Mulling It Over at Northern Lights
Prince George, B.C. – Northern Lights Estate Winery will be bustling with activity this weekend as it welcomes the local community to take part in a couple of activities during the closing weekend of the Celebrate Prince George Winter Festival.
Assistant Manager, Jessica Knell, says today “we have our Northern Lights Winter Festival which is incorporated into all of the events that are happening around the city. We’re holding a Mulled Wine Competition, a ticketed event with tickets at $20. And $5.00 from each ticket is being donated to the Railway Museum, we’re partnering up to fundraise for it.”
“Mulled” wine is hot, spiced wine. Knell explains that there are about five teams competing in the contest. “There’s the City of Prince George, the Norton Ranch which is out by Mud River, an MLA team and, I believe, a few radio stations. We’re giving them bottles of our bumbleberry wine, which is a raspberry, Saskatoon and blueberry blend, and they’re going to do their own spiced mulled wine recipe and see who comes up with the best recipe.”
Here’s where your ticket comes in handy. Knell says “your ticket entitles you to go around and try all the different mulled wines and vote for your favorite one. It’s a fun wine-tasting as well.” Members of the winning team get bragging rights for a year and a locally-engraved Winter Wine Festival wine box.
“We also are going to have other things going on at the winery at the same time. We have some artisan vendors with a sort of upstairs market going on with local items for sale. And then we also have local sculptor John Rogers, who is doing a wood carving with a chainsaw and he’ll be auctioning it off afterwards, with proceeds going to the Railway Museum as well.”
Knell says the winery has been involved with fundraising for the museum and, in fact, has partnered in another way. “They have some of our fruit, we lease land off of them so they do grow some fruit for us for the winery so we’re kind of partners with them. It’s a nice way to help them out as well.”
As alcohol is being consumed during today’s competition Knell notes that “we also have White Goose Bistro restaurant with a food truck that will be here so if anybody gets hungry they can eat here as well.”
Today’s event runs from 11 am to 5 pm and there are two wine-tasting sessions, from 12 to 2 pm and from 2 to 4 pm. And there are a maximum 200 tickets available, 100 for each session. She says “it’s going to be an annual event. This is our first one but we’re going to be doing it every year.”
She also adds that anyone who would simply like to pop in and browse around the winery can do so at no charge.
Sunday, in the event you may not know, is Valentine’s Day, and Knell says “we have “Sip With Your Sweetheart”, a sensory experience” with salty chocolate creations. “Ohh Chocolate is going to be doing a desert for us to pair with our wines, and it’s more like an intimate tasting that you can do with your Valentine.”
Now that event is divided into 1 pm and 3 pm slots and, unfortunately, is totally booked.
However, Knell says “we do the Sensory Tastings every Saturday. That’s just our special one for Valentine’s Day but every Saturday we do our sensory salty pairings with wine. It takes about an hour and it’s just a nice experience and away to explore your palate and learn how the different foods change the wines and how they influence them. It’s a fun thing to do as a group.”