46° South was invited to supply the unique New Zealand oyster varieties Tio Point (ostrea chilensis) & Kaipara (crassostrea gigas) for the 2014 Osoyoss Oyster Festival.  The Osoyoos Oyster festival is in it's 3rd year running and has seen tremendous growth since last year.  The town of Osoyoos is a place most New Zealanders would recognise the landscape as being similar to 'Central Otago'.  The dry, rattle snake invested rocky hills (think John Wayne films or the land of Rohan from Lord of the Rings ) coupled with blue lakes and scattered with wineries make this area of the Okanagan Valley a summer haven for holiday makers.  One would think why is there an oyster festival in such a place so far from the ocean...but in all honesty it couldn't of been better matched.  The oysters being such a foreign product to the valley pair excellently with the local Okanagan wines..and there's plenty of them!! We blew peoples taste buds with the Tio Point.  For a lot of people who attended, they were not well aquatinted with oysters..let alone a Tio Point 'Flat' Oyster.  A flat oyster alongside a NZ pacific/B.C west coast oyster (NZ Kaipara, Kusshi, Beach Angel) is like wine and whiskey.  The Flat being the whiskey !! They pack some punch...strong 'steel' like notes, big on saltiness and all finished by a sweet mineral aftertaste.  I was impressed (but not surprised) by the amount of people that liked them.  The Kaipara was also really well received.  It has a crisp ocean taste with light hints of metallic and a cucumber finish.  Vancouver local food & wine writer Tim Pawsey (aka Hired Belly) was impressed with the Kaipara Oyster and thought it paired excellently with local winery Oliver Twist 2012 Kerner. Overall a great weekend of introducing these oysters to Canadians, meeting other oyster enthusiasts, trying new wines and experiencing the Osoyoos Oyster Festival.  Thanks for the invite Jon, Cassandra & Claire !! 

Kaipara & Tio Point Oysters 

Kaipara & Tio Point Oysters in the half shell at the 'Get Shucked' event with the beautiful Osoyoos landscape behind

Rob Tyron (aka Effing Rob) shucking some New Zealand beauties at the 'Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala'