We’re so lucky to have a wine festival every season – a time when wineries get to show off their wines, their wineshops, and their fun personalities. With spring wine festival now over for 2012 (don’t worry – Summer Okanagan Wine Festival is coming up soon!), I thought I’d write about a highlight event (for me) and profile a very cool winery that you absolutely have to put on your list this season.
You just know it will be a great evening when there’s a dinner in a working wine cellar. Add the hilarity of various wine-related relay races in the “Winemakers’ Olympics” and the stage is set for belly laughs! This was the case at The View Winery‘s Cellar Dinner and Winemakers’ Olympics last Saturday night.
The View is a relative newcomer to the winery scene in Kelowna, although the vineyards and orchards on the property have been actively farmed by the same family for generations, and the historic Packinghouse-turned-winery-facility is a testament to the long history of agriculture in the Turton-Ward family.
First things first: location. The winery is off Spiers Rd, along the Fab Five of East Kelowna Wine Trail, just up from the Flower Farm. Spiers Rd winds off to the left while Ward Rd juts out to the right, and you can’t miss the tin-clad Packinghouse with all its character and intrigue and the giant Red Shoe sign that is mounted to the Packinghouse’s east side.
Jennifer Molgat, owner of The View Winery along with her husband Kent, has found that sweet-spot where she seamlessly expresses her family’s history in farming, her own penchant for style and elegance, and her intrinsic connection with the local creative cultural community.
When you visit The View, you’ll be struck by the charming and rustic surroundings, the reclaimed wood and design elements in their wineshop, the playfully stylish logo featuring the winery’s signature Red Shoe and created by local Kelowna artist Julia Trops, and by the elegance and fruit-forwardness of the wines. It all works together in harmony, reinforcing the authentic personality of The View.
So there I was on Saturday, cheering on our table’s winemaker (Joe Slykerman from Rollingdale Winery) as he raced in a bottle-corking relay, barrel races, and other zany wine-related games, and enjoying an incredible dinner and the company of new friends. The mood at the winery was warm and laughter came easily – if there was any ice to break, it happened pretty much immediately as guests traded stories, jokes, and a wine party game or two. The evening finished with dancing (in the cellar, among the wine tanks) to classic tunes by Peter Glockner and Dave Beaton.
A great wine festival event. A great winery to visit at any given moment. Be sure you head over there – open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm. And when you do, ask about the label – the story is so much fun and just adds to the examples of this winery’s natural persona and authenticity.