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Cropped: A novel twist on an old favourite

Great food and great wine just naturally go together — you might say they are the perfect complement to each other.
 
So it makes perfect sense that Cropped by Valley First - the newest event on the 2015 Fall Okanagan Wine Festival calendar – to be held Oct. 9 and 10 at the Penticton Convention Centre will bring the two together, with a novel twist on an old favourite.
 
Billed as B.C.’s largest wine tasting and farmer’s market, the event this year for the first time will feature a variety of farmers markets vendors including foods and homemade products. This will be a wonderful compliment to the offerings from the province’s renowned wineries.
 
 
Presented by title sponsor Valley First, this addition of to the ever-popular grand finale wine tasting evenings means a fresh and delicious perspective to a Wine Festival classic.
 
According to Angela Brown, assistant vice-president, marketing, engagement and community investment with Valley First parent company First West Credit Union, the two evenings promise to be as authentic, original and inspired as the terroir of the Okanagan itself.
 
It’s unique because it’s marrying the best of what is produced in the Okanagan in the autumn,” she said. “With the inclusion of the farmer’s market, there will be all kinds of wine and food and things to really tantalize your tastebuds.“

“With the inclusion of the farmer’s market, there will be all kinds of wine and food and things to really tantalize your tastebuds.”

The grand finale nights, which traditionally come towards the end of the 10-day Fall Fest have always been among the most popular, and fun events during the harvest-time celebrations. And with this new twist, they will be sure to grow even more popular. 
 
With more than 80 wineries represented and plenty to feast on from the farmers market, from an array of cheeses and breads, to charcuterie items, Cropped will offer an intriguing plethora to tempt the palate and the taste buds, all in a relaxed and fun-filled atmosphere that will bring the best of the harvest indoors.
“These have always been the premier tasting events in Penticton,” said Brown. “There has always been the excitement surrounding the evening and it’s a fantastic way for people to come and try a lot of wines in one place. It’s going to be quite a different event, but one with a phenomenal vibe.”
 
In addition to the plentiful food and stunning array of wines on offer, the evenings will also provide a chance to be educated at the famous Pinot Bar, where visitors can sample different styles of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, all under the guidance of the new Okanagan College Sensory Lab.
 
The Dairy Farmers of Canada will also be well represented with two free onsite seminars highlighting the wonderful dairy cheeses of Canada and the best way to combine them with your favourite wines.
 
Featuring five different musical acts along with a well-stocked onsite wine store, there will indeed be a lot to take in at Cropped. Add to that the fact you can enjoy responsibly — it’s also a Get Home Safe event, with free taxi rides sponsored by BC Liquor Stores, and you have the makings for a great evening out.
 
There’s are always pleasant surprises too, whether that be discovering a new favourite vintage from a hidden gem winery, or a uncovering a food and wine pairing that you find simply perfect, Cropped by Valley First will offer something for everyone over the course of the two evenings.
 
“It’s going to be a fabulous event, and I hope everybody’s going to be as excited about it as we are,” said Brown.
 
With these popular evenings usually selling out, it’s best to get your tickets early by going to valleyfirsttix.com, or by calling 877-763-2849. Tickets are $65 for each evening, plus applicable charges, or $110, plus applicable charges, for both evenings.
Cropped runs from 6-9 p.m. each night.
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Every year the Best of Varietal Wine Awards recognizes the best wines in B.C., using a panel of esteemed judges. This year we were privileged to have a diverse group of wine experts from across the country join us and participate in the competition.


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