Vinos Wine Film Festival, Cellarhand, Note Bene & more…

From The Real Housewines of British Columbia at Vinos

Black Hills Winery has had a lot to celebrate these past few weeks, and they certainly did it in style. With a series of sold out events and soirees, the Black Hills crew drew hundreds of guests from across the country to the Okanagan and raised a great deal of money for local charities.


The 3rd annual Vinos Wine Film Festival kicked off the fun packed weekend on June 8. The Vinos are the world’s first wine-centric film festival, allowing participants to compete for prizes both monetary and and vinous by creating a 60 second short featuring a BC winery. The event was held at the Spirit Ridge Convention Centre in Osoyoos, and accommodated more than 400 guests.  “This year the Vinos film event was a big success”, said Glen Fawcett, co- founder of the Vinos and President of Black Hills Winery.  “The first year we had 20 film entries, the second year we had 27 and this year we had 60 entries. The quality of these films was exceptional! It was a hard process for all the judges to choose which one is the best.”


Vinos Winners:

Category 1, the “BC Wine Video” award, presented by SUN FM radio,


1st place went to Larkyn Statten, for The Real Housewines of British Columbia.

2nd place went to Vinos, Boxed Wine and Nudes from Kent Molgat and Curtis Allen.

3rd Place went to artist Jason Gogo for his video, I don’t know Jason. 


Category 2, the “Wine Tourism Video” award, presented by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association,


1st place went to Michael Benedek for Wine Tours with Valhalla Helicopters.

2nd place went to Cameron Dennison for Cherry Point – Double Ortega.

3rd place went to Wine Getaway by Andrew Jakubeit.


Category 3: the “People’s Choice Video Award”, presented by Wineries Refined, was won by Sebastian Mercado for his Wine Wishes video.


 All videos can be seen at:


The Vinos event also doubled as the official unveiling of Black Hills’ new second label, Cellar Hand, a fun acknowledgment to the hard working Cellarhands who toil through the year assisting the winemakers.  There are two value priced wines made under this label. Free Run White is a complex blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris; and Punch down Red combines Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This second label was created to let everyone enjoy a great tasting and affordable everyday wine, in contrast to Black Hills’ premium selections. It also enables a further progression in the quality of the winery’s first label wines through enhanced barrel selection. Cellar Hand wines will be available at BC liquor stores in the lower mainland, retailing at $15.90 for the white and $24.90 for the red.


Following the excitement of the Vinos, the 5th Annual Nota Bene Release Party was held on June 9 at Black Hills Winery, and featured the first of its kind Wine and Art Experience.  Well known sculpture and painter Jason Gogo showcased his innovative performance art, which was paired with the latest release of wines from Black Hills. An auction was held at the release party and $10,500 was raised for the Children’s Charities of the United Way of the South Okanagan and the BC Hospitality Foundation.


June 10 was the Grand Opening of the one million dollar Wine Experience Center.  The innovative wine shop and tasting room will bring more energy, life and relevance to the BC wine experience. The architecturally distictive structure is certainly not your typical cookie-cutter winery tasting room. “The concept of the Wine Experience Center was inspired by the successful tasting room at Duckhorn Winery in Napa Valley”, says Fawcett. “Guests are invited to experience their wines in a unique and personal fashion with a seated tasting hosted by our wine educated evangelists”. The guests will be ‘evangelized’ in three various fun and casual settings: an indoor high top table area, a covered patio surrounded by grape vines, and the post-modern cabanas along the showpiece swimming pool. They’ll be sipping on first class wines served in properly matched Riedel glasses, while enjoying the 360-degree panoramic view of the Okanagan valley. “This new establishment will allow our clients to remember the wine that they’ve tasted, the winery that they’ve visited, and have some kind of association to it when they leave. It’s a stronger take away”.


Situated two miles south of the winery on the Black Sage Bench, the stunning modern concrete building was designed by local architect Nick Bevanda, who also designed the winery in 2006.  The length of time for the tasting will be adapted to your personal schedule, from a quick twenty minute wine and dash or an informative two hour tasting. It is the perfect way to unwind and begin your vacation of reveling with friends new and old in the incomparable beauty of the Okanagan Valley, sipping great wine and toasting to a memorable experience. Reservations are recommended.

 – By Van Doren Chan


Black Hills Winery & The Wine Experience Center

30880 Black Sage Road, Oliver, B.C., V0H 1T0 | Tel: (250) 498-0666





Written By:

We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ...

Comments are closed.