Lake Country’s farmers market has jumped at the chance to provide wine tasting at its weekly market after new B.C. legislation opened the door to the possibility earlier this year.
New B.C. liquor laws are allowing wine tasting and sales at B.C. farmers markets and Lake Country market manager Janeen Olson says it’s a great fit at the Lake Country Farmers and Crafters Market, which takes place every Friday in Swalwell Park in Lake Country.
“The new laws allow wineries to have a satellite tasting room so we don’t have to get additional licensing,’ said Olson. “You can do a small tasting or buy a bottle of wine, but you can’t drink the wine in the park. I think it adds a tremendous amount to the market. It finally completes it. We are wine country and this makes it more of a complete experience for tourists and locals. People can get their vegetables and fruit and now their wine.”
The first month of wine tasting featured Lake Country’s Living Waters Organic Winery and Olson says she has had interest from several other wineries as well as craft beer brewers. She says she would like to have a well-rounded representation from Lake Country’s wine industry at the market as the wine tasting component grows.
“I’ve had more interest from wineries and we’ve just gotten the ball rolling with this,” said Olson. “My thought eventually is I’d like to rotate some wineries. That way we would have good representation. We’re very pleased so far and I knew more wineries will jump into the mix soon.”
Providing liquor at a family friendly event could be seen as walking a fine line. But Olson says she hasn’t heard any negative comments about the new addition to the Lake Country market.
“I haven’t had any kind of negative feedback,” she said. “Not one person has said one negative thing. Everyone is very supportive. We are not encouraging drinking in the park. It’s just a taste testing. It’s bringing positive attention to the community.”
According to Olson, this year has been a good year so far at the Lake Country Farmers and Crafters Market.
Over 30 vendors have regularly been showing up and Olson said there is a positive vibe amongst the vendors and the public.
“They really like the atmosphere at the market,” she said. “We’re pretty easy going, there’s not a lot of conflict out here. We’ve had lots of new vendors and really great stuff this year. We’re getting amazing support from the vendors, the artisans and the public.”
The Lake Country Farmers and Crafters Market runs Fridays from 3 until 7 at Swalwell Park in Lake country.