Meet Sharon – our Okanagan Valley expert

11 May, 2012

After leaving academia, Sharon, Ph.D. knew she would do something. Driving overland from Deadhorse, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, led her in a new direction. The adventure started with a new iPhone and an interest in spas. By the time she reached Colombia, she was also drawn to food. Later, traveling through Chile and Argentina wine was added. With a Spaswinefood lens for her travels, she blogs at Spaswinefood and writes a travel column.


Why does Okanagan Valley in British Columbia have a special place in your heart? 

During graduate school at University of British Columbia, Vancouver it was a special treat to visit the Okanagan Valley. Now years later when I visit the Okanagan Valley I can see all the wonderful changes in the wineries and the culinary development in the area. These changes are quite impressive. When I revisited last spring I realized how special the Okanagan Valley was.

What are your key highlights of the Okanagan Valley wine region?

 For me the key highlights of the Okanagan Valley are its great wines and cuisine, which is illustrated by:

(1) The number of Okanagan winery restaurants with first class chefs.

(2) The outstanding number of restaurants with award winning chefs in this wine region.

(3) The whole region has been described as a culinary taste trail.

When are the best times to visit Okanagan Valley?

While the wineries are open year round with four seasonal wine festivals, spring through fall is the best time to visit. It is even better if you can time your visit around one of the seasonal wine festivals.

Do you have a personal favourite winery in the region and if so why?

Wow! This is a difficult one to answer because there are so many great wineries. However, my short list includes those wineries with restaurants. From this short list if I had to pick the most impressive place to bring a guest it is Mission Hill and its Terrace Restaurant.

Finally, which wine region in the world would you like to visit next?

Turkey. The 2012 European Wine Bloggers Conference is in Izmir, Turkey in November and I will be there. I am looking forward to learning all I can about wines of Turkey and visiting specific wine regions in Turkey.

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