Wine experts come to Okanagan College to offer an international perspective on wine marketing

Two of North America’s leading wine experts are coming to talk wine and marketing at Okanagan College in Penticton next week.

Members of the public are invited to discover An International Perspective on Winemaking with keynote speakers Karen MacNeil and Rob McMillan at the inaugural Wine Talks event at Okanagan College on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Presented by Liquidity Wines and Okanagan College, this special evening brings two of the world’s most renowned wine industry experts to B.C. to share their insight and international experience of wine marketing.

“We’re thrilled to welcome two huge players in the wine world to the Okanagan,” says Ian MacDonald, owner of Liquidity Wines. “We hope that initiatives such as this help to boost B.C. as a wine region on the world stage and bring the area the international recognition that it deserves.”

Author of best selling book The Wine Bible, MacNeil has won every major wine award, including the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year (James Beard Foundation) and the Global Wine Communicator of the Year (International Wine and Spirits Association).

TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine,” and she is renowned for her engaging wine presentations.

Her firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies such as Lexus, Disney, General Electric and Singapore Airlines.

She also created and chairs the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been dubbed the Harvard of wine education.

Rob McMillan is the founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division based in California.

Growing it from start-up phase in 1992, his division is now regarded as the leading provider of financial services to the fine wine business on the West Coast.

His banking career has spanned 30 years and 20 of those have been with Silicon Valley Bank in various roles, including a term on the managing committee.

McMillan focuses on sharing his views on the macro factors impacting the fine wine business.

He has also published reports of varied and emerging trends in the wine industry, including the Annual State of the Wine Industry Report, which is cited in international wine press.

“We are looking forward to hosting Karen MacNeil and Rob McMillan at our Penticton campus, which is in the heart of Okanagan wine country,” explained Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “Events like this offer the community a great opportunity to connect and share knowledge, which is really at the heart of what colleges do. It’s exciting to partner with Liquidity Wines to bring some of the industry’s most respected leaders in viticulture to the Okanagan.”

The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Okanagan College Penticton Campus (Room PC 113, 583 Duncan Avenue West, Penticton, B.C.). Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online.

Based in Okanagan Falls, Liquidity Winery offers an artisan approach to winemaking, taking customers on a journey of the senses that captures the art of winemaking from grape to glass in a stunning space where guests are wowed by the incredible views, eclectic artwork and locally inspired food. Time is spent enjoying these finer things in life, while in the vineyard care is taken to carefully hand-harvest the best fruit and artfully blend them into fine wines.

For more information, visit

Okanagan College is a public, post-secondary institution with campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm, as well as education centres throughout the interior.

The College offers an array of programming with more than 120 certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Established more than 50 years ago, Okanagan College offers a unique selection of programming in wine, food and tourism. The college’s viticulture programs are based at the Penticton campus and make use of the B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre, which is the first educational facility of its kind. For more, go online and visit


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