Cellar Door Grand Tasting: 2017 Whistler Cornucopia Recap

Diana Chan November 13, 2017 Event, Whistler

We attended the first weekend of Whistler Cornucopia and our first event was attending the Cellar Door Grand Tasting.

This was a signature event featuring fine wines each priced at over $35 from various wineries around the world. The event took place from 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm at the Whistler Conference Centre where guests were able to connect to the winemakers directly without feeling too rushed or intimidated.

3 hours was enough time to unlock the gates to the world of luxury fine wines, uncorking top-shelf bottles of wine and champagne to sip, savour and salivate over.

We definitely discovered new wines and meet the producers and winemakers behind them.

There were Sommelier Tours presented by Taste Whistler, who guide you through the tasting room and learn about the wine featured here. I opted to go about at our own pace. There were a few familiar wineries I knew and a lot that I haven’t discovered yet.

Below are a few of our favourites.

Hillside Winery

Hillside Winery is from Naramata in the Okanagan. They were the original BC winery to produce Muscat Ottonel, a unique, aromatic white wine with a huge customer following. They did have the 2016 Muscat Ottonel to try and it won double gold and best in class at the Cascadia Wine Competition 2017. This wine has a lovely floral aroma and hints of spice.

Culmina Family Estates Winery

Culmina Family Estates Winery is from Oliver, BC and owned by the Triggs Family. Dilemma was one of my favourite wines I tasted. It showcases mineral and spice aromas, framed by lovely oak, caramel, and butter flavours. The wine was named after their difficult decision to rip out the old block of Chardonnay on Arise Bench. We also enjoyed some of their reds like the 2014 Merlot and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.

50th Parallel Estate Winery

I had the Pinot Noir, which is their their flagship wine. It has dark berry flavours with undertones of truffle and chocolate.

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl is one of my favourite wineries, so we tried the Athene, which is a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has aromas of blueberry, blackberry and damson plum combined with complex gamy and pepper notes. The palate is full with plenty of acidity and tannin to frame the game meat, blackberry, plum, red currant, black pepper, and smoked paprika flavours that last on a long finish.

Final Thoughts

There were a lot more wineries present at the event with exceptional wines, but this was just a few wineries I covered. We did notice that not all wineries there were sampling wines that were over $35 per bottle. It seemed like there was one wine that was more expensive, and then a few others that were under. Of course, not all booths were like that. There isn’t too much food at this event, so it would be good to lightly eat beforehand.

To learn more about Cornucopia, Whistler’s celebration of food and drink, visit

4010 Whistler Way, Whistler

About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

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