Cowichan Wine Festival events at merridale!

September 7, 2013 - 11:00am - September 15, 2013 - 8:00pm

Saturday & Sunday, September 14 & 15 at merridale

This September,The Wineries of the Cowichan Valley open their doors for tours, tastings and activities, and we have a few special activities planned at merridale.


Art in the Orchard – Art in the distillery – Art of the Cocktail

We are all about the art here at merridale. Learn something new this Cowichan Wine Festival Season and join in the many activities we have planned at the distillery or on the ciderhouse lawn.


Art in the Distillery – noon and 2:00, Saturday and Sunday

Join Rick Pipes and Laurent Lafluent to learn the art of tasting spirits. Yes, there is an art to tasting spirits! They will teach you how to taste the essence of our spirits and how they are made right here in our own distillery. Develop a distinguishing palate for spirits, tasting Cowichan Brandy, Stair’s Brandy, Malt Whiskey, Vodka and more. Tours and tastings will be given at noon and 2:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations for the distillery tour are required but there is no charge for this event

Art in the Cellar – throughout the day Saturday and Sunday

Meander through our fermentation and bottling room to learn the art of cidermaking on our self-guided cellar tour. Gather your questions along the way, and then join us at the ciderbar where our knowledgeable staff will provide you with answers and tastings of our traditional cider line-up and fortified nectars. There is no charge for our self-guided tours. Cider tastings are $5 per person with all proceeds donated to a local charity.

Art of the Cocktail – noon until 4:00 Saturday only

Journey into the art of the cocktail with Janice Mansfield. Janice has developed some tantalizing bitters and syrups which she will be mixing with our lineup of products to create some most delicious mini-cocktails for you to taste. Spark your own inner mixologist and learn how to impress your friends at home. Tasting fee of $5 waived with purchase of spirits.

Art in the Orchard – 11 until 4:00 Saturday and Sunday

Throughout this weekend we will be joined by local artists sharing their craft in the merridale orchard:

Bernadette McCormack – Bold, colourful, and clean are the words Bernadette uses to describe her instantly recognizable paintings, drawing inspiration from her natural surroundings. “I paint to communicate positive messages to the world. We live in a time where there is a lot of negative energy all around us, and fear can take up a lot of our time if we let it. My paintings are created to remind people of the beauty that is within and around us.”

Jason Fong – One of a kind driftwood carvings of all things Westcoast, and some things not. A Vancouver Island lifer, currently residing in the Cowichan Valley, Jason draws inspiration from the beautiful forests, coastal beaches, and diverse wildlife that abounds in our part of the world. All carvings done on driftwood collected on the westcoast beaches of British Columbia. Hand carved and hand painted with lots of Canadian love.

Tammie Hunter – Tammie’s landscape and abstract paintings have earned her critical acclaim and admiration up and down the island, and beyond. With her unique, self-taught style, and penchant for creating art in the great outdoors, or “plein air”, Tammie is sure to feel right in her element spending the weekend in our orchard.

Angela Weismiller -  Angela's evocative landscape paintings highlight imagery of Vancouver Island's rugged west coast, you'll almost feel like you're right there on one of the rocky, desolate beaches she depicts with her brush.  

Susan Lundy - Susan Lundy is an award-winning journalist, editor, and freelance writer. After working for many years at the Gulf Islands Driftwood, she now focuses on freelance writing, specializing in travel and personal narrative. Susan will be on hand during WineFest, signing copies of her new book, Heritage Apples: A New Sensation. Saturday only!

Travis Rankin - Hand crafted custom metal art. Travis' gorgeous wrought iron jewelry, candelabras, wall art, and paintings will be on display in the orchard during WineFest.

Troy Townsin – CBC Radio personality, author, and BC wine enthusiast Troy Townsin will be in the orchard, signing copies of his books Cooking with BC Wine, and WineFeast. Sunday only!


Just for the fun of it – throughout Saturday and Sunday

Bakery and Ice Cream counter are open – Baker Alain has many tempting morsels to nibble on while you walk around the orchard. Try one of our new apple fritters or bear claws. Or, cool off with your favourite ice cream served at the deli counter.
Faery Hunt for the kids – Always something for the kids to do. Grab a map and take a tour. Your kids will be enchanted and busy, while you have the chance to relax and savour.

Pizza Night featuring Sets in the WestSunday, September 15 starting at 5:00pm
Join us on the deck at the ciderhouse for the last evening of the festival to enjoy brick oven pizzas and fresh salads. Live music begins at 5:00 with no coverage charge, but don't forget to call and reserve a table, our pizza nights fill up fast! And do note, this is a family friendly event. Local favorites Sets in the West will bring their infectious Celtic/East Coast sound to our patio, so don't forget your dancing shoes!


Event happenings off-site for the Cowichan wine festival:

MNP Grape Stomp! at Cowichan Exhibition - Saturday– September 9, 2013

This is the kickoff event of the 2013 Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival held at the Cowichan Exhibition Fairgrounds during the Cowichan Exhibition. Put your team together and enter, it's sure to be a funny, messy and joyful time!


Island Chefs Collaborative Long Table Dinner - Sunday, September 8th, 2013 , 5:30pm
Location: Dragonfly Farm 4064 Vaux Road, Glenora

Merridale’s chef Ian Blom will join the Island Chefs Collaborative to present a gourmet 6-course white linen culinary extravaganza paired with wine and cider at one of our local suppliers, Dragonfly Farms. The appetizer course will be prepared by Ian (and paired with a cider, of course)! This magical evening will be a local collaboration of epic proportion as 150 people dine in a true “farm to table” setting. You will enjoy the very best of local Cowichan wine, cider and cuisine. Proceeds from this event go to agricultural charities focused on saving our farms with most of the food and drink being donated.

Tickets are $100 and include all pairings. Tickets are available at merridale, please inquire at the ciderbarm, or call us at 250-743-4293 for further details.

The lineup of chefs for this event is as follows:
Fatima DaSilva - Bistro 161 and Vinoteca; Bradford Boisvert - Amuse on the Vineyard; Bill Jones - Deerholme Farm; Daniel Hudson - Hudson’s on First; Brock Windsor - Stone Soup Inn; And our very own…Ian Blom – merridale Bistro

Wednesday, September 11 - 'Meet Your Maker'  

Mix and mingle with the Cowichan winemakers at beautiful and historic Providence Farm while enjoying brick oven pizzas made by the students of the Vancouver Island University Culinary Program. Taste a variety of Cowichan wines and ciders while discussing your favourites with the 'makers'. Tickets are priced at $35.00 per person.

Visit Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival's website for info on what's happening elsewhere in the valley!


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