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Wine column: The Judgement of Paris of 1976 (reenacted in Lake Country in 2024)

O'Rourke Family Estate in Lake Country is ready, Paris movie set and all.

The multi-multi-million-dollar, new, showpiece winery at 15595 Commonage Rd. is going big with Paris themes this year.

Last week, it hosted 'A Taste of Paris' -- an afternoon party of wine drinking, le gouter (the nibbles the French like to eat between lunch and dinner, think crepes, charcuterie, croquettes and macarons, a mind-boggling magician (Ryan Michael) and a live band.)

Most notably, this party was held in a Paris street and courtyard set installed on the winery's crush pad.

The four stretches of storefronts included Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Le Consulat restaurant, Boulevard Brasserie and Boulangerie Pâtisserie and the courtyard was filled with Parisian bistro tables and chairs.

</who>Wines from O'Rourke Family Estate in Lake Country will go up against other bottles in March 16's The Judgement of Paris 1976 in Lake Country event.

The same set will be used for the upcoming 'The Judgement of Paris of 1976 in Lake Country' event.

It's part of O'Rourke's Masterclass Series and will be held from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, March 16.

The Judgement of Paris almost a half century ago was a blind tasting in the French capital pitting California wines against classic French wines.

The California wines won, putting the New World on the map for wines.

The masterclass will also feature blind tastings of O'Rourke's sparkling wine vs. Champagne, one of O'Rourke's Chardonnays vs. two other Chards and one of O'Rourke's Pinot Noir vs. two other Pinots.

Each round will be accompanied by bites prepared by winery executive chef Jeremy Tucker.

</who>Nikki Callaway is the winemaker at O'Rourke Family Estate in Lake Country.

"The event was inspired by our winemaker Nikki Callaway who wanted to reenact the 1976 Judgement of Paris," said O'Rourke winery project manager Jennifer Hill.

"Nikki and the winery are always looking for unique ways to showcase and spotlight our wines."

Previous masterclasses have covered charcuterie wine pairings and seafood wine pairings.

Tickets for The Judgement of Paris of 1976 in Lake Country are $100 at:

O'Rourke makes five four different Chardonnays, including the 2020 Estate Chardonnay ($65), which was named one of the top 10 in the world at the most recent Chardonnay du Monde competition in France.

</who>A Paris set has been installed on the crush pad at O'Rourke for The Judgement of Paris event.

The Paris set was also used for a special event at the winery over Christmas and will likely be used for a few more events over the spring or summer before it has to come down to make way for the grape crush at harvest time.

The Paris set was initially built for a birthday party held in the ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel in Edmonton.

Winery owner Dennis O'Rourke, a construction magnate from Edmonton, attended the party and purchased it afterward with a donation to Edmonton Opera.

</who>Impressive Italians for sipping this weekend -- Ruffino 2021 Chianti ($17), Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2022 ($17), Umani Ronchi 2022 CaSal di Serra Verdicchio ($22) and Zonin Prosecco ($28).

Last-minute Van Wine Fest

If you happen to be in Vancouver or headed there, you might be able to get in on last-minute Vancouver International Wine Festival main event International Tastings tonight or Saturday afternoon or evening.

Tickets are $125 to $135 at

The tastings -- at the Vancouver Convention Centre -- feature a myriad of wines from 150 wineries from 12 countries.

Every year there's a country theme for the fest and this year's is Italy.

That fact, and the fact that I was at the fest earlier this week, is prompting me to recommend four exceptional and affordable Italian wines that are being poured at the fest that you can grab at your local liquor store for weekend sipping.

They are the perfect-for-pizza-or-pasta-pairing Ruffino Chianti 2021 ($17), the crisp-and-refreshing Ruffino 2022 Lumina Pinot Grigio ($17), the lemon drop-and-almond profile Umani Ronchi CaSal di Serra Verdicchio 2022 ($22) and the elegantly bubbly Zonin Prosecco ($28).


Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at His wine column appears every Friday afternoon in this space.

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