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New British Columbia Wine Awards & Wine Label Competition Kick Off Celebrated 33rd Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival

New British Columbia Wine Awards & Wine Label Competition Kick Off Celebrated 33rd Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival


KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – OCTOBER 3, 2013: The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and the Kelowna Museums Society are delighted to announce the results from their annual awards competition. The reception is the official celebratory start to the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, which attracts over 10,000 visitors who enjoy over 150 events throughout the Valley.  A first this year, to honour the infusion of art and wine, the British Columbia Wine Awards also featured the British Columbia Wine Label Awards under the direction of the BC Wine Museum.  The medals were announced this evening to a sold out room at the Laurel Packinghouse.


Dan Berger, one of the BC wine judges and a wine writer from California stated, “British Columbia's wine industry has taken some startling strides in the last few years, and the results were on display at the wine awards, where it was hard not to award multiple medals. Many of the wines now are world class. It's just sad that I can't buy them in the United States!”


Dr. Donna Senese, one of the BC wine label judges and a professor at UBC Okanagan stated of the submissions, “wine is liquid geography, and the label is like a window on that geography. The labels entered provided a real variety of old world styling and new world branding, all of them with a story to tell the consumer about the wine, the process and the winery.  Many provided a nostalgic feel, others a clean, fresh modernity that told me what is in the bottle, and how it ties to food, to the market, and to the place.”


The BC Wine Awards this year had 520 entries, with the following medals awarded: 27 gold, 86 silver and 95 bronze medals. The full results will be published on: http://www.thewinefestivals.com/wine_awards.  Amongst the winners, the wine judges also singled out four Best of Show awards as follows:


  1. Best White Wine as presented by Container World: Clos du Soleil – Capella 2011
  2. Best Red Wine as presented by TricorBraun WinePak: See Ya Later Ranch – Rover 2010
  3. Best Dessert Wine as presented by Grant Thornton: Jackson Triggs Okanagan Estate – Reserve Riesling Icewine 2011
  4. Best Sparkling Wine as presented by Farm Credit Canada: Road 13 Vineyards – Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2010


The BC Wine Label Awards celebrate the creativity, artistry, sophistication, and ingenuity of wineries across the province in their wine label design, packaging and marketing. An increase over last year’s competition, there were 71 entries this year. The 2013 winners were:


  1. Best Red Wine Label:  Blasted Church- Big Bang Theory
  2. Best White Wine Label:  Blasted Church-Mixed Blessings
  3. Best Rosé Wine Label:  Intrigue-  I Do
  4. Best Sparkling Wine Label: Blasted Church- OMG
  5. Best Dessert Wine Label:  Harper’s Trail- Late Harvest Reisling
  6. Best of Show Wine Label:  Blasted Church- Mixed Blessings


The premier British Columbia wine competition, the British Columbia Wine Awards, is the province’s largest wine competition, which annually receives over 500 entries. The contest is open to wineries that use 100% fruit grown in the province. Judging is conducted by a panel of wine experts from across North America, ranging from wine writers to restaurateurs and wine educators. The judging commenced September 28, 2013 and took place over three days at the Penticton Trade & Convention Center featuring the following acclaimed judges:


  • Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson – Winnipeg - Wine Writer for Winnipeg Free Press;
  • Brad Royale – Calgary - Sommelier & Wine Director, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts;
  • Dan Berger - Sonoma County - Wine Writer & Critic;
  • Jesse Willis – Calgary – Sommelier & Proprietor, Vine Arts Wine & Spirits;
  • Samantha Rahn – Whistler - Wine Director for Araxi Restaurant;
  • Sid Cross – Vancouver - Wine Critic;
  • Simon Gaudreault – Montreal - Blogger and Writer for SAQ;
  • Tim Pawsey – Vancouver -  Wine and Food Writer North Shore News, Vancouver Courier;
  • Treve Ring – Victoria - DRINK Editor, EAT Magazine; BC Regional Editor, SIP Northwest; Wine Judge & Critic, Wine Align


The BC Wine Label Awards judges brought their diverse knowledge and experience of the wine industry, marketing, branding, and creative visual arts and design. Their evaluations were based on originality, design, colour and text of the label on the bottle or package. In all categories, they looked for visually distinct label designs that best reflect the character of the category of wines. The judging was conducted online by the following esteemed professionals:


  • Cory Stananaught, Sommelier, Level 5, Kelowna
  • David Hopgood, retired Portfolio Manager, BC Liquor Distribution Branch, Vancouver
  • Dr. Donna Senese, Associate Professor, Geography, UBC Okanagan, Kelowna
  • Harry McWatters, wine pioneer and leader in the British Columbia wine industry for over 40 years
  • Jonathan Rouse, Director , Wine, Food and Tourism and Associate Dean , Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College, Kelowna
  • Karen Hanna, Graphic artist and designer, Principal of Blue Moose graphic design services, Kelowna
  • Nataley Nagy, Executive Director, Kelowna Art Gallery, with over 25 years experience in the contemporary visual arts sector in Canada
  • Tim Turta, Wine Sales Representative and Events Specialist, with over 20 years experience in the Okanagan Wine Industry


This year’s Founder’s Award recipient is Don Triggs, who was recognized for his over four decades of pioneering contribution to the Canadian wine industry.


The popular Fall Okanagan Wine Festival offers sensory delights that span the Okanagan and Similkameen Valley’s unique terroir from the Canada-US border to Kamloops, all while the autumn wine harvest celebrations are in full swing. It’s a fabulous way to celebrate all things local, enjoying B.C. wine and cuisine directly from the source, providing the perfect wine experience for every palette.  Savour the terroir and taste the dishes of iconic chefs at the numerous Signature and winery events. Event and ticket information is available at www.thewinefestivals.com.


About Okanagan Wine Festivals Society

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is responsible for the development of the wine tourism sector in the interior of British Columbia. It is well known for producing two annual valley Okanagan Wine Festivals in spring to celebrate the bud break and in fall to celebrate the grape harvest. Its Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is run in partnership with Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops. It is also responsible for Signature Wine Events and two annual wine judging competitions. www.thewinefestivals.com


About the Kelowna Museums Society

The Kelowna Museums Society exists to promote a greater interest and awareness of the natural, cultural, and military heritages of the Okanagan region and of the tree fruit and wine producing development of British Columbia. To this end, the Society manages and maintains four diverse museums that serve as your Kelowna Museums. Located in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District, the Kelowna Museums offer a wide selection of exhibitions, public programs, and special events.  www.kelownamuseums.ca

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lori Pike-Raffan, Public Relations Director,                 Lesley Moore, Executive Director,

Okanagan Wine Festivals Society                                 Kelowna Museums Society

[email protected] / 604.808.6655                 [email protected] / 250-763-2417

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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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