Last October, the world of wine in British Columbia lost Aaron Peter Olfert just shy of his 37th birthday. Aaron was a well-known face in the BC wine industry, due to his many years working in wine sales, most recently, the last nine years at the BC Wine Information Centre VQA store in Penticton.

Aaron’s personality filled the spaces between the thousands of bottles in that store. He was casually intellectual about wine, never taking it too seriously. This casual nature concealed a vast knowledge of local wines. When faced with very wine-knowledgeable customers, he was always able to meet their experiences and offer new information for them to explore. This made him very approachable for all kinds of customers who enjoyed his recommendations and advice when buying wine. Regular customers often relied on his deep wine knowledge when looking for that perfect wine. He was a natural communicator and loved what he did. Even customers who visited the store once a year on their vacations knew Aaron and more often than not, he could remember them and their wine style preferences.

A memorial service was held at Poplar Grove Estate Winery on the Naramata Bench on October 30, 2015. If there was any doubt as to just how many people were touched by Aaron’s personality, those doubts were cast aside as the wine shop was filled to capacity and soon overflowed to the patio outside. Family, friends, and many co-workers in the wine industry came together that day to pay tribute to Aaron. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

~ Luke Whittall