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2015 British Columbia Wine Awards

Celebrated Province-wide Contest Opens for Entries

 

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – June 15, 2015: The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is delighted to announce the 2015 British Columbia Wine Awards is now accepting entries.  The British Columbia Wine Awards honours wineries across the province for their excellence. The competition is held in conjunction with the annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, which attracts thousands visitors who enjoy more than 100 events throughout the Valley.  The final entry deadline for wineries to participate is September 7, 2015.

The oldest B.C. wine competition, the British Columbia Wine Awards is also the province’s largest wine competition, annually receiving over 600 entries.  The contest is open to all B.C. wineries that use 100% fruit grown in the province. Judging is conducted by a panel of pre-eminent wine professionals from across North America, ranging from wine writers to wine educators. This year’s judging commences September 17, and takes place over four days at the Okanagan College B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre. 

With the success of last year’s revised format, awards will be presented for Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum medals as well as the Premier's Wine Award. Derived from the Gold medal winning wines, the Platinum medal wines have been distinguished as the top 1% of wines entered and will help showcase the varietals and blends that distinguish B.C.’s wine region. Of those Platinum winning wines, based on consensus of all judges, the best wine in B.C. will be named the Premier's Wine and will be presented by Premier Christy Clark.  

"The team at See Ya Later Ranch could not have been more proud and excited to take home the very first Premier’s award at the 2014 British Columbia Wine Awards. As you would expect, this acknowledgement certainly put Rover (the winning 2012 Shiraz-Viogner blend) on the map and drives awareness to the quality care that goes into our wines,” said Sally Sharpe, Regional Visitor Experience Manager, Great Estates Okanagan.  “It also raised awareness for visitation to the winery and supported the winery and staff in doing what we love most - sharing our wine, our winery and our story with visitors and BC wine lovers near and far.  Overall, the British Columbia Wine Awards act as an important reminder about the high calibre of BC wines overall and how important it is to support the local industry.”

This year’s competition features the following acclaimed judges:

  • Shelley Boettcher – Calgary – freelance writer and editor
  • Sally Campa – Vancouver – Apprentice Judge – GM & Sommelier, Vino Vilo
  • Eric Degerman – Richland, WA – CEO, GreatNorthwestWine.com & cofounder Wine Press Northwest Magazine
  • Paul Gregutt – Seattle, WA – Contributing editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • Sebastien Le Goff – Vancouver – Sommelier & Service Director, Cactus Club
  • Ben MacPhee Sigurdson – Winnipeg – Wine Columnist & Literary Editor, Winnipeg Free Press
  • Sharon McLean – Victoria – Sommelier, wine instructor & writer
  • Darren Oleksyn – Calgary – Calgary Herald wine columnist & author
  • Margaret Swaine – Toronto – National Post wine & food columnist, WineAlign principal critic & author
  • Stephanie Yuen – Vancouver – Wine, food and travel columnist for Chinese language radio and newspapers & author

"The medals won each year by British Columbia wines in international competitions continue to prove that what separates Americans from some of the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful wines — reds and whites — is a man-made boundary," said Eric Degerman, co-owner of GreatNorthwestWine.com and co-founder of Wine Press Northwest magazine. "And it's no coincidence that the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley makes for perhaps the best combination of culinary tourism and hospitality in this corner of the world."

The Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze honours as well as the Premier’s Award for Best Wine will be handed out at the B.C. Wine Awards Reception and Tasting Wednesday October 1, 2015, from 7-9:30 pm at Kelowna’s historic Laurel Heritage Packinghouse, where guests may mix and mingle with winery owners and winemakers and will be the first wine consumers to taste the award winning wines. Tickets are $50 plus taxes and are available at www.thewinefestivals.com.  This is a Get Home Safe event.

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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 including the British Columbia Wine Awards. 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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