Spring Okanagan Wine Festival Commemorates Two Decades
Ten Day “Bud break” Celebration Kicks Off This Week
KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – APRIL 29, 2014: The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is thrilled to kick off the 20th year of spring wine festivities this week from May 1-11, 2014. Anannual rite of the passage of winter and the official welcome to spring, the aptly nicknamed Spring Okanagan “Bud Break” Festival providesa quintessential Okanagan sampling experience of the Valley’s wine and culinary excellence.
In 1994, the inaugural Spring Okanagan Wine Festival was a spirited one-day celebration with reds and whites from just over a dozen of the region’s toast-worthy wineries. Two decades later, the Festival’s 10-day tasting extravaganza will showcase over 70 culinary and wine events, with a record 120 wineries.
“I have been part of Spring Okanagan Wine Festival since the original year in 1994 and what I admire so much about them is the continuous improvement and evaluation of the events each year. This flexibility and drive to improve has made them such a success, which translates to happy tourists and happy personal “wine stories”. Over the past 20 years our Okanagan wines have also matched that same improvement in quality. Sounds easy, but it's not. Glad we are where we are today," said Howard Soon, Master Winemaker, Sandhill Wines.
“When we first started the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, the intent was to fill beds and restaurants and pour the best of B.C. wines. The Fall Festival was so popular, we started the Spring Festival to expand on that success. Today, both festivals draw crowds from near and far, and we are proud to say we have created a showcase for Okanagan wines, which people can enjoy in great accommodations and in the many award winning restaurants in the region. We really have become a world-class wine destination,” said Harry McWatters, Founder TIME Estate Winery and Co-Founder, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society.
Indicative of the Spring Festival’s popularity, several Signature events are already sold out, including: the Best of Varietal Wine Awards, the iconic WestJet Wine Tastings, and Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine.
Tickets are still available for festivities throughout the Okanagan at participating wineries and restaurants from farm to table dinners, barbeques, hands-on winemaker workshops, vineyard hikes, viticulture seminars and much, much more. Sample and savour the creations of apprentice chef teams in the Cheesiest Sweet and Savoury Competition on May 7 at Okanagan College in Kelowna, where guests vote on “the cheesiest” culinary dishes and wine pairings, while being entertained with live music. Test your palate and guess which wine is “in the bag” and try identifying some of the best cheeses from Dairy Farmers of Canada at the Blind Wine and Cheese Soiree presented by Valley First on Saturday May 10th at the Ramada in Penticton.
The Okanagan wine culture offers something for everyone from the foodie to the oenophile to the budding enthusiast. Thousands of guests participate over the ten days of wine tastings, music, art and culinary fare by the Okanagan’s premier tastemakers. Taste the season and create your own wine story at the 20th Spring Okanagan Wine Festival this year! Additional information and ticket purchase are at: http://www.thewinefestivals.com/events/
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 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
For media inquiries, please contact:
Lori Pike-Raffan, Public Relations Director,
Okanagan Wine Festivals Society
[email protected] / 604.808.6655
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British Columbia's oldest and most prestigious wine judging competition that recognizes excellence in winemaking for all British Columbia wineries.
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.
Every year the Best of Varietal Wine Awards recognizes the best wines in B.C., using a panel of esteemed judges. This year we were privileged to have a diverse group of wine experts from across the country join us and participate in the competition.