A Quick & Easy Guide to the Deliciousness of Autumn in The Okanagan

The Okanagan is loaded with great things to do year-round, but Fall is especially awesome on account of it being harvest season. With that in mind, we’ve racked our brains, revisited fresh memories and canvassed members of the Scout Community to put together a seriously tasty list of things to do in the area before the snow falls…

FEASTING AT MIRADORO

Miradoro executive chef Jeff Van Geest

Miradoro Restaurant has a slew of delicious events this fall, starting with their “Hops, Grapes & Grub” Guest Chef Dinner featuring Banff’s Chris Irving of The Juniper Hotel & Bistro on September 29th (in conjunction with the Okanagan Wine Festival). Following that, you can exercise your legs, mind and palate all at once during “Grazing the Vineyard” (October 2nd – 4th). After working up an appetite by way of a guided, educational hike through Tinhorn Creek‘s vineyard, attendees will be spoiled with a special 3-course lunch. Thinking even further ahead, you’ll want to reserve your seat now for one of Tinhorn Creek’s Communal Table Dinners. These go down on Tuesday evenings beginning oOctober 17th. We expect their Halloween “Italian Day of the Dead Feast” to be spookily spectacular! | 537 Tinhorn Creek Road, Oliver | Tasting room open daily 10am – 6pm until October 31st; Miradoro Restaurant open daily from 11:30am until December 31st | TICKETS

EXPLORING Haynes Point

A campsite overlooking the lake at Haynes Point

Squeeze in some final days of camping before the park closes access for the season on October 9th (Thanksgiving Day) or spend a clear day exploring an archaeological and cultural heritage site that’s been inhabited and used for thousands of years. A walk through the marsh trails and along the boardwalk will get you acquainted with the park’s many feathered inhabitants. Who knows, maybe you’ll even luck out and spot a beaver as you cross the dam. Haynes Point Provincial Park | 2 km South of Osooyos off Highway 97, onto 32nd Avenue | DETAILS

The Okanagan Wine Festival

British Columbia Wine Awards reception

Grape country goes bananas as the Okanagan Wine Festival takes over the region from September 28th through October 8th. The festival includes seven main events that culminate in a Thanksgiving brunch at the Watermark Beach Resort on the holiday Sunday. The festival kicks off with the British Columbia Wine Awards reception, then a succession of tastings featuring over 200 wines on the 29th and 30th. Following is “Cropped” – a two-night event combining wine tasting from 80 wineries with an indoor farmer’s market and live music. You can also challenge your tastebuds at a dinner on October 5th, where ten young chefs compete to produce the best original dish pairing with their winery partners. Various locations | $39 – $79 per person | TICKETS

Get Aromatic at Garlic Fest

Fresh garlic primed and ready for the Festival

Prepare your pores because on September 30th Hester Creek Estate Winery is hosting 20 local garlic growers and artisan crafters, for the 6th Annual Garlic Festival. With local food carts keeping you fed and Okanagan musicians providing the entertainment, it’s no wonder this family-friendly event drew a crowd of over 2000 guests last year! Admission is by donation and the day-long event runs from 11am to 5pm. | 877 Road 8, Oliver, BC | Open now until Oct 9th, 10am – 7pm; Oct 10 – 31st, 10am – 6pm; Nov 1st – April 2018, 10am – 4pm | www.hestercreek.com

SWEAT IT ALL HANG OUT

Pouring under the big tent at The Festival of the Grape

Consider participating in the Baldy Marathon’s 10k, 20k or Full Marathon races along the Okanagan River, followed congratulatory wine in town. The Marathon registration fee includes full access to the always fun Festival of the Grape, also part of Oliver’s Wine Capital of Canada Festival Weekend. It’s the perfect way to prep your body for the following week’s Thanksgiving festivities. | Sunday, October 1st | 8:30 – 1pm start times | Oliver | REGISTRATION

take a natural diversion

Desert boardwalk — great for spotting all sorts of critters!

What better way to make the most of the outdoors before the weather takes a turn for the wetter than by exploring the desert? Self-guided tours through the 67-acre Osooyos Desert Centre wind down in early October, but you can book a group tour (for 10 or more) any day of the year. And even if the weather does take a turn for the worse, there’s still plenty to absorb at the indoors interpretive centre. | Osooyos Desert Centre | 14580 146th Avenue, Osooyos | (250) 495-2470

Be a Knucklehead


There’s some pretty awesome beer coming out of wine country and Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of seasonal limited releases like Cannery Brewing’s Knucklehead Pumpkin Ale. Made with locally-grown knucklehead pumpkins and fall spices, it’s a delicious way to sip the season. Available in bottles from retailers throughout the province in October and on tap at select establishments, including the brewery. | 198 Ellis Street, Penticton | Open daily, Mon – Fri 12pm – 9pm, Weekends 11am – 9pm | www.cannerybrewing.com

TERROIR TOUR

photo: Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Take Kelowna’s self-guided Lakeshore Wine Route! Visit Tantalus, Summerhill, St. Hubertus and CedarCreek between September 28th and October 8th to unearth what’s behind the region’s vibrant Rieslings and elegant Pinot Noirs. You can also up your wine education game by filling out a passport quiz and entering a draw with a Grand Prize that includes a Gift Certificate for a Wine & Spirit Education Level 1 Course from Wine Plus+, taught by Master of Wine Rhys Pender, and a selection of 24 wines from the Lakeshore Wine Route.

Take in a Show at the Dream

Photo courtesy The Dream Cafe

Penticton’s Dream Cafe hosts an eclectic mix of local and international musical acts in an intimate club setting. All of the venue’s tables include a hush note to encourage appreciation and focus on the performers. How cool is that? It’s the perfect spot for a chill night out. The Dream Cafe | 67 Colourful Front Street, Penticton | CALENDAR

Harvest Dinner at Painted Rock

Painted Rock Estate Winery | photo: Adrian Photographers

The farm-to-table concept is personified by chef Ben Pallett of Kitchen Sync Catering, who makes every effort to grow and produce as many of his ingredients as possible. He’ll be synchronizing his food philosophy with Painted Rock Estate Winery’s wines at a hardy Harvest Dinner on October 7th. | 400 Smythe Drive, Penticton | $140 (including gratuity) plus taxes | TICKETS

Penticton Farmers’ Market

So much local bounty at the Penticton Farmer’s Market

The Penticton Farmers Market is exceptional, not least of all because all of its offerings are grown and produced in the South Okanagan. | 100 block of Main Street | Every Saturday through Oct 28th, 8:30am – 1pm | pentictonfarmersmarket.org

JoieFarm & Picnique

Deliciousness straight from the outdoor oven at JoieFarm

The delicious savouriness in JoieFarm’s PTG – a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Gamay – lends itself magnificently to hearty fall mushroom dishes. As well, their Reserve Gewürztraminer is a perfect accompaniment to roasted root vegetables, squash pasta filled with ricotta and traditional Thanksgiving fare. So snag a bottle to round out your holiday feast! We highly recommend timing your visit to coincide with Picnique’s hours so that you can luxuriate on the winery’s scenic lawn with one of their incredible wood fired pizzas or sandwiches (and a bottle of wine, of course) while it’s still a possibility! | 2825 Naramata Road, Naramata | Tasting Room Open Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm until October 9th; Thurs – Mon 10am – 5pm October 12th – 31st | Picnique Open Thurs – Mon 11:30am – 4:30pm (Take Out available until 5pm) | www.joiefarm.com 

Meyer Family Vineyards

Photo courtesy Meyer Family Vineyards

Meyer Family Vineyards has some exciting new releases this fall from their outstanding 2016 vintage, all of which pair well with another favourite liquid of the season: soup! October 1st is the release date of their #1 selling wine, the Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir -excellently complimented by homemade cream of mushroom soup. Then, on November 1st, two of their single vineyard Chardonnays – the McLean Creek Road and Tribute Series – get their release. This year’s Tribute Series Chardonnay honours accomplished blind Paralympic swimmer Donovan Tildesley and the Meyers will be donating $5000 over the next five years to the “Foundation Fighting Blindness” in his name. These new Chardonnays pair perfectly with a delicious butternut squash soup with ginger spice and croutons. Join Meyer’s wine club by October 1st to receive the next shipment and stock up on some fabulous wines to keep you warm this season! | 4287 McLean Creek Road, Okanagan Falls | Open Daily 10am to 5pm until October 31st; November 1st through March by appointment | (250) 497-8553 | www.mvfwines.com

Beer & Pizza at Bad Tattoo

Photo courtesy Bad Tattoo Brewing

Kick off or round up a boardwalk stroll with some crazy-delicious thin crust pizza and beer at downtown Penticton brewery, Bad Tattoo. Skip over their classic menu items in favour of getting weird with one of their “Whatever Crazy Thing” creations. The restaurant and patio are both spacious, but take advantage of the latter if the weather cooperates. This is one Bad Tattoo that you definitely won’t regret! | 169 Estabrook Avenue, Penticton | Open Daily Sun – Thurs 11am – 10pm, Fri – Sat 11am – 11pm | www.badtattoobrewing.com

Hurray for apple season!

‘Tis the season for pie-ready apples!

Is there anything better tasting than fresh fruit in its prime in its natural environment? Nope. Since apples are definitely the star fruit of fall, taking full advantage of your visit to “apple country” is a necessity. Grab a snack from one of the roadside vendors on your way into the Okanagan; then make a pit stop to stock up on the journey home. Apple pastries are also obliged, and we highly recommend hitting up the Bench Market. | 368 Vancouver Avenue, Penticton | Open daily, Mon – Fri 7am – 5pm; Sat, Sun & Holidays 8am – 5pm | www.thebenchmarket.com

Explore One of Canada’s Largest Used Book Stores

Among the stacks at our favourite Okanagan bookstore

This time of year one of our favourite simple pleasures is getting cozy with a book. With over 5,000 square feet of used books, The Bookshop in Penticton will sate all of your literary cravings. Perusing the shelves here is an ideal way to spend time on any of the chillier autumn days. Bonus: the shop also has an extensive 20,000 title video collection for rental, just in case you feel like having a no-Netflix-and-chill kind of day. | The Bookshop | 242 Main Street, Penticton | Mon – Sat 9am – 5:30pm, Sun & Holidays 11am – 5pm. | www.bookspenticton.com

Where to stay


Orofino Vineyard Suites | Located on the Orofino Winery estate above their new barrel house, these suites are absolutely stunning. Spacious, open concept layout with sleek and stylish modern amenities, patio and BBQ, bikes available and a killer “backyard” view of the Orofino Winery vineyard. One and two-bedroom options are available and can accommodate up to six guests for a 2-night minimum. Rates during the high season (until October 31st) start at $259 per night. | 2152 Barcelo Road, Cawston | (250) 499-0068

Gallagher Lake Resort | Located by the Gallagher Lake beach, these quaint log cabins have all the amenities that you need – nothing less and nothing more. Well, except maybe for the fond childhood memories of summer camp. A private cabin will set you back a very economical $75 per night, or $150-225 for weekends and holiday weekends. | 8439 Highway 97, Oliver | (250) 498-3358

God’s Mountain Estates | Penticton is probably not the first place that you’d expect to find a magical, Mediterranean-inspired open-air oasis, but lo’ and behold: the God’s Mountain Estates! Originally envisioned and built by a family of eccentric pioneers, this otherworldly property now operates as a retreat. Notable is the Roofless Room where you can sleep, bathe, and relax with a bottle of wine in front of your own private fire while enjoying all of the elements. Surely, this is how the deities do it. Rates for the Roofless Room are $225-235 per night, depending on the extent of your stay. | 4898 Lakeside Road, Penticton | (250) 490-4800

 

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