2018 Best of Varietal Judges Announced

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announces the 24th British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Competition (BOV) presented by Farm Credit Canada, ContainerWorld and TricorBraun Winepak. This provincial wine competition is held to recognize the top British Columbia wine varietals and kicks off the 2018 Annual Spring Okanagan Wine Festival. Registration is open to all licensed British Columbia wineries that use 100% fruit grown within the province. The judges include renowned sommeliers, restaurateurs, and recognized wine media from across Canada. The BOV has a very unique judging process that allows each judge to evaluate all the wines in any given category – this allows a direct comparison that results in the selection of the best wines. The focus of the competition is to inform consumers of the Best Varietals in BC to assist them in choosing wines for the peak summer season.

“The specific grape variety used in winemaking is one of the most influential factors determining the style of the resulting wine,” says Sid Cross, a world respected educator and judge of both food and wine from Vancouver. “Each variety brings certain textbook aromas and flavours to the final wine that should be clearly identifiable but influenced by both the unique terroir of where those grapes are grown, as well as their treatment in the vineyard & cellar.”

Cross also notes: “This competition ascertains which grape varieties grown in BC are consistently making the best quality wines across the board. We need to encourage the farmers to plant more of these in the very best regions for the continuing success of the BC wine industry.”

This year’s judging will be on April 19th, at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, and will have the following acclaimed wine professionals:

1. Dennis Dwernychuk – BC Liquor Stores, Kelowna
2. Martin Lewis – Food and Beverage Consultant, Penticton
3. Audrey Surrao – RauDZ Creative Concepts, Kelowna
4. Jeannette Montgomery – Wine Writer, Penticton
5. Julianna Hayes – BC Vine Living, Kelowna
6. Dr. Gabriel Balin – Viticulture Technician Diploma Program Okanagan College, Penticton
7. Tim Pawsey – Hired Belly, Vancouver
8. Emily Walker – Tap and Barrel, Vancouver
9. David Tombs – Terra Restaurant, Kamloops
10. Toby Kolada – OAK + CRU Social Kitchen and Wine Bar, Kelowna
11. Adam Rosewarne – Sage Tapas & Wine Bar, Nelson
12. Jim Martin – Metro Liquor, Kelowna
13. Luigi Coccaro – The Curious Café, Perch Café, Gather Restaurant – Kelowna
14. Kayla Sahara – Wine Info Centre, Penticton
15. Claire Boulley – Wine Judge, Lake Country
16. Troy Townsin – Wine Column on CBC Radio 1, Victoria
17. Kim Spence – Moxies Alberta, Calgary
18. Sid Cross – Wine Writer and Judge, Vancouver

For complete bios and pictures: www.thewinefestivals.com/bovjudges

With the growing diversity of the British Columbia wine industry, the competition has expanded significantly each year – with over 570 wines entered in 2017 – this year we have a record number of judges due to the increased number of wine entries.

The award-winning wines will be announced on May 2nd at the Best of Varietal Awards and Reception at the Penticton Trade and Convention Center from 7:00-9:30 pm. Guests are welcome to celebrate British Columbia’s best, and taste the award-winning wines, while mixing and mingling with local winemakers and vintners. There are limited tickets available for $59.00 at www.thewinefestivals.com, so early booking is recommended. This is a Safe Ride Home event.

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