Okanagan Wine Festivals Society
1527 Ellis Street
Kelowna, British Columbia
Canada, V1Y 2A7
Phone: (250) 861-6654
Blair Baldwin (8)
Allen Tozer (2)
Patricia Husk (5)
Kate Deglow (6)
Katherine Brammel (7)
Fax: (250) 861-3942
What drew you to the wine industry? Growing up in Montreal, we had wines – always import and Canadian - on the table so when I actually became legal, I already loved wine. Not that I ever went to a bar underage of course. While I have always viewed wine as food, my dad had a great influence. He believed in the Canadian wine industry long before its time. So when Allen Tozer asked me to assist to develop a vision and business model to promote wines through festivals and events, it was too good to resist. Of course, I didn’t know it was pro bono at the time.
What is your favorite event that we produce and why? Drinking wine outdoors is a Canadian tradition (ever go camping?) So Mile High Wine at Silver Star is a truly authentic British Columbia outdoors party. Being at Mile High in August with wine, the scenery and people is something I recommend on anyone’s bucket list.
It's Friday night and you're ready for a glass of wine, what would you pour yourself? I would not be the designated driver, vraiment! Anything 100% British Columbian in an 8 ounce pour will do.
If you could be any grape varietal which would you be? Peter the Pinotage. It has a ring to it.
What drew you to the wine industry? My grandfather was the first president of Calona Wines and I was in the hotel business. The OWFS needed to take a new direction in order to continue, so a sense of curiosity about the industry, a requirement of my career and the love of a good challenge!
What is your favorite event that we produce and why? I like the atmosphere at Sun Peaks Resort of the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival and the feeling of harvest time around the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival; so events in both those times are my favourite.
It's Friday night and you're ready for a glass of wine, what would you pour yourself? I would be the designated driver if we were out…social responsibility is important to me.
If you could be any grape varietal which would you be? I would be a blend…a Red Meritage
What drew you to the wine industry? Certainly the opportunity to be involved with such an evolving and exciting industry with growing success in the Okanagan and British Columbia as a whole was a factor for me.
What is your favorite event we produce and why? That's tough! But I still have to say that the Blind Wine & Cheese for me is a favorite. I thoroughly enjoy the interaction of this event and the necessity for our customer to be involved in making informed decisions and not just an event that is about how much wine I can drink tonight!
It's Friday night and you're ready for a glass of wine, what would you pour yourself? I just recently enjoyed a bottle of the 2011 Gehringer Brothers Dry Rock Merlot and loved it!
If you could be any grape varietal which would you be? Gewurztraminer, always a favorite of mine :)
What drew you to the wine industry? Through my work in sensory research at the Pacific Agri- Food Research Center, I facilitated the VQA Sensory Program and Wine Festival judging events. I married a grape grower and so learned more about that part of the business. I stay involved because the industry is exciting, ever changing, and full of interesting dynamic people.
What is your favorite event that we produce and why? My favorite event is the Best of Varietal and British Columbia Wine Awards. I like to watch the faces of the medal winners.
It’s Friday night and you’re ready for a glass of wine, what would you pour yourself? My Friday night wine would be a good Pinot Noir (my favorite was Peller Reserve) or a red blend with lots of rich dark red fruit produced from fully ripe grapes.
If you could be any grape varietal which would you be? I think I would be Merlot. It is one of the easier varieties to grow, adaptable to many different viticulture sites, and when grown well produces a very drinkable fruit forward wine. I like the fact that it is not trendy, sneaks under the radar a little, and delivers good value without a big ego.
What drew you to the wine industry? I grew up in the Okanagan in Hospitality so food and wine has always been a part of my life. As the wine industry has grown in BC, so has my passion, palate and overall love of wine. "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."
What is your favorite event that we produce and why? Iron Sommelier as it combines three things that I love; Wine, Food, and Competition.
It's Friday night and you're ready for a glass of wine, what would you pour yourself? Chances are good I will always start with sparkling, but after that it all depends on the weather and the company I have over.
If you could be any grape varietal which would you be? Pinot Noir... because that is what Katia would be and I want to be like her!!
What drew you to the wine industry? I grew up in the Okanagan and have worked in the hospitality industry since my first job at age 14. After spending 6 years in Calgary, I decided it was time to move back to the region I love. Working in an industry that's centered around wine and food...is this even work?
What is your favorite event that we produce and why? Going to have to copy Katherine on this one and say, the Iron Sommelier. I haven't been to it yet, but it sounds like something I'd binge watch on the Food Network.
It's Friday night and you're ready for a glass of wine, what would you pour yourself? When it comes to wine, I'm not picky! I like to switch it up but I also try to keep it local. Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc is sitting in my fridge waiting for me right now!
If you could be any grape varietal which would you be? I would be Pinot Noir but as a Rosé. Not a red, not a white, but right in the middle - I know how to compromise. Sometimes I can be super sweet, and others, more dry. 100% authentic, I'll always give it to you straight.
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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.
British Columbia's oldest and most prestigious wine judging competition that recognizes excellence in winemaking for all British Columbia wineries.