Sun Peaks Resort LLP’s (SPR) executive chef Hans Stierli dishing up salmon at Uncork Your Senses. SPIN Photo.

Savour the Sun Festival inaugural event a success

The Annex was abuzz Saturday, Dec. 8 for the final event of the inaugural Savour the Sun Wine Festival. The festival was a fusion of culinary creations by Sun Peaks Resort LLP’s (SPR) executive chef Hans Stierli’s team and wines from across the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country.

The focus on intimate events and opportunities to connect with winemakers at every event inspired Sun Peaks local Carma Willes to attend the festival. Attending the Savour Bubbles event Friday, Dec. 7 she hoped to learn more about white wine.

“The vendors knew their stuff they had amazing wine and you really got to know the small family vineyard,” she said.

Jennifer Busmann, executive director of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, was pleased to hear from attendees like Willes there was excitement surrounding the association’s presence in the resort, they were enjoying the food, learning about the winemakers and are excited for next year’s event.

“I think as an inaugural event that’s really what you want to hear,” said Busmann.

“We have 42 wineries in our association. We go from McIntyre Bluff to the Osoyoos Border it’s a decent size there’s about 33 kilometres between the two. We have representation from about 50 per cent of our wineries (this weekend) which I was really excited about.”

Cassandra Capone, representing Inniskillin , said the quality of food and wine at the event was incredible. She said she particularly loved the final installment of the festival, Uncork Your Senses.

“I think it (the festival) helps people discover us, we’re neighbours so we’re not that far away, but it’s too far away for most people to come on a regular basis. I think once they see the quality of the wines we make they’re willing to make that day trip to come down and visit,” said Capone.

For Willes the event was so enjoyable she called friends the next morning and convinced them to attend Uncork Your Senses. Partway through when she had only made it around to half the booths, Willes said she was shocked to discover a chardonnay she liked produced by vinAmite Cellars but added her favourite winery of the evening was Covert Farms. As for the culinary creations, there was no way she could pick a favourite.

“It’s amazing, amazing, everything is so good I couldn’t pick a favourite. This banana leaf with the fish is amazing, the duck was amazing, the lamb was amazing, this is spectacular,” she said.

Entering the partnership with SPR with the intention of entering a multi-year agreement Busmann is hopeful over time all 42 wineries will participate and is looking forward to working with SPR to bring back the event next year.