Osoyoos Celebrity Wine Festival banner

The Third Annual Osoyoos Celebrity Wine Festival launches today with its roster of events. Wine lovers can look forward to this popular Okanagan festival taking place from June 9 to 12.

The Festival offers a great mix of food and wine pairing events featuring regional chefs and winemakers and is hosted annually by actor/director Jason Priestly and film producer Chad Oakes. Priestley is one of the owners of Black Hills Winery, a co-founder of the Festival.

Grapes on Vine

George Canyon (Juno award-winner, country music star, and star of CBC TV’s Heartland) will perform an acoustic set at the Celebrity Wine Auction and Beach Party at the Walnut Beach Resort on June 10.

At the 2010 Festival alone, seven wineries, four hotels, eight chefs or restaurants, three live musical performances (Steven Page, Bruce Greenwood, and Double Magnum), 10 celebrities, 29 film producers (for the Vinos), and close to 1100 fans and media descended upon Osoyoos to enjoy BC wine and food. Three important Osoyoos charities were aided as well: The Desert Sun Counselling & Resource Centre, the Osoyoos Child Care Centre, and the Osoyoos Desert Center Society.

This year’s festival offers six events:

Thursday, June 9, 8:00 pm, Spirit Ridge Resort
Sunset Sabre Soiree – Celebrities and winemakers will sabre off wine bottles while guests taste the finest sparkling wines from the region.

Friday, June 10, 2:00 pm, Watermark Beach Resort
Judgement in Osoyoos: The international Wine Showdown – See what happens during a blind tasting when the top B.C. Syrah wines go head-to-head with the best wines from around the world. Hosted by local wine personalities.

Friday, June 10, 6:00-11:00 pm, Walnut Beach Resort
Celebrity Wine Auction & Beach Party – A silent auction of hard-to-find B.C. wines, with musical performance from Juno Award Winner and Country Music Star George Canyon. Guests will sample an array of South Okanagan wines with appetizers from local restaurants and bid on unique experiences from great Canadian wineries in the live auctions. Ends with a lively Beach Party and BBQ. All proceeds will benefit Childrenô charities.

Saturday, June 11, 12 noon to 3pm, Black Hills Estate Winery
The Nota Bene Release Party – An afternoon lunch served in a beautiful vineyard and winery setting featuring several food and wine pairing stations. A special guest celebrity chef will prepare the food and a live band will perform.

Saturday June 11, 6:00pm to 11:00 pm, Watermark Beach Resort
The Vinos – Wine Commercial Film Festival & Contest – A lively, entertaining evening: Think Oscar party spoof! After watching films from the top 24 finalists, a panel of celebrity judges will present cash prizes for the top three submissions. Following the awards, there will be an open wine bar and live music.

Sunday June 12, 8:00pm
The Art of Wine – Wander through a special gallery exhibition of regional paintings, photography, and other media.

In addition, filmmakers are encouraged to grab their friends and a camcorder and make a 60–180 second video commercial about their favorite B.C. wine or winery. The Vinos is open to amateur and professional videographers. The awards ceremony is reminiscent of an Oscar’s after party and participants will walk the red carpet. Guests and filmmakers will mingle with Hollywood celebrities in town for the Osoyoos Celebrity Wine Festival.

Festival founder and Black Hills Winery president Glenn Fawcett adds “We discovered when hosting The Vinos last year that the exceptional quality of South Okanagan wine has created a large and passionate fan base. Our fans are very talented, last year they produced many funny, creative and touching commercials which made The Vinos a very entertaining evening.”

Wine enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers will compete for a Vino, cash, prizes and wine, by producing a video about their favourite BC Wine or wineries. Videos nominated for a Vino will be aired during an awards ceremony and wrap party on June 11, 2011 at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos.

Details and submission forms are available online. Deadline for all submissions is June 1, 2011.

Vineyard Sunset

For more information and tickets, visit the website.

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