Our feet feel fabulous.

My wife, Kerry, and I have just finished a squishy round of stomping riesling grapes prior to sitting down to the final long-table dinner of the season at West Kelowna's Mission Hill Winery.

While the activity was designed as pure fun and no wine would be made from the juice extracted by our footsies, there are health benefits to putting bare feet to berries.

Grapes are full of polyphenols, an incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that rejuvenates.

Thus, the skin on our feet is soft and supple post-stomp.

Plus, we were able to sip the welcome Viognier drink while frolicking in the barrel.

While seated with 58 others at the elaborately decorated long table set in the outdoor plaza of the winery, we'd go on to enjoy tomato salad paired with Sauvignon Blanc, lamb matched to Cabernet Sauvignon and a berry dessert with icewine.

Mission Hill's three long-table dinners this season sold out quickly at $125 a ticket.

Plans are already being made for next summer's series to stretch the tables to seat 100 at each of five such feasts.

In the meantime, the winery is getting ready for its next big culinary production – the $159-a-head, six-course harvest dinner in the wine experience hall with winemaker Darryl Brooker.

Check out MissionHillWinery.com.


My wife and I met the winemaker and patted some goats on a recent weekend getaway to Salt Spring Island.

With only three wineries, Salt Spring is one of the smallest winemaking regions in B.C., but it is getting recognition.

For instance at Garry Oaks Winery, dubbed so after the trees of the same name, not a person, the Austrian-developed Zweigelt grape is star.

Winemaker Geoff Jetna, who used to be the assistant at Pentage Winery in Penticton, has made a stand-alone Zweigelt ($35) that won a gold medal at the recent Canadian National Wine Awards.

The varietal is also blended with the better-known Pinot Noir to create Ariane rose ($23).

At the eponymous Salt Spring Vineyards, the signature wine is Karma ($34), a sparkler crafted from two white grapes you've probably never heard of, Epicure and Petite Milo.

What's wine without some cheese?

So, we also headed over to Salt Spring Island Cheese Co. to greet the goats, taste some of the 16 cheeses and guiltlessly indulge in ice cream made with goat's milk.

The frozen dessert doesn't taste goaty at all and is half the fat of regular ice cream made with cow's milk.


His mixed-media portraiture has been described as the juxtaposition of raw and urgent street art and academic ideals.

Such portraits by artist Tim Okamura, under the My Music exhibition name, will grace the walls of Liquidity Winery in Okanagan Falls until Oct. 9.

The Edmonton-born artist, who now lives in New York City, will be on hand to introduce the exhibit today at 10 a.m.

It's free to attend.

While you're there you might as well sip some wine, such as the 2015 Pinot Noir Estate ($26) and 2014 Pinot Noir Equity ($56), which just won silver medals at the Mondial des Pinots competition in Switzerland.

And you could also stay for lunch at Liquidity Bistro.

Do all three and you'll cover Liquidity's winery-bistro-gallery mandate.


Gather your pooch and head up to The View Winery in Kelowna Sunday at 4 p.m. for the second installment of Wine and Wags.

The fundraiser for the St. John Ambulance Dog Therapy Program features a vineyard walk for you and your leashed friend, wine tasting and nibbles of both the human and canine variety.

The View is hosting Wine and Wags every Sunday this month at the same time.

St. John's therapy dogs visit the elderly and sick in care homes and hospitals to bring joy and comfort.

They can help motivate kids to read and students feel less stressed.


Summerhill Pyramid Winery's Cipes Brut is there, as is Dirty Laundry's Hush rose, Painted Rock's Red Icon, Tantalus' Riesling, Bella Wine's puppy Buddha, Mission Hill's view and Old Vines restaurant at Quails' Gate Winery.

They are winners of the inaugural Best of B.C. Wine Country Awards, a crowd-sourced online contest curated by the B.C. Wine Institute.

The institute invited the public to vote for their favourites in 18 categories and further sifted the results to declare winners in five regions – Okanagan, Similkameen, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and emerging regions.

In all that's 72 winners, too many to list all here.

So, check out the full contingent at BestOf.WineBC.com.


Steve MacNaull is the business and wine reporter and columnist at The Okanagan Weekend. Reach him at steve.macnaull@ok.bc.ca.