Oliver’s Culmina winery joins newly-formed Okanagan Wine Initiative

Oliver’s Culmina winery joins newly-formed Okanagan Wine Initiative

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Culmina Family Estate Winery is one of seven forming the new Okanagan Wine Initiative. (Photo: Facebook.com/CulminaWinery)

There’s a new association of wineries in the Okanagan, including one of Oliver’s own.

Culmina Family Estate Winery joined six others from the Okanagan – 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Haywire Wines, Liquidity Wines, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery – to form The Okanagan Wine Initiative.

The association will allow the wineries to share resources and collaborate on varying projects internationally, across Canada, and in British Columbia, a release from the association stated.

“The members share a common passion to drive one-another to excel and adopt best business practices and to help elevate the identity of the Okanagan as a premium wine producing region and superb wine tourism destination,” the release read.

The association has been in the works since over a year ago, when the wineries started informally sharing resources after finding themselves working together over industry issues or attending wine trade fairs abroad.

Their mandate is to “work together to improve all areas of viticulture, winemaking and winery operations, market development and sales, by sharing resources and expertise, and to go to market as a group under the banner of The Okanagan Wine Initiative.”

“Each of us brings a different skill set to the group and by dividing the work between us, we hope to make fast in-roads,” noted Culmina’s co-owner Don Triggs. “Our end game is to build our wine region’s reputation nationally and internationally.”

Only recently, they decided to establish The Okanagan Wine Initiative as a company. Each member has provided significant funding with the goal of supporting market development and promotional activities.

The are plans for the association to accept other “likeminded” wineries with “similar aspirations” to join them in the future.

The association noted that they are “in no way a replication or replacement” for any already existing winery or trade marketing associations in B.C.

“We are non-partisan and will work closely with all existing trade organizations, in addition to driving our own initiatives,” says Liquidity’s Ian MacDonald. “The Okanagan Wine Initiative is about adding to what is currently being done to elevate awareness and demand for Okanagan wine around the world.”

The association has already hosted several events, including Farm Friends, following the Alberta-B.C. wine boycott, and a public tasting and panel discussion for the Everything Wine Tasting Lab in Vancouver. They’re currently preparing for a series of events in London in mid-May and co-hosting a tour in the Okanagan for seven U.K. journalists.

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