Over 800 of B.C.’s finest wines from more than 120 B.C. wineries are being judged by a panel of 15 judges at the 2021 BC Lieutenant Governor Wine Awards.
“We are incredibly excited; it gets better and better every year,” said Elan Morris, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society general manager.
“The quality of the program is spoken to by the veracity of the judges that come to us. And the amount of entries that continues to grow tells me people are very interested in what we are doing.”
The judges have flown in from across North America.
One of the most esteemed judges is Sid Cross, who has been judging wine since his early 20s.
“Wow! I’m so excited. I can’t believe it. Elan Morris and her team have done such a fantastic job with the safety and everything,” Cross told Global News.
“We came here a bit worried. We heard the Delta variant was bad and that it was smoky and wildfires but we got here and it’s a beautiful day, everything’s perfectly safe.”
The three-day event will have judges awarding specific batches of wine — with platinum, gold, silver and bronze awards — capped off with a wine of the year award.
When asking a professional sommelier on how to judge a wine, Cross said it has to come from the heart.
“Well I think it’s something that’s charming and delicious,” said Cross.
“You can go through all the basics, of looking at the wine, looking for acidity, looking for tannins, looking for freshness, but it’s really a personal thing.
“I think you have to come in with a lot of enthusiasm and give each wine that you try the benefit of the doubt that it could be the best of the competition.”
Winners of the competition will be announced in an online live award ceremony on Oct. 7 on the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society website.