PENTICTON, B.C. — The Okanagan College team celebrated the official opening of its B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre at its Penticton Campus yesterday amid news that the new digs will host the judging for the Okanagan Wine Festival Society’s 2015 B.C. Wine Awards.
The $650,000 facility, located in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence, is dedicated to the sensory evaluation of food and wine. The 1,200-sq.-ft. space includes equipment for wine storage, a demonstration kitchen with multi-media capacity and a caterer’s kitchen.
The centre’s namesake, the B.C. Wine Information Society, donated $300,000 toward the project. “The Society has been a significant supporter of the college and its goals for wine and viticulture programming,” said Jim Hamilton, president, Okanagan College. “When we approached them with the concept of the Sensory Centre, they were quick to come aboard, and several of the society’s members offered valuable advice about structure and function.” Okanagan College matched the donation by accessing funds pledged by The Jim Pattison Foundation.
Meanwhile, Martin Lewis, the chair of judging for the Okanagan Wine Festival Society, is excited about the new judging venue for the B.C. Wine Awards. “We have used various venues for those intensive judging sessions, but we are very excited about the new Sensory Centre at Okanagan College next year.”