Spring Wine Awards: 2013 Best of Varietal recap

OKWF Spring Awards 03

Many know the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society for orchestrating some of the best seasonal parties in British Columbia. The Wine Festivals (as they’re affectionately known) have expanded beyond their original Okanagan borders to include wineries from around the province in celebration – and competition.

Each spring, The Wine Festivals host the BC Best of Varietal Wine Awards. Member wineries can choose to submit their wines to compete in 24 categories in an effort to raise the collective BC wine bar and give a nod those at top of their class.

Among the judges for the 2013 Awards were prolific BC wine writer John Schreiner and Master of Wine educator and consultant Rhys Pender. This year, member wineries entered more than 400 wines. 24 made the cut as “The Best” in their category, and close contenders were acknowledged as “Best of Varietal”.

On May 2, Festivals organizers awarded this year’s Best of Varietal Awards. EAT was invited to join the winemakers in celebration – and to sample the 100 award winners. After congratulating a few winemakers, I managed to take a few good sips.

The Best Pinot Blanc: Clos du Soleil Grower’s Series Chegwin & Baessler 2012. Fresh, bright, and beautiful – it’s orchards and summer sunshine. This Similkameen winery is one to watch for.

The Best Sauvignon Blanc: La Frenz Winery Rattlesnake Vineyard 2012. Crisp and dry, with depth and good minerality. A stunner on its own, but definitely food-friendly (think seafood).

The Best Red Blend: Painted Rock Estate Winery Red Icon 2009. Big flavours meet in beautiful harmony. Drinks like a symphony: pay close attention, and you can hear the individual instruments – then, sit back and be overwhelmed by something greater than the sum of its parts.

Best of Varietal Red Blend: CedarCreek Estate Winery Shiraz Cabernet 2010. It’s classic CedarCreek with distinctive Okanagan flavours – like those deep red fruits (think cherries, plums). Need a summer barbecue-everything wine? This is it.

Best of Varietal Pinot Gris: Red Rooster Winery Reserve Pinot Gris 2012. Every year, these folks deliver a spot-on BC gris: medium-bodied, with plenty of tropical fruit notes. Think creative and fun parings – like elegant beach party, or backcountry fine dining.

Best of Varietal Pinot Noir: Arrowleaf Cellars Solstice Pinot Noir 2009. Medium-bodied new world with hints of old. A consistently great wine that over-delivers, every time.

Written By:

Jeannette is EAT's Okanagan writer.\r\n\r\nWith her rural Canadian roots and love of grand experiences, Jeannette is equal \r\n\r\nmeasures country and city. Since moving from Vancouver to the Okanagan in 2007, \r\n\r\nshe quit ...

Comments are closed.