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Results Announced: Record Entries in the Oldest Provincial Wine Judging

2015 British Columbia Wine Awards Kicks Off 35th Fall Okanagan Wine Festival

Record Entries in the Oldest Provincial Wine Judging


KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – OCTOBER 1, 2015: The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is delighted to announce the results from their annual British Columbia Wine Awards competition. The awards ceremony is the official celebratory start to this year’s 35th Fall Okanagan Wine Festival. The popular Festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors to over 125 wine and culinary events throughout the Valley.  The medals were announced this evening at the British Columbia Wine Awards Reception at the Laurel Heritage Packinghouse in Kelowna where a sold out audience of 250 guests mingled with winery owners and winemakers and were the first to taste simply the Best Wines in British Columbia.  


This year’s competition had a record 560 entries, with 22 gold, 111 silver and 195 bronze medals.  Amongst the winners, the judges singled out from the Gold honourees, six Platinum awards bestowed on wines determined to be the top 1% of entries. The Platinum medals help showcase the varietals and blends that distinguish British Columbia’s wine region. These were:


  • Kismet Estate Winery Syrah 2013
  • Kismet Estate Winery Riesling Icewine 2014
  • Sandhill Wines Small Lots Syrah Phantom Creek Vineyard 2013
  • St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery Oak Bay Gamay Noir 2013
  • Tightrope Winery Riesling 2012
  • Wild Goose Vineyards Gewürztraminer 2014


The Premier's Wine Award was selected from all Platinum medals, and based on the judges’ consensus, The Best Wine in British Columbia was named the Premier's Wine.  The Premier’s Award was introduced in 2014 as a legacy for the sitting Premier to present annually given the stature of British Columbia’s wine industry across the world.

This wine represents varietal consistency and a combination of superb grapes and winemaking. MLA Dan Ashton represented Premier Christy Clark in presenting the honour this evening to Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Grand Reserve Entourage Sparkling Brut 2010.


“B.C.’s wine industry continues to grow and prosper, with the number and quality of products on the upswing every year,” Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said. “British Columbians have every right to be proud of our wine industry, which richly deserves its world-class reputation.”


The oldest and largest wine competition in the province, the British Columbia Wine Awards, is open to all local 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 was held at Okanagan College Wine Sensory Lab over four days ending on September 20, and featured 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


"This year's BC Wine Awards were a fascinating glimpse at the wines this province has to offer. Reds, whites, sparkling, rosés and dessert wines — there were so many excellent wines entered in each category," says Shelley Boettcher, CBC Radio's weekend wine columnist and writer.  "For consumers it's also a wonderful opportunity to get a concise, curated list of the best of the best — a snapshot of this province's finest wines."


The 2015 Founder’s Award recipient is journalist Jurgen Gothe, who was recognized posthumously for his many decades of pioneering contributions in support of the British Columbian wine industry. 


Savour the terroir of the Okanagan’s iconic tastemakers with wine and culinary experiences for every palate.  A feast for the eyes as well as the senses, this bounty-filled region offers intimate settings with the tastemakers that have not only built our craft industries but those poised on the leading edge of change. Event and ticket information for the 35th Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is available at www.thewinefestivals.com.




Suggested tweet: Record 560 entries 2015 #BCWine Awards. Premier’s Wine @JacksonTriggsBC & Founder’s Award Recipient @JurgenGothe http://ow.ly/SWHDI


About The 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 including Mile High Wine & Music at Silver Star and two annual wine judging competitions including the British Columbia Wine Awards. www.thewinefestivals.com


For media inquiries, please contact:

Lori Pike-Raffan, PR Director, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society

[email protected] / 604.808.6655

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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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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.

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