Sandhill tops wine fest medal count

Most wineries don’t make as many wines as Kelowna’s Sandhill won awards for in this year’s judging competition that kicked off the 31st Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, Thursday night.

Most wineries don’t make as many wines as Kelowna’s Sandhill won awards for in this year’s judging competition that kicked off the 31st Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, Thursday night.

Winemaker Howard Soon’s line of single vineyard wines came away with three gold medals, nine silver medals and five bronze, more than any other winery competing this year.

Sandhill Wines is owned by Peller Estates, which also owns Calona Vineyards and Red Rooster Winery in Naramata. Soon oversees winemaking for Peller Estates, although other winemakers are responsible for all but the Sandhill line.

Eight medals were picked up for Peller Estates wines, while two Calona Vineyards wines won awards and Red Rooster received six.

The international roster of nine professional judges who swirled, sniffed, sipped and spit tastes of more than 450 wines in Kelowna this week also selected the top white, red and dessert wine.

They named Volcanic Hills Estate Winery of West Kelowna the best new winery.

The award for the top white wine went to Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s 2010 Riesling which also won a gold medal. It was made by winemaker Eric Von Krosigk, who is also chairman of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society.

Also in the the medals this year were Central Okanagan wineries Arrowleaf Cellars, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Gray Monk Estate Winery, Kalala Organic Estate Winery, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, SpierHead Winery and The View Winery.

Other gold medal winners from local wineries included Sandhill’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Small Lots Malbec and 2009 Small Lots Petit Verdot; Quails’ Gate’s 2009 Pinot Noir; Peller Estates’ 2010 Family Series 2010 Pinot Blanc; Gray Monk’s 2010 Gewurztraminer and Arrowleaf Cellars’  2010 First Crush.

In all, the judges selected more than half the wines submitted for medal recognition.

“I hope that everyone who visits our wine region will take the time to visit a winery and enjoy our wines and hospitality,” said Von Krosigk.

“It is the harvest season and a special time to give thanks and meet the people who work hard to make such amazing wines.”

The valley-wide wine festival continues for the next 10 days, with hundreds of events ranging from educational seminars, wine and food pairings and tastings, to extravagant events such as Gourmet and Grapes, Iron Chef throwdown at Cabana Grill with top chefs competing for the title while guests nibble and sip and watch.

For details of all the events, pick up a copy of the brochure at participating businesses, liquor outlets or visitor centres, or go to the website at:



Just Posted

Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops

City seeking injunction to stop five marijuana dispensaries from operating

Traci Genereaux remembered at Vernon vigil

Family and friends remember Genereaux as a “fiery red-head with the best sense of humour”

UPDATED: Body found in burnt Kelowna home

“Firefighters later updated police that a body had been discovered inside the home. “

Angler fined for over-fishing on Gardom Lake

It was an expensive fishing trip for an Okanagan man this weekend.… Continue reading

NDP’s Shelley Cook to try again in Kelowna West

After losing to Christy Clark in May, Cook will vie for the seat again when a byelection is called

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Fintry Queen still looking for a home

Fintry Queen owner wants the tourist vessel in the Penticton Parks and Rec master plan discussions

Major grant bolsters Penticton doctors research on pain

Local research team is headed by Penticton rheumatologist

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read