History

Okanagan Wine Festival Logo

As a forerunner to the fully integrated Wine Tourism business, a group of wineries and tourism operators saw the opportunity 20 years ago to develop a tourism event around the young wineries in existence at the time.

The Annual event was originally focused on developing awareness of the wine industry among local Okanagan residents and to celebrate the harvest of grapes and pair fine Okanagan wines with food at a variety of culinary events. The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival's success paralleled the growth of the wine industry and became a major event to celebrate the fall harvest amongst Okanagan Valley residents. Over time, it developed a following from B.C. residents, and then residents of the Pacific Northwest, and most recently wine lovers from around the world.

In 1994, its status as leading event was confirmed by ranking among the Top 100 Events in North America as ranked by the premier American Tourism Association. This ranking continues into 2013 having been named to the Top 100 Events List for 20 consecutive years by the prestigious American Bus Association.

In 1994, the first Spring Okanagan Wine Festival was developed as the best way to kick-start the new wine season. The introduction of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival also allowed the Wine Tourism industry to have two flagship events at the start and the end of the growing season, which allows for better packaging of wine tourism.

The success of both Festivals over the period 1994-2014 has been to expand the traditional shoulder season for tourism away from the peak summer months into the Spring and Fall seasons and it has done this with great success.

 

 

Wine Events Return to the Okanagan Valley!
July 23 2021
Wine Events Return to the Okanagan Valley!

For immediate release. (KELOWNA, BC) July 20, 2021-The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announces the return to in-person consumer tastings with...


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British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards Recognizes Record-Breaking Number of Wines, Honours Rafe Mair
October 16 2020
British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards Recognizes Record-Breaking Number of Wines, Honours Rafe Mair

For immediate release (KELOWNA, BC) October 16, 2020 -The third annual 2020 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awardswere...


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BC’s Largest and Most Prestigious Wine Competition Coming to Kelowna
August 16 2020
BC’s Largest and Most Prestigious Wine Competition Coming to Kelowna

For Immediate Release Okanagan Wine Festivals Societyto host an A-list of wine judges (KELOWNA, BC)August 12, 2020–On September 23-25,...


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Virtual Okanagan Wine Dinner Challenge
April 15 2020
Virtual Okanagan Wine Dinner Challenge

Immediate Release Virtual Okanagan Wine Dinner Challenge! (April 8, 2020, Kelowna, BC) April is BC Wine month, so let's share the love for...


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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.


BC Best of Varietal Awards

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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