Spring wine awards presented

Wine judges select top wines in 24 varietal categories, plus some they judge 26 top wines in addition to the best.

Wine judges select best of varietal for Spring Okanagan Wine Festival and announce them to kick it off Thursday night.


In a record number of wines entered for this year’s Best of Varietal Wine Awards kicking off the 19th annual Spring Okanagan Winefest last night, it was some of the pioneer wineries from the Central Okanagan who came out on top.

Of Central Okanagan wineries that took top prize in each of the 24 categories, Gray Monk Estate Winery of Lake Country picked up two, for its 2012 Pinot Gris and its 2012 Ehrenfelser.

It was one of the first estate wineries in the province and is still run by the same family, headed up by George and Trudy Heiss, who started the winery in 1972, and now own and maintain more than 100 acres of vineyard.

Another pioneer, CedarCreek Estate Winery, located in the Mission area of Kelowna, won for the best meritage blend for its 2010 Cabernet Merlot.

It was purchased in 1986 by Ross Fitzpatrick as Uniacke Wines and renamed, and it’s still run by the family today, with son Gordon now at the helm.

Mission Hill Family Estate, located in West Kelowna, took top prize for its 2011 Reserve Riesling.

It was a winery that had a chequered past when it was purchased by the Anthony Von Mandl family in 1981, but he proceeded to re-model it into an internationally-recognized winery that has now been completely rebuilt.

Although those wineries were selected as the best in their categories, the judges mentioned other wines in each category that achieved a certain score, and reached consensus amongst judges as being runners-up.

That included Mission Hill Family Estate’s 2011 Reserve Chardonnay and Sandhill Vineyards’ 2011 Chardonnay in that category; as well as Calona Vineyards’ 2011 Artist Series Unoaked Chardonnay.

Mission Hill was also mentioned for its 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine in that category, for its Quatrain in the Red Blend category, its 2012 Five Vineyards Rose and its 2011 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

Sandhill and CedarCreek were also mentioned in the Merlot category for their 2010 Merlot wines and CedarCreek for its 2012 Pinot Gris, 2010 Shiraz Cabernet in Red Blend and its 2012 Platinum Block 3 Riesling.

Sandhill was also noted for its 2010 Small Lots Barbera  in the Other Single Red Varieties.

Arrowleaf Cellars of Lake Country received mentions for its 2011 Solstice Pinot Gris, 2009 Solstice Pinot Noir, and 2012 Bacchus in the Other Single White Varieties category.

In the Riesling category, The View Winery in East Kelowna was listed as a runner-up, while in the rose category, Spierhead Winery in East Kelowna was mentioned for its 2012 Pinot Noir Rose and Volcanic Hills Estate Winery from West Kelowna for its 2012 Rose.

The wine festival continues until May 12 with hundreds of events up and down the valley, as well as special tours and tastings at many of the wineries in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys.

For details, go to www.thewinefestivals.com



Just Posted

Community Leader Awards: Anja Dumas

The Kelowna Capital News puts the spotlight on community leaders with annual awards

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Blowing snow, slippery sections on Okanagan Connector

Compact snow, poor visibility on Highway 97 from Pennask Summitt to Brenda Mines.

IH adds immunization clinic Sunday in Kelowna

Drop-in meningococcal vaccination clinic on today at Community Health & Services Centre

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

UBCO prof tests software to help cancer patients

Program may help those reluctant to engage ‘tough conversations’ in advance care planning

Broken de-icer delays flights at Kelowna airport

Passengers were on board for three hours Sunday waiting for departure to Vancouver

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Well-known Canadian bird making a comeback

Once on the brink of extinction, the peregrine falcon no longer considered at risk in Canada.

Suzuki: Shine a light during dark times

People need to remain positive despite difficult and unpredictable political climate

Most Read