Stained glass window at Penticton's Wine Info Centre, in the Okanagan Valley, Tim Pawsey photo

Followers of BC’s burgeoning wine industry will be interested in the results of the 2010 Okanagan Fall Wine Festival judging. The Hired Belly participated in the newly named BC Wine Awards, on one of the best panels we’ve judged with to date, run by Master of Wine Rhys Pender, and including: Benoit Beaudet, Senior Merchandising Manager with the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), wine educator extraordinaire DJ Kearney, Master of Wine Barbara Philip, Sid Cross (International Food & Wine Society, Wine Chair) and several other luminaries … Three judges from outside of BC alone made for some interesting discussions, and in the end, perhaps, a more balanced and objective result—never a bad thing.

Okanagan Wine Festival 2010 BC Wine Awards Judging, Tim Pawsey photo

Traditionally, Okanagan Wine Festival organisers like to hand out as many medals as possible. This year’s count of some 34 Golds proved no exception, though with some interesting departures from previous years.

First of all, it’s fair to say that this was a red wine haul. For the most part, white varieties from 08 and 09 didn’t show as well as some years, leaving the field wide open for a parade of reds, led by Syrah/Shiraz (along with some other spectacular efforts), to ride right up the middle.

This year was the first in which both grape and fruit wines could be entered from any region in the province, as long as they were 100% BC-grown, although few other than Okanagan Valley grape wines were actually entered.

Here’s a complete summary, showing every medal handed out:

2010 BC Wine Awards

You can read more in Vancouver’s North Shore News.