Sip & Savour has been a Chamber Harvest Event for the past four years. Showcasing local produce & local wineries and breweries is foremost.
Each year has been quite different, reflecting both the different people serving as volunteer Board Directors & different interested event volunteers, and also reflecting the learning curve with any new initiative.
The first event involved a Gala Dinner, held at Hastings House meadow area, complete with marquee tents (in case of rain) & chefs from various restaurants, each offering different courses. That was the Friday evening & on the Saturday afternoon there was a “grazing” event at Harbour House Hotel’s Ocean-view Orchard.
Although first year events often have growing pains attached, the showcasing of local fare was always paramount in creating this Harvest themed event.
Year two saw some local restaurants offering wine pairing dinners on the Friday evening, and a continuation of a Saturday grazing event at Harbour House Hotel’s meadow. An effort was made to offer food pairings with wines being poured…the idea of raw product being in evidence, with a chef’s concept of how to present same, & tying it all to a specific wine was part of Year Two’s effort.
Year Three was a very mixed weather year. As a back-up plan, the Farmer’s Institute was reserved “just in case”. Three days before the Saturday grazing event, a judgment call saw the Harbour House Hotel’s meadow venue changing to the Farmer’s Institute building.
Short notice shift, but the torrential rain on the day was ignored by those taking part. Local product, local chef creations, but without necessarily doing the pairing concept, was a Year Three change. Friday evening saw some wine pairing dinners at some restaurants. Others simply offered local products with local wines available. On Saturday evening, Moby’s Pub hosted a great dinner called a “Locavore Dinner and Dance” which attracted a large audience for a great 3 course meal and dancing.
Year Four continued the Farmer’s Institute location, for the Saturday afternoon grazing event. Local foods, beautifully presented by local chefs and catering options, accompanied the stellar line-up of represented wineries.
Salt Spring Island is very lucky to be able to showcase three stellar vineyards/wineries. The presentation of local farmgate produce, food delights prepared by local chefs and local and B.C. wines was a feature of Year Four’s success.
Excellent food choices were available, but not necessarily paired with a specific wine. Friday and Saturday evenings saw restaurants offering local produce in their menus & featuring local wines. New additions to last year’s event included a sold-out Farm to Table Dinner at Stowel Lake Farm and a Sunday Sparkling Wine Brunch at the Harbour House Hotel.
Every year is different & exemplifies the volunteer aspect of the event. Every year offers the experience of Salt Spring Island. Those who attended are happily making plans to attend the next year’s event.
All local businesses benefit from the Sip & Savour event, whether part of the agrarian lifestyle or not. The Chamber of Commerce supports successful business outcomes for all Salt Spring Island enterprises. Tourism is a part of that successful solution.
The local vineyards/wineries were showcased through posters & flyers at the grazing event in Year Four, & participants at the Saturday event were invited to visit each of the vineyards, to taste their wines on site, and to purchase these specialty wines at their home port.
Garry Oak Vineyard & Winery, Salt Spring Vineyard & Winery, both in the exceptional Fulford Valley, and Mistaken Identity Vineyard & Winery, north of Ganges Village, showcase the best of Salt Spring Island…& they are part of the Wine Islands gems found on the Gulf Islands & on Vancouver Island.
Along with Salt Spring Island Vineyards/Wineries, an invitation is always sent to Vancouver Island vineyard/wineries, to other Gulf Islands options, and to local craft breweries & to spirits distillers. Province wide vineyards and craft breweries are also invited to attend…local means Island specific and also offers an invitation to B.C. providers. An array of tasting opportunities is important at any food & wine event.
Year Five is upon us, and we welcome all to discover the best kept secret in the great Pacific Northwest Coast…yes, it’s Salt Spring Island & its foodie paradise.
Vegetables, fruits, cheeses, meats, wines, spirits, ales, teas, coffees, delectable desserts…all grown & nurtured & harvested on this premier Gulf Island.
Welcome to very special Salt Spring Island…a season-less experience…and yet delectably accessible to all at the celebratory Harvest moment.
Year Five will be different again…& that’s the charm of the Gulf Island experience…anything but predictable.
Time to make your reservations for the best local Harvest event in B.C. Call now for details of Year Five’s Salt Spring Island Sip & Savour celebration! Reach us at 250-537-8320!
Year Five of Sip & Savour is in its planning stage.
Time for everyone in the exceptional natural agrarian world on special Salt Spring to meet with the volunteer organizers and to create the script for the 2015 event.
Growers, wineries, chef creators…join in the planning meetings and make 2015 a super Sip & Savour event.
Visitor experiences benefit everyone on Salt Spring: hotels, resorts, B&Bs, restaurants, car & scooter rentals, kayak rentals, fishing charters, Saturday Market vendors, farm gate sales, local winery tastings & sales, cheese makers, craft breweries, alternative health practitioners/spa options, float planes, galleries, studio tours, marinas…tourism is the main “local industry” and all businesses benefit from the visitor presence. Successful events are one reason a visitor would choose to come to Salt Spring.
Important then for all stakeholders to work together to create terrific outcomes for that visitor arrival…so that Year Five leads to Year Six and so on. A regular calendar event to count on and to work towards….
Want to be involved at this early planning stage? Call the Chamber office and count yourself in! Let’s work together to plan great outcomes for the 2015 Sip & Savour Harvest Celebration.