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History

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As a forerunner to the fully integrated Wine Tourism business, a group of wineries and tourism operators saw the opportunity 20 years ago to develop a tourism event around the young wineries in existence at the time.

The Annual event was originally focused on developing awareness of the wine industry among local Okanagan residents and to celebrate the harvest of grapes and pair fine Okanagan wines with food at a variety of culinary events. The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival's success paralleled the growth of the wine industry and became a major event to celebrate the fall harvest amongst Okanagan Valley residents. Over time, it developed a following from B.C. residents, and then residents of the Pacific Northwest, and most recently wine lovers from around the world.

In 1994, its status as leading event was confirmed by ranking among the Top 100 Events in North America as ranked by the premier American Tourism Association. This ranking continues into 2013 having been named to the Top 100 Events List for 20 consecutive years by the prestigious American Bus Association.

In 1994, the first Spring Okanagan Wine Festival was developed as the best way to kick-start the new wine season. The introduction of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival also allowed the Wine Tourism industry to have two flagship events at the start and the end of the growing season, which allows for better packaging of wine tourism.

The success of both Festivals over the period 1994-2014 has been to expand the traditional shoulder season for tourism away from the peak summer months into the Spring and Fall seasons and it has done this with great success.

 

 

Pros Picked for this years British Columbia Wine Awards & Competition
July 13 2017
Pros Picked for this years British Columbia Wine Awards & Competition

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – July 13, 2017: It’s that time again! While summer may have come late to the Valley, it packed a punch when...


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SEEKING SUNSHINE, WINE & MUSIC IN THE ALPINES
May 25 2017
SEEKING SUNSHINE, WINE & MUSIC IN THE ALPINES

SilverStar Mountain Resort Hosts Popular Okanagan Summer Wine & Music Festival VERNON & KELOWNA – May 25, 2017 – This summer...


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Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announces 2017 Best of Varietals Wine Awards
May 5 2017
Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announces 2017 Best of Varietals Wine Awards

MAY 4, 2017 - Penticton, British Columbia - The 2017 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards were announced tonight by the Okanagan Wine...


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Spring Celebrations to Kick-off the Season, 23rd Annual Spring Okanagan Wine Festival
March 30 2017
Spring Celebrations to Kick-off the Season, 23rd Annual Spring Okanagan Wine Festival

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – March 30, 2017: Grey skies can’t keep the excitement away! The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is thrilled...


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Are you a wine enthusiast? Do you love going to events to enjoy wine, food and friends? If so, please signup for our quarterly newsletter and be the first to know when our festivals' tickets go on sale!


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Meet our Members

The Okanagan Wine Festival Society is made up of a number of Okanagan wineries and tourism related businesses. Every member is recognized as an outstanding service or product supplier in their related industry.


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British Columbia Wine Awards

British Columbia's oldest and most prestigious wine judging competition that recognizes excellence in winemaking for all British Columbia wineries.


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