Each year Black Hills Estate Winery celebrates the release of Nota Bene, a bordeaux style blend red wine that has had critics and wine lovers talking since its first vintage in 1999. Why? Because this Nota Bene (translated: to be noted) helped put Okanagan wine on the map. How? Back in the early nineties few could believe that Canada could ever grow the one grape that takes the lion's share of the celebrated bordeaux blend, Cabernet Sauvignon. The intrepid and wise Black Hills planted the Cabernet Sauvignon vines and indeed produced a fruit worthy of its dominant share in the now famed blend.
So why not celebrate every vintage? Each year of the past 15 released vintages has been cause for the spectacular event that is the Nota Bene Release Party. Acrobats twirl on silk ropes, vineyard nymphs greet and flirt with guests, cabaret shows delight, fashion shows wow, and major celebrity acts blow the crowd away. All in one evening that really is a Bacchanalian rhapsody.
The story is detailed in pictures:
A red carpet entry and greeting from Glenn Fawcett, CEO Black Hills Estate Winery
Vineyard nymphs greet guests
Joy Road Catering prepares the evening's fare as guests arrive, ideally pared with Black Hills wines.
The spectacle begins at entry to the winery crush pad where the happening happens!
Partners, friends and clients on this VIP guestlist are often perennial, coming every year for their Nota Bene and some fun with the many familiar faces, winery dogs included.
Erin Cebula and Jason Priestley
Guests pour on to the crush pad and get acquainted with the celebrity hosts, Erin Cebula and Jason Priestley - also, Stephen Paige of The Barenaked Ladies mingles in the crowd, pre-show.
Models dress for the specially produced fashion show
Fashion Show producer Marissa Fox joins Glenn Fawcett in the crowd to take in the show
Erin Trainer, Summerland Councillor, a great sport and Model citizen :)
Elegance, fun and some great humour all make up the vibrant show
The wine always flows
Rich and winemaker Graham Pierce - The Black Hills team always lead the crowd in good times
Let the auctioning begin
Highest bid wins a wine-paired dinner and a weekend in the Black Hills Wine Lodge
Don't forget the cabaret!
And on to the big ticket event of the eve - Steven Paige gets on stage at the intimate venue
Singing songs you all know... Brian Wilson, If I had a $1,000,000...
How do you get an invitation to this party? There's only one way -
Join the Black Hills Estate Winery Wine Club. See you next year!
Tarynn Liv Parker