La Dolce Vita: WineArt event scheduled for June in Creston

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The annual Creston Valley Rotary Club wine tasting evening is one of the nicest functions of the year. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that it will be held on a weekend when we will be in Calgary to attend our daughter-in-law’s convocation. Earning her nursing degree is a wonderful achievement and we wouldn’t miss the ceremony for the world. Or the wine tasting.

Compared to other tasting events, WineArt features a small number of wineries — eight to 10 is the norm. But that small number helps make the evening a relaxing social time where guests can wander, chat with friends, enjoy the wine and a great selection of sweet and savoury snacks. To add to the mix, Win Dinn, owner of Creston’s fine Painted Turtle Gallery, is co-ordinating a display and sale of art by some of the area’s many talented artists.

Confirmed to participate on June 4 at Creston and District Community Complex are eight wineries. Owners of both established Creston wineries, Skimmerhorn Winery and Vineyard and Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery will be on hand.

Also included is Silver Sage, the producer of some amazing wines near Oliver. Owner and winemaker Anna Manola continues family traditions from Romania by producing a line of wines that are infused with different flavours. For many years we have been fans of The Sage, a Gewurztraminer infused with sage leaves. It has become a tradition in our household to serve it with turkey dinner, which always include sage and onion dressing. The Flame is another favourite. A whole jalapeno pepper is added to late harvest Gewurztraminer to create dessert wine unlike any I’ve ever had.

I’ve tended to avoid visits to Golden Beaver, near Osoyoos on the famed Golden Mile, not because of the wine, but because I really dislike the cutesiness of the name. Now being rebranded as Castoro de Oro Estate Winery, it has built a terrific reputation for quality under owners Bruno Kelle and Stella Schmidt. I look forward to tasting their new releases. And to seeing the new labels.

Arrowleaf is a must-visit winery when we are in the Kelowna area. Years ago we fell in love the wines being produced by the Zuppiger family. Manuel, son of Joe and Margaret, has a deft touch in the cellar and produces lovely, crisp and clean white wines that are a pleasure to drink.

Seven Stones Winery is located in the Similkameen region, one that is building a strong reputation for its ability to grow quality grapes. It produces a good selection of products, many of which are sold out, always a good sign in the wine business.

House of Rose (Kelowna) and Larch Hills (Salmon Arm) round out the confirmed wineries for the event. Both have been strong supporters of the Rotary tastings and have loyal customers waiting to purchase their wines each year.

Guests at WineArt are invited to vote on their favourite wines and medals are presented in several categories.

For more information about WineArt or to purchase tickets contact any Creston Valley Rotary Club member, including Creston Mayor Ron Toyota at 250-428-2214. Tickets are $45 for this important fundraiser, proceeds of which help fund local and international Rotary projects.

Lorne Eckersley is the publisher of the Creston Valley Advance.