'The Great Wall of Wine ': Nature Trust's Wonder

April 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM

For the past four years, The Nature Trust of British Columbia has put on a spectacular event in Kelowna showcasing local wine, cuisine and most importantly, raising awareness for the work they do to conserve land in the Okanagan region. This year's event is organized specifically to raise funds for Nature Trust's Conservation Youth Crew program that provides jobs for students during summer months. 

This festive gala showcases various silent and live auction items such as artwork, gift baskets and vacation packages for attendees. Also featured is the famous (within the region) 'Great Wall of Wine'. This eye-catching spectacle is comprised of 1000 bottles of Okanagan's best wines displayed in a custom-designed framework, situated between two separate towers-consisting of magnums and single malt whisky. Innovative and impressive, this wall was first conceived by Tom Kennedy and co-chair Gary Benson the second year Earth, Wind and Fire took place. "It was after the second year that Gary Benson, a co-chair of the event, first came up with the idea. It wasn't hard for me to grasp the concept and put it into our event." According to Kennedy, Benson is credited with the idea, while Kennedy added the 'Great' to the title playing on the "Great Wall of China". 

The last few years, Kennedy has travelled throughout the Okanagan region working to establish a rapport with local wineries to build up the proper inventory needed for this event. The Wall gives local wineries a creative way to showcase their prized vintages. He attends wine festivals and local food and wine events in order to expand his network and knowledge of wineries-and to enjoy the local fare. The actual Wall takes less than an hour to assemble when all the wine and framework is on site but the time spent gathering wines and organizing the Wall is a process that takes a few months. 

Like all great things, The Great Wall of Wine is not built in a day, nor is it built by one person: "It's a real team effort," Kennedy stated in a phone interview, "all the planning, the organizing, the setting up, the tearing down...it's a big undertaking but it is well worth it to raise awareness for The Nature Trust and all they do-and to share that with the residents in the Okanagan."  

Event sponsors for Earth, Wind Fire receive special recognition on plaques that are placed on the Great Wall of Wine. The Wall will be seen and auctioned off live at this year's Earth, Wind Fire event on Friday, June 1 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort. 

For more information on sponsorship or to purchase tickets, visit www.naturetrust.bc.ca or email info@naturetrust.bc.ca
All proceeds go toward The Nature Trust Conservation Youth Crew program 2012.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a non-profit land conservation organization established in 1971. The Okanagan is a priority region for The Nature Trust.  

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