In its fifth year, the Get Fresh in the Valley passport program offers visitors a unique way to experience this wine region for three weekends in April. This year, 24 wineries are participating in the program, where springtime sippers and delectable bites are the stars. Tastings range from sparkling, white, to rosé, and a few full-bodied reds paired with either spicy, salty, cheesy and sweet fare. New this year, four winery restaurants, Good Earth Food and Wine, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, Redstone Winery and Vineland Estates Winery, as well as the Grand Oak Culinary Market are offering passport holders an exclusive dining experience through Freshalicious, a prix-fix menu that will satisfy both your taste buds and your wallet.
While touring, you’ll meet winery owners, winemakers, chefs and wine enthusiasts who are all eager to answer questions and share stories. Shelly at Fielding Estate Winery will teach you how to taste wine: swirl, sniff and sip; Grayson at Mike Weir Estate Winery will update you on what is happening is the vineyard: pruning and bud analysis; and at Tawse Winery, a young staffer will enthusiastically share her experience studying wine and viticulture at Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.
This annual passport is your ticket, but it’s the wine, the bites and the stories you’ll taste and learn along the way that create the experience.
Not-to-be-missed stops: Angels Gate Winery on Mountainview Road is pairing their Archangel Chardonnay Sparkling with spicy Korean fried chicken bites (its got zip!). Just up the road and around the corner, stop in at Mike Weir Winery for a sample of Pinot Noir paired with a Spanish-style chorizo burger (it’s delish!). Head to the new Redstone Winery on King Street for a splash of Riesling paired with an albacore tuna ceviche (super refreshing!). Finish with a sweet treat at Creekside Estate Winery, and unwind with the Cabernet Rosé and Creekside Farmhouse Strawberry & Basil Nougat Candy Bar (pretty much perfection!).
Wine touring tips:
Designate a friend to be the DD or hire a driver
Map out what wineries you want to visit and then add a few spontaneous stops along the way
Stay hydrated by packing water bottles
If you like it, buy it and recreate your Get Fresh in the Valley experience with the recipes you collect from each winery you visit
Lastly, take lots of pictures and share on social with #GetFresh2016!
- Twenty Valley Contributing Writer