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2016 BC Best of Varietal Wine Awards

Best of Varietal judges Gloria Wheeler, left, and Alistair Veen.
Image Credit: Contributed
May 01, 2016 - 3:00 PM

PENTICTON - The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is pleased to announce the results of the 2016 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards marking the official launch of the 22nd Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.

The competition featured 24 different varietal categories, with a record total of 567 wines entered. Within each of the categories, the judges narrowed the selection down to 122 finalists with one overall clear winner being declared THE BEST in each category. New this year, a Best in Show wine was chosen by the 15 judges.

Originally founded in 1994 as the “Winemaker’s Awards” with three red and three white wine categories, the competition has evolved significantly since that time with this year’s awards witnessing over a 200% increase in entries over the past decade. The contest is open to all licensed British Columbia wineries that use 100% fruit grown in the province. An exceptional aspect of the judging is that judges are chosen from the trade including renowned sommeliers, restaurateurs and recognized wine media from across western Canada and features a unique judging process that allows each panel of judges to evaluate all of the wines in any given category enabling a direct comparison for selecting the best wines.

“There is so much to be learned about the relationship between varietal, vinification and terroir when you blind taste all the same region’s varietals against each other. To taste 60 of them side by side, with the ability to re-taste if necessary is a very special exercise. We really got to see who was pushing the envelope of winemaking in BC and tasted the full gambit of what was available stylistically,” said Alistair Veen, Sommelier, Chef, and Co-Owner, Tap Restaurant, and 2016 BC Sommelier of the Year.  “It’s always an honour to taste the best of the best in BC, it inspires us to continue sharing these delightful wines with our patrons and guests.”

“We feel that entering in the Best of Varietal Wine Awards allows us to showcase the quality of our wines on a province wide scale. It provides us on going motivation to always keep learning and producing award winning wines,” said Sharon Fiume, co-proprietor, Ciao Bella Winery.

The Best of Varietal Wine Awards is managed under the professional eye of Marjorie King who has over 20 years of wine competition experience with the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and other recognized wine competitions in Canada. This year’s judging was held on April 7, 2016 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Center and featured the following acclaimed wine experts:
James Addington – Food & Beverage Manager, Delta Grand Resort, Kelowna
Shelley Boettcher – freelance writer & editor, Calgary
Dennis Dwernychuk – Senior Product Consultant, BC Liquor Stores, Kelowna
Mark Filatow - Executive Chef and Owner, Waterfront Wines, Kelowna
Simon Gillett - Sommelier, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos
Geoff Last – General Manager, Bin 905, Calgary
Martin Lewis – Co-owner, Bad Tattoo Brewing, Penticton
Jim Martin – Senior Product Consultant, Metro Liquor Group, Kelowna
Samantha Rahn – Sommelier, Araxi, Whistler
Audrey Surrao – Co-owner, Raudz Regional Table, Kelowna
Mark Taylor – owner & Sommelier, Siena Restaurant, Vancouver
Troy Townsin – author & CBC Radio wine columnist, Victoria
Matt Wentzell – Sommelier, Kelowna
Alistair Veen - Sommelier, Chef, and Co-Owner, Tap Restaurant
Gloria Wheeler – Food & Beverage Manager, Hotel Eldorado, Kelowna

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is pleased to announce the 2016 winners of the British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards:

Wine of the Year St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery – St. Hubertus Vineyard Riesling 2013
Best Cabernet Franc Tinhorn Creek Vineyards – Cabernet Franc 2013
Best Cabernet Sauvignon Black Sage Vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Best Chardonnay CedarCreek Estate Winery – Estate Chardonnay 2014
Best Dessert Style Wine Golden Age Meadery – Hearth and Fire Mead
Best Gewürztraminer Wild Goose Vineyards – Mystic River Gewürztraminer 2015
Best Icewine Inniskillin Okanagan – Dark Horse Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2012
Best Merlot Tinhorn Creek Vineyards – Oldfield Series Merlot 2012
Best North American Hybrid Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Frontenac Gris 2015
Best Pinot Blanc Evolve Cellars – Pinot Blanc 2014
Best Pinot Gris Arrowleaf Cellars – Pinot Gris 2015
Best Pinot Noir Ciao Bella Winery – Pinot Nero 2014
Best Red Meritage Blend Cabernet Dominated Cassini Cellars – MAXIUMUX Collector’s Series 2012
Best Red Meritage Blend Merlot Dominated Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery – Obra Prima 2010
Best Red Blend Bordertown Vineyard & Estate Winery – Living Desert Red 2013
Best Single Red Variety “Other” Sandhill Vineyards Esate Wines – Small Lots Barbera Sandhill Estate Vineyard 2013
Best Single White Variety “Other” Township 7 Vineyards & Winery – Muscat 2015
Best Riesling St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery – St. Hubertus Vineyard Riesling 2013
Best Rosé Perseus Winery – Pinot Noir Rosé 2015
Best Sauvignon Blanc Therapy Vineyards – Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Best Sparkling Gray Monk Estate Winery – Odyssey Rosé Brut 2012
Best Syrah / Shiraz Bench 1775 – Syrah 2013
Best Syrah Based Blend CedarCreek Estate Winery – Senator’s Red 2013
Best Viognier Black Hills Estate Winery – Viognier 2014
Best White Blend Arrowleaf Cellars – Snow Tropics 2015

The full list of finalists is available here: http://www.thewinefestivals.com/awards/results/3/2

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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