The Pearl of the South Okanagan: Osoyoos Oyster Festival

Looking for something to do? Love sunshine, food and wine? Head to Osoyoos, B.C., April 22 to 25, for the 2015 Osoyoos Oyster Festival. If you love wine and oysters, book your tickets now, because folks, this is one event you do not want to miss.

I’ve attended two of these festivals, the first in 2013 and then again in 2014. They were, without a doubt, culinary and wine highlights of my life. Read my post about the 2013 event here

Last year’s event was bigger and even better than 2013; I can’t imagine how this year’s festival could top it. If you go, please drop me a note and let me know your thoughts.

To whet your appetite, here’s a recap of last year:

My deepest gratitude to BC Tourism who put me up at the beautiful Watermark Beach Resort, and to Claire Sear, one of the Oyster Festival’s organizers who provided me with access to the events. Thank you, thank you.

The Watermark Beach Resort
The Watermark Beach Resort

The hotel is stunning and perfectly situated on the lakefront at the centre of town. My patio at the villa was steps away from the beach. I would highly recommend staying here or at the gorgeous Walnut Beach Resort, or up in the hills at Spirit Ridge (pictured below).

Spirit Ridge

The Oyster Festival is a celebration of the oyster and BC libations (both wine and craft beer) and a showcase of the tremendous culinary talent that the south Okanagan has to offer. You will make new friends, meet winemakers, and get to sample some of the areas most celebrated wines. You will be introduced to new wineries, you will be welcomed at the “old” wineries.

Visiting old favourites (Blue Mountain and Noble Ridge) and a getting a sneak peak at Liquidity.
Visiting old favourites (Blue Mountain and Noble Ridge) and a getting a sneak peak at Liquidity.

The event starts off with the Long Table Dinner at the fantastic Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek. This is one of my favourite events. Great food, great wine, great company in a gorgeous room overlooking vineyards and Osoyoos Lake.

Long Table Dinner at Miradoro
Long Table Dinner at Miradoro

 

Read about the oyster and beer pairing competition by Cassandra Anderton of Good Life Vancouver here.

Oysters and craft beer
Oysters and craft beer

Spirit Ridge was the venue a food and wine rooftop meet and greet. This is just one of the Oysterfest events where you get to sample some of the incredible Okanagan wines in the area. As you would expect, more oysters were being shucked — by some very cool looking bearded ones, and…

Spirit Ridge Collage

…some very cute little shuckers in the making who were also pros at caviar presentation:

codfathers Collage
Rooftop at Spirit Ridge; Mini Codfathers with oysters and caviar

 

Terrafina, the restaurant at Hester Creek Winery hosted a “pizza and bubbly” night featuring stunning sparkling wines from nearby, as well as taking the opportunity to share the spring release of their Cabernet Franc Rosé. There are so many good wines offered at these events, your head will spin.

Terrafina Pizza with Bella Sparkling Rosé; Terrafina Restaurant; Hester Creek's Cabernet Franc Rosé
Terrafina Pizza with Bella Sparkling Rosé; Terrafina Restaurant; Hester Creek’s Cabernet Franc Rosé

The finale of the festival is the Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala where some people took the bait and dressed up in their very best sea-faring finery. As you can expect, more wine flowed, more oysters were shucked, fried, stewed, baked, skewered, and presented in ways one never imagined. The music played, the bubbles bubbled and I, happily and wearily, stumbled back to my villa on the lake.

If you go (and you must!), you will eat and drink the finest fare as never before.  You will bask in sunshine and bacchanalian splendour. Shuttles are available to get you to and from the events safe and sound.

What are you waiting for? www.osoyoosoysterfestival.com