On September 14 – 18, 2011, the Cowichan Valley is hosting the Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival. Twenty-six participants will be showcasing their top wines, beers, or ciders, as well as delicious taste bud-tickling treats. You can either pick up or download a map so you can plan out your epicurean trek through the Cowichan Valley.
Starting at at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, September 14, everyone is welcome to join in the community grape stomp, which will be occurring in quaint downtown Duncan, BC, at the City Square Stage. Squishy grapes between your toes… is there a better way to start a wine festival?
Most daytime events are free, with each participant planning something exciting for each of the five days. As for the eventing events, tickets can be purchased Thursday through Sunday. These ticketed events vary in size, ranging from $25 to $225 per person, and in size from a dinner for 24, to parties for 200. There will be neighbourhood markets, the opportunity to attend a wine tasting, and the take part in the 1st Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival Wine Symposium. The wine symposium is presented by Vancouver Island University at its new Cowichan Campus. Details for these and other events are on the Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival Events page.
Don’t forget about the “culinary” side of the festival: on September 15 at 6 p.m., there will be a culinary showcase honouring the late James Barber (AKA the Urban Peasant). The Cowichan Chef’s Table and guest chefs will be preparing delicacies to enjoy with wine, beer, and cider. It is also a fundraiser for Providence Farm, and the official launch of the James Barber Wood Burning Oven project, a gift to Providence Farm from the chefs.
As if this wasn’t enough (and believe me, there’s lots I haven’t covered), there will be a wrap-up party on September 18 at 7 p.m., hosted by terrain regional kitchen and the oceanfront suites in Cowichan Bay. Tickets are required.
The Cowichan Valley is beautiful with lots to offer – don’t forget to book some “leisure time” while you’re there. You can arrange a tour with one of the Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival’s tour partners.
“Our community has rallied around our vintners, farmers, food producers and chefs who have created tasting or tour activities and events showcasing the best of Cowichan,” commented Mike Hanson, Festival Director 2011 Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival. “Together we are offering a truly memorable cultural destination experience.”