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Best of Varietal Awards Results 2015

Okanagan Wine Festival announces 2015 Best of Varietal Wine Awards Results with record 30% increase in wine entries.


APRIL 30, 2015 - PENTICTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA - The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is pleased to announce the results of the 2015 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards tonight, marking the official launch of the 21st Spring Okanagan Wine Festival. The competition featured 27 different categories, with a record total of 479 wines entered.  Within each of the 27 categories, the judges narrowed the selection down to 114 finalists with one overall clear winner being declared THE BEST in each category.

“Farming is often referred to as the 'world’s hardest profession' and as Canadians we have always been incredibly proud of our agricultural history. With the explosion of viticulture in Canada over the last few decades, the Okanagan Wine Festivals are a fantastic way to celebrate the latest of our amazing achievements. I feel honoured and privileged to help celebrate this Canadian tradition of hard work, perseverance and excellence at this year’s Best of Varietal Wine Awards,” said Simon Gillett, Food & Beverage Manager, Watermark Beach Resort and judge Best of Varietal Wine Awards.
“A big thanks to our judges that diligently tasted through the record number of entries for the 2015 Best of Varietal Awards. We are thrilled that our member wineries have embraced this competition and continue to support it year after year. From small beginnings 21 years ago, the 2015 competition boasts a list of 27 spectacular wines that wine buyers can't wait to get their hands on," said Julian Scholefield, Operations Manager, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery and Judging Chair Okanagan Wine Festivals Society.
The Best of Varietal Wine Awards is managed under the professional eye of Marjorie King who has over 20 years of wine competition experience with the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. This year’s judging was on April 23, at the Penticton Ramada and featured the following acclaimed wine experts:

  1. Allison Markin – Blogger & Wine Writer, Penticton Herald, Penticton
  2. Brad Royale - Sommelier & Wine Director, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, Calgary
  3. Colin Spiekermann - Food & Beverage Manager, Hotel Eldorado, Kelowna
  4. Dennis Dwernychuk – Senior Product Consultant, BC Liquor Stores, Kelowna
  5. Erika Steffanson - ISG certified sommelier, Instructor Food and Wine Pairing, Okanagan College, Penticton
  6. Erin Korpisto - WSET 3 certified, Instructor, Wine Studies, Okanagan College, Penticton
  7. Grant de Montreuil - Executive Chef, Bonfire Grill at The Cove, West Kelowna
  8. Jeannette Montgomery – Wine Writer, Okanagan Writing, Penticton
  9. Jim Martin - Owner, Metro Liquor, Kelowna
  10. Julianna Hayes - Wine Writer, Okanagan Sunday, Kelowna
  11. Luigi Coccaro - Co-Owner & Sommelier, La Bussola, The Curious Artistry & Alchemy, Kelowna
  12. Mark Filatow - Executive Chef and Owner, Waterfront Wines, Kelowna
  13. Simon Gillett - Sommelier, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos
  14. Steve Stinson - Owner, Black Bear Bar and Grill, Mission Tap House, Old Train Station Pub, Kelowna
  15. Tim Pawsey - Wine Writer,, Vancouver

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is pleased to announce the 2015 winners:
Best Cabernet Franc
Harper’s Trail - Cabernet Franc 2013
Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Cassini Cellars - Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Reserve 2011
Best Chardonnay
Inniskillin Okanagan Estate Series - Chardonnay 2013
Best Dessert/Late Harvest/Port Style
Harper’s Trail - Late Harvest Riesling 2013
Best Gamay
Pentage Winery - Gamay Noir Estate Bottled 2013
Best Gewürztraminer
Wild Goose Vineyards - Mystic River Gewürztraminer 2014
Best Icewine
Inniskillin Okanagan - Dark Horse Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2012
Best Malbec
Sandhill Wines - Small Lots Malbec Phantom Creek Vineyard 2012
Best Marechal Foch
St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery - Oak Bay Vineyard Foch 2013
Best Merlot
Sandhill Wines - Merlot Vanessa Vineyard 2012
Best Pinot Blanc
St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery – St. Hubertus Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2014
Best Pinot Gris
50th Parallel Estate - Pinot Gris 2014
Best Pinot Noir
Moraine Estate Winery - Pinot Noir 2012
Best Red Meritage Blends Cabernet Dominated
Moon Curser Vineyards - Cabernet Merlot 2012
Best Red Meritage Blends Merlot Dominated
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery - Family Reserve Summit 2012
Best Red Blends “Other”
Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery - Alagria 2009
Best Red Single Variety “Other”
Sandhill Wines - Small Lots Sangiovese Sandhill Estate Vineyard 2012
Best Riesling
Wild Goose Vineyards - Stoney Slope Riesling 2013
Best Rosé/Blush
Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery - Blanc De Noirs Rosé 2014
Best Sauvignon Blanc
Clos Du Soleil Winery - Fume Blanc 2014
The Best Sparkling
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery - Steller’s Jay Sparkling Pinnacle 2006
Best Syrah / Shiraz
TIME Estate Winery – Syrah 2012
Best Syrah/Shiraz Based Blends
Daydreamer Wines - Amelia 2013

Best Unoaked Chardonnay
Blasted Church Vineyards - Unorthodox Chardonnay 2014
Best Viognier
Sandhill Wines - Viognier Osprey Ridge Vineyard 2014
Best White Blends
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery - Mingle 2013
Best White Single Variety “Other”
Moon Curser Vineyards - Arneis 2014


Suggested Tweet: Best of Varietal Wine Awards 2015 winners announced @OkWineFests 21st Spring #Okanagan #BCWine Fest kicks off! #BOV
About Okanagan Wine Festivals Society
The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is responsible for the development of the wine tourism sector in the interior of British Columbia. It is well known for producing two annual Okanagan Wine Festivals in spring to celebrate the bud break and in fall to celebrate the grape harvest. Its Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is run in partnership with Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops. It is also responsible for Signature Wine Events and two annual wine judging competitions.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Lori Pike-Raffan, Public Relations Director, Okanagan Wine Festivals Society
[email protected] / 604.808.6655

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Meet our Members

The Okanagan Wine Festival Society is made up of a number of Okanagan wineries and tourism related businesses. Every member is recognized as an outstanding service or product supplier in their related industry.

BC Best of Varietal Awards

Every year the Best of Varietal Wine Awards recognizes the best wines in B.C., using a panel of esteemed judges. This year we were privileged to have a diverse group of wine experts from across the country join us and participate in the competition.

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