As this year’s crop of wine grapes begins to thrive amidst the showers and strengthening sun of late spring, enthusiastic lovers of vino shouldn’t just make plans to tour countless wineries under the sun of Western North America. Instead, make this the year that you attend one of many classy festivals that celebrate the cultural reach and significance of this sophisticated and dignified form of alcohol.
From the desert-like interior of British Columbia, Canada, to the unquestioned heart of the North American wine industry, there are plenty of ideal spots to clutch a glass of some of the finest fermented grape juice that this side of the Pacific has to offer. By attending one (or more) of the following events, you will not be disappointed.
Let’s start north of the 49th parallel by taking a look at the…
Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Held from October the 2nd to the 12 across the dry but fertile Okanagan Valley, the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival shows off the best bottles of vino from one of Canada’s best growing regions. Alongside the numerous options available at various venues (one has no less than 250 varieties to choose from) are of of this nation’s best and brightest young chefs, concocting unique culinary creations that will compliment your choice of wine perfectly.
World of Wine Festival, Jacksonville, Oregon, USA
Situated in the charming small town of Jacksonville in Southern Oregon, the World of Wine festival is quickly becoming not only known as an excellent place to enjoy wine from this diverse region, but also as an event where industry experts gather to share the latest information, techniques and trends in this business. Just about every variant of wine can be found here, from Pinot Noir to Zinfandel, and all of these can be sampled in the normal manner, or as part of a blind taste test to help develop your palate. To attend the final dinner where awards for that year are doled out to the standout vineyard of the festival, book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Flavor! Napa Valley, St. Helena, California, USA
If you only have time to attend a festival in one wine producing region in Western North America, make Flavor! in Napa Valley your pick of the bunch. This event, centred in the small town of St. Helena in California, involves the celebration of matching wine and American food together in harmony, a marriage that is brokered by some of America’s best chefs, which include Michael Chiarello, Todd English, and Larry Forgione.