One of the reasons I love dining in Alberta is because of the wine that’s available here. Did you know that there are more wines available in Alberta than in any other province in Canada? It’s true. We have access to over 20,000 labels and many are among the world’s best.
The reason? In the 1980s a few Calgary business people pioneered the privatization of wine, beer and liquor sales in Alberta. We started with a few wine merchants but now have many private wine and liquor boutiques. Most provinces still have government run liquor control boards. Usually, Calgary’s wine merchants tour the world to visit vintners in their natural habitats but sometimes the best pay a visit to Calgary.
Every other year Italy’s best winemakers come to Calgary for The Great Italian Wine Encounter. This event has raised millions of dollars for a particular kind of cancer and autoimmune diseases treatment known as Apheresis. I’ve had the good fortune to attend the event a few times and tomorrow, I’m going to meet, for the fourth time (pinch me), Italy’s Women of Wine.
Okanagan Lake, Kelowna, B.C.
Culinary Tourism and my trip to the 2013 Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop (@OKFWWWorkshop) in Kelowna, British Columbia were the topics of my most recent food column on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon . You can catch that podcast here. My column starts at the 17:53 mark in the show.
Albertans (and people from around the globe) love to visit British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley each summer. Kelowna alone receives 1.5 million visitors. I’ve been visiting regularly since I first went with my husband in 1987. We spend at least two weeks every year there now with our family. I never tire of going so I was naturally drawn to the @OKFWWWorkshop. My writing can always be improved and the whole area acts as a muse for me. It consistently inspires me to write.
This post will add more depth to my radio column’s outline of recent developments in culinary tourism in the Okanagan. I’ll also share some photos of the food, wine and general good spirits brought about by exploring the farm to table agri-tourism offerings in Kelowna. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed being there. Better yet, go and savour a little of the Okanagan good life for yourself.