Wines of Worth: 2012 BC Wine Awards Announced


WINES OF WORTH: 2012 BC Wine Awards Announced

The 2012 BC Wine Awards results were released Thursday night before 250 guests (and countless more following along via #bcwineawards). The annual awards are announced just prior to the start of the Fall Wine Festival, a series of 165 events over ten days throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Lillooet. I was fortunate to be a judge this year, along with eight other wine and food professionals from BC to Quebec. We blind tasted approximately 550 wines over 2.5 days, with wines divided into flights by grape (Merlot, Pinot Gris), style (Sparkling, Dessert) or mystery blend (Red, White). Though the last two vintages in BC have been challenging for growers and winemakers, there were some that rose to meet the challenge head-on, with golden results. There were 24 Gold Awards handed out, with flights of Syrah and Cabernet Franc showing extremely well, as did Riesling and Chardonnay. These were welcomed familiar trends for me, having seen these strengths across the board in judging the Canadian Wine Awards and the Lieutenant Governor Wine Awards earlier this year. Hopefully prospective and current wineries are taking notice. The most planted red and white varieties, Merlot and Pinot Gris respectively, didn’t fare as well in the rankings.

For the final category winners, judges debated at length over the top wines – tasting and retasting – discussing and debating – until we whittled it down to the top wines. Best Sparkling went to Road 13 Vineyards Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2009, Best White was Lang Vineyards Farm Reserve Riesling 2008, Best Red was awarded to Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery Syrah 2009, and best Dessert wine was See Ya Later Ranch Hunny 2011. And east Kelowna’s SpierHead was named Best New Winery.

My freestyle judging shorthand tasting notes on these wines are below, and you can view a complete list of the award winners here.


Road 13 Vineyards Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2009
Oliver, BC

Beauty. Lovely lemon, lime, minerality. Bright, crisp and focused – shimmering in mouth and lengthy finish. Top quality.


Lang Vineyards Farm Reserve Riesling 2008
Naramata, BC

Big aromatics – mature notes with petrol, marmalade. Piercing limey acid and great length.


Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery Syrah 2009
Oliver, BC

Wild black pepper, wild spices, herbal notes. Firm, dense and masculine – lifted acid and savoury though lengthy finish. Alluring whiffs of white pepper.


See Ya Later Ranch Hunny 2011
Okanagan Valley, BC
$25-28 for 375ml

Big butterscotch, creamy butter and bright acid. Orange vitamin C finish. Not cloying or overly sweet.


DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.

*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores – visit or download the free BC LiquorStores iPhone App for locations and availability. Prices may vary.



Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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