Okanagan Food and Wine Intensive Itinerary from 2014

More information about Okanagan College intensive wine and food educational programs in 2015 - coming soon.

Email  feedyourpassion@okanagan.bc.ca to join the Okanagan College Wine and Food Interest list and be the first to know about upcoming programs. A sample intensive experience is described below.

Summer Course Table

Food and Wine Intensive Itinerary
Each day starts and ends in the state-of-the-art B.C. Wine Information Society –Sensory Centre at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. Daily field trips and transportation on a private Grape Escapes tour company bus, seasonal Okanagan lunches, and sensory wine and food education sessions are all included in your Okanagan Wine and Food Intensive learning experience. A Certificate of Participation will be awarded after program completion.

Day 1 Friday, August 1 9am-4pm 2014

  • BC wine history and BC wine regions
  • Grape varieties and wines styles
  • Introduction to viticulture

9-12pm Wine Sensory Centre
A warm Okanagan welcome and instruction about B.C. wine history, regions, grape growing and wine styles in the B.C. Wine Information Society – Sensory Centre will prepare you for the afternoon’s field experience.

12-4pm Field Trips
The morning’s instruction comes to life with a vineyard lunch featuring locally grown and prepared food at a winery on the Naramata Bench, a renowned guest speaker from industry sharing his thoughts on sustainable viticulture, and hands-on viticulture experience.

 summer vineyard post smaller

Day 2 Saturday, August 2 9am-4pm 2014

  • Sensory tasting technique, terminology
  • Wine and food pairing theory and practice

9am-10am  Wine Sensory Centre
The day starts with a sensory lab tutorial on how to taste wine.  This will awaken the taste buds and arm you with the tools for a day of tasting enjoyment.  Regardless of your wine experience you will deepen your understanding of sensory wine and food tasting.

10am-2pm Field Trips
With your palate still freshly educated we will turn our attention to the streets as we partake in one of the region’s best Farmers Markets.  You will be introduced to personal favorites where we will sample some locally made products as you meet the passionate people behind their craft.  After grabbing a few supplies for a late lunch we will head off to our next location.

Your experienced palates will travel to a local winery whose family has also been in the tree fruit industry for the last few generations.  We will talk a little history and look at the changing landscape of the Okanagan as we taste some delectable treats and sample a few outstanding wines.

From here we will dive into the world of fromage learn how a local artisan crafts cheese.  To help wash down these amazing delicacies, we will learn from her husband (the winemaker) how he spins his craft into creating truly local wines to compliment the cheese. 

2-4pm Wine Sensory Centre
Now it’s time to take all this local knowledge and experience back to the kitchen.  Based on what’s fresh and what we find on our travels, you will learn how to compile some tasty treats that can complement any wine pairing.  A few more local wines will be sourced for you to practice your improved tasting skills while you enjoy some fun new local recipes.

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Day 3 Sunday, August 3 9am-4pm 2014

  • Winemaking process
  • Wine varietal characteristics
  • What makes B.C. wine unique

9am-12pm  Meet at the Wine Sensory Centre followed by morning field trips.
Now its time to take the last two days of knowledge to the winery and look at how we turn these grapes into wine.  This is where you will get a behind the scenes look at what goes into making wine.  We will start by visiting a very small production winery that makes less than 1000 cases.  We will look at what equipment is needed and how it all works.  After a taste or two we will head to a larger winery and see how they compare.  You will notice how the procedures are roughly the same but how they differ in process and machinery.   All those questions you have ever had on how wine is made will finally be answered.  You will know how white wine is made differently than red and get a look at all the decisions a winemaker must make before you can enjoy that product.

12-4pm Wine Sensory Centre
After these visits we will head back to the sensory lab to have a closer look at specific wine varietals.  We will cook up a quick local lunch to nibble on while you round out your local BC wine experience.

 winery summer smaller

Your Instructors

Jay Drysdale
As a Chef and winemaker, Jay shares his extensive wine and food experience and local knowledge to connect learners with the local wine and food scene using his characteristic approachable style. From fresh produce to the region’s world-class wines to artisan cheese and bread, the distinctive flavors of the Okanagan abound. Seasonal products, harvested and crafted by local purveyors, provide the foundation for the satisfying dishes prepared in the B.C. Wine information Society – Sensory Centre. 


SummerJay 2

Penelope Roche
French-trained viticulturist and winemaker, Penelope grew  up on a vineyard in Bordeaux.  She arrived in the Okanagan 2 years ago with her young family and is currently a viticulture consultant in the Okanagan Valley and an instructor in Okanagan College wine studies programs. Her international training and experience in winemaking are complemented by her love for French cooking.  Food is always a central part of wine education for Penelope.
2014 Penelope

Erin Korpisto
Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) level 3 certificate holder and graduate of Okanagan College’s Wine Sales Certificate program, Erin is an Okanagan girl who, after many years spent working in  architecture and travelling abroad, decided to come back to the Valley and pursue her passion for wine. A self-described “people person”, Erin started in the cellar as an assistant winemaker, before moving into the Sales and Marketing side of the industry. She shares her extensive knowledge and passion for the wines of B.C. as a wine studies instructor at Okanagan College, through her work at B.C. Wine Information VQA wine shop and at Liquidity Winery in OK Falls, along with being a wine blogger and champion of BC wines nationally and internationally.

Summer Erin 2