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The 2015 workshop wouldn't exist without the support of the following partners.

We thank our main partner in the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop, Tourism Kelowna.

Visit Tourism Kelowna's website. Follow @Tourism_Kelowna on Twitter. Like Tourism Kelowna on Facebook.


Guided, narrated and custom tours in the Okanagan.

Visit Distinctly Kelowna's Website. Follow @KelownaWineTour on Twitter. Like Distinctly Kelowna Tours on Facebook.


Visit BC Tree Fruit's Website. Follow @bctreefruits on Twitter. Like BC Tree Fruits on Facebook.


Visit Knifewear online. Follow @KelownaKnife @Knifenerd @KnifewearYOW and @KnifewearYEG on Twitter.


Visit Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas' Website. "Like" Manteo on Facebook. Follow Manteo on Twitter.



Visit Hotel Eldorado's Website. "Like" Hotel Eldorado on Facebook. Follow Hotel Eldorado on Twitter.

Our other event-based partners are recognized in our schedule notes.


The 2015 Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop in Storify

That's a wrap. Thanks to the weather gods, all of our writers and instructors, and especially the workshop attendees. It was such a great group, and the energy and learning will sustain us for quite some time.

A huge thank you to repeat workshop attendee, wunderblogger Michelle Peters-Jones ( for putting together this Storify compiliation of the 2015 Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop weekend. See below:



Two weeks left for early-bird registration discount for 2015 Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop

There's still two weeks left to save $100 on registration fees for the 2015 workshop. Don't delay. We're halfway to being sold-out this year!

The workshop is open to writers of all levels, and you'll be learning from some of Canada's top magazine editors and writers. We cover topics that range from pitching to crafting the perfect profile, to cookbook projects to being a better blogger. (I tailor the professional development topics to maximize your experience from our instructor faculty!).

Any questions, email me. But don't delay to register, as early-bird discount only lasts until July 15!

Eventbrite - Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop 2015



BC Pinot Noir Festival welcomes Decanter magazine's Steven Spurrier


BC Wine Institute May 12, 2015


The BC Wine Institute, Celebration of BC Pinot Noir and VISA Infinite are proud to welcome renowned wine judge and writer Steven Spurrier to BC Wine Country this summer!

For Immediate Release:
May 12, 2015

Suggested Tweet:
This August, #ExploreBCWine with Steven Spurrier, #VISAInfinite & @WineBCdotcom at the @BCPinotNoir Celebration -

KELOWNA, BC - The secret is out: BC is producing world class wines and this summer, Decanter consultant and Editor Steven Spurrier is flying from London, UK to find out first-hand what all the fuss is about!

Through a collaborative effort, Spurrier's inaugural visit to BC Wine Country comes at an opportune time, as the Wines of British Columbia celebrate 25 years of BC VQA and the BC Pinot Noir Celebration announces a major expansion with VISA Infinite for their third annual event.

"It's an absolute honour to bring Steven Spurrier to the Okanagan and a dream we've had for years! It's an exciting time for the BC Wine Industry, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of BC VQA and we are thrilled to have Steven here to experience the amazing quality wines we are producing," says British Columbia Wine Institute Marketing Director Maggie Anderson.

Steven Spurrier, a champion of French wines and famously recognized for his role in organizing the original Judgement of Paris Wine Tasting in 1976, as portrayed in the Hollywood blockbuster "Bottle Shock," will be touring wineries in the Okanagan Valley and tasting over 100 of British Columbia's finest wines from all over the province.

"I have tasted and enjoyed a number of British Columbia wines over the years and am looking forward to visiting this emerging wine region first hand,"  says Spurrier. "Seeing the vineyards, the cellars and especially the people involved adds another dimension to every wine, great or small, so for me this will be a fascinating voyage of discovery."

"His exceptional wine knowledge, international awards, accomplishments and innovative ideas make him the ideal wine critic to showcase how far our industry has come within the last 25 years," Anderson says.

In 2014, Pinot Noir was the third most grown grape by acreage in BC, gaining recognition around the world for intense, lively flavours and winning international awards for their premium quality.

Three years ago, Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls hosted the first BC Pinot Noir Celebration to gather winemakers, Pinot Noir lovers and a talented panel of special guest speakers to showcase the best Pinot Noirs in the province. Last year, the BCWI was proud to bring renowned wine author Karen MacNeil (The Wine Bible) to present the key note address for the event held at Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna. This year, the celebration is shaping up to be yet another major success, with Mr. Spurrier in attendance.

"We are honoured to have one of the UK's top wine critics and reviewers, Steven Spurrier, as our key note speaker this year. We've also increased the number of BC Pinot Noir producers at the event, with 26 wineries participating, which were selected through a blind tasting led by CAPS (Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) earlier in the year. With the help of VISA Infinite and the BCWI we're able to elevate the event in only its third year to what we hope will become one of Canada's premier wine events," says Meyer Family Vineyards proprietor JAK Meyer.

In honour of the third annual BC Pinot Noir Celebration, VISA Infinite is inviting cardholders to meet and interact with Spurrier over a sumptuous multi-course dinner with chefs Rob Walker, Vikram Vij, Trevor Bird and Dilan Draper at Liquidity Winery, as part of their Wine Country Program on August 21.

VISA Infinite's Wine Country Program offers cardholders exclusive benefits at 38 participating wineries in British Columbia, which include enjoying advanced access to one-of-a-kind winery experiences and exclusive dining events featuring Canada's leading chefs.

The BC Pinot Noir Celebration, held on August 22 in Kaleden's Linden Gardens, will involve interactive breakout sessions alongside top BC winemakers; salon tastings with 26 of BC's best Pinot Noir producers, a canapé competition with Okanagan Chefs Jason Leizert, Alex Sielmann, Chris Van Hooydonk and Calgary Chef Dilan Draper; a family style dinner by Artisan Culinary Concepts; and live music with local band The Young'uns.

For tickets and details on the BC Pinot Noir Celebration, visit

For information on VISA Infinite, their Wine Country Program and the Celebration of Pinot Noir event at Liquidity Winery, visit

For details on BC VQA and the Wines of British Columbia visit or the BC Wine Institute's trade and media website, To stay up to date on all the summer happenings, like the Wines of British Columbia Facebook page or follow @WineBCdotcom on Twitter.


Winner of the Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015 - Announcement

The call for submissions for an 800-word post about a Canadian tastemaker or quintessentially Canadian culinary product went out to bloggers and stories from across Canada came in. Five food writing and cookbook experts sifted through the entries, and the winner of the “Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015” food writing competition is:

Congratulations to Tiffany Mayer, blogger at on for her

Brewing new life into an old pear.

While all of the Top 5 short-listed submissions were excellent examples of important food writing being done today online, the judges had the following to say about "Brewing new life into an old pear:"

“The writing was lively, the voice was solid. It made me want to try brewing beer on my own.”

“I love everything about this: great story, well written, history appropriately woven in with a story of today…a great solution to food waste, a community working together. I was rooting for the pears and the beer!”

“This story has many layers of good nonfiction: a quest that motivates the narrator; a strong, clear writer’s voice without becoming too much the focus of the story; a clear beginning, middle and end.”

Mayer receives airfare to and from the 2015 Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop in Kelowna, September 9 through 11, from a major Canadian airport courtesy of Tourism Kelowna. Her workshop fees and accommodations are courtesy of the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop.

The judges wish to acknowlege the other two submissions that made the Top 3 in what was a tight competition as all Top 5 short listed entries were very strong.


The judges award Second Place to Annie Chu of Chu On This for her Getting to Know: Chef Rob Bragagnolo profile.

"Great Q & A-style package with well-curated and sourced photos."

"A good example of somebody embracing the medium they're writing for."

 The judges award Third Place to Lia Rinaldo of Se7en's A Banquet, 9ine's a Brawl for A Visit to Sober Island Oysters submission.

"The writer drives the story with action, questions, and just enough description."

"Good storytelling with interesting information and a unique, conversational voice."

Both Annie and Lia will receive "really gorgeous" cookbooks in the mail in the next month. They also get a below-cost pricing deal if they wish to attend the 2015 Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop!

Blog your Way to Kelowna in 2015 was hosted by both Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop and Food Bloggers of Canada.

Early-bird registration for the 2015 workshop goes live later today (May 1). Until July 15, 2015, workshop registration fees are $650 for two-and-a-half days of meals, touring, tastings, and professional development for food and wine writers of all levels.


"Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015" Short List Announcement


Food Bloggers of Canada and the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers' Workshop teamed up this year to create a food writing contest. It's been fun to read about some of the great Canadian tastemakers and discover writers who bring these stories to life on their blogs.

It's a win-win-win, as writing talent is celebrated, food stories are told, and a large amount of excitement over the possibility of winning airfare from a major Canadian airport to and from Kelowna, workshop registration fees and accommodations is generated.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the shortlist and unveil the short-listed bloggers' names and their fantastic food blogs. The winner will be announced on May 1, 2015.

First, FBC and Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop need to thank the jury of food media professionals who contributed generously of their time, expertise and talent. They all have busy schedules, and yet this contest could not have taken place without the participation of these lovely individuals. They are:


We thank Tourism Kelowna for its significant contribution as our contest sponsor and workshop supporter.

Thanks also to the support by the BC Wine Institute.

Thanks to all writers who submitted their work to this contest. Prior to distributing the entries to the jury, Ethan Adeland of Food Bloggers of Canada removed author names and URLs to anonymize the submissions. The jury only now sees the short list with writers' names attached.

The five short-listed entries are below in alphabetical order. We have attached the blogger names and their URLs to the short list.  

A Visit to Sober Island Oysters by Lia Rinaldo
Brewing New Life into an Old Pear by Tiffany Mayer
Getting to Know: Chef Rob Bragagnolo by Annie Chu
On Returning Home by Aimée Wimbush
Searching for Saskatoons by Renée Kohlman

Congratulations to all the short-listed writers. Our jury discussings have been lively and animated as we carefully considered each entry that made it onto this list.
MAY 1, 2015, we announce the Top Three entries and our Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015 winning writer. We'll be carrying on discussions about today's Short List announcement on our Facebook sites at and on Twitter @foodwinewriters using hashtag #TasteTop5.


(DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written up in the wee hours of the day from Reykjavik, Iceland. I'm returning home from an extraordinary professional development experience at the Iceland Writers Retreat. Typos are due to jet lag, extreme weather, a brain overflowing with rich experiences, lots of learning, meeting some of my writing heros, and dealing with a language with 14 vowel sounds in it. Please excuse any typos and awkward grammar.)