Continuing on from my experiences at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference I am admittedly behind on a few of my summer adventures already. Nevertheless I’ve got some fantastic stories to tell in the coming weeks that not only involve the WBC’13 but also Whistler and Vancouver. Alas, I digress.
As explained in the previous post regarding the Similkameen Valley, one of the best and yet underrated wine regions you’ve never heard of, I ended up at the Seven Stones Winery by hopping on a WBC’13 bus labeled “Wine & Geology.” Little did I know that during this evening we would literally by dinning beneath the vineyard and terroir that gives the Similkameen wine it’s character.
After a tour of the grounds and an elaborate wine tasting of some of the best wines within the area we (a group of 40+ wine bloggers) descended into the cool depths of the newly added Seven Stones Winery cellar where owner George Hanson, with the help of his son-in-law, created a picturesque space where he could age and store his wine but also make it available for rent for personal or commercial events and special dinners.
Us wine bloggers were treated to a one of a kind evening catered by Chef Chris Van Hooydonk, a local chef who just recently started his own business venture called Artisan Culinary Concepts where you can participate in cooking courses, hire his team for catering services or even consulting and mentoring.
After a quick tour of the underground cellar ~ with both a public entrance and a private entrance connected to Hanson’s home basement ~ we found our seats and were salivating at Chef Van Hooydonk’s descriptions of the feast before us. From asparagus soup to charcuterie favourites and what Chef’s wife refers to as the “baby-maker” hummus and an array of desserts including cookies and an dense fruit bar topped with sweet dark homemade preserves.
The event was anything but stuffy with the wine pairings left to our own taste preferences, in between loading our plates up as high as possible we stood in line patiently waiting to fill our glasses with the local favourites of the day – my choice of wine was the Vin Gris from Sage Bush. A round of applause was in order at the end of the evening with host Hanson beaming along with the other proud wine makers of the Similkameen Valley. I was and am fiercely proud to live in the Okanagan and be a neighbour to the Similkameen, a wine region that made me widen my eyes to what else might around the corner from my home. Bravo and thank you to Chef Chris Van Hooydonk, Wine Maker George Hanson and his team as well as all of the wineries who participated that evening.