Spring Okanagan Festival blooms! Exceptional wine touring conditions for 22nd annual celebration 

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is thrilled to commence its 22nd year of spring festivities this week from April 28-May 8, 2016.

An early kickoff to the summer tourism season, the aptly nicknamed Spring Okanagan “Bud Break” Festival provides a quintessential Okanagan sampling experience of the valley’s wine and culinary excellence.  A sizzling start to the season, with record-breaking warm temperatures, saw budburst several weeks ahead of normal throughout valley vineyards.  This year’s exceptionally warm summer-like weather provides the perfect conditions for visiting the 125+ Okanagan wineries and enjoying the picturesque valley farms in full bloom.

“Wine lovers around the world are increasingly aware of what British Columbians have known for decades – the Okanagan produces some of the world’s best. The Bud Break Festival is a celebration of everything that makes living here great – food, wine, and good company,” said Premier Christy Clark.

“Spring is always a special time for all the member wineries and tourism partners of the Okanagan Wine Festival Society.  Each year we have the opportunity to kick off the season, celebrate new wine releases and reconnect in the camaraderie of those who share the same passion for wine,” said Sally Sharpe, board member, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society & Hospitality manager, Great Estates of the Okanagan.

Amongst the over 80 events scheduled, some popular annual festivities along with new activities are on tap for this year.  The weekend starts early on Thursday, April 28 with the first Festival Signature Event, the Best of Varietal Wine Awards Reception, which saw a record increase in entries this year. Always an entertaining evening with the valley’s winemakers in attendance, along with their award-winning wines, it’s sure to be a palate pleaser.  The iconic WestJet Wine Tastings follow April 29-30 with a party atmosphere and wineries from across the entire valley.  Other delectable activities include the sold-out “Comforts of Grilled Cheese & Wine”, Iron Sommelier BC wine and food pairing competition at Okanagan College, as well the finale on Mother’s Day – a Rosé Brunch at Watermark Beach Resort; to name a few of the fun and tasty highlights.

Tickets are still available for festivities throughout the Okanagan at participating wineries and restaurants from farm to table dinners, barbeques, hands-on winemaker workshops, vineyard hikes, viticulture seminars and much, much more. Visit www.thewinefestivals.com for additional information.

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