This year’s fall Okanagan Wine Festival is a subdued event with all the signature events, like this Kelowna Airport event, being cancelled due to COVID-19. (Black Press file photo)

COVID cancels main events of Fall Okanagan Wine Festival

One in 10 wineries at risk of closing - said BC Wine Institute

It’s a glass half empty kind of year, with COVID cancelling anticipated events, including the fall Okanagan Wine Festival.

“We have had to cancel all of our consumer events due to Covid-19,” said Jennalyn Christopherson, festival and administrative coordinator.

“Our focus this year has shifted from events to supporting our winery members in their tasting rooms. Wineries are hosting fewer events this year as well, but some are still going ahead.”

This is the 40th year of the Okanagan Wine Festival (OWF), a huge event that usually draws wine aficionados from around the world and from the Coast and Alberta, with visitors filling hotels and restaurants.

Last year, B.C. wine enthusiasts were treated to a new Fall Wine Festival finale called Sensation, presented by Valley First. Held inside the Penticton Lakeside Resort, it was an unique tasting experience where wines have been paired with different cultural experiences, keeping the five senses in mind.

Another signature event was the WestJet Wine Tastings at YLW Kelowna International Airport.

READ MORE: Two signature events mark fall 2019 Okanagan Wine Festival

One event that did go ahead was the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards.

From Sept. 23-25, the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society hosted the awards at the Manteo Resort in Kelowna.

“Unfortunately, the inability to host large events in 2020 due to Coronavirus has greatly affected the B.C. events industry,” said society manager Elan Morris. “However, due to the contained scope of a judging competition, the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is full steam ahead with this event in order to support B.C. wineries by giving them the opportunity to get their wines in front of an elite panel of judges.”

In 2019, the award for Wine of the Year went to Deep Roots Winery in Naramata.

“Having our syrah named Wine of the Year in 2019 was an incredible honour. We were thrilled to be recognized among all of the great wine being made in B.C. For a small family-run winery the award provided us with national exposure and introduced our wine to new customers across the country,” said winemaker Will Hardman.

This year’s winners will be announced soon.

So far, the only winery listed on the OWF events page is Township 7 hosting a Riesling vertical tasting this weekend.

A recent industry-wide survey conducted by the BC Wine Institute (BCWI) in collaboration with the BC Grapegrowers’ Association and Leger Marketing, found 83 per cent of BC wineries and grapegrowers have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

One in 10 B.C. wineries and grape growers noted that they are at risk of closing due to COVID-19.

“I think it will take some time for the industry to see the full effects of COVID-19. Obviously for smaller wineries who depend on restaurant and wine shop sales — and many of them do — they’re going to feel the effects more immediately, but for others, it may take until the end of the season to fully understand the effects industry-wide,” says Kathy Malone the winemaker at Hillside Winery.

The BC Wine Institute said that with the threat of a second wave, and provincial health orders already tightening up on restaurants and bars, it’s imperative that the support of BC’s local wine industry and related businesses continues to help businesses weather the storm.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC WineFood and Wine Show

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

On Nov. 8, 2017 as the search was called off, white tents and black privacy fencing were no longer visible at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek and fewer police vehicles were present. (File photo)
Several police vehicles seen at and around Sagmoen farm in Shuswap Thursday night

RCMP at Silver Creek property where the remains of an 18-year-old Vernon woman were found in 2017

Morgues.
Morning Start: Cruise ships have their own morgues

Your morning start for Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

Military medals and badges, many donated by Shuswap residents, are respectfully displayed at the Salmon Arm Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #62. Next to each display case is a legend of the items within. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Historic military medals, badges kept in place of respect at Salmon Arm legion

One medal dates back to 1816-17, issued to those who fought against Napoleon

Jaeden Izik-Dzurko from Salmon Arm is featured on Virtually VRS, the Vancouver Recital Society’s online concert series. (Vancouver Recital Society image)
Salmon Arm pianist featured in Vancouver society’s first online concert series

Salmon Arm Secondary alumni Jaeden Izik-Dzurko continues to amaze

City council hears what a success Salmon Arm’s first Pride Project Arts & Awareness Festival on Oct. 14 to 18, 2020 was. (Caytlin Mary Photography photo)
First Salmon Arm Pride Festival evokes gratitude, emotion from city council

Presenters describe how festival celebrating LGBTQ2S+ community changed lives

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)
Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

Most Read