If you’re heading up to the Okanagan Valley this month for an adventure, here are some fresh things that should be on your radar and plotted into your (designated driver’s) GPS. Got any tips or suggestions for our next road trip? Let us know!
QUICK | There are still a few tickets available for the Out n About al Fresco dining event at Orofino Winery on September 8th, but they won’t last long. Harkers apple and thyme tart; roasted butternut squash and peach panzanella; Pancetta and smoked blue cheese risotto; Cawston carrots and beets with pickled plums — these are just some of the dishes on the menu. All paired with beautiful pours from Orofino! You can’t go wrong (unless you wait too long to grab your seat). Find out more.
OPEN | With a kitchen helmed by Derek Gray (ex Savio Volpe) and the enviable position of being situated on one of the Similkameen Valley’s most celebrated organic farms (Klippers), Row Fourteen isn’t just raising the bar in Cawston cuisine, it’s defining it. Expect a menu inspired by the bounty of the surrounding farmland and cooked on the kitchen’s wood stove (imagine coal roasted beets and carrots; wood grilled runner beans; charred heirloom tomatoes…). From Row Fourteen: “We create meals that are directly curated in part by the land and our chef’s intuition. Our mission is to cultivate a better relationship and system with organic produce and creative cuisine.” Check out a sample menu and make your reservations here.
LEARN | Curious about what’s growing in the Okanagan besides good grapes? Take a Traditional Plant Use walking tour and bring yourself up to speed on the local vegetation. Grab a good hat and some sunscreen and follow along as some of the area’s most knowledgeable guides point out indigenous plants and explain their history and uses. You’ll never view the landscape in quite the same way again! Find out more.
HARVEST | Fairs, festivals and markets pop up all around the Okanagan this month. Our top picks for maximum fest fun are the Summerland Fall Fair (cheer on zucchini bobsled races, watch cooking showdowns, pet adorable farm animals, stuff your face with good food) and the Peachland Fall Fair. This year is the 100th anniversary of the latter so you know it’ll be a good time (think old school fruit and vegetable competitions, as well as art, baking, canning and needlepoint). Pull over for some real deal homegrown community vibes including farm-fresh food, crafts and folksy fun.
GET JAZZED | In Penticton the “hottest” days of the year are probably the weekend of the Pentastic Jazz Festival, when eleven bands take over four themed venues for three days of live performances you can swing, shimmy and sway to. Get hip to the details here.
TAILGATE | Interested in a fun way to get to know the terroir of Naramata? The Naramata Tailgate Party brings 30 of the region’s wineries to one location for a convenient (and super fun) tasting you won’t want to miss. Wander the grounds of the stunning Naramata Inn to visit winemakers who drop the tailgate of their trucks to pour tastes and talk wine. This year the Tailgate theme is ‘The Roaring 20’s’. Expect live music along with good wine and food from dozens of the area’s best wineries and kitchens. From event organizers: “Flappers were the fashion… Harry Houdini, Babe Ruth, Amelia Earhart, Don Juan, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and John Dillinger were the talk of the era. Jazz was hot and the blues were cool, and the Charleston was the dance craze. So have some fun and dive into a costume creation if dress-up is your thing.” Tickets here.
FRINGE | For some outside-the-norm entertainment check out a performance or two at the Kelowna Fringe Festival, where a dozen artists and drama companies will be taking over the downtown’s Cultural District for four days of uncensored theatrics from September 19-22. Stay sharp and keep your eyes on details as they unfold here.
ADVENTURE | Do you fantasize about how relaxing it would be to live on a farm? Maybe it’s time you attended Freak’n Farmer race for a dose of reality! Freak’n Farmer is an adventure race that uses farm work to test your endurance. This hay bale balancing, mud pit slopping, apple carrying, tire throwing, plough pulling good time will put you in your place. And the Half-Ploughed after party will help you recover your city-slicker pride to laugh about how wrong you were about how relaxing farm life would be. Find out more.
HOPSCOTCH | Pre-sale tickets are now available for Kelowna’s booziest festival of the year. Featuring enough beer, whisky and spirits purveyors from around the world to fill up an entire curling rink, Hopscotch 2019 is an event to invest some time in. Taste everything from pale ale to single malt, enjoy good food, good conversation and good people, and after you spend a day or two responsibly tasting the offerings at the event, stop at the on site liquor store to load up on your faves to put in your cupboards for the long haul of winter ahead. Find out more.
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