The Osoyoos Oyster Festival has come and gone but it’s one of many events that this wine country destination hosts throughout the year. The communities of Osoyoos and Oliver have almost 30 wineries and when at least a handful of them get together to host pairing dinners and receptions, you’re always in for a treat.
My aunt (who owns a condo in Osoyoos) and I took in the first few days of the Osoyoos Oyster Festival in April and got a jump on stocking up on BC wines for the year. Here were some of the highlights of the festival for us which took place in the heart of the South Okanagan:
Oysters were served up on the half shell by Jon and Anne Marie Crofts of Codfathers Seafood, suppliers of sustainable seafood to the Okanagan’s best restaurants. Guests were given the rundown on the source of the oysters and how best to eat them. I have to give Jon and Anne Marie a lot of credit because my aunt, who is best described as a “meat and potatoes” kind of person, tried her first-ever oysters at this event — and enjoyed them, thanks to the duo.
Oysters were the star ingredient in the multi-course, family-style meal that followed at the longtable. Uniquely prepared, either wrapped in speck or cooked up in a simmering paella, the oysters were devoured alongside some beautiful and crisp Tinhorn Creek wines.
Under the Tuscan Sea at Terrafina
Taking the shuttle once more from Walnut Beach Resort we climbed up the hill to Hester Creek Winery to enjoy a night of seafood-themed pizzas and bubbly. Terrafina Restaurant‘s signature wood-fired oven delivered crispy thin crust pizzas with different toppings to each sparkling wine station which each featured a local winery and a unique pizza topping. Sirloin and blue cheese, shrimp and oyster, truffle and potato. We crunched into fire-grilled flavours and sipped effervescent bruts all evening. The Stoneboat Vineyards Piano Brut was our favourite along with the rose from our host that evening, Hester Creek.
Unfortunately we had to return to Vancouver before the weekend’s festivities began so we missed out on the main event — and every winery we visited (which was nine of them in one day) all expressed their sympathies because they knew it was going to be awesome.
The next time you visit Osoyoos and Oliver be sure to pick up a wine passport either from the visitor centre along the highway or at any participating winery. You can collect a stamp from each then drop it off at your last winery, when your card is full, to be entered to win some great prizes.