In early June 2013, the Rabblers had the great opportunity to attend the 6th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference in amazingly picturesque Penticton, British Columbia.  We met many interesting and talented wine bloggers from around the US, Canada and the world.  We also had the special treat of discovering the variety and creativity of Canadian wine, a forbidden fruit for those of us here in the Pacific Northwest since most BC wines are not available in our area.

The conference was informative, fun and adventurous. The excursions took us to some very breath taking places where we were able to sample a cross section of wines from all over the Okanagan Valley paired with some terrific food. What struck this Rabbler was the wide array of varietals that the BC wine makers were able to grow and produce in the Canadian desert. I didn’t even know that Canada had a desert let alone that it produced some very surprising wines.

While BC wines were well represented there was a vast assortment of wines to explore from around the globe. South Africa, Greece, Uruguay, (and to keep with the Canada theme) Ontario wines were represented to the conference goers. A few standouts for me were some of the South African Chenin blancs, Uruguayan Tannats and Albarinos, Greek rosés and Ontario Pinot noirs.

After the conference was over we took a couple of days to wine taste in the Oliver and Osoyoos areas, both south of Penticton. Outside of the stunning vistas and awesome hotel room we were able to score, a great highlight for us was the creativity and styles of wines we were able to try. From varietals such as Vidal which were new to us to the very different take on the Pinot noir that we were able to drink (oh and buy of course!) We had a fun and fascinating post conference excursion of our own.

The Penticton Wine Bloggers Conference was my first rodeo and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun, beautiful and interesting trips I have taken in years.  And while I am from Santa Barbara, I look forward to the same at the next conference, scheduled to take place in Santa Barbara’s wine country next July.

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