The "festival" part of it really just marks the kickoff of summer hours in tasting rooms. There are also a number of events, most of which seem to be related to food (and an excuse to overcharge). This event used to be just four days at the beginning of May; somewhere in the last few years it was expanded to a week and a half. We found touring around on Thursday and Friday that there weren't a lot of other people around. The weekend was quite busy, especially Sunday which was Mothers' Day.
Some highlights were an overdue return to the Similkameen Valley, several wineries visited for the first time, cowboy Ken from Rustico, some great stinky cheeses from Poplar Grove and Upper Bench, and Bill from Fairview going back to his house to find us a couple of bottles of The Wrath.
This was also the first year I took notes. The quality of some of the tasting notes inexplicably declined during each day, as did the quality of my handwriting. But at least I have a record of everywhere we went and what we tasted. I plan to write it all up here in the next few days, but here are the raw numbers:
- 85 hours in the Okanagan
- 36 wineries visited
- 221 wines tasted
- 60 wines brought back
- $100 in extra baggage fees