Wine Seminar Schedule

Seminar 1 | 4pm-5:30pm 

BC White Wines Take Centre Stage

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BC offers ideal growing conditions for white wines, as grapes naturally retain high acidity due to our cool nights.  BC Chardonnays, in particular, have earned praise from critics around the globe. Paul Watkin & Michael Kompass lead this guided tasting of white wines from throughout BC, discussing how climate and winemaking choices result in a range of wines that express complex flavours and refreshing styles. Guests will sample a range of white varietals and blends from producers including from all over British Columbia.

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The Silver Star Wine Festival relies on dedicated and passionate people. We are looking for hard-working wine enthusiasts, 19 years of age and over, to join our team for the seminar sessions and the Signature Walk-About Tasting Event.

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Extend your stay and play in the mountains. Choose from a variety of accommodation for every budget and group size. Take advantage of a special Wine Festival accommodation offer when you stay for 2 nights or more.

*Click below and call your chosen accommodation to book, mentioning promo code WINE for deals. Discount rates are available at participating partners.*

Stay in the Mountains

Stay Here

Friday August 11

4pm - 5.30pm 
BC White Wines
Take Centre Stage

Saturday August 12

11:00AM – 12:30PM
Naramata Bench: Taste the Terroir

12:00 – 1:30 pm
Skin in the Game:
Exotic Grapes
Finding a Home in BC

2:00 – 3:30PM
Refreshing Reds: Don’t Hold the Ice

Sunday August 13

11:00AM – 12:30PM
BC Bubbles
Rise to the Top


Seminar 2 | 11:00am-12:30pm 

Naramata Bench: Taste the Terroir

Seminar 3 | 12:00-1:30pm

Skin in the Game: Exotic Grapes Finding a Home in BC

Several BC winemakers are eagerly exploring lesser-known grape varietals that are uniquely suited to our province’s climate and geography. Vineyards of Albariño, Tempranillo, and Touriga Nacional, for example, flourish in various parts of our province, and the wines they produce offer delicious and authentic expressions of BC terroir.

What will be BC’s “next big grape?”. Our wine festival professionals lead this seminar that will introduce the contenders, and guests will taste examples of wines that are adding welcome variety to our evolving wine culture.

Friday August 11

Saturday August 12

Sunday August 13

Seminar 5 | 11:00AM-12:30PM

BC Bubbles Rise to the Top

Bubbly has been gaining popularity by leaps and bounds in recent years, and BC’s winemakers have contributed to the trend by crafting outstanding sparkling wines that can be enjoyed any day of the week. Ease into Sunday with this informative yet fun seminar dedicated to BC sparklers. Paul Watkin will cover the methods and grape varietals employed, as well as regional differences in flavour and character. Guests will taste a range of BC’s best bubblies.

Michael Kompass

Michael was born and raised in Ontario.  He moved to Whistler, British Columbia in the 90s, just when the movement toward regional food and wine culture was gaining momentum in BC. He was immediately hooked, and his enthusiasm for learning about wine, in particular, led him to complete the WSET 1, 2, and 3 courses, as well as to earn an International Sommelier Guild diploma. Over the past two decades he has given hundred of presentations to wine enthusiasts, sharing his knowledge and experience with audiences at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, Whistler Cornucopia, private events, and the Whistler & Squamish Wine Club, which he founded in 2001. He is currently the owner and sommelier at Blackcomb Liquor Store / The Fitzsimmons Pub / Vintage Advice Consultants.

Although he has a very busy professional schedule, Michael recognizes the importance of spending quality time with his wife, Rachel, and their two teenagers. He also enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities, from skiing and camping to water sports. He volunteers for the Rotary Clubs in both Whistler and Squamish, as well as the Axemen Rugby Club and the local Search and Rescue Society.

Meet Your Hosts

Paul Watkin

Paul is a long-time wine & hospitality industry professional with stints at renowned locations such as the Pacific Institute for Culinary Arts and the Listel Hotel. As a long-time independent consultant, he continues to provide education & training for top restaurants throughout British Columbia and is currently the Sales Director for the Wine & Spirits importer, the Seacove Group. He is an accredited Wine Educator and his professional travels throughout British Columbia wine country & the world continually give him the inspiration to share these great wines & experiences.

Colin Ross

Colin moved to the Okanagan in 2019 to work in the winery-side of the wine business, completing a long-held goal. His interest in business began at Simon Fraser University, where he took Business Administration, along with the unusual combination of Economics and Philosophy. His diverse career has primarily been in the tourism, hospitality and wine industries as a general manager, partner, wine director and owner at various Vancouver restaurants. He has also spent time as a wine agent & WSET educator in both Wine and Spirits. In all his roles Colin has focused on creating a vision, building a team to execute it and incorporating the greater community into it. He is currently the general manager of Tightrope Winery on the Naramata Bench and the Trade & Media Liaison for the Naramata Bench Wineries Association. He also continues to teach WSET classes, as well as the Wine Growers British Columbia Ambassador Program.

BC’s Naramata Bench is a perfect example of why wine experts invoke the idea of terroir to explain regional differences in wines. “Terroir” comprises both place and people. In the case of the Naramata Bench, the region’s location on the Southeast shores of Okanagan Lake, which offers an exceptionally long growing season that combines hot, sunny days with cool nights, is ideal for producing crisp, fresh white wines as well as elegant reds. The tight-knit community of people who own and operate the dozens of boutique wineries in the area, however, plays just as important a role in the wines produced. Join Colin Ross of the Naramata Bench Wineries Association, as well as winery principals, for a guided tasting of wines that perfectly express the immense potential of the Naramata Bench terroir.

  • Burrowing Owl Sauvignon Blanc 2022
  • Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2021
  • Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay 2021
  • One Faith Vineyards Reserve Pinot Blanc 2022
  • Play Winery Spotlight Semillon 2019

  • Stag's Hollow Tragically Vidal 2022
  • Tantalus Vineyards Riesling 2022
  • Tightrope WInery Viognier 2022
  • Wild Goose Gewürztraminer 2022
  • Modest Wines Orange No. 4 2022

Featured Wines

There’s a popular stereotype that all red wines are big, meaty bruisers that should be drunk at room temperature, even when the room is swelteringly hot. This is a pity, because lighter reds such as Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir – brace yourself, because we’re going to say it out loud – taste better chilled.  Paul Watkin & Michael Kompass will put the “room temperature” myth on ice in this seminar focused on how chilling can bring out red wines’ fruitiness and downplay their tannins. Guests will find out how ‘cool’ BC red wines can be by sampling a selection that are fantastic for sipping solo on the patio while also make great pairings for fresh summertime cuisine.

Seminar 4 | 2:00-3:30PM

Refreshing Reds: Don't Hold the Ice

  • Hester Creek Trebbiano  2022
  • Kalala Zweigelt 2020
  • Moon Curser Touriga Nacional 2021
  • Peau 0 2021
  • Roche Wines Vig Schönburger 2022

Featured Wines

  • Stag's Hollow Dolcetto 2020
  • Terravista Vineyards Albarino 2022
  • Tightrope Winery Barbera 2021
  • Unsworth Vineyards Sauvignette 2020
  • Modest Wines By Jove 2021

  • Black Swift Vineyards Seven Mountain Gamay Noir 2020
  • Gold Hill Cabernet Franc Rose 2022
  • Haywire Gamay 2021
  • JoieFarm PTG 2020

  • Kettle Valley Winery Brakeman's Select NV
  • Maverick Winery Carbonic Syrah 2022
  • Meyer Family Vineyards Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir 2022
  • Peak Cellars Goldie Red  2022

Featured Wines

Featured Wines

  • Bella Wines Blanc de Blanc Reserve 2018
  • Haywire Pink Bub 2021
  • Hester Creek Old Vine Brut 2019
  • Hester Creek Ti Amo 2022
  • Meyer Family Vineyards Brut NV

  • Narrative XC Method 2022
  • One Faith Vineyards Fizz Rose 2022
  • Summerhill Cipes Brut NV
  • Tantalus Vineyards Blanc de Noir 2020
  • Unsworth Vineyards Charme de l'île NV

Featured Wines

  • JoieFarm Sauvignon Blanc
  • Tightrope Winery Sauvignon Blanc - Semillon
  • Roche Wines Pinot Gris
  • Hillside Winery Unoaked Pinot Gris
  • Upper Bench Winery Riesling
  • Four Shadows Winery Riesling
  • Deep Roots Winery Gamay
  • Three Sisters Winery Gamay
  • Tightrope Winery Syrah
  • Deep Roots Winery Syrah