British Columbia wines golden at California’s Pacific Rim judging

By on April 21, 2018

British Columbia wineries Burrowing Owl Estate Winery and Road 13 Vineyards each received multiple gold medals for red categories at the 2018 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The British Columbia wine industry, led by Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, produced six best-of-class awards at the 33rd annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in Southern California.

The two-day judging on the campus of the National Orange Show evaluated more than 1,000 combined entries from the United States, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Italy, France, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Burrowing Owl, a showpiece winery with estate vineyards on the acclaimed Black Sage Bench near Oliver, won three gold medals for red wines, including a best-of-class award for Cabernet Franc. Road 13 Vineyards, another Oliver winery not far from Oroville, Wash., earned two gold medals for red blends, while Perseus Winery in Penticton received golds for its work with Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.

Abacela remains on roll with Grenache rosé

Abacela in Roseburg, Ore., won gold medals at the 2018 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition for its work with estate rosé and estate Muscat. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Abacela in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley earned a pair of gold medals, including one for its Grenache rosé – the third straight year it has won at least a gold at the Pacific Rim. One week earlier, Abacela received a gold medal for its dry pink at the Cascadia International Wine Competition in Richland, Wash.

Organic grapes from Badger Mountain Vineyard in Kennewick, Wash., accounted for the best white wine of the competition, a 2017 Dry Riesling from Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin.

The National Orange Show Events Center operates as a nonprofit public benefit corporation and manages a 120-acre, multi-use facility with the annual Citrus Fair as its centerpiece. The wine competition spans both the L’Orange and Renaissance rooms.

BC vintner imprisoned in China wins best dessert

The Grizzli Winery 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Icewine from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, far right, and a Riesling from Wisconsin made with Washington grapes reached the sweepstakes of the 2018 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

The best sweet wine of the competition was a 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Icewine from young Grizzli Winery in the Okanagan Valley. Grizzli owner John Chang stood trial last year in Shanghai for allegedly under-reporting the value of ice wine he was importing into China.

Chang’s daughter, Amy, has served as general manager of the family’s three wineries across Canada while her Taiwanese-born father has been jailed. The case has generated headlines across Canada since Amy Chang’s parents were detained beginning in 2016, and her pleas for help have included Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Pacific Rim International Wine Competition results

Renowned winemaker Gary Eberle, who pioneered the Paso Robles wine industry, judges fortified wines at the 2018 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition. Eberle’s son, Chris, is a graduate of Washington State University’s winemaking program. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Best of show/Best red
Taylors 2015 St. Andrews Shiraz, Clare Valley $60
Best white wine
Wollersheim Winery 2017 Dry Riesling, American $9.50
Best sparkling

Saint-Hilaire NV Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé, Languedoc-Roussillon $18
Best rosé
Eberle Winery 2017 Cotes du Robles Rosé, Paso Robles $22
Best nongrape
St. James Winery Cherry Sweet Wine, American, $9
Best sweet wine
Grizzli Winery 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Icewine, Okanagan Valley $78

Best of class, Pacific Northwest results
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2014 Cougar Hills Vineyard Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $38
Monster Vineyards 2016 Merlot, Okanagan Valley $19.90
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2015 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $35
Perseus 2014 Select Lot Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $34.99
Gravel Bar 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley $15.99
Crescent Hill Winery 2016 Glennallyn Private Reserve Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley $16
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2016 Ehrenfelser, Okanagan Valley $18.50

Gold medal
Abacela 2017 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley $18
Abacela 2017 Estate Muscat, Umpqua Valley $18
Backyard Vineyards NV Blanc de Noir Brut, Fraser Valley $24.99
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2015 Riesling, Willamette Valley $32
Bunnell Family Cellar 2015 Wine o’Clock Sangiovese, Columbia Valley $24
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2015 Syrah, Okanagan Valley $35
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Meritage, Okanagan Valley $50
Desert Hills Estate Winery 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley $29.90
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2017 Pinot Gris, British Columbia $14
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2015 King’s Ransom Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley $51.29
Perseus 2016 Select Lot Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $28.99
Road 13 Vineyards 2013 5th Element Red Wine, British Columbia, $43
Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Seventy-Four K Red Wine, British Columbia, $16
Vanessa Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Franc, Similkameen Valley $49.99
Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley $45

Silver medal
Backyard Vineyards 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, British Columbia $40
Backyard Vineyards 2017 Chardonnay, British Columbia $21.99
Backyard Vineyards 2017 Pinot Gris, British Columbia $23.99
Backyard Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc, British Columbia $40
Backyard Vineyards 2016 Nosey Neighbour Red, British Columbia $17.99
Bench 1775 2016 Sèmillon, Okanagan Valley $19.90
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2016 Estate Reserve White Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains $55
Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery 2015 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $16.50
Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery 2015 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, $12
Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery 2015 Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $32
Bunnell Family Cellar 2014 Painted Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $54
Bunnell Family Cellar 2012 alx Syrah, Columbia Valley $42
Bunnell Family Cellar 2014 Painted Hills Vineyard Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley $48
Bunnell Family Cellar 2013 Lia Red Wine, Yakima Valley $36
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2015 Athene Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $38
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $30
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2015 Syrah, Okanagan Valley $26
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2015 Small Lot Cabernet Franc, Golden Mile Bench $40
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2015 Small Lot Malbec, Golden Mile Bench $40
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2016 Small Lot Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $29
Conviction Wines 2016 The Financier Pinot Gris, British Columbia $12.70
Conviction Wines 2016 The Industrialist Sovereign Opal, Okanagan Valley $12.70
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2014 Cougar Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley $45
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2014 Noble Rocks Vineyard Reserve Syrah, Walla Walla Valley $55
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2014 Cougar Hills Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley $42
Desert Hills Estate Winery 2013 Mirage Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $36.90
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Pinot Noir, British Columbia $22
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc, British Columbia $22
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2017 Riesling, British Columbia $14
Gravel Bar 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $17.99
Gravel Bar 2015 Riesling, Columbia Valley $15.99
Grizzli Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Okanagan Valley $92
Indigenous World Winery 2017 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley $14.30
Indigenous World Winery 2013 Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $31.99
Indigenous World Winery 2017 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley $15.09
Knudsen Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay, Dundee Hills $45
Komodo Dragon Cellars 2014 Red Wine, Columbia Valley $15.99
Madsen Family Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills $32
Madsen Family Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc, Washington $30
Mercer Estates Winery 2016 Viognier, Horse Heaven Hills $12.99
Mercer Estates Winery 2015 Cavalie Vineyard Eagle and Plow Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $100
Monster Vineyards 2016 Cabs Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $19.90
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery 2017 Pinot Gris, British Columbia $18
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2015 Reserve Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $23.90
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $20.47
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley $20.47
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2016 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley $13.62
Oak Knoll Winery 2016 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $20
Oak Knoll Winery 2016 Riesling, Willamette Valley $12
Pacific Oasis 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley $9.99
Pacific Oasis 2016 Riesling, Columbia Valley $9.99
Perseus 2014 10th Anniversary Invictus Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $54.99
Perseus 2016 White Wine, Okanagan Valley $18.99
Poplar Grove Winery 2015 Syrah, Okanagan Valley $34.90
Poplar Grove Winery 2015 Merlot, Okanagan Valley $29.90
Raven Conspiracy 2016 White Wine, British Columbia $13.40
Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Honest John’s Red Wine, British Columbia, $17
Sandhill Wines 2015 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Small Lots TWO Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $32
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Applegate Valley $40
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Applegate Valley $36
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Syrah, Applegate Valley $42
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2016 Albariño, Applegate Valley $24
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2015 Pinot Blanc Icewine, Okanagan, $95
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2016 Organic Riesling, Okanagan Valley $22
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Oldfield Reserve Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $31.99
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Oldfield Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley $28.99
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $20.99
Vanessa Vineyard 2014 Syrah, Similkameen Valley $34.99
Walla Walla Vintners 2016 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley $30
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Cut Bank Estate Vineyard Vottavo Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley $60
Walla Walla Vintners 2016 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley $35

Bronze medal
Abacela 2017 Estate Albariño, Umpqua Valley $21
Abacela 2015 Fiesta Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley $23
Anthony Buchanan Wines 2015 Ashlyn Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley $30
Backyard Vineyards 2017 2017 Gossip Blanc White Wine, British Columbia $19.99
Bench 1775 2014 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $29.90
Bench 1775 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Valley $29.90
Bench 1775 2016 Chill White Wine, Okanagan $17.90
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2015 Delilah’s Cuvée Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains $42
Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery 2015 Living Desert Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $13.85
Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery 215 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $12.30
Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery 2016 Muscat, Okanagan Valley, $11.85
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley $25
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley $38
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Valley $30
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2014 The Chase Red Wine, Golden Mile Bench $16
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2016 Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $13
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2015 Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon, Golden Mile Bench, $38
C.C. Jentsch Cellars 2015 Small Lot Merlot, Golden Mile Bench, $29
Conviction Wines 2016 Dreamers & Schemers Rustic Red, Okanagan Valley $13.15
Conviction Wines 2016 The Priest Pinot Noir, British Columbia $14.50
Conviction Wines 2016 Movers & Shakers White Wine, British Columbia $13.20
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2014 Cougar Hills Vineyard Anniversary Cuvée Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley $40
Crescent Hill Winery 2015 Crescent Hill Vineyard Curvy Gurl Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $18
Crescent Hill Winery 2015 Crescent Hill Vineyard Glennallyn Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley $16
Crescent Hill Winery 2015 Crescent Hill Vineyard Crystal’s Fault Riesling, Okanagan Valley $20
Crescent Hill Winery 2016 Crescent Hill Vineyard Olde Orchard Muscat, Okanagan Valley $25
Desert Hills Estate Winery 2014 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $26.90
Desert Hills Estate Winery 2014 Reserve Malbec, Okanagan Valley $34.90
Desert Hills Estate Winery 2014 Petit Verdot, Okanagan Valley $39.90
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay, British Columbia $14.75
Gravel Bar 2015 Alluvial Red Wine, Columbia Valley $17.99
Grizzli Winery 2013 Gewürztraminer Icewine, Okanagan Valley $68
Indigenous World Winery 2017 Muscat, Okanagan Valley $19.99
Kalala Organic Estate Winery 2016 Harmony White Wine, Okanagan Valley $17
Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills $55
Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hill $70
Madsen Family Cellars 2012 Lady Macbeth Red Wine, Columbia Valley $32
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery 2014 Summit Red Wine, British Columbia $50
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery 2016 Merlot, British Columbia $22
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2014 The One Brut, Okanagan Valley $27.32
Perseus 2016 Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $19.99
Perseus 2017 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $18.99
Poplar Grove Winery 2015 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley $34.90
Poplar Grove Winery 2014 The Legacy Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $49.90
Raven Conspiracy 2015 Deep Dark Red Wine, British Columbia $13.40
Road 13 Vineyards 2017 Honest John’s White Wine, British Columbia, $16
Sandhill Wines 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley $16.40
Sandhill Wines 2015 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Small Lots Three Red Wine, Okanagan Valley $32
Sandhill Wines 2015 Phantom Creek Vineyard Small Lots One Red Meritage, Okanagan Valley $32
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Applegate Valley $42
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Red Wine, Applegate Valley $36
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2013 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $35
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Oldfield Reserve Syrah, Okanagan Valley $31.99
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2016 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley $17.99
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Merlot, Okanagan Valley $23.99
Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $35
Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Malbec, Walla Walla Valley $42

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

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