Recognition pours into Naramata

Robert Van Westen, owner and winemaker at Van Westen Vineyards in Naramata, announced this week that Van Westen Vineyards has been voted the eighth best Winery in Canada by the prestigious judges of the 2012 Canadian Wine Access Awards.

"This is such an honour to be recognized for what we are doing at Van Westen Vineyards by the Canadian Wine Access judges, some of the most respected wine experts in the country, including wine writers, critics, sommeliers, and industry professionals," he said. "We are not the fanciest winery, offering tastings in our production facility, and, although we are small, we are very proud of the grapes we grow, the wine that we make and we value our customers like family.

It is wonderful to be recognized for what we are doing here."

Van Westen is also proud to have received five medals from the 2012 Wine Access Awards: Two golds for the 2009 Voluptuous and 2011 Viognier; Two silvers for the 2010 Vice and 2011 Vivacious; and bronze for the 2011 Vino Grigio. There were 1,260 registrants in this year's competition.

Situated in one of the most scenic wine regions in all of North America, Van Westen Vineyards is a result of over 50 years of family farming tradition, cultivating the soils of the Naramata Bench, most recently producing wines in addition to other crops.

Van Westen was born on the Bench, grew up farming, and planted his first grapes in 1999.

"I manipulate the glacial deposits of the Naramata Bench, plant the appropriate varietals, and aim to grow great wine," he said."Together Tammi and I continue to grow and nurture our winery and vineyards, like our kids. We walk the land and taste the fruits of our labour with our four daughters because Van Westen Vineyards is a family affair and we are all committed to our love of the business and achieving excellence."

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