Jan. 17, 2013 - Issue #900: The ongoing musical evolution of Hannah Georgas
Sun Peaks wines and dines
Terrain, terroir and ski tips from Nancy Greene
Every January Sun Peaks Resort, located 45 minutes outside of Kamloops, puts two of British Columbia's biggest assets together—terrain and terroir—to offer visitors the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine. The first weekend this year featured Fort Berens Winery, a vintner newcomer from the old country. Winemaker Heleen Pannekoek joined us at our table for dinner in the intimate Black Garlic Bistro and in a good-natured way laughed off many of the challenges of starting a winery in Lillooet, BC, after immigrating more than 7000 kilometres from Holland.
As for dinner, each course was paired with white wines only—an unusual choice for a winemakers' dinner. We sampled the Fort Berens's 23 Camels White, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
The festival's first weekend culminated on Sunday with the blind tasting party. The winner was a local French-Canadian mom and a serious merlot-meritage-syrah-savante. She correctly identified eight out of nine reds and whites from both well-known and lesser-known Okanagan wineries.
Over the weekend, I spoke to skiers from Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington, and snowboarders from Alberta, BC, Ontario and Quebec, and everyone enjoyed the wine and the slopes.
Sun Peaks has the second largest ski area in BC and the third largest in the country, with 3678 skiable acres of terrain, 882 metres of vertical and 124 runs, including 12 designated glade areas.
And, on top of all that, there are even opportunities to ski with Nancy Greene, the resort's director of skiing and an Olympic medalist. To find out when she's on the slopes, check for signage at the top of the Sunburst Chairlift. Greene won gold and silver medals at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics, plus 17 Canadian ski championships, two world cups, and in 1999 she was named Canadian female athlete of the century.
The Winter Festival of Wine continues through Sunday, January 20, with numerous events each day. After a day on the slopes, you can wander around the village while tasting wine from 25 BC wineries one night and the next morning continue the tasting during brunch. And why stop there? The wine keeps flowing all day long, paired with cheese or chocolate or tapas.
To see what the festival has to offer, visit sunpeaksresort.com. Accomodations can be made through a central reservation line (1.800.807.3257) or through Top of the Mountain Accommodations & Management (topofthemountain.ca). A few events have already sold out, so if you feel the urge to wine, dine and ski, be sure to book now and plan later.
Thu, Jan 17 – Sun, Jan 20
Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine
Sun Peaks Resort
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