It’s the season to take time out, look around, and taste the delights of living in the Provence of Canada at the annual Savour Cowichan festival.
From Friday, Sept. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 8, there’s something for everyone who loves good food, drink, and more.
A visit to the Tourism Cowichan website will direct you to the many aspects of the festival.
Savour Cowichan’s marquee event is ‘Barge on In’ on Sept. 29-30 in Mill Bay.
Held on a floating barge in Mill Bay, this popular duo of foodie evenings marks the beginning of the Savour Cowichan Festival.
Both evenings feature a mix and mingle style taster format that includes artisanal beer, wine, cider, spirits and plenty of exquisite food. Also scheduled is a live and silent auction and appearances by Canucks Alumni and other special guests.
Funds raised support the Canucks Autism Network, an organization that directly supports individuals and families living with autism in the Cowichan Valley.
Vendors include: Farm to Table Inn, Averill Creek, Riot Brewing, Cowichan Green Community, Philips, Sawmill, Bridgeman’s Bistro, Cheers Cowichan, Blue Grouse and Ampersand Distilling.
This is a glamorous event, so pull those glad rags out of the armoire, get your diamonds out of the vault, and enjoy.
For ticket info: https://www.tourismcowichan.com/barge-on-in/
Another unusual event held to kick everything off is the Shawnigan Hockey Classic.
Part of the Savour Cowichan Festival, this hockey feature benefits the Canucks Autism Network in the Cowichan Valley. Get on the ice on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. with Canucks Alumni Kirk McLean, Dave Babych, Jyrki Lumme, Darcy Rota and other special guests in an open public skate with a suggested donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child.
Averill Creek Winery is hosting many events during the festival, from educational strolls through the vineyard, or a peek behind the scenes, to tasting some wines. Check out their wide range of offerings.
Westholme Tea Farm is all about farm grown terroir tea. Yes, it’s authentic. You can also enjoy a taste of Morocco at the farm on scenic Richards Trail and discover the World of Tea, Cowichan style.
As usual, Merridale is also offering many delights, from their Cider Harvest Festival to enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at the new Merridale Gastropub.
By Oct. 4, it’s time for the Taste of Chemainus at the Chemainus Theatre Festival.
This invites guests to enjoy local dining menus from local artisanal Chemainus restaurants. Each restaurant participant will feature delectable dishes crafted specifically for Savour Cowichan in the ten and twenty dollar range as well as other culinary pairings and hosted dinners.
The First Annual Savour Dinner at the Farm is being offered at Farm Table Inn by George Gates and his merry mavens on Oct. 7.
You can stop there on the way home from Lake Cowichan after the Cowichan Lake Community Connections Showcase, which takes place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Centennial Hall in Lake Cowichan.
Showcasing a wide variety of local businesses all under one roof, you’ll be able to browse and sample new products, plus enter to win plenty of prizes. For more info, visit www.cowichanlake.ca/events/business-showcase-201
The WildWings Art Exhibition at Just Jakes Restaurant in Duncan on Oct. 5 offers you the chance to enjoy an evening of original art, gourmet cocktails, tastings, appies, a 50/50 draw, and the jazz of the John Wade Trio.
The sip and savour crowd have a steamer trunk full of choices during the festival this year. Visit https://www.tourismcowichan.com/savour to arrange your days with favourites from categories like Wineries, Cideries, Brew pubs, Wine bars, Artisan producers, and Tours.
Note: You can also see plenty of the beautiful Cowichan Valley as you meander the backroads to find Ampersand Distilling, Vigneti Zanatta Winery and Vineyards, Merridale Cidery, and more.
It’s time to Savour Cowichan.