By Roslyne Buchanan.

The theme of this year’s perennially sold out Naramata Tailgate Party was the “roaring twenties” and it truly was a roaring success. Given the enthusiasm of the crowd it bodes well for the fall wine events in the entire Okanagan Valley.

Latest releases of Moraine Estate Winery at the Tailgate Party. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

This crowd-pleasing initiative of the Naramata Bench Wineries Association (NBWA) shines the light on its 30 member wineries and the spotlight overflows to the entire Okanagan wine region. NBWA is also known for its commitment to give back to the communities that are home to its customers. Whether on the road or at home, the charitable component is central to the association’s values.

MOCOJO Winery at the Naramata Tailgate Party. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Originally built in 1908 by John Moore Robinson who started the fruit industry in this region, the Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa was an ideal location to tie into the historic theme. The NBWA wineries circled the facility on its beautiful grounds.

Capturing the tasty Tuna Tartare Nicoise by The Patio at Lake Breeze Vineyards. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Guests sampled the wineries’ latest releases and snacked on tapas presented by the onsite 1908 Restaurant & Lounge plus Birds Eye at Bench 1775; Smugglers Smokehouse at Red Rooster; The Kitchen at Da Silva Vineyards; Hillside Bistro at Hillside Winery; The Patio at Lake Breeze Vineyards; Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery; and The Oven at Upper Bench Winery.

Laughing Stock Vineyards embracing the Tailgate Roaring Twenties theme. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

With so many wineries in the region, it’s a welcome bonus to catch up with the NBWA members in one setting. Personally, I was able to taste releases from many wineries I’ve not had a chance to visit recently including Black Widow, Daydreamer, Deep Roots, Kettle Valley, Mocojo, Moraine Estate, Singletree, Therapy, and Three Sisters. When I learned two others I expected pulled out at the last minute because they were sold out I was sadly disappointed.

Cold Poached Prawn Lettuce Wraps by Hillside Bistro. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

I learned about the Da Silva Farm Table Dinner, September 28, at which Richard and Twylla Da Silva, owners and wine growers will host a rustic Portuguese meal. The dinner prepared by Chef Abul Adame of The Kitchen will be paired with Da Silva small lot wines. The evening begins with Vino Verde Bubbles and traditional appetizers. Check for tickets at

Tapas served by onsite 1908 Restaurant & Lounge at the Naramata Heritage Inn. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

The rain that had threatened earlier stayed away. It was a joyful and spectacular evening strolling the gardens, listening to live music that inspired many to dance, sipping wine samples and nibbling on tapas. The ambiance, the organization and execution of events such as this each year, speaks to the NBWA professionalism and why the region is consistently lauded as a mecca for wine lovers.

Black Widow Winery presenting its new releases at the Tailgate. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Of course, members participating in the 39th Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, October 3 to 13, also shared news of all their involvement. There are signature events coordinated by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and member events throughout the Okanagan. Get all the tickets and links to tickets at

Naramata Tailgaters dance gleefully to the live music. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

The BC Wine Festival, too, has exciting events planned such as Taco Vino 2019, October 19, at Jaguar Land Rover Kelowna. It is “A Mexican themed Wine, Cider & Spirits Tasting” featuring Mexican food from El Taquero, Spanish music, Low Rider Cars, and samplings from its member wineries, cideries, distilleries.

Autumn is awesome in BC wine country – don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy all its bounty!

Featured photo: Many embraced the Roaring Twenties theme of the Naramata Tailgate. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.


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