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Okanagan-Taste

Award-winning B.C. wines abound in 2022

B.C. wines shine

As this season’s B.C. grape harvest comes to an end and tasting rooms close or move to a schedule of appointments only, it’s time to look back at 2022.

Did you miss some major wine award announcements?

Never fear, there’s a bundle below. The caveat is that some the award-wines may already be in short supply, allocated to wine club members or otherwise soon to be unavailable for stocking in your cellar. So don’t delay.

The Platinum Awards held by Great Northwest Wine, covering wines from the Pacific Northwest, recently wrapped up. The competition is only open to wines that have prior gold medal wins.

B.C. took home a handful of platinum awards. Moon Curser Vineyards in Osoyoos gathered a few for some varietals that rarely have a starring role in the Okanagan—the 2020 Touriga Naçional, 2020 Malbec (both bold reds) and the 2021 Arneis, a white wine common to Italy’s Piedmont region.

Oliver’s Gehringer Brothers has racked up platinums before, and this year was no exception as its 2021 Classic Riesling, 2021 Ehrenfelser, and 2021 Dry Rock Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay helped to continue to build a reputation for aromatic Okanagan whites.

The lone oaked Chardonnay to win was the 2019 King’s Ransom from Noble Ridge in Okanagan Falls, and the lone Semillon and Pinot Blanc medalists came from Oliver’s Hester Creek, both 2021 vintages, the latter from some decades-old vines.

With the holidays coming, a bottle or two of Hester Creek’s 2019 Old Vine Brut sparkling wine is a must (at a nice price of $35) to have chilling in the fridge.

At the All Canadian Wine Championships, Naramata’s Wesbert Winery’s 2020 Syrah was named best red wine, Jackson-Triggs Okanagan won best dessert wine for its 2018 Reserve Riesling Icewine, and a total of 31 double golds were awarded to B.C. wines.

Another dessert wine, the non-vintage Tawny Port from Naramata’s La Frenz, took best sweet wine at ‘The Invite’ an invitation-only competition held by Great Northwest Wine ( Full disclosure, I had the honour of being asked to nominate 100 B.C. wines, and was a judge.)

Forbidden Fruit Winery in the Similkameen won best in class at the Savor Northwest Awards for its 2019 Dead End label’s Game Over bold red blend of Tannat and Malbec, adding to its collection of gold ands and double golds. Hint, try the Dead End Grëner Veltliner.

At Canada’s Wine Align awards CedarCreek Estate Winery was named winery of the year and SpearHead Winery was the top performing small winery. Both are near Kelowna.

So, do awards really have much clout? Do they matter to the wineries and wine drinkers?

That’s perhaps up to the individual, but let me say this: wines from Idaho took best in show at two competitions I judged this year. I had never before thought of taking a wine tour in Idaho, and its next on my list of regions to visit.

And I have no doubt that a number of my fellow wine judges will soon make their way to the Okanagan for the first time too.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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