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 Osoyoos Oyster Festival Oyster Wine Competition Winners announced

And New Kelowna Oyster Festival to Launch in Fall 2019

Winners of the Osoyoos Oyster Festival Oyster Wine Pairing competition were announced on Saturday night at the penultimate event of the 8th annual Festival, the Seafood Soirée at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos.

Gold: Bench 1775, 2012 Blanc de Blanc

Silver: Upper Bench, 2017 Chardonnay

Bronze: Culmina, 2017 Decora Riesling

Bench 1775’s winemaker Valeria Tait said: “I have always loved B.C. oysters—every kind —and I'm excited to see how this industry has developed to world renown, much like our wine industry. The wines I submitted were made to be paired with B.C. oysters and I'm very gratified to see that others agree. Thanks for the opportunity to present the wines and thanks to the Osoyoos Oyster Festival for shining a spotlight on two successful industries.” Along with bragging rights, and the golden oyster medal, Bench 1775 will be heading off on a money-can’t-buy exclusive trip to the Discovery Islands in June to Outlandish Shellfish’s annual invite-only event for two days of meeting, mingling, shucking and feasting with influential chefs, seafood advocates, oyster farmers and fishmongers from across Canada on a two-day adventure in the Discovery Islands.

The Osoyoos Oyster Festival Oyster Wine Pairing competition will return next year, but for those who can’t wait, a brand-new series of oyster-based feasting, fun and celebrations, along with an oyster wine pairing competition for wineries in the North Okanagan: Summerland, Peachland, West Kelowna, East Kelowna and Lake Country will launch fall 2019 in Kelowna. Stay tuned for more details.

The eight judges met on Monday 22nd April for a five-hour blind tasting of wines submitted from all five South Okanagan regions: Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos and the Similkameen paired with oysters from Outlandish Shellfish, shucked by the Codfather’s team. Head judge Samantha Rahn said: “I’m excited at the diversity of the winning wines, and it was really tough to narrow it down to just three! I look forward to doing it all again next year and seeing even more sparkling wines and Chardonnay entered – our winners proved that great dry bubble is a natural, and oaked Chardonnay with great acidity, as well as lively dry Riesling make great matches for BC oysters.”

The top twelve finalists (in no particular order) Stag’s Hollow 2018 Albariño, Upper Bench 2017 Chardonnay, Upper Bench 2018 Pinot Blanc, R&D 2018 Dryish Riesling, Clos du Soleil 2017 Fumé Blanc, Liber 2018 Hello Sunshine, Mayhem 2017 Pinot Blanc, Clos du Soleil 2018 Pinot Blanc, Da Silva 2016 Chenin Blanc Viognier, Culmina 2017 Riesling, Wild Goose 2018 God’s Mountain Riesling, Bench 1775 2012 Blanc de Blanc.