The BC Pinot Noir Celebration was born in 2013 when a collection of passionate Pinot Noir producers across the province came together with a vision to host an intimate group of winemakers and Pinot Noir lovers. The idea was simple - let's get together for a casual evening of good wine and good food - alongside some healthy discussion on where this variety has come in BC and where it is headed.
The inaugural event was hosted at Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls with 13 wineries on hand for a late summer gathering of 120 keen Pinot Noir lovers and a talented panel of special guest speakers: sommelier and wine writer DJ Kearney, author and BC wine advocate John Schreiner, Master of Wine Rhys Pender and independent wine consultant Kurtis Kolt.
In 2014 the celebration grew to 16 wineries and was hosted in Kelowna at Tantalus Vineyards with 160 Pinot Noir-loving guests. We were honoured to welcome special guest speaker Karen MacNeil to the celebration. MacNeil is a prolific American author most known for her best-selling book "The Wine Bible" and long-time contributions to The New York Times, Food and Wine magazine and NBC's Today Show. Karen spoke generously about her impressions of BC Pinot Noir after a whirlwind weekend tour of the Okanagan Valley:
"What I love most about BC Pinot Noirs is they mimic the place, they mimic the purity. You look out and feel the air, taste the water and look at the lake and you can’t help but be struck by a sense of purity and it carries over to the wine. They have purity and a sense of weightlessness which is very ethereal and captivating." - Karen MacNeil, 2014 Celebration
Our third annual celebration was hosted in August 2015 at the idyllic Linden Gardens in Kaleden, BC. The event saw our winery participants jump to 26 and our guests close to 300! We were thrilled to welcome influential British writer Steven Spurrier as our special guest speaker. Steven is probably best-known for having held in May 1976 a wine tasting that came to be known as The Judgement of Paris where California Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons came out on top over their French counterparts. Today, Spurrier is Consulting Editor of Decanter Magazine and President of the Circle of Wine Writers.
We were thrilled to see a handful of published pieces come from Steven's visit to BC in both Decanter Magazine and SOMM Journal - and, despite our youth, BC's wines showed very well!
"Perhaps it was the bucolic setting that saw 22 of the wineries reach or exceed the 17/90/Silver Medal score in my notes... The vineyards are mostly still young and the wines showed such well defined fruit that British Columbia Pinots are now a force to be reckoned with."
- Steven Spurrier, SOMM Journal Dec 2015/Jan 2016
"For me, wine is all about the three P’s: the place, the people and the product. British Columbia ticks all three boxes with exuberance, elegance and conviction.” - Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine, August 2016
Stay tuned for details on our 2019 event!