The 34th Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival kicked off on Wednesday night at the annual British Columbia Wine Awards with a record 540 entries in the prestigious event, this year hosted at the Laurel Packinghouse.
Among the winners were five Platinum awards bestowed on wines determined to be the top one per cent of wines entered.
Platinum winners were:
• Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2012
• Quails’ Gate Syrah 2012
• See Ya Later Ranch Rover Shiraz – Viognier 2012
• Silkscarf Winery Viognier 2013
• SpierHead Winery Pinot Gris 2013.
New this year, the Premier’s Wine Award was selected from all Platinum medals, and based on the judges consensus to claim the title of Best Wine in British Columbia. B.C. Premier Christy Clark presented the honour to Okanagan Falls’ See Ya Later Ranch Rover Shiraz – Viognier 2012.
The 2014 Founder’s Award recipient was Leo Gebert, founder of Kelowna’s St. Hubertus Estate Winery and Oak Bay Estate Vineyard, who was recognized for his three decades of pioneering contributions to the British Columbian wine industry.
The awards ceremony is the official celebratory start to this year’s 34th Fall Okanagan Wine Festival.
The popular festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors to over 125 wine and culinary events throughout the valley.
For full results for this year’s awards, visit the website thewinefestivals.com/wine_awards/british-columbia-wine-awards.