supple with great acidity and balanced fruit. More about these wines in my next post. Other top picks the Gewurtztraminer from Kettle Valley, Pinot Gris from Lake Breeze, and the Viognier from Laughing Stock.

#7 – The Conference Hotel --Penticton Lakeside Resort—
I don’t think WBC has ever had a conference venue as dynamic as this. The Penticton Lakeside Resort  is situated right on Lake Okanagan--you can see vineyards from your balcony. And if you are not on the lakeside you can see wine bottles in your mini fridge. But no matter what side of the hotel you are on, the conference meeting rooms, and public areas all have incredible views as well. (Oh, and did I mention there is an on-site casino??) Oh yes, trouble is just a short elevator ride away. Other big plus—The wifi is blazing fast and so are the elevators. You won’t grow old waiting for the elevators here.

#6 – Winemakers
Everyone says Canadians are polite. Well sure that’s true, but they never mention how much fun they are, and how smart and hospitable they are. They are all that too. Plus who doesn't love to hang out with winemakers. Eh?

#5 – The Red Wines
Yes indeedy, there are some rich reds to quaff in the Okanagan. One of my favorite reds was the Cab Franc from Tinhorn Creek--exceptional body, smooth with spicy sage notes. The reds here are surprising and very good--from Cabernet to Syrah to Pinot Noir to Merlot--which is widely planted and I think could be a contender for signature grape of the area.

#4 – The Stunning Views –
Okanagan has some of the most interesting geological history of any wine region in the world and the views to go with it. Morning, noon and night, the scenery is the star and there are few wine regions more stunning. 

#3 – Gewurztraminer Slushies!!!
If there is only one reason to go to Okaganan-- this is it! You may just start looking for real estate after you have one of these amazing concoctions at Kettle Valley Winery.

#2 – The Wine!!
Did I mention wine? Oh yes—You can’t have a wine bloggers conference without good wine and it’s plentiful here. The jury is still out on what exactly the signature grape of the Okanagan region is. Is it Pinot Gris, Gewurtz, Cab Franc, perhaps Merlot? It’s hard to say, there are so many great grapes grown here--something for every palate. You need to try them all and then cast your own ballot for Signature Grape of Okanagan.

And the NUMBER ONE reason you should go to WBC13—
—If you miss the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton –You’re an idiot!

There is lot to see and do beyond the conference. Biking, hiking, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and something simply called “the float” in the river channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake that does not involve root beer, but could if you wanted it to.

My recommendation for WBC13 in Okanagan-- Come early, stay late. You’ll be glad you did.

I’ll go in to everything I experienced on my WBC13 preveiw trip that was arranged by Travel Penticton and BC Wine in the next two posts. So don’t touch that dial.


Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre
Toll free: 1-800-663-5052

Photo Credits: All photos Marcy Gordon except for Pentiction Peach and Mountain biker -- courtesy of Penticton & Wine Country Tourism

1 comment:

  1. well you have sold it to me! I'll just have to try for the scolarship...



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...