Evelyn Markin, mother of the author, tagging the winners of the Great Northwest Wine Invitational in Hood River, Oregon last month.
As this season’s BC harvest draws to a close and tasting rooms close or move to an appointment-only schedule, it’s time to look back to 2022.
Did you miss some major wine price announcements?
Never fear, there’s a package below. The caveat is that some of the award-winning wines may already be in short supply, allocated to wine club members, or otherwise soon unavailable for storage in your cellar. So don’t delay.
The Platinum Rewards owned by Great Northwest Wine, covering Pacific Northwest wines, recently completed. The competition is only open to wines that have already won a gold medal.
BC has won a handful of platinum awards. Moon Curser Vineyards in Osoyoos has rounded up a few for certain varietals that rarely play a starring role in the Okanagan: the 2020 Touriga Naçional, the 2020 Malbec (both red) and the 2021 Arneis, a common white wine to the Italian region of Piedmont.
Oliver’s Gehringer Brothers has already racked up platinums, and this year was no exception as its 2021 Classic Riesling, 2021 Ehrenfelser and 2021 Dry Rock Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay helped continue to build a reputation for aromatic white wines from the region. ‘Okanagan.
The only oaked Chardonnay to win was the 2019 King’s Ransom from Noble Ridge in Okanagan Falls, and the only Semillon and Pinot Blanc medalists were from Oliver’s Hester Creek, with both 2021 vintages, the latter coming from decades-old vines.
With the holidays approaching, a bottle or two of Hester Creek’s 2019 Old Vine Brut Sparkling Wine is a must (at a good price of $35) to have in the fridge.
At All Canadian Wine ChampionshipsWestbert Winery’s 2020 Syrah in Naramata 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 wines from British Columbia.
Another dessert wine, the non-vintage Tawny Port from La Frenz de Naramata, won Best Sweet Wine at “The Invite,” an invitation-only competition hosted by Great Northwest Wine (Full disclosure, I was honored to be asked to name 100 BC wines and served as a judge.)
Forbidden Fruit Winery in the Similkameens won Best in Class at the Savor Northwest Awards for its Dead End 2019 label Game Over’s bold red blend of Tannat and Malbec, adding to its gold and double gold collection . Tip, try the Dead End Grëner Veltliner.
At Canada Wine Align Awards CedarCreek Estate Winery was named Winery of the Year and SpearHead Winery was Best Performing Small Winery. Both are near Kelowna.
So, do rewards really have much weight? Are they important to wineries and wine drinkers?
It may be up to each individual to decide, but let me say this: Idaho wines won top prizes in two competitions I judged this year. I had never thought of doing a wine tour in Idaho before, and this is next on my list of areas to visit.
And I’m sure a number of my fellow wine judges will soon be heading to the Okanagan for the first time as well.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.