Red Wine for Cold Weather

 This weekend’s frigid weather will have you reaching for a glass of red.

Here are nine worthy options.

Black currant, blackberry, chocolate and sage positively ooze out of the Harper’s Trail 2018 Cabernet Franc ($26).

Harper’s Trail is one of only five wineries in Kamloops and capitalizes on its terroir of dry rolling hills of sage and dry grass along the South Thompson River.

Hot summers contribute to concentrated fruit flavours in the grapes.

But Kamloops is still considered at cool-climate wine region by world standards, which means evening, spring and fall conditions are fresh, giving grapes, and thus wines, desirable minerality and acidity.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most popular red wine for a reason.

Vines, which are widely planted in virtually every wine region on the planet, bud late to avoid frost and are resistant to rot and pests.

It produces a thick-skinned grape that translates into concentrated black currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar and mint flavours and aromas in wine.

The wine can be drunk young, or tucked away in the cellar for 10 years to enjoy its complexity in the future.

Bench 1775 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 ($39) from Naramata is a delicious, classic example of the varietal.

Most people don’t know Cabernet Sauvignon is the unlikely offspring of Cabernet Franc, a red wine grape, and Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine grape, which cross-cultivated by chance in France in the 17th Century.

Bench 1775 also uses 66% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 34% Syrah in a combination made famous in Australia.

The winery’s 2016 vintage Cab Sauv-Syrah ($22.50) highlights the best of both varietals with a blackberry-cherry-violet-and-pepper profile.

Bench 1775 Cabernet Franc 2016 ($30) exudes plum and raspberry and begs to be paired with pizza or pasta in tomato sauce.

Hester Creek Winery in Oliver recently released five reds crafted by winemaker Robert Summers that can be enjoyed now for their fresh, dark fruit flavours or aged five to seven years to develop complexity.

The 2018 Character Red ($19) is an approachable blend of Merlot, Shyrah, Petit Verdot and Malbec that will reward you with plum and blueberry flavours backed by violet, pepper and caramel.

Hester Creek’s Selected Barrels program blends wines made from grapes from a number of the winery’s vineyards to create appealing, approachable vintages.

The Selected Barrels Merlot 2018 ($18) is 100% Merlot, but the fruit came from five different vineyards – three from elsewhere in Oliver and two blocks of Hester Creek’s on the Golden Mile Bench.

The 2018 Selected Barrels Cabernet Merlot ($18) lives up to its name, blending three varietals – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – from three different vineyards.

The result is a pleasing punch of cherry, plum and vanilla.

Hester Creek’s Reserve system makes wines exclusively from a particular block of the winery’s old-vines vineyards on the Golden Mile Bench.

The 2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc Block 3 ($26) is made of grapes from 50-year-old vines that are thinned to one bunch per shoot for naturally concentrated and vibrant wine exhibiting raspberry, plum and pepper.

The 2017 Reserve Merlot Block 2 ($26) is made of grapes planted in 1972, resulting in a lush wine brimming with plum, cherry and chocolate.


Valley’s Film Business Worth $23.8M to Economy

Film payoff

The production of the Hallmark Films love story “Love in Winterland” was worth $2.2 million to the Vallley’s economy, the Okanagan film commissioner says in his annual report.

Production of movies, TV shows and commercials in the Okanagan last year contributed $23.8 million to the Valley’s economy, local politicians will hear Thursday.

The economic impact comes in the form of wages paid to Okanagan residents as well as spending on local suppliers and at hotels and restaurants.

Film commissioner Jon Summerland says the impact represents good value for his office’s annual budget of $300,000, almost half of which comes from Kelowna-area property owners.

In his newly released annual report, to be considered by Central Okanagan politicians, Summerland says the film commission doesn’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring.

“At the Okanagan Film Commission, we are aggressively looking for new clients,” he writes.

“There is no time spent waiting for the next client. We follow many companies in film, animation, book, graphic novels. We are always the first to know if a book has been optioned for film or an animation or company is expanding,” he writes.

“We will contact any and all leads using individually designed marketing, all built especially for the project,” he writes.

Summerland acknowledges determining the precise economics of any production can be difficult. But he says he uses industry-accepted averages in his calculations.

For example, a high-end film intended for wide release made with a full union crew has an economic impact of US $100,000 per day, he says. At the other end of the spectrum, a low-end commercial with a non-union crew has a daily impact of about $25,000, he says.

Some notable productions last year, along with their estimated economic impact:

— “The Last Victim,” starring Ron Perlman, best known for his portrayal of the comic superhero Hellboy, $5 million

— “Love in Winterland,” a Hallmark Films love story starring Italia Ricci, $2.2 million.

— A Japanese TV show featuring Ogopogo, $140,000.


Property assessments continue to increase in the South Okanagan

Home owners in Summerland and Keremeos can expect some of the biggest increases in property value when their 2019 assessment notices arrive in their mailboxes over the next few days.

In Keremeos, the average assessed value for a single-family home has risen from $240,650 to $270,200, an increase of 12 per cent. In Summerland, it’s a 10 per cent increase, from $466,000 to $517,000.

At 18 and 17 per cent, respectively, Spallumcheen and Sicamous saw the biggest increases in the B.C. Assessment’s Thompson-Okanagan region.

Thompson-Okanagan assessor Katrina LeNoury said the majority of residential home owners in the Okanagan can expect a five to 15 per cent increase in their property assessment.

“It is very similar to last year,” said LeNoury, noting that the Okanagan has seen similar increases in property values over the last three years. “It would be fair to say there has been a cooling in the Vancouver market, but other regions are still seeing increases.”

Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Princeton all fall in the middle of that range, with increases of seven and eight per cent.

LeNoury emphasizes that these are averages, and individual home owners may experience larger or smaller increases than the average.

“Market values are based on local market demand and conditions,” she said.

Overall, the Okanagan’s total assessments increased from about $108 billion in 2018 to $118.6 billion this year with about $2.5 billion of that due to new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

The honor of the most expensive home in the Okanagan goes to Kelowna this year, where a waterfront property was assessed at more than $10.5 million.

According the B.C. Assesment’s annual report, most of the properties on the top 100 list fall into the West Kelowna and Kelowna area. The first smaller community to make it on the list is Coldstream, where a $6.177-million property is ranked at No. 39.

Across the province, though, the Okanagan doesn’t even make it into the top 500, which range from an $73.12-million home in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood to an $11.63-million home on the West Vancouver waterfront.

Dori Lionello, president of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board, said that January and February is traditionally a quieter time for real estate sales, but the local market has still been busy and there is still a number of cases of multiple offers being made from properties.

“Prices are stable, but we are not seeing the urgency on the part of Vancouver buyers,” said Lionello. “They are still coming, they still want to be here.”

If you are concerned about your property’s assessed value, LeNoury suggests contacting BC Assessment.

“I really would encourage property openers to look at our website. There has been quite a few changes this year to make it easier,” she said. That includes an interactive map and other user-friendly features to make it easier to find your property.

A phone call, she said, can also yield information that might help allay concerns, but if they do want to file an appeal, the deadline is Jan. 31.

“They have to file an appeal letter with us by Jan. 31,” said Le Noury. “We do encourage people to give us a call. A lot of times we can provide information on why it has changed.”

BC Assessment’s website at includes more details about 2019 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2019’s top valued residential properties across the province.


Casino Royale raises $17,924 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation

Casino Royale - Dan Jones

Royal LePage Village in Pointe Claire, QC raised $17,924 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation at their 1st annual ‘Casino Royale.’ 100 per cent of funds raised were donated to the West Island Women’s Shelter.

Led by Lorraine Sims, a team of brokers with Royal LePage Village organized an evening of delicious food, play-gambling and dancing with more than 300 in attendance. Brokers from the five Royal LePage Village offices and their guests were ushered in with red carpet treatment. Excitement remained high until the close of the evening’s silent auction.

A representative of the West Island Women’s Shelter shared important insights about family violence, while showing gratitude for events like Casino Royale. Raising awareness in the community and generating critical funds for women and children who are seeking safe shelter and a life free from domestic violence is a priority.


Lizzy Hoyt- New Lady on the Prairie

Presented by the South Okanagan Concert Society

Friday January 31 @ 7:30















Acclaimed songwriter, Lizzy Hoyt is one of Canada’s most powerful Celtic-folk artists. Known for bringing Canadian history to life with music, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for her outstanding contribution to commemorating Canadian veterans and Vimy Ridge history through music. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Lizzy toured for ten years as a side musician before pursuing her own projects. She has been praised for her mastery of the fiddle, guitar and harp while her voice has been described as “otherworldly”, “angelic” and “pure”.
Throughout her career, she has released four independent albums and two music videos. Lizzy’s fourth album New Lady on the Prairie (produced by John Reischman and Lizzy Hoyt) demonstrates a mature and refined ‘trans-Atlantic’ sound that blends influences from Celtic, bluegrass and folk traditions. The title track, inspired by Lizzy’s great aunt immigrating to Canada from Ireland in the early 1900s, demonstrates her interest in historical songwriting and her ability to craft songs that are touching, poignant, and lyrically rich. The album was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, Western Canadian Award and three Independent Music Awards. It was also named one of the Best Albums of 2014 by the Indie Acoustic Project.

​Lizzy is a full-time musician who travels and tours throughout Canada during the year with her trio. She has performed at renowned folk festivals (Edmonton Folk Festival, Montreal Folk Festival,

Goderich Celtic Roots Festivals), folk clubs (Calgary Folk Club, Nickelodeon Folk Club, Northern Lights Folk Club) and through performing arts networks across the country.

Part of the 2019/ 2020 South Okanagan Concert Society Series. For more information click here.
2-4 shows – $21 each
Single show advance ticket – $23
Door – $25
Student – $2.50


Old Dominion “We Are Old Dominion” Tour

Acclaimed CMA Group of the Year and 2-time ACM Group of the Year Old Dominion announce dates for their “We Are Old Dominion Tour” in Canada, including a stop in Penticton at the SOEC on Saturday, February 8th, 2020. The AEG powered outing will hit 12 cities over the tour with Mitchell Tenpenny and Meghan Patrick set to open on select dates.

Tickets are $39.50, $69.50 & $79.50* and will on sale Friday, August 13th at 10:00AM. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, over the phone at 1-877-763-2849 or online at

About Old Dominion: Old Dominion released their first full length album Meat and Candy, which was certified GOLD by the RIAA and hailed a “stellar debut “by Entertainment Weekly and declared “one of the hottest breaking bands in county music” by Vice. The group already has several top selling singles under their belts, including the two-week No.1 “Break Up With Him” (PLATINUM), “Snapback” (GOLD) and “Song For Another Time,” which hit No. 1 the on Billboard Country Airplay and MediaBase charts. In 2016, the band was notably named ACM New Group of the YearACCA Breakthrough Group of the Year, AIMP Songwriter Artist of the Year and Music Row Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Old Dominion recently announced their self-titled 3rd studio album set for release on October 25th and released album track “My Heart Is A Bar”! The track was written by band members Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Earlier this summer, the band released two other singles from the new self-titled album. “One Man Band” was released as a fan favorite with over 70 million U.S streams.


Seating Map:
February 8
7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Tickets go on sale:
September 13, 2019 10:00 am
Doors Open:
6:30 pm
Ticket Prices:
$39.50, $69.50 & $79.50 (additional fees apply)

Cafes with Kids’ Corners

Coffee Shops with Kids Corner - Dan Jones

Sometimes you just want to sit down with your spouse, your friend or your business partner (or all three!) and enjoy a cup of coffee in a legit coffee shop – not your messy living room. But if you’ve got kids in tow, this can be more of a nightmare than its worth.

Luckily, the Central Okanagan has a handful of fantastic coffee shops that offer families more than just high chairs – they’ve got dedicated kids’ corners with toys and books. Thank the heavens!

So grab the kids, jump in the car (put on pants, first – I always have to remind myself that), and go get CAFFEINATED!


Triumph Coffee

Coffee shop featuring daily-baked house-made goodies, located just across from Nature’s Fare in Vernon (3401 A 30th Ave, VERNON) – map

Why we love it:

  • Airy and spacious cafe, that sells brewing gear so you can make your own coffee at home!


Marmalade Cat Cafe

Right in the heart of Pandosy Village, on Pandosy just north of K.L.O. (2903 Pandosy St #103, KELOWNA) – map , Marmalade Cafe is an eclectic brunch, lunch and coffee shop situated in a bright Victorian-style building.

Why we love it:

  • Baked goods and soups made lovingly from scratch, including lots of gluten-free options.
  • Features a kid’s table and colouring books.

Sprout Bread

Newly opened organic bread and coffee shop downtown just behind Prospera Place (125 – 1295 Cannery Lane, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Airy and spacious cafe with a main floor and more seating upstairs. Baked goods prepared in-house.
  • Offers a dedicated table for little diners.

Bean Scene on Ellis

On Ellis downtown, just off Doyle (1399 Ellis St, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Conveniently located a hop-and-a-skip away from the downtown library, which we frequent a lot.
  • Open and airy atmosphere, with a great selection of toys and books toward the back. I can read or chat with friends, and the kids are right beside me.

Bean Scene on Bernard

On Bernard downtown, just off Pandosy (371 Bernard Ave, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Nestled in a lovely heritage building right on the downtown strip, Bean Scene Bernard has cozy main floor, and airy loft-style second floor, as well as a stunning rooftop patio.
  • Kids’ corner is under the stairs on the main floor. My kids love the puppets!

Bean Scene at Landmark

In the heart of the Landmark business area, on Dickson between Burtch and Kirschner (100-1615 Dickson Ave, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Out-of-the-way and lesser-known of the Bean Scenes, the Landmark location is airy and spacious.
  • Doesn’t have a kids’ corner per se, but does have a big bin of kids’ toys (which mine like to scatter right by the main door – sorry everyone!)

Bean Scene on Pandosy

In the heart of Pandosy village, on Pandosy just north of K.L.O. (2942 Pandosy St, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Warm and comfy coffee shop in a heritage building, with ground floor and upstairs seating, as well as a patio for warmer weather.
  • Kids’ area is upstairs away from the bustle of the baristas, and near all the comfy couches and sofa chairs.

Kettle Valley Coffee and Scoops

It’s worth the drive to Kettle Valley – and not just because this awesome neighbourhood has the best kids’ playground! It’s also got Kettle Valley Coffee and Scoops just off Chute Lake Rd (203, 5315 Main St, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Great toys at the back of the cafe, including a kitchen set and a train table, as well as a TV.
  • Comfy chairs!
  • Coffee is organic, and they have vegan and lactose-free options.

Bean Scene at Capri Centre

Conveniently located in the Capri Centre strip mall, on Gordon just south of Harvey (1815 Gordon Dr, KELOWNA) – map

Why we love it:

  • Great location that’s rarely crowded.
  • Kids’ corner is at the back. My kids love the school bus!

Vertical and Vintages: Eighteen Wineries Will Be Pouring A Selection of Tastings

Vertical and Vintages - Dan Jones

Join us for an evening of tasting many of the renowned wines from the Naramata Bench. Eighteen wineries will be pouring a selection of tastings and the wines will be complimented by delicious tapas and chefs’ specialty tastes created by the Gunbarrel’s gourmet kitchen. Join the wineries for this wonderful evening of tasting and after in the Gunbarrel Saloon and Restaurant for live music and dancing.


March 7
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Royal LePage Home It’s who we are


Royal LePage | Home. It’s who we are.

We find their perfect home, in the perfect neighbourhood, on the perfect street. We don’t settle until we’ve negotiated the best price for their home, whether they’re buying or selling. We use innovative technology, designed for clients. And we help our neighbours, in the communities where we live and work.