It's official, spring is finally here.
Bud burst in the vineyards and blossoms throughout the Valley’s orchards also means the spring wine festival is just around the corner.
From May 1- 11 Okanagan Wine Festivals Society will host the 20th annual spring wine festival.
A lot has happened since the initial wine festival started back in 1994. That year just 16 wineries participated in the one day event. Now, two decades later, the celebration spans 10 days, with over 119 wineries taking part in 70 events.
Some new festivities this year include: the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, Apprentice Chefs competing in the Cheesiest Sweet and Savoury Competition, and a Bubbly Bootcamp.
The Best of Varietal Wine Awards will be held Thursday May 1, with a record 32 wine varietal categories judged by 15 BC sommeliers and wine experts along with a tasting showcasing the winners.
This is followed by the WestJet Wine Tastings on Friday May 2 and Saturday May 3, which will feature live music and wineries from across the entire Valley all under one roof.
A more intimate event with a hint of wine education, the Blind Wine and Cheese Soiree presented by Valley First will take place on Saturday May 10.
Dairy Farmers of Canada has a long standing partnership with the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society says Gianna Ciancio, with the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
"The festival has been excellent in providing us the ability to develop several customized events showcasing Canadian cheese made from 100 per cent Canadian Milk as well as our 'All you need is Cheese' brand."
Even premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna, is adding her two-cents about growth of the Okanagan Wine Festival.
"For twenty years the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival has helped put B.C. wines on the map. Congratulations and best wishes for this special 20th year celebration."
Over 7,500 guests are expected to participate over the ten days of activities this spring.
For more information click here.