By Brandi Schier, Tourism Sun Peaks
Wine glass in hand, arms linked with a friend, you stroll through the snowy alpine village of Sun Peaks, stopping occasionally to refill with another sip from a different BC winery. It’s dark outside, but the shops and restaurants are glowing, spilling soft light and jovial guests out onto the snowy walkway. It’s the last weekend of the Sun Peaks Winter Wine Festival, and you are with over 600 of your newest friends, discovering different varietals provided by 30 of the province’s leading wineries during the culminating WestJet Progressive Tasting event.
Every year thousands of BC wine lovers gather for one of the biggest winter celebrations of the province’s tastiest natural resource. Whether you’re considered an amateur sommelier or simply enjoy a nice glass of red, the nine-day, 16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival has the perfect range of events. The festival takes place from January 11 to 19 in the mountain community of Sun Peaks, which is home to a vibrant village and British Columbia’s second largest ski terrain.
This perfect pairing ensures endless opportunities to combine outdoor winter fun, such as skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even dogsledding, with almost 20 different wine events. The locals’ favourite, Taste of the Thompson, combines regional culinary dishes with live music, socializing, and of course, plenty of BC wine. New this winter, The Comforts of Grilled Cheese & Wine, Wine 101, and A Conversation with the Chef are instant classics and are the perfect accompaniment to a full morning on the slopes or an afternoon of pampering at the Sun Peaks Spa.
The evening is drawing to a close, with the stars glittering clearly overhead as you retire to your cozy, slopeside hotel room. Not only have you discovered several new favourite wines to recommend, you’ve learned of several new ski runs to explore on your next visit. Perhaps this is why so many people return year after year?
The 2015 edition of the Sun Peaks Winter Wine Festival runs January 16-25. More info and tickets on the Sun Peaks Resort website.