I begin the Spring Okanagan Wine Fest at an unorthodox winery that uses mead to create wine. But what is unorthodox today is actually an ancient tradition being carried on by meaderies throughout the world.
Meadow Vista Winery is one of two Okanagan meaderies producing honey wines. Having never tried a mead/honey wine before I didn’t know what to expect. But Judie Barta, founder and “Queen Bee” of Meadow Vista kindly took 8 bewildered guests by the hand during the Mead 101 event.
Mead, if you don’t remember your Medieval history, is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water. Sounds pretty simple, but add different types of honey, stone fruits such as apricots, cherries or grapes and you’ve created a complex honey wine that could hold its own against any grape wine.
But what really made this Spring Okanagan Wine Fest event all the more special was Judie offering us all a taste of a ten year old mead she had made before starting her journey in 2009. Judie illustrated her struggle to us all, having been shut down and left to find an investor in order to arrive where she has established herself today; At the splendid natural setting just 15 minutes from the bustling city. We toasted to the new beginning of Meadow Vista and to the bees!
Look out for summertime Bocce on Fridays and upcoming cellar dinners among other events held here throughout the year.