Okanagan Wine Festivals returns this spring with a new look and feel. In the fall of 2022, the Board of Directors and newly appointed General Manager, Kimberly Hundertmark undertook a strategic plan. The results of that plan have created an opportunity for the 44-year-old festival to create reimagined programming for the BC wine lover to enjoy.
The reimagined programming will focus on elevated experiences throughout the Okanagan Valley during the spring, fall and winter. The festival collaborates with regional partners from Vernon to Osoyoos to amplify the unique assets found throughout the destination.
“The Okanagan Wine Festivals are excited to launch the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival June 3rd through June 11th,” said Hundertmark. “Traditionally held in May, the festival made the decision to move events to June as June in wine country is the birth of a new vintage. The vines are coming to life and there is much excitement around the newly released wines.”
Spring Wine Festival
With this in mind, the festival invites you to Sip into Summer at their Signature Events series.
On the afternoon of Saturday, June 3rd, the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival launches with the brand-new WINE Garden Party presented by Valley First. The afternoon event will take place at the beautiful Cove Lakeside Resort in West Kelowna. Guests will be greeted with a glass of sparkling wine from the Okanagan Bubbles and Co. wine cart. They will then proceed into the picturesque garden to experience wines from your favourite Central Okanagan wineries. The culinary team at The Landing Kitchen & Bar has created a small bites menu to complement the wines. Garden Party attire is highly recommended.
The following Friday, June 9 will see the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards private reception, where the 2023 Platinum medal winners and Wine of the Year will be presented at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The wines were judged by an esteemed panel of wine experts in April and the medal wines will be making their first public appearance.
After the awards reception, the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre will transition to host the Valley First Okanagan Spring Grand Tasting. The Ballroom will welcome favourite wineries from the South Okanagan including your favourites from Summerland, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos. The showcase of newly released whites, reds and roses will be accompanied by a selection of small bites and live entertainment.
This is a weekend of festival activities and local accommodation partners will provide great options to stay and play in Penticton. visitpenticton.com
Rounding out both weekends is the newly launched TASTE Passport. The TASTE Passport was created to provide wine enthusiasts with elevated experiences at wineries throughout the Valley. June 3rd and 4th your TASTE Passport will feature wineries located in Kelowna and along the Westside Wine Trail in West Kelowna.
The weekend of June 10th and 11th TASTE Passport holders can explore the South Okanagan including Summerland, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls and Oliver. On June 11th, the District Wine Village, Canada’s first winery cluster, will offer the TASTE Passport in the Village.
Each weekend, the TASTE Passport allows you to select six experiences from participating wineries. Passport holders are able to pre-select your winey visits allowing you to create your own unique itinerary. TASTE Passports are $65.00 and include elevated experiences that were carefully curated by each partner. Wineries will be highlighting their sense of place with special flights of wine or wine and food pairings.
There is also a Designated Driver TASTE Passport available for $45.00. The TASTE Passport will run from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm each weekend. The TASTE Passport is a great way to explore BC Wine Country.
As well as our Signature Events, there will be a number of special events featured by individual partners throughout the Okanagan Valley. Check the Festivals website (thewinefestivals.com)for a full listing of upcoming events including the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival from October 27th to November 5th and the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival from January 19th to 28th.
Join us June 3rd to 11th and help us celebrate the timeless craft of winemaking and experience the unique communities and people of the Okanagan.