"Recipes are meant to be shared"...Ann Thibeault

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival

September 19th - 20th

Visit our beautiful valley

Cowichan Bay

Gorgeous Scenery

Lunch at Merridale Ciderworks

With spectacular views, farm-fresh food, an outstanding entertainment line-up and a mix of the Valley’s best wines, ciders and epicurean delights, the Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival, presented by Island Savings, will take place this year on the weekend of September 19th and 20th - a weekend traditionally known for sunshine.

A day spent at the festival will take you on a journey through the scenic meandering country roads of Cowichan, where visitors find themselves alternating between ocean, mountain, field and rainforest views. Roadside signs and a detailed map (available for download from the website) make it easy to find the participating properties. Each location will offer at least one complimentary activity or tasting (many properties will have more).

“Island Savings is proud to continue our sponsorship of this annual event, which encourages residents and visitors alike to support local businesses and take pride in what the Cowichan region has to offer,” says Marsha Molyneaux, Chair of the Festival Board and Island Savings’ Manager, Branch Projects. “This Festival is the perfect opportunity to find out how easy and enjoyable it is to purchase locally and keep our Island economy strong.”

Sit back and relax to the sounds of a blues band, take in a food or wine seminar, discover the intricacies of making cheese, visit a farmer’s market, see how wineglasses are produced or take a self-guided/guided tour – all for free! In addition to all the free activities, visitors can also choose to purchase tickets to some of the premier events. Attend exclusive winemakers’ dinners, a dinner theatre production, or enjoy one of your favorite bottles of wine over a buffet lunch. Premium ticketed events range from $10 to $100 per person.

"It has been incredibly important to us to create a festival that is as free as possible," says Tanya Smith, Festival Director. "No entry tickets necessary! Instead visitors can spend their money on taking home a bottle of wine they love, a special art piece that touches them, some farm-fresh produce, a lunch or dinner at a restaurant they haven’t tried before or some other reminder of this wonderful region."

A quick glimpse of some festival highlights include:

Arbutus Ridge Golf Club: Alderlea Multi-course Winemaker’s dinner.

Averill Creek Vineyard: Cheese stations/tours/selective tasting with fees.

Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn: Multi-course local product dinner paired with Valley wines.

Cherry Point Vineyards
Tastings/lunch buffet/entertainment/artists/Raptor demo.
more info >

GBS Glass Blowing Studio: Glass blowing demonstrations as well as a fine range of gifts.

Godfrey Brownell Vineyard: Tastings/live music/food & wine pairing/evening dinner & dance

Hilary’s Cheese Farm: See many of the Valley’s finest crafters & culinary producers at the farm. more info >

Keating Farm Estate: Hayrides/tours/borscht cook-off/Fresh products from the farm for sale. more info >

The Masthead Restaurant
: Four-course Cowichan Valley tasting menu with an optional pairing.

Merridale Ciderworks: Hayrides/pressing/brick oven lunch/music/ mini spa/tours/dinner theatre. more info >

Organic Fair Inc.: Chocolate & organic ice cream made from scratch/foods fresh from the farm.

O.U.R. Ecovillage: Kiosks/speakers/beer garden/demos/tours/bluegrass evening dinner/dance.

Rocky Creek Winery
: Tastings/sparkling release & tapas, artist Mary Fox will be on-site.

Steeples Bar & Grill
: Featuring a special crab and estate wine menu throughout the festival.

Zanatta Winery and Vineyards: Free tastings of all wines and the Glenora Fantasia Sparkling.

For a map of locations and a full list of events please visit www.wines.cowichan.net


  1. Sounds like a wonderful event! I'd love to attend the festival one day. Beautiful photos, Ann.

  2. Ann, your photos are breath taking. Looks like heaven on earth there.

  3. Oh, I wish I didn't live so far away! I'd love to come to this ....maybe someday. Thanks!

  4. Ann, Cowichan is one of the most picturesque places I've ever seen. And I can just imagine the loads of fresh produce you lugged home from this glorious festival.

  5. Wow! Beautiful area. I would love to live closer!


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