Wine Talks event at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

The inaugural Wine Talks event kicks off at Okanagan College next month.

Next month, wine lovers of all types will have a chance to get an international perspective on winemaking as the inaugural Wine Talks event kicks off at Okanagan College.

Presented by Liquidity Wines and Okanagan College on Nov. 9, this evening brings  internationally-known wine industry experts Karen MacNeil and Rob McMillan to B.C. to share their insight and international experience of wine marketing.

“We’re thrilled to welcome two huge players in the wine world to the Okanagan,” said Ian MacDonald, owner of Liquidity Wines. “We hope that initiatives such as this help to boost B.C. as a wine region on the world stage and bring the area the international recognition that it deserves.”

Author of best selling book The Wine Bible, Karen MacNeil has won several major wine award, including the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year from the James Beard Foundation and the Global Wine Communicator of the Year from the International Wine and Spirits Association. She also created and chairs the Rudd Centre for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley.

Rob McMillan is the founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division based in California. Growing it from start-up phase in 1992, his division is now regarded as the leading provider of financial services to the fine wine business on the West Coast.

Donna Lomas, regional dean for the South Okanagan, said hosting and participating in events like this one fits in with the college’s mission.

“It is also a way to increase the knowledge base for all the people working in the industry,” she said, by bringing in these world renowned speakers “We are in a position to be able to provide professional development for all those people working in the industry.

Okanagan College has run wine and viticulture programming for many years, and Lomas said they continue to be active in developing programming.

“We do have a new viticulture diploma, which will be piloted starting this fall. It is an opportunity to showcase what the college has to offer but it is also a very important economic driver for our region,” said Lomas. “The college sees this as a very important part of the partnership we have with the wine industry and all the people that contribute to it.”

That includes a strong relationship with local wineries like Liquidity, as well as the B.C. Wine Information Society, which contributed $300,000 to the construction of the Sensory Centre at the Penticton campus.

“Students go out to different wineries and practice the theory, apply it to actual sites. We’ve had a fair amount of ongoing relationships,” said Lomas.

The college is looked at as helping to promote that industry, increase the awareness in the industry.”

An International Perspective on Wine Marketing at Wine Talks takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 on the Okanagan College Penticton campus. Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online www.okanagan.bc.ca/Campus_and_Community/employees/publicaffairs/Wine_Talks.html.