What is it about the crispness of an early fall that is so sweet?  It stirs the senses and awakens a lively, festive spirit that makes us want to toast our full glasses, listen to our most quiet introspective thoughts, and draw in a deep breath of sensational feeling.  Harvests and holiday bring forth new found intimacies with family and friends and throw us into a luxurious exploration through scandalous foods and drinks.  As new winds blow through the valley, trumpeting the arrival of fresh tastes, affinities, instincts and desires – a symphony of fall flavours envelope us in a world of changing faces and shifting colours.  One can actually begin to taste the air full of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves… the bitter sweet aroma of fresh brewing coffee and stewing teas…  Yes, these long-awaited Indian summer days and nights give way to a tantalizing vision of a vibrant autumn scene: apple and pumpkin pies, crackling fires, the smell of burning leaves, the sound of rain, the first frost upon the grasses, cozy knitted fabrics, roasts and hearty stews, chili and corn bread smothered in honey, the glow of lamps through windows, scrabble and popcorn…

There are many autumn events to partake in right here in the South Okanagan, that simply frame the indulgences of the season.  The incredibly popular Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, satisfies a more refined pallet during the first two weeks of October, as it remains the only festival in North America to celebrate during the heart of the harvest.  With such a diverse program featuring 165 events happening around the valley, from culinary seminars, to vineyard tours, outdoor lunches and dinners, music, and more, it is ten extraordinary days of cultural decadence.  For those of us whose interests amuse a sportier agenda, the Vancouver Canucks are set to host the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton for the second consecutive year. A round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets from September 11th through to the 15th.
Whether you love the quiet reserve of a fall day, or the festive events it brings, there is so much to linger in and enjoy this season!

-Elizabeth Cucnik