Okanagan Wine Festivals launch Spring festival with varietal awards

Spring Okanagan Wine Festival Best of Varietal Wine Awards announced.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society launched the 20th Spring Okanagan Wine Festival on Thursday with the 2014 Best of Varietal Wine Awards.

The competition featured 25 different categories including several new blend categories, with a total of 380 wines entered. The tasting panels were comprised of 15 expert wine critics and sommeliers. It took place at the Penticton Ramada Inn and featured tapas from the Kettle Valley Station Pub.

“As our industry progresses with every vintage I feel more confident showcasing our regional wines tableside,” said Andrew Vescovi, wine director from Vancouver’s renowned Blue Water Cafe and one of this year’s judges commented,

Within each of the 25 categories, the judges narrowed the selection down to 75 finalists and one overall clear winner being declared the best in each category.

“The Best of Varietal Wine Awards allow consumers of British Columbia wines to see who is not only judged as best, but as well to see the depth of wineries producing amazing wines within each varietal. As our industry matures, many of our wineries are building their brand around select varietals. These awards reveal the dedication to excellence from wineries that are following this path to success,” said Martin Lewis, chair of wine judging for the Best of Varietal Wine Awards.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is pleased to announce the 2014 winners:

Best of Cabernet Franc – Cassini Cellars Cabernet Franc 2011

Best of Cabernet Sauvignon – Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Best of Chardonnay – St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery Oak Bay Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

Best of Gewürztraminer – Ruby Blues Winery Gewürztraminer 2013

Best of Hybrid Single Varieties – Arrowleaf Cellars Snow Tropics Vidal 2013

Best of Icewine – Inniskillin Okanagan Estate Winery Discovery Series Tempranillo Icewine 2012

Best of Late Harvest/Dessert/Fortified – Arrowleaf Cellars Vidal Special Select Late Harvest 2013

Best of Malbec – Sandhill Wines Small Lots Malbec Phantom Creek Vineyard 2011

Best of Merlot – Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery Merlot 2009

Best of Pinot Blanc – Wild Goose Vineyards Mystic River Pinot Blanc 2013

Best of Pinot Gris – Poplar Grove Winery Pinot Gris 2013

Best of Pinot Noir – Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery Optimum Pinot Noir 2012

Best of Red Meritage Blends Cabernet Dominate – Poplar Grove Winery Legacy 2008

Best of Red Meritage Blends Merlot Dominate – Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery Obra Prima 2009

Best of Red Blends “Other” – Covert Farms Family Estate Amicitia 2010

Best of Red Single Varieties “Other” – Moon Curser Vineyards Carmenère 2012

Best of Riesling – Lang Vineyards Farm Reserve Riesling 2012

Best of Rosé/Blush – Cedar Creek Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rosé 2013

Best of Sauvignon Blanc – La Frenz Winery Rattlesnake Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013

The Best Sparkling – 8th Generation Integrity 2012

Best of Syrah / Shiraz – Silkscarf Winery Shiraz Reserve 2009

Best of Syrah/Shiraz Based Blends – Ruby Blues Winery Red Stiletto NV

Best of Viognier – Silkscarf Winery Viognier 2013

Best of White Blends -Volcanic Hills Estate Winery Magma White 2012

Best of White Single Varieties “Other” – La Frenz Winery Knorr Vineyard Sémillon 2013