As wine enthusiasts milled around the village, wineries from across British Columbia prepared to offer samples of their signature blends. The Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting on Jan. 19 offered guests an opportunity to sample wines from 30 wineries from established wine regions such as the Naramata Bench, the Golden Mile and, in the last few years, from the emerging Kamloops wine region.
Nestled just inside the front doors of the Coast Sundance Lodge was one of Kamloops’ local wineries, Monte Creek Ranch. Sampling four of their 2016 blends, Monte Creek’s marketing and sales co-ordinator Ashley Demedeiros anticipated their Hands Up Red to be the most popular blend of the evening.
“It’s really fruity, which people really like this time of year. You get a nice little bit of white pepper in there, it’s a medium bodied (with a) really smooth finish. That will probably be the most popular tonight,” said Demedeiros.
Throughout the ten-day wine festival over 20 different events were held in Sun Peaks’ village, from the Sparkling Starbucks Brunch to Moonlight Snowshoe & Mulled Wine. Monte Creek Ranch participated in four of the events and Demedeiros admitted the annual sell out, Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine, was her favourite.
“The whole night you just get to sit there and enjoy about 16 different wines, eight different sandwiches. You taste the wine, eat the sandwich, taste the second wine that’s also paired with it, and you get to pick which one is your favourite,” said Demedeiros.
Much of what makes Monte Creek unique to others participating in the 20th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is that most of the staff are operating on home turf as they were born and raised in Kamloops, B.C. The winery is not only a year-round operational winery but is also a fully functioning ranch.
“Our winery is still a working ranch. We have 1,200 acres in total. We grow (raise) black Angus cattle on the property, grass fed, grass finished. We also have a bee colony where we take the honey and sell it in the tasting room, and we a haskap grove which we make jams and jellies,” said Demedeiros.
The Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival will return for its 21st year Jan. 11 to 20, 2019.
Can’t wait a full year to get a sample of local wine? Head out to Monte Creek Ranch for the perfect apres ski adventure.