TOTA award remembers George Hanson, supports OC viticulture student

By Public Affairs | November 8, 2021
           

Seven Stone Patio
Seven Stones Patio, Photo Credit: Niki Kennedy

Winemaker George Hanson, who passed away in February, was widely acknowledged for his efforts to grow the B.C. wine scene. A new award funded by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) will commemorate his legacy, while helping a viticulture student at Okanagan College to cultivate their future in the industry Hanson so dearly loved.

TOTA has donated $1,500 to create the George Hanson Memorial Bursary, which will be open to students in the College’s Viticulture Certificate program starting in January.

“We are very pleased to be able to support this award in memory of George Hanson,” said Ellen Walker-Matthews, CEO of TOTA. “George’s legacy of excellence will live on in the high bar he set for future grape growers and wine makers, such as those coming out of Okanagan College. George is dearly missed, and we hope this award will plant a seed of inspiration in the heart of a budding viticulturist.”

“George Hanson was truly larger than life and will be remembered as someone who left an inspirational legacy in the Okanagan wine and tourism industry,” said Jonathan Rouse, Associate Dean for the School of Business and Director of Food, Wine and Tourism at Okanagan College.

“We're deeply grateful to the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association for this meaningful tribute to George, which will aid and inspire an Okanagan College viticulture student as they step out into the industry and carry on the tradition and passion of winemaking, creativity and excellence that he embodied.”

After a career in telecommunications, George Hanson arrived in the Similkameen Valley in 1999 with the goal of following his dream of winemaking. The rest is B.C. wine history.

He purchased a 20-acre parcel of land near Cawston and planted Bordeaux varietals. Four years later, he released his first vintage. A few years after that, he formalized and built what would become Seven Stones winery. By the time he retired in 2019, Hanson and his wines had garnered international attention and awards—cementing his place as a pioneer in the industry and a respected name among B.C.’s acclaimed winemakers.

Those future viticulturists looking to follow in his footsteps can learn more about the College’s Viticulture Certificate at www.okanagan.bc.ca/viticulture-certificate. The popular program starts in January at the Penticton campus. Students gain the skills and knowledge needed master the art and science of grape growing, and gain the vineyard operation and management skills needed to start and thrive in the industry.

Viticulture students interested in applying for the award are encouraged to do so through the College’s Financial Aid and Awards application portal on their myOkanagan account. General information for applying for awards at OC can be found at www.okanagan.bc.ca/awards.  



Tags: Viticulture, Food, Wine & Tourism, Okanagan School of Business, Penticton, Inside OC

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

Sign up for weekly stories




Trending

Sean McFetridge
Meet Sean McFetridge, OC alumnus

November 1, 2021

After an intense wildfire season, heatwaves and droughts, the need for Canadians to conserve water is more crucial than ever. That’s where OC alumnus Sean McFetridge comes in. He and his wife, Alisha McFetridge, co-founded RainStick Shower, a WiFi-enabled smart shower system that aims to solve water and energy waste by up to 80%. We caught up with Sean to hear more about what he’s been up to since graduating from OC in 2011. Where is your hometown and where are you located now?Kelo...

Read more...
Kelly Terbasket
kinSHIFT: a powerful—and local—way to learn about Truth and Reconciliation

September 27, 2021

Kelly Terbasket of IndigenEYEZ has created a new sister organization for allies—kinSHIFT. Launched this spring, kinSHIFT is a tailored set of workshops for non-Indigenous allies who want to take the next step. Designed in response to increasing requests from people who want to be genuine allies, kinSHIFT is a safer space to do the work.                                                                          ------------ As a person of mixed heritage, I've always felt the divide between cultures and wanted to be part of bridging awareness a...

Read more...
English Professor Hannah Calder reads while sitting in her home office by a window
Why We Write: Poets of Vernon

September 10, 2021

The writing community of Vernon is taking centre stage in a new film produced by OC English Professor and self-proclaimed budding filmmaker Hannah Calder. For the last four years, Calder has been collaborating with Curtis and Silmara Emde on Why We Write: Poets of Vernon, a film project originally sparked in 2017. Curtis, an OUC alumnus, has stayed in touch with his first-year English professor, Tom Wayman, since completing his studies. When Wayman released his collection of music-...

Read more...
Ty Sideroff story
Ty Sideroff

September 3, 2021

“I have always been interested in our anatomy and exercising so I enrolled in OC’s Kinesiology Diploma program. My first year was going really well, then COVID-19 hit. I was able to finish the first year in an online format. However, starting school in September completely online, I was struggling to stay engaged with my studies. Before COVID, many of our classes would be active and in the gym. I found it hard to stay present with everything online and not having the same convers...

Read more...