A Penticton winery has taken top spot in a prestigious provincial wine competition.
Upper Bench Estate Winery’s 2019 Riesling was named wine of the year at the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards, yesterday (Oct. 15).
The Central and South Okanagan represented well, with many local wines taking platinum medals.
Kelowna’s Spearhead Winery, Tantalus Vineyards and West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery were named platinum winners. Lake Country wineries Arrowleaf Cellars and O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars were also awarded platinum medals, as well as Naramata wineries Laughing Stock Vineyards, Deep Roots Winery, Therapy Vineyards Ltd., and Lake Breeze Vineyards.
Penticton’s Three Sisters Winery, Moraine Winery, and Terravista Vineyards, were also awarded platinum medals, as well as Osoyoos winery Nk’Mip Cellars.
This was decided after a panel of judges from around Canada tasted over 740 B.C. wines. A record 107 platinum, gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded, with just one being named wine of the year.
The competition was organized by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, and was open to all licensed B.C. wineries including those that produce fruit wines and mead. The full list of winners is available at: www.thewinefestivals.com.
The late Rafe Mair (1931-2017) was honoured with the annual Harry McWatters Founders Award. The award was given posthumously to the Canadian lawyer, political commentator, radio personality and politician in recognition of his leadership in the creation of estate winery licenses in 1979.
Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, said the wine industry continues to thrive on creativity, curiosity and craftsmanship. She said it also requires courage and tenacity in the face of challenges and uncertainty.
“This year had an added layer of complexity due to COVID-19, but the incredible showing of the 2020 Wine Awards indicates B.C. wine will continue stronger than ever in the time ahead,” she said.
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