Blasted Church Vineyards has been ranked as the second-most decorated winery in British Columbia and third-most decorated winery in Canada at the recent WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada judging. The winery received a total of 24 medals which included 2 Platinum, 6 Gold, 5 Silver, and 11 Bronze medals. The Platinum medals were awarded to the 2019 Big Bang Theory and the 2019 Cabernet Franc which places those wines in the top 1.4% of the 2075 wines entered into this year’s competition.
Evan Saunders, Winemaker, and Tanya Martin, General Manager, were both thrilled when they received the results. “It’s an honour to be ranked so high nationally,” said Martin. “We have put so much into our vineyard and winemaking over the past two decades and it’s fantastic to see it recognized.”
Saunders is also inspired and proud of the recent accolades from WineAlign. “It is so amazing to see these wines distinguished for their quality,” he said. “Being judged in a blind tasting is confirmation the awards are based on quality alone.” Saunders and Viticulturist John Bayley have had the most direct influence in the direction of the wine quality. Saunders started at Blasted Church in 2014 as Assistant Winemaker and has introduced many leading-edge winemaking techniques, including small batch productions in clay vessels and managing the oak program to create a more refined and complex style of wine production.
That quality has been demonstrated to be consistent across vintages and styles of wines. The two Platinum winners were a red blend and a red single-varietal while the gold medals were awarded to both blends and single-varietal wines. Although both Platinum wines were from the 2019 vintage, the gold medal wines were chosen from a diverse set of vintages from 2017 to 2020.
Tis the season to celebrate the holidays by attending a festive event!
Below is a list of incredible events happening across the entire Okanagan, from Armstrong to Oliver/Osoyoos and everywhere in between. From special wine pairings, to craft markets and so much more, there really is something for everyone to enjoy!
Please take the time to support these amazing local businesses and when shopping for gifts this year, buy local- buy BC.
Dec 3- Jan 2, 2022 | Caravan Farm Theatre | A cast of eight dazzling theatre performers, storytellers, and wise crackers from across the country. A beloved holiday text. A rambunctious parlour game. A handful of classic Canadian choral pop songs, sixteen teamsters and sixteen horses and one beautiful winter forest… throw it all into the hat and what do you get? A JOYRIDE, that’s what | Tickets here
Lake Country and Oyama:
Nov 20- Dec 19 | Ex Nihilo | Holiday Fire-pits only on Saturday and Sundays | one hour experience with add ons including Italian smokies, buckets of s’mores and glasses of wine. Groups of 6! | Price $5-14 | Reservations here
Nov 27 | Intrigue Wines | Holiday Open House | $10 per person | Local vendors, complimentary wine tastings and discounts on holiday gifts
Dec 3 | Gatzke Orchards | from 2-7pm | Oyama Christmas Market with Food, Drinks & Gifts.
Nov 27 + 28 | Barn Own Brewing | Tables Holiday Market | Music by local musicians, arts and crafts for kids, Christmas movies, mulled wine, German Christmas food and much more.
Nov 27 + 28 | Rustic Reel Brewing | Inspired by traditional German Christkindlmarkts, shop from local vendors while sipping warm mulled wine and hot apple cider! Snack on bratwursts, pretzels, and roasted nuts, take a break at one of the cozy firepits, pick up a Gingerbread House Kit, and cross off some people on your gift list! | No ticket purchase required; donations to the Kelowna Food Bank (cash or non-perishable) are encouraged! | More information here
Nov 27 + Dec 5 | Virtual Event (at home) | Homes for the Holiday | This year’s tour will feature five homes, and include recorded segments sharing holiday ideas and tips from local experts in between the home tours | Tickets available here
Nov 28 + Dec 12 | East Kelowna Market | Christmas in the Country | More details here
Nov 29-Dec 23 | Mission Hill Winery | Festival of Trees | Lush Forest of trees sponsored and decorated by local, Kelowna-area businesses, community organizations and personal groups | More information here
Dec 1-15 | West Kelowna Wine Trail (various member wineries) | Sip into the Season passport event | Discover the magic of winter along the Westside Wine Trail with the Sip into the Season Passport event! Visit participating member tasting rooms for a tasting, get a jump on your holiday shopping and, perhaps even win a great prize along the way with a stamp in your holiday passport | More information here
Dec 3- 24 | Summerhill Pyramid Winery | Jack Frost High Tea experience | Available Fridays and Saturdays | Complimentary glass of Cipes Brut and sip winter-inspired teams from luxury teahouse TGW |Freshly baked sweet and savoury bites with a seasonal twist | More information and reservations here
Dec 3 + 4 | Vibrant Vine Winery | Andrew Allen Christmas | Doors 5:30pm, Concert 6-8pm | An evening filled with Christmas spirit! Full of Christmas tunes by the amazing Andrew Allen | Tickets include an individual Charcuterie box from Salt and Wedge, and a glass of your favourite Vibrant Vine wine | Tickets available here
Dec 3 + 4 and Dec 10 + 11 | Meadow Vista Artisan Farm Winery | Selfies with Santa in support of Mammas for Mammas including carols by the fire, treats, mulled wine, holiday snack shack, mini village, a light up and more! | More information here
Dec 3- 5 | Prospera Place downtown Kelowna | Holiday Market with 180 vendor stalls featuring local crafters and artisans | More information here
Dec 4 | Grizzly Winery | Christmas Market
Dec 7-9 | Eldarado Hotel | Tree of Dreams event featuring local artisans and crafters, food stations, carolers, and most importantly – Santa! Cozy up around a fire pit with a glass of mulled wine for the adults, or hot chocolate for the kids | More information + tickets here
Dec 10 | Mission Hill Winery | Christmas in Italy dinner | Begin the evening with a charcuterie and wine-paired reception, then enjoy Tuscan and Florentine dishes in the Chagall Room (complete with live entertainment), and get set for the festive season with party prep tips, and recipes to take home. $249 per guest | Tickets available here
Nov 26+27, Dec 3+4 and Dec 10+11 | Bottleneck Drive (member wineries) | The Winter Series | Explore and enjoy our wineries, cideries, and distillery to kick off the holiday season for a series of weekends with later hours at select tasting rooms | More information here
Nov 26+27, Dec 3+4 and Dec 10+11 | Okanagan Crush Pad | The vineyard and cellar are decorated for the holiday season offering a cozy, intimate setting for you to relax with friends and family and enjoy an exceptional wine tasting and get in to the holiday spirit | Chose from one of three festive flight boards featuring six wines from our portfolio accompanied with a charcuterie board for your group to enjoy | More information here
Dec 2 + 3 | The Kettle Valley Steam Railway | Holiday Market | Local artisans + vendors, hot chocolate by donation and the iconic 3716 Steam engine will be decorated for photos! | 4-7:30pm | Masks mandatory for guest 12 and over.
Penticton and Naramata Bench
Nov 20 | TIME Family of Wine | Open House | Enjoy a complimentary welcome beverage and tasty snack from the TIME Kitchen | Shop the $99 Evolve Cellars Case-Lot sale this weekend ONLY (in-store & online) | More information here
Nov 21 | TIME Family of Wine | TIME to give | in support of The South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) for the Share the Spirit of Giving annual fundraising campaign for women, children, and families in need in our community | Drop off your cash donation or unwrapped gift, and receive a sweet treat from the TIME Kitchen and a complimentary wine tasting | More information here
Nov 26 + Dec 3 | Naramata Village | Naramata Slow Christmas Market from 5-8pm | European-style community winter market with spirit, traditional christmas market activities and local vendors | More information here
Nov 27 | Le Petite Abeille | Winter Market from 12-3pm
Nov + Dec | Book a festive stay at Harvest Breeze Naramata | $300 per night for 2 rooms | Email email@example.com
Nov + Dec | Naramata Inn | Visit the historic Naramata Inn for lunch or festive cocktails | 113-year-old heritage building is quite the sight, dressed in her holiday lights | Reservations here
Dec 3-5 | Township 7 | Wine and Chocolate Tastings | Treat yourself this holiday season with a delectable indulgence of Township 7’s fine wines and handcrafted local chocolates by Maison Mulnati Chocolatier | More information here
Okanagan Falls and Kaleden
Nov 20 + 21 | Various Wineries | Holiday Cheer | Join the wineries of the Okanagan Falls and Skaha Lake Winery Association from 11am to 4pm for special wine tasting experiences | More information here
Oliver and Osoyoos
Nov 27 | TIME Family of Wines (District Wine Village) | Enjoy Mulled Wine and Sticky Toffee Pudding from 1-6pm | $8 per person | More information here
Nov 27 + 28, Dec 4 + 5 | District Wine Village | Outdoor Winter Market | Local crafts, baking and great gift ideas for the holidays | More information here
Nov 28, Dec 5 + Dec 12 | Phantom Creek Winery | Holiday Market | Complimentary wine tastings | More information here
Nov 28 | Road 13 Vineyards | Workshop “how to tartare” from 3-5pm | Enjoy a glass of wine and spend quality time with Chef Phil Tees | from $35 per person
Dec 2 + 9 | Vin Amite Cellars | Holiday workshop including Christmas Paint night | $55 per person
Dec 4 | Joiryde Winery (District Wine Village) | A very joyful open house | 1-4pm | Giveaways, light snacks, gift ideas and more! | All tasting fees will be donated to the United for BC Flood Response Fund
Dec 5 + 12 | Road 13 Vineyards | family friendly Cookie decorating | $15 per person | 3-5pm
Dec 14 | Vin Amite Cellars | Christmas Centrepiece tutorial | $78 per person