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British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards Recognizes Record-Breaking Number of Wines, Honours Harry McWatters

For Immediate Release


October 4, 2019 – Kelowna - The second annual 2019 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards were announced last night by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, marking the official launch of the 39th Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival.


The British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards replaced the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in B.C. Wine and the B.C. Wine Awards. In 2018, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, with support from the Government House Foundation, and The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announced a new partnership in recognizing the best of British Columbia wines with the creation of the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards.

“This year’s competition broke records in both the number of wines submitted and the number of medals awarded,” says Okanagan Wine Festivals Society Judging Chair, Julian Scholefield. “As this competition grows we look forward to seeing more B.C. wines be recognized and help us represent the excellence our region has to offer.”

“These awards are an opportunity to recognize the best of BC wineries who shape the world renowned wine culture of the province,” says Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Janet Austin. “A special thanks to all who contribute to this industry. Whether that means adding value to your products through wine tours, tasting rooms and specialized experiences, BC’s wine industry attracts more than a million tourists to our province each year.”

​The competition, presented by Farm Credit Canada, ContainerWorld and TricorBraun, is open to all licensed British Columbia wineries and included fruit wines and mead. Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals were awarded. The top one per cent of medal winners received Lieutenant Governor's platinum medals, with one wine receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Best Wine in British Columbia.

This year’s wine entries faced an esteemed panel of judges from across North America and Europe.

Barbara Philip – Vancouver

Brad Royal – Calgary

DJ Kearney – Vancouver

Emily Walker – Summerland

Geoff Last – Calgary

Gurvinder Bhatia – Edmonton

Iain Philip – Vancouver

Jamie Goode – United Kingdom

Matthew Landry – Vancouver

Michaela Morris – Vancouver

Rhys Pender – Kelowna

Sebastien Le Goff – Vancouver

Sid Cross – Vancouver

Tim Pawsey - Vancouver

After tasting over 700 wines, the judges awarded a record number of medals to over 100 British Columbia wineries. The Awards also recognized B.C. wine pioneer, Harry McWatters, by officially changing the name of their Founder’s Award to the Harry McWatters’ Founder’s Award. The award was given to Harry’s family, in recognition of the great contributions Harry McWatters made to the B.C. wine industry.

The 2019 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine of the Year went to Deep Roots Winery’s 2017 Syrah.

The top wines that received platinum medals were:


Van Westen Vineyards’ Vulture Cabernet Franc 2016

Sandhill’s Riesling Icewine 2018

Moon Curser Vineyards’ Touriga Nacional 2017

Black Hills Estate Winery’s Roussanne 2017

Lake Breeze Vineyards’ Aura Pinot Noir 2017

Privato Vineyard and Winery’s Tesoro Pinot Noir 2016

Road 13 Vineyards’ Syrah Malbec 2017

Deep Roots Winery’s Parentage Red 2016

Nk’Mip Cellars Winery’s Qwam Qwmt Riesling 2018

Harper’s Trail’s Pioneer Block Riesling 2018

Wayne Gretzky Okanagan’s Signature Series Shiraz 2016

C.C. Jentsch Cellars’ Syrah 2016

The full list of finalists is available on our website:

Following last night’s kick off, is the Fall WestJet Wine Tastings at YLW in the Carson Air Hangar this Saturday, October 5, and the brand-new Fall Wine Festival Finale, Sensation, presented by Valley First. Find out more about any of the other over 100 wine events happening during the fall wine festival, by visiting

Co-sponsored by:





Suggested Tweet: BC Lieutenant Governor’s #Wine Awards 2019 winners announced @OkWineFests 39th #FallOKWineFest kick off

About The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society:

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is responsible for producing four seasonally inspired Okanagan Wine Festivals in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. It is also responsible for Signature Wine Events including Sensation, the fall wine finale by Valley First, the WestJet Wine Tastings, and more. It produces and runs two annual wine judging competitions: the British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Competition, and the province’s most prestigious and oldest wine competition, the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards. For more information visit,


Media Contact:


Jessica Tkachuk

Marketing and PR Manager

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society

[email protected]

250 861 6654


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BC Lieutenant Governor's Wine Awards

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

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.


We’re proud to produce 3 seasonal festivals with over 100 events annually and an annual wine competition in the Okanagan Valley – one of the world’s most renowned wine regions.

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