By Steve Hubrecht
Valley wine lovers are getting ready to clink their glasses with the East Kootenay Wine Festival just a week away.
Fairmont Hot Springs will host the 13th annual edition of the event next weekend on Friday, November 7th and Saturday, November 8th, and this year it promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Its probably the event of the year. Its the one event that everybody seems to look forward to most. It just keeps growing and getting better. Were constantly adding new wineries, said Fairmont Hot Springs sommelier and festival organizer Erin Dowsett. Its been fabulous to be part of something so successful and its something Im really proud of.
This year, the festival will have 12 brand new wineries out of a total of 55 from all across the province, and is expanding to take up five rooms in the resort (the lobby as well as all four banquet rooms).
That means this year well have more room, more flow and be more spread out, said Ms. Dowsett. The new wineries are great, and keep people coming back since theres always something new and exciting to try.
The festival has also expanded its shuttle services between the resort and Invermere to allow guests to stay much later (the final shuttle this year will run at 1:15 a.m.) and will now have two after-parties. Local band L8 will be playing at the Bears Paw and Grill and another local band, Valley Forged, will be playing at the Mountain Flowers restaurant. Fairmont Hot Springs director of sales and marketing Nancy Hetherington attributed the events ever-growing popularity to the food and drink on offer.
The variety of food and wine we have during the festival is what makes it successful, there really are so many great options, said Ms. Hetherington, adding that this year festival-goers will be able to vote on their favourite red and white wines, and that each room in the festival will be displaying the work of a local artist.
The festival will start with an evening gourmet wine paired dinner on Friday, November 7th and then proceed with the main event on Saturday, November 8th. Weekend packages to both events are already sold out and as of Wednesdays press time only 50 tickets to the Saturday, November 8th event remained. For more information, call 250-345-6070.