Spring Celebrations to Kick-off the Season, 23rd Annual Spring Okanagan Wine Festival

Grey skies can’t keep the excitement away! The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is thrilled to commence its 23rd year of spring festivities starting May 4 – May 14, 2017. The Spring sunshine may be late in returning to the Okanagan Valley this year, but the Okanagan wine and culinary sampling celebration eagerly awaits; with a plethora of returning and new events throughout the Valley.

New this year, Floral presented by Valley First, provides wine fanatics with a new twist to the traditional Mother’s Day celebrations. Inspired by the fresh blooms of Spring, Floral is an indoor garden party featuring 20 Okanagan wineries, accompanied by local catering from Nester’s Market, Haida Wild Seafoods, and Okanagan Lavender Farm. It’s the perfect gift for Mom!

“Spring is a special time for all the Member Wineries and Tourism partners of the Okanagan Wine Festival Society,” said Lindsay Kelm, Board Member Okanagan Wine Festivals Society & Secretary, Quails’ Gate Winery.​ “For us, this Festival is the unofficial kick-off to the busy summer season. Not only does it give us the chance to celebrate the new spring releases, but also the opportunity to reconnect with fellow wineries and industry partners to toast the beginning of another successful year.”

“Wine lovers around the world are becoming increasingly aware of what the Okanagan has to offer, with premium wines showing off the unique terroir of the Valley, and innovative events to welcome guests to our member wineries and tourism partners” says Blair Baldwin, General Manager of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society “We are proud to be one of the leading Wine Festivals for British Columbia.”

Throughout the blossoming Okanagan Valley, there are over 80 events scheduled with some popular annual festivities along with new activities this year.  The weekend starts Thursday May 4th with the Best of Varietal Wine Awards Reception in Penticton. Always an entertaining evening with the Valley’s winemakers in attendance, along with their award-winning wines, it’s sure to be a palate pleaser.  The iconic WestJet Wine Tastings follow on May 5 & 6th in Kelowna, with a party atmosphere and wineries from across the entire Valley.  Other delectable Signature Events include the Iron Sommelier British Columbia wine and food pairing competition at Okanagan College, as well as the finale on Mother’s Day – a Rosé Brunch at Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, and the newly introduced –  Floral presented by Valley First at the Laurel Heritage Packing House in Kelowna.

This year, wine lovers can win prizes by capturing the moment at different Spring Okanagan Wine Festival events! Join in on the fun by sipping, snacking, and snapping photos of your way through the ‘Bottle Bucket List’. Rules are simple, all participants need to do is visit any 8 participating wineries, or attend a Signature Event during the 10-day Spring Okanagan Wine Festival, snap a photo tagging @OkWineFests with the hashtag #BottleBucketList, and they will be automatically entered in the numerous draws. The Bucket List goes live April 3rd, with contesting to begin May 4 until the end of the Festival May 14th, visit www.thewinefestivals.com for full details.

Tickets are still available for festivities throughout the Okanagan at participating wineries and restaurants from farm to table dinners, barbeques, hands-on winemaker workshops, vineyard hikes, viticulture seminars and much, much more. Visit www.thewinefestivals.com for additional information.

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