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Parksville almost ready to uncork

Swirl, the signature event of Parksville Uncorked, takes place at the Beach Club Feb. 22. Last year guests enjoyed a wide array of B.C. wines and cuisine at Tigh-Na-Mara. - NEWS FILE PHOTO
Swirl, the signature event of Parksville Uncorked, takes place at the Beach Club Feb. 22. Last year guests enjoyed a wide array of B.C. wines and cuisine at Tigh-Na-Mara.
— image credit: NEWS FILE PHOTO

BRENDA GOUGH

NEWS Contributor

Parksville's finest beach resorts are coming together again to feature the best wine, beer and gourmet food from around Vancouver Island and B.C. at the Parksville Uncorked Wine and Food Festival Feb. 21-24.

Hosted by The Beach Club Resort and Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, the culinary event offers many opportunities for those who love fabulous wine, beer and  food to sample B.C. products.

It is also a chance to promote the region's bounty and boost local tourism.

Parksville Uncorked is the brain child of Shawna Broekhuizen, Beach Club general manager.

Broekhuizen learned about wine during her involvement with Cornucopia, Whistler's wine festival.

"It is a great way to stimulate the local hospitality and tourism sector because it attracts a lot of out of town visitors," she said.

Each year the event grows and this year is no exception with the addition of three new tours on Feb. 24 including one to  the Deep Bay Marine Field Station and the Morningstar Golf Course.

There is also a winery epicurean tour that involves an afternoon of touring and tasting at some Vancouver Island wineries.

Broekhuizen said they added the new tours to give out of town visitors more things to do while in the area.

"We felt we needed something more to do on the Sunday. It will make people stay longer in the area and bring in more revenue."

It's easy to see why Broekhuizen is so optimistic about the future growth of the festival.  The Beach Club's Burrowing Owl Winemaker's Dinner on Feb. 23 sold out quickly as did the Road 13 Winemaker's Dinner at Tigh-Na-Mara.

"We sold out before we even started marketing the event. The response to the dinner is the best. Everyone wants to come to the event," she said.

A lot of the award winning wines produced by Burrowing Owl are not carried in liquor stores and can't even be purchased at the winery.

"Only a very few are licensed to carry it. Our sales for the Coruja have increased because of the winemaker's dinner last year."

There are still tickets for Feb. 21 at Tigh-Na-Mara. The showcase of regional breweries will feature ale paired with regional cuisine.

The Beach Club hosts Swirl on Feb. 22 and the signature event will have wine aficionados exploring the fascinating and ever changing world of wine and food.

On Feb. 24 Bubbles and Brunch at Tigh-Na-Mara includes a sumptuous feast.

For more information visit www.parksvilleuncorked.com.

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