In Memory of Aaron

DSC_7565 It is with a sad heart that I write this. The wine world is generally a very positive one filled with happy experiences around a shared bottle of wine or two. The loss of one of those friends makes it all the more difficult.

The world lost Aaron Olfert on last weekend. Aaron and I worked together at the BC Wine Information Centre VQA store for the 3 years years that I was there from 2009 to 2011. He had been there since 2006 and continued to work there until his recent untimely passing. Regular customers appreciated his deep knowledge of B.C. wine. The many return visitors in that store knew him from there and recognized him when they came back. His personality filled the spaces between the thousands of bottles in that store. I first met him that way – as a customer looking to spend my birthday money on a nice bottle of B.C. wine.

DSC_3285The genesis of this website and the podcast owes its existence to him. Without him there would have been no conversation about B.C. wine criticism, no banter about wine critics, and no comments about the quality of the wines that we tasted. In the first 4 months that I worked with Aaron, we talked about wines, wineries, and the people we knew that work in the wineries, all of the time. We laughed over Wine Library TV and discovered amazing new wineries. This constant conversation back and forth evolved into the idea of doing a podcast. We recorded the first three episodes in my basement in late August 2009. He appeared in many more podcasts over the next 4 years and even wrote a couple of articles.

A memorial service is being planned and I will post information here when it becomes available.



"I drank WHAT???"
“I drank WHAT???”


33 thoughts on “In Memory of Aaron

  1. Reblogged this on vinesanddesigns and commented:
    I’m not usually one to re-blog posts, but Aaron was a good friend and colleague of mine at the BC Wine Info Centre for four years. I still can’t believe that he is gone. I will miss our great conversations, generally about wine since we’re both wine geeks, but all sorts of other things about life in general. The BC wine industry has indeed lost one of its most impassioned advocates and I will miss him greatly.

    A celebration of life will be held this Friday, October 30th, 1-3pm at Poplar Grove Winery. Shuttle service will be available from the BC Wine Info Centre as there is limited parking at Poplar Grove. If you are unable to make it, please raise a glass to Aaron. Cheers!

  2. Olivia Cyca

    So sorry to hear about Aaron. He was such a genuine, friendly, kind, fun witty and always smiling person, it was always a pleasure to run into at wine shows events or at the store. He will be truly missed.

  3. Don Bartier

    This news is a shock. Aaron was a great guy; really helpful and friendly was the impression I got when I first met him. Over the years that impression just got stronger with each meeting. There’s a big hole in Penticton.

  4. Whether at the wine info centre or around town, it was always great to run into Aaron and have a chat. He was such a friendly and positive guy with a great passion for the wine industry, but most importantly he was always smiling…about everything! This news makes me sad, but I know he’s probably enjoying a glass or two of something great somewhere peaceful now! Cheers Aaron, and may you rest in peace. We’ll miss you around these parts!

  5. Craig Dunbar

    Aaron was truly a large part of the Wine Centre. His presence was always felt whether he was occupied with customers or available to welcome you personally. I so appreciated his interest and knowledge of wine. Very sad news.

  6. Our industry has really lost a gem. He was such an approachable and accommodating host. My deepest sympathies to family, dear friends and colleagues for the loss of such a lovely person.

  7. Sandi Maylor

    I am so saddened to hear the loss of this wonderful man. I too knew him through the wine biz for many years. I could always count on a hug from him whenever I was in. His smile was constant and I feel for the ladies that worked with him as well.

  8. Cyndi McLean

    Dale and I would often chat with Aaron when he was passing our house going to and from the wine shop. Always friendly. Entertaining, knowledgable andsSuper helpful at the wine centre. He will be missed for sure.

  9. Andrea Lee

    It is very sad to lose Aaron. My deepest condolences to his friends and family. We met at a mutual friend’s gathering. His passion for the industry shined through his thirst for knowledge of the wines. As I just moved back to the Okanagan, he welcomed me into the tasting group with his charming personality. Aaron, you will be missed greatly.

  10. Sharlene

    I am so sad to hear of this news. I always loved to see Aaron’s smiling face, and I can hear his laugh . He was a real sweetheart. Life really is not fair sometimes. My heart goes out to the ladies in the wine shop as well during this difficult time.

  11. Angela Grant

    So saddened by the news. Aaron always had a silly joke to help take the pretentiousness out of wine club. He will be greatly missed.

  12. Karen Gillis

    So sorry to hear about Aaron, he was always so kind. So interested in what we were doing, how it was going, what new wines to look out for.
    His passion for wine and the betterment of the industry was infectious.
    He will be missed by many, out team included.

  13. Tyson

    Truly sad news!. Aaron was a great guy with a love and passion for wine. Going to miss our long conversations about what’s happening in the wine world. He’ll really be missed..

  14. Beth Warlow

    Aaron…I am going to miss you so much!!! Your girlfriends…Beth, Pat and Sharlene will cherish your smiling face, words of wisdom and wine suggestions forever.

  15. Jolene Palmer

    I just saw Aaron at the Wine Festival such a short time ago. So truly sorry to hear this news. Condolences to his family. I will miss his welcoming smile at the Wine Info Centre.

  16. Crystal Mosher

    He was an amazing man, and one I was proud to call a friend. They say the good dye young and, well, he was one if the best!
    You’ve left us far too soon Aaron and I will miss seeing you when I’m in Penticton.
    Love you always Aaron.

  17. Julian Scholefield

    Aaron could always be counted on for a smiling face and great conversations about wineries, wines and the people that made them. I am happy to have shared many of those conversations with him. His untimely passing is a huge loss and he will be greatly missed.

  18. Lynne Basso

    This is the saddest news. Aaron was delightful, informative, funny and so kind, his giant spirit and smile will be missed.

    Deepest condolences,


  19. We’ll all miss Aaron deeply. He was always such a great guy and in his role at the Penticton VQA Wine Store offered exemplary customer service. Nice tribute, Luke: I know you’ll miss him a lot.

    1. Aaron was truly one of the nicest guys. Met him through the wine biz… And he was such a great guy to chat with when we delivered wine to BC VQA Wine Info Center or at any event. Too, too young to leave this earth… He will be missed. So sad.

Comments are closed.