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Wine and cheese reception kicks off Winter Classic

An evening of wine and cheese at the Westin Resort and Spa kicks off the Telus Mobility Winter Classic Jan. 25.

The wine and cheese evening is open to the public. Tickets are $40.

On Saturday evening, Jan. 26, the foundation’s 10 th anniversary gala celebration takes place at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain. The evening includes a dinner, dance and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $125, but you’d best hurry if you don’t already have yours.

The Winter Classic is one of two major fund-raisers each year for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. The foundation has been providing funding for charities throughout the Sea to Sky corridor for the past 10 years.

Two more B.C. wineries

Two more "100 per cent B.C." wineries have become licensed members of the Association of British Columbia Winegrowers.

The two new members are Columbia Gardens Vineyard and Winery in the Kootenays, near Trail, and Hunting Hawk Vineyards in Armstrong.

Grape growing is apparently not new to the West Kooetenays. Columbia Gardens’ partner Lawrence Wallace says grapes from the area were winning prizes at fall fairs as far back as 1911. However, not much was happening on the grape front until Wallace and his father-in-law Tom Bryden decided to do some research. They visited every winery in B.C. and many in Washington, Oregon and California before planting about 1,000 vines in 1996. Their six-acre vineyard includes Marechal Foch, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Auxerrois and Gewürztraminer. All were chosen for their ability to withstand cold winters and for being particularly pest resistant.

Russ Niles’ Hunting Hawk Vineyards is at the north end of the Okanagan, near the Shuswap area. Niles has planted about half an acre with Marechal Foch and is preparing to plant another 2 and a half acres with Perle of Csaba, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Ortega. For the first crush Niles used grapes from leased land in Summerland and Vernon and purchased grapes from Naramata and Kelowna. He opened a wine shop last October.

The Association of B.C. Winegrowers now represents 36 B.C. wineries dedicated to producing wine solely from B.C. grapes or fruit.