B.C. wineries competing to be in top-50 catalogue

Hundreds of wines are being put to the test to see which wineries will make British Columbia’s top 50 catalogue.

“It’s a very rigorous judging process,” said Alana Dickson of the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival. “We have nine judges from across B.C. who come here and judge over two days.”

A black pouch conceals wine labels, as judges will be tasting everything blindly. The event runs May 27 to 29 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

Click to play video: 'Wines judged for B.C. Lieutenant Governor Wine Awards'

Wines judged for B.C. Lieutenant Governor Wine Awards

“There’s no bias that can be objected onto the wines during the judging process,” said Dickson. “This is really a very top-quality list of 50 B.C. wines.”

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That list will then serve as a consumer buying guide despite this being a concerning time for B.C. wineries.

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“I know there’s been a lot of talk about shortages of wines. That’s a future problem,” said Dickson.

“I’d like to remind people that there are wines available this year; wineries are open.”

Wildfire smoke, extreme heat and freezing temperatures in the last few years have heavily impacted the Okanagan wine industry — causing a drop in production.

And now leading to a drop in entries.

Click to play video: 'Okanagan invention to improve nose of wine produced, nominated for award'

Okanagan invention to improve nose of wine produced, nominated for award

“We’ve had a reduction in wineries that are participating in our wine competition,” said Dickson.

“We’ve also had a reduction in the volume of wines that they’re entering, due to the fact that they’re conserving some of the reserves they’re sitting on that are available to consumers.”

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On Tuesday, 370 wines were tasted, with judges having to trim that tally down to 50.

“We started to taste only the best of the best,” said wine judge Barbara Philip.

The results will be revealed on June 7.

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