British Columbia wine competition sees record entries

By on May 2, 2015
Stoney Slope Vineyard, in this photo taken Oct. 17, 2013, produced the best Riesling at the 2015 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Competition for its 2013 Stoney Slope Vineyard Riesling.

Stoney Slope Vineyard, in this photo taken Oct. 17, 2013, produced the top Riesling at the 2015 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Competition — the Wild Goose Vineyards 2013 Stoney Slope Vineyard Riesling. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

PENTICTON, British Columbia — Wild Goose Vineyards in Okanagan Falls received two best of class awards — including one for Riesling — at the 2015 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announced the results Thursday as part of the kickoff to the 21st Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.

Wild Goose and second-generation winemaker Hagen Kruger received Best Riesling for the 2013 Stoney Slope Riesling as well as Best Gewürztraminer for the 2014 Mystic River Gewürztraminer. Both are estate sites for the Kruger family’s winery in the Okanagan Valley. Earlier this year, the 2013 Stoney Slope Riesling also merited a gold medal at the 2015 Great Northwest Wine Competition.

Sandhill Wines received top honors in four categories with the 2012 Vanessa Vineyard Merlot, 2012 Small Lots Phantom Creek Vineyard Malbec, 2012 Small Lots Sandhill Estate Vineyard Sangiovese and 2014 Osprey Ridge Vineyard Viognier.

Other wineries to lead multiple categories included Harper’s Trail, Inniskillin Okanagan, Moon Curser Vineyards and St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery.

Last month, Moon Curser, in the Southern Okanagan Valley lake resort town of Osoyoos, won four gold medals at the 30th annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif. Three of those gold medals were for wines involving Syrah.

A panel of 15 judges, all from Western Canada, rated a record of 479 entries in 27 categories. The competition, which reported a growth of 30 percent in terms of entries, was staged April 23 at the Penticton Ramada.

“A big thanks to our judges that diligently tasted through the record number of entries for the 2015 Best of Varietal Awards,” Julian Scholefield, judging chair of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, said in a news release. “We are thrilled that our member wineries have embraced this competition and continue to support it year after year.”

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is responsible for the development of wine tourism in the interior of British Columbia. It also produces the British Columbia Wine Awards, which kicks off the annual, 10-day Okanagan Fall Wine Festival. Both OWFS competitions are facilitated by Naramata Bench vineyard owner Marjorie King. The annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is run in partnership with Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops.

2015 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards

Best Cabernet Franc — Harper’s Trail 2013 Cabernet Franc
Best Cabernet Sauvignon — Cassini Cellars 2011 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Chardonnay — Inniskillin Okanagan 2013 Estate Series Chardonnay
Best Chardonnay, Unoaked — Blasted Church Vineyards 2014 Unorthodox Chardonna
Best Dessert/Late Harvest/Port-style — Harper’s Trail 2013 Late Harvest Riesling
Best Gamay — Pentâge Winery 2013 Gamay Noir
Best Gewürztraminer — Wild Goose Vineyards 2014 Mystic River Gewürztraminer
Best Icewine — Inniskillin Okanagan 2012 Dark Horse Vineyard Riesling Icewine
Best Malbec — Sandhill Wines 2012 Phantom Creek Vineyard Small Lots Malbec
Best Marechal Foch — St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery 2013 Oak Bay Vineyard Foch
Best Merlot — Sandhill Wines 2012 Vanessa Vineyard Merlot
Best Pinot Blanc — St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery 2014 St. Hubertus Vineyard Pinot Blanc
Best Pinot Gris — 50th Parallel Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Gris
Best Pinot Noir — Moraine Estate Winery 2012 Pinot Noir
Best Red Meritage Blends, Cabernet dominated — Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Merlot
Best Red Meritage Blends, Merlot dominated — Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery 2012 Family Reserve Summit
Best Red Blends, Other — Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery 2009 Alagria
Best Red Single Variety, Other — Sandhill Wines 2012 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Small Lots Sangiovese
Best Riesling — Wild Goose Vineyards 2013 Stoney Slope Riesling
Best Rosé/Blush — Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery 2014 Blanc de Noirs Rosé
Best Sauvignon Blanc — Clos Du Soleil Winery 2014 Fume Blanc
The Best Sparkling — Sumac Ridge Estate Winery 2006 Steller’s Jay Sparkling Pinnacle
Best Syrah/Shiraz — TIME Estate Winery 2012 Syrah
Best Syrah/Shiraz-based Blends — Daydreamer Wines 2013 Amelia
Best Viognier — Sandhill Wines 2014 Osprey Ridge Vineyard Viognier
Best White Blends — Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2013 Mingle
Best White Single Variety, other — Moon Curser Vineyards 2014 Arneis

2015 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards judging panel

Luigi Coccaro – co-owner/sommelier, La Bussola, The Curious Artistry & Alchemy, Kelowna
Grant de Montreuil – executive chef, Bonfire Grill at The Cove, West Kelowna
Dennis Dwernychuk – senior product consultant, BC Liquor Stores, Kelowna
Mark Filatow – executive chef/owner, Waterfront Wines, Kelowna
Simon Gillett – sommelier, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos
Julianna Hayes – wine writer, Okanagan Sunday, Kelowna
Erin Korpisto – WSET 3 certified, instructor, Okanagan College, Penticton
Allison Markin – wine writer, Penticton Herald
Jim Martin – owner, Metro Liquor, Kelowna
Jeannette Montgomery – wine writer, Okanagan Writing, Penticton
Tim Pawsey – wine writer,, Vancouver
Brad Royale – wine director, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, Calgary
Colin Spiekermann – food and beverage manager, Hotel Eldorado, Kelowna
Erika Steffanson – ISG certified sommelier, instructor food and wine pairing, Okanagan College, Penticton
Steve Stinson – owner, Black Bear Bar and Grill, Mission Tap House, Old Train Station Pub, Kelowna

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 magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

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