Tyler Dyck

Tyler Dyck

Okanagan Spirits dazzles royals

Prince William and Kate sampled products from the Vernon distillery

A Vernon business is glowing after a royal encounter.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery was part of an event Tuesday at West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery to celebrate Prince William and Kate’s visit to the Okanagan.

The event featured products made in B.C., including Okanagan Spirits’ award-winning gin, blackcurrant liqueur and the Laird of Fintry whisky.

“Will liked the Laird of Fintry and Kate thought the blackcurrant was lovely,” said Tony Dyck, distillery owner.

The royal couple arrived on a sunny day to an invited group of more than 200 people gathered in the winery courtyard, with the Mission Hill winery bells greeting their arrival.

Prince William and Kate had a chance to pick grapes off a vine branch, sample some items from some of the best chefs in B.C., oversee some youngsters involved in a cooking class and take a tour inside the winery before being whisked off to the airport and a flight to Whitehourse.

The whole visit to about an hour, and for many a chance to speak with the couple was often mere seconds, but their visit still left an impact.

Jeremy Luypen, executive chef at Vernon’s Predator Ridge and president of the Okanagan Chefs Association, said the opportunity to showcase a variety of agricultural products in B.C., from beer to cheese to salmon and halibut to sushi, was fantastic.

“A lot of people worked very hard with the chefs to make this happen and they all deserve a lot of credit,” said Luypen.

— with files from Barry Gerding, Kelowna Capital News