Sun Peaks Wine and Food Festival kicks off this week

The four-day festival has seven events connecting businesses with regional wine and cider companies.
Three smiling women look at each other while holding glasses of wine at a table as part of the Sun Peaks Wine and Food Festival.
Sun Peaks Wine and Food Festival connects local businesses and regional beverage companies. Photo provided.

Sun Peaks Wine and Food Festival is returning as an independently operated event for its second year, bringing regional beverages to palettes on the mountain.

The festival pours over the village from March 30 until April 2, connecting wine and food connoisseurs with local restaurants and businesses. Seven events span four days, and some are already sold out or close to it. Whether event-goers want to experience a luxurious night of vino and real estate with Engel & Völkers or throw axes at Cleavage Axe Co. while sipping cider, there’s something for everyone over 19 years old.

Tourism Sun Peaks’ (TSP) events manager Theresa St. Louis said the festival provides an opportunity for businesses to connect and ensure the winter season ends on a bubbly note.

“We have local businesses engaging with each other … for example, Cleavage Axe Co. have connected with Ohana Deli to do their food component and a regional cidery [for the drink portion],” St. Louis said.

She added Tourism Sun Peaks provides businesses with an opportunity to get involved and facilitates bookings and advertising, but companies choose which products to represent.

ArtZone president Marj Knive explained the organization has partnered with Cahilty Creek Kitchen & Taproom and Lillooet-based Fort Berens Estate Winery. Artzone’s event, Brushes and Berens, will bring local artist Lorel Sternig to lead a starry-night-inspired painting session featuring Sun Peaks in the foreground and a Van Gough-style sky.

“[Sternig] has such a laid-back style and she’s so easy to work with. She was somebody that we knew everybody would be relaxed around and enjoy her style,” Knive explained.

Knive told SPIN Sternig’s style is recognizable as her paintings were immediately purchased during ArtZone’s anonymous art show and sale that’s running until April 1. 

Knive will be on hand for the evening, helping to pour wine at Cahilty. She said her favourite vino by Berens is a riesling, and added there will be a plentiful selection of palatable reds and whites during the event.

This is the second year TSP has introduced an independently operated wine festival, having previously partnered with the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society for many years. In 2020, TSP decided to start following an independent model with business-led events. This is the first year back for the festival since the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Louis said ticket purchasers include visitors and homeowners alike and explained holding the event later in the season helps draw crowds as ski season winds down.

Tickets for some events are still available and can be purchased online.

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