Launched in 1991 by its original creator, Mr. Dave Gamble, it provided insights into our burgeoning wine industry, uniquely sharing stories about the people behind the labels, tracking the industry’s evolution. Our team took over many years later and since then, we have proudly continued to walk beside the industry as it has soared to international recognition. Personally, this will be my eighth year at Food & Wine Trails magazine and what an exciting journey it has been! Thank you to all of our advertisers who participate each issue, allowing us to continue as a community publication, touring guide and news source. We are survivors of the print world and for good reason. Thank you to local wine historian Luke Whittall, who has written four installments of the magazine’s history for us to feature this year. We have a lot to celebrate!

The wine buzz is full of excitement as palates await the first tastings of the epic 2015 vintages. The crazy weather paid off in the end after a nail-biting season for our vineyard managers and winemakers. Thankfully Mother Nature turned down the heat in time for the grapes to perfectly ripen after taking full advantage of the sunshine hours. The wild fires last year came heartbreakingly close to our beautiful Oliver wine region, but this time we had human intervention to thank- our firefighters rock!

So onward we cruise into 2016, with amazing wines to look forward to, farm crops that continue to flourish in our lush valleys, and a world-class food and wine community that continues to thrill. Note the exciting festivals coming up in this issue! The Oyster Festival returns to Osoyoos end of February for a 5th year of shucking success. Osoyoos will also be home to the brand new sparkling wine festival planned for July 3rd at Walnut Beach Resort – The Great Canadian Bubble Bash & Beach Party, which is going to be a blast! So get out your planners – BC wine country has events to last all year long. And, in between those celebrations, please make time to visit the wineries and drinkeries and support our local farmers and farmers markets.

Cheers to the next 25!!

-Jennifer Schell