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Fortify your business skills – Okanagan Taste

Allison Markin – | History: 315 318

Photo: Contributed

For two years the fermentation and distillation companies strengthened themselves at a meeting in Penticton.

Of course it looks a little different this year, but the annual Fortify conference will continue on November 24th with a virtual version.

Anyone from anywhere can develop professionally in the form of speakers and presentations and explore a virtual trade fair.

Just because those in the drinks business – or those who want to get involved – can’t bring IRL (in real life) together, that shouldn’t prevent anyone from gaining more knowledge to run a winery, brewery, distillery, or embroidery business .

Fortify 2020 is just a day out, but it will be full of information to help smaller craft businesses navigate a rapidly changing world in uncertain times.

If ever there was a year where you could use online conferencing from your company or your newly built home office, this is it. No travel time, and you can probably choose to stay in your PJs if you so choose.

This year’s breakout sessions include:

  • compensation
  • New employees
  • Navigating the legislation funding and changes
  • Google Ads
  • Email Ecommerce Skills to Increase Web Sales
  • Risk management.

These topics are divided into three areas:

  • Finance and Operations
  • Human resources
  • Sales and marketing.

The opening panel is made up of experts from across Canada to discuss trends in business, alcohol, food and tourism.

Lightning Talks were a success at Fortify last year, and these five-minute speed presentations are returning with a number of experts.

The end of the day keynote explores how to be a great leader in good times and bad.

Bonus # 1:

  • The all-day virtual trade fair. Participants can look around without having to warm up the car and find a parking space on a cold day.

Bonus # 2:

  • The first 150 registered participants will receive a “swag box” with useful items, including gift certificates, with which they can enjoy lunch in the comfort of their own home. And there will be breaks for virtual networks throughout the day.

The beverage sector continues to navigate the challenges of 2020 and this is the time to move forward with planning.

Fortify is coordinated by the Business Alliance for Artisan Fermenters and Distillers and builds on the popular wine industry roundtable previously hosted by the MNP and FCC.

It was formed to meet cross-industry needs for education, training and networking opportunities so that BC breweries, wineries, distilleries and ciders can affordably access business support and tools to increase profitability and profitability.

Register here for # fortify2020:

Allison Markin – October 21, 2020 / 11:00 a.m. | History: 313935

Photo: bcaletrail.jpg

Seven Penticton beers on the beach

It’s time for a craft beer month

October without an Oktoberfest doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate craft beer in BC. In fact, it’s Craft Beer Month across the province, and in case you haven’t heard it, this week it’s Penticton Beer Week.

Both events have resulted in unique joint breweries. In the BC area, you may find the new Explore BC IPA with Haskap Berry, a collaboration between BC Ale Trail and six craft breweries made entirely from BC ingredients, including barley malt from Armstrong and Haskap berries from Lumby.

The six breweries – Vancouver Island Brewing in Victoria, Wheelhouse Brewing in Prince Rupert, Fernie Brewing, Field House Brewing in Abbotsford, Red Collar Brewing Kamloops and Bomber Brewing in Vancouver – have created a unique “classic West Coast IPA” that pours a rich berry tone and exudes notes of pine and citrus. “

You can find it, if it’s not sold out, in select public and private liquor stores and breweries. Visit the Okanagan Bad Tattoo or The Cannery in Penticton or the Kelowna Beer Institute.

The BC Ale Trail has partnered with Destination BC to create a range of “Sip and Stay” packages for those looking to explore some of the province’s growing craft beer culture from.

Meanwhile, the City of Penticton recently launched Penticton Beer Week October 16-24 as Penticton continues to build its reputation as a hub for craft beer.

Lonely Planet was named Canada’s Craft Beer Capital in P-Town, and the seven breweries started The Penticton Seven, their own collaborative brew, a hazy, pale ale.

The Penticton Seven is a fundraiser for the BC Hospitality Association. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to support those in the hospitality industry who are facing a financial crisis due to their health.

And yes, Canada’s Craft Beer Hub is hosting Oktoberfest at The Barking Parrot at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on October 24th. You can find more information on Facebook.

The pandemic aside, it’s still possible to cheer the beer this month and (practically or safely, in person) to explore the craft breweries across the province and support these local producers and their partners.

When the leaves change, but before the snow hits the valley floor, you can do a “beer exercise” nearby and discover a new favorite brew.

And it’s still BC Harvest Month, so keep in mind: It takes a lot of beer to make good wine. Ask almost any winemaker and they’ll tell you that’s true.

Allison Markin – October 7, 2020 / 11:00 a.m. | History: 312665


C.elebrate BC Wine Harvest Month

Even at unusual times, we can count on autumn to be a spectacular time in the Okanagan’s vineyards and orchards.

The grapes are starting to come for the 2020 vintage, apples are harvested for the wonderful craft ciders that are made in the province, and there is a lot of activity in the vineyards and on the crush pads.

Some grapes are a bit behind, but ultimately 2020 will be a good vintage.

And hell, in a decade or two you wonder what we’ll think if we grab a 2020 bottle and say, “Wow, do you remember this year?”

Hope we will remember the year the BC Wine Institute declared October BC Wine Harvest Month to celebrate all of the harvesting things and we took a short, safe trip to know the hospitality and local producers to support – the year we really drank and ate locally.

How can you create a memory that you want to enjoy years from now?

Option one:

Use the new Wines of BC Explorer website and downloadable app to plan your local experiences and getaways this month.

In the app you will find curated wine routes as well as a list of participating BC restaurants, retail stores, hotels and the various promotions on offer. It’s an easy and user-friendly way to explore, discover, and support all that our incredible province has to offer.

Option two:

Take part in a small event. While the big events, usually held in early October for the Autumn Wine Festival, are postponed, there are a number of activities that will suit you and your bladder (but check in advance for any last-minute changes).

Some suggestions:

  • Wines and bites at Off The Grid Organic Winery in West Kelowna through October 18th
  • Vertical Riesling Tasting, Township 7, Naramata, 9-12 October
  • Unique Canadian Food and Wine Pairing, House of Rose Winery, Kelowna, October 10th and 11th
  • Thirsty Thursday, The Vibrant Vine, Kelowna, Thursday through November 26th

Make sure to check out the Thanksgiving Dine-In or Dine-at-Home from Time Winery and Kitchen or BRODO Kitchen in Penticton, Hillside Bistro on Naramata Bank, or pick up the harvest crate from your favorite fruit and vegetable stand create your own party.

Cross your fingers that we’ll have some busy weekends for the rest of the month and we can have a glass of something bottled in BC while enjoying a couple of fall barbecue dinners on the patio.

Allison Markin – September 23, 2020 / 11:00 AM | History: 311324


The first official week of autumn usually inspires a switch to light to medium red wines when the cooler weather sets in.

But it feels like summer has passed in the blink of an eye, and although it’s light sweater weather, 2020 may be a good year to keep the red wines cellar longer.

Here are a couple of whites – and an orange – to discover this fall, at least until Thanksgiving. Try one or two while dreaming about what summer next year might be.

“Bill’s OJ” Grüner Veltliner, Fairview Cellars $ 23:

This wine is usually a dry white, but these grapes had skin contact for four days, followed by aging in French oak to give it an amber color and a satisfactory weight. Honeycomb and vanilla pods lead to a long finish. Pair it with a rich, creamy New England clam soup.

Roussanne 2018, Road 13 30 USD:

You’ll find this variety more in blends than on its own, but as a solo grape, it’s ripe, round, and, as the winery says, opulent.

A golden color, aromas of sage, pineapple, papaya that continue in the taste, with an additional note of spice. Combine it with chicken pot pie or pork schnitzel with a side of thickly cut french fries.

Hatfield’s Fuse (white blend) 2018, Blasted Church $ 17:

Eleven different varieties are contained in this bottle, so you can discover a lot. Peaches and apricots dominate the nose, along with fresh citrus notes and wild flowers.

The aromas are reminiscent of summer, while the body and aromas definitely lean towards a cool, crisp autumn evening. Pair with fish and chips.

Mystique (Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay) 2019, Skaha Vineyard at Kraze Legz $ 23:

Mystique is sold out at the winery so find someone in your bladder who has a bottle. Pear, apple and green melon on the nose, sprinkles, honey and vanilla biscuits on the palate with a clean, mineral finish.

Pair it with roasted vegetables in late summer and early fall such as zucchini and pumpkin.

Riesling 2019, daydreamer $ 28:

This wine is crispy and nimble like an evening in late September. It was fermented cold to let the flavors of lime peel and a fresh summer rain pass through, followed by tropical flavors and “punchy” citrus fruits. A wine that takes you back to the warmer days, but is also perfect for autumn.

Pair with kale and spinach salads, spicy sushi or pad thai.

Chardonnay 2018, Mirabel Vineyards $ 28:

Elegant and complex and very French for an Okanagan wine. Pineapple, vanilla, pears drizzled with caramel begin with a sniff, and a sip brings out peaches, candied orange peel, toasted almonds and hazelnuts.

Combine it with a large bowl of butter popcorn, a pear tart or the last fresh fruit salad of the season.

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