Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Canada, Oh Canada


Being in the publishing business, I have sometimes had to travel for work. I am always thrilled to get a chance to visit Canada. I know, I know,, they're a bit too quiet and the live right next door. But I love Montreal and especially Toronto, and I am dying to go to Vancouver and British Columbia....maybe even the Canadian Rockies.

But going to Canada isn't as fun as it used to be. And why, you might ask, is that? Well, in the old days, I used to bring a large duffle bag, and I used to buy a load of Canadian wine, then then bring it on the plane as my carry on luggage. My visits at one point were almost legendary, as I once had several friends help me bring home my wine by stashing some in their luggage. It was always for personal consumption and I was always well within the limits of the law, if not the airline's cap on personal luggage.

I've always wanted to do a big story on Canadian wine, but I've never got the chance. Thee is a big story there, but it has gotten too big, and so I am planting a flag in Canada. I say right now, Canada makes good wine. Not just good wine - Great Wine! And not just ice wine, but all kinds. From the Ontario region to Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, just above Washington state. And so, going forward, I will review many more Canadian wineries as well. Henry of Pelham, Cave Springs, Inniskillin, and more.

There are many great wines being made in Canada's hundreds of wineries. There are lovely chardonnays and deep, dry reds, and of course fabulous ice wines and ice ciders, too.

When you go to Canada, try these delicious wines. They are wonderful surprises. I would also sugest a tour of wineries next time you go north of the border.

Here are some of my favorite Canadian wines:
Cave Spring Cellars - almost everything
Inniskillin - almost everything
Mission Hill - almost everything
Henry of Pelham - some very nice surprises
Pellier - wonderful ice wines
La Face Cachée de la Pomme Neige Ice Cider - he best, newest ice wines - simply awesome

Other popular wines I have not yet drank include:
Chateau des Charmes
Jackson Triggs
Pelle Island Winery

Great Canadian wine website: http://www.winesofcanada.com/

Here are some great books on the subject:






















Wine Awards in Canada
There are many competitions in Canada...two of the biggest are the Canadian Wine Awards and the Ontario Wine Awards.

For the Ontario Wine Awards, which are very prestigious, you can go to their website: http://www.ontariowineawards.ca/

2006 CANADIAN WINE AWARDS
I've only listed below the gold and silver award winners - a complete list can be found at: http://www.wineaccess.ca/Portals/4/CWA2006.pdf
or at their website: http://www.canadianwineawards.ca/

Medal Results of the 2006 Canadian Wine Awards
by Donald G. House
Syrah, the big reds, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris rule in British Columbia! Riesling,Chardonnay and Icewine in Ontario! Many of Canadian wine’s emerging regional strengths were confirmed by the 6th annual Canadian Wine Awards, but there are surprises as well – two Ontario gold for Cabernet Sauvignon that herald Niagara’s best ever showing in categories based on the red Bordeaux varieties The competition held in Penticton, B.C. in September featured over 700 wines from all of Canada’s wine regions. Sixteen judges from B.C, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec worked through the best organized and documented blind wine judging event ever held in Canada.

"It was an exciting year to be a taster at the Canadian Wine Awards”, said Chief Judge David Lawrason. “The competition was very tough in most of the categories, and overall the judges felt quality was generally higher and more consistent across more wineries than ever before.” Over 90 wineries entered this year.

In the December Issue of Wine Access on newsstands in mid-November, watch for complete results of the Special awards, including Winery of the Year, Red, White, and Sparkling, and Sweet Wines of the Year, the top wines in each category, plus analysis and commentary of the 2006 Canadian Wine Awards.

For information, please contact:
Donald G. House
dhouse@redpointmedia.ca
403.240.9055
David Lawrason
dlawrason@redpointmedia.ca
613.966.3503
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony@gismondionwine.com
604.926.4751

The Finalists for 2006 Winery of the year are
Burrowing Owl, Okanagan Valley
Calona Vineyards, Okanagan Valley
CedarCreek Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley
Chateau des Charmes, Niagara Peninsula
Inniskillin Wines, Niagara Peninsula
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan, Okanagan
Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley
Pillitteri Estates, Niagara Peninsula
Quails Gate Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley

SPARKLING
Silver
Sumac Ridge 2002 Steller's Jay Brut, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25

WHITES
Pinot Blanc
Silver
Sumac Ridge 2005 Private Reserve Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $13
Lake Breeze 2005 Pinot Blanc, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $16

Un-Oaked Chardonnay
Silver
Vineland Estates 2005 Chardonnay Un-Oaked, Niagara Peninsula, ON $14

Chardonnay Oaked
Gold
Niagara College Teaching Winery 2004 Warren Classic Chardonnay ON $28
Blasted Church 2004 Chardonnay Revered Series, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $26
Silver
Angels Gate 2004 Old Vines Chardonnay VQA, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula,
ON $24
Golden Mile Cellars 2005 Chardonnay Luckhurst Family Vineyards, Oliver, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $20
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Chardonnay Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan
Valley, British Columbi$19
Lake Breeze 2005 Seven Poplars Chardonnay, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $22
See Ya Later Ranch 2005 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $20
Township 7 2004 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $18

Riesling Dry to Off Dry
Gold
Flat Rock Cellars 2005 Riesling, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $17
Mt. Boucherie Estate 2005 Estate Collection Riesling, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $15
Silver
Cave Spring Cellars 2004 Riesling CSV, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $30
Quails' Gate Estate 2005 Limited Release Dry Riesling, Westbank South, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $16
Thirty Bench 2005 Riesling, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $18
Thirty Bench Small Lot 2005 Riesling Steel Post Vineyard, Beamsville Bench, Niagara
Peninsula, ON $30
Wild Goose Vineyards 2005 Stony Slope Riesling, Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $17

Gewürztraminer
Gold
Calona Vineyards Artist Series 2005 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $14
Thornhaven Estate Winery 2005 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $15

Sauvignon Blanc
Silver
Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $17
Vineland Estates 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara Peninsula, ON 19$

Other White Aromatics
Silver
Quails' Gate Estate 2005 Limited Release Chenin Blanc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $19
Sandhill 2005 Small Lots Viognier, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25

REDS
Pinot Noir
Gold
Coyote's Run 2004 Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir, Niagara Peninsula, ON $36
Silver
Cedar Creek Estate 2004 Estate Select Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $27
CedarCreek Estate 2004 Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Golden Mile Cellars 2005 Black Arts Pinot Noir, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $35
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $22
NK 'Mip Cellars 2004 Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Quails' Gate Estate 2004 Limited Release Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25
Quails' Gate Estate 2004 Family Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40

Cabernet Franc
Silver
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2004 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. B.C. $27
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Cabernet Franc Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50

Merlot
Gold
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Merlot Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
NK 'Mip Cellars 2003 Qwam Qwmt Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
CedarCreek Estate 2003 Platinum Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Silver
CedarCreek Estate 2004 Classic Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $20
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 SunRock Vineyard Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Stag's Hollow Renaissance 2004 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C., Canada $30
Sumac Ridge 2003 Black Sage Vineyard Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $20
Hawthorne Mountain 2004 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $17
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Merlot Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $25
Mission Hill Family Estate 2003 S.L.C. Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Quails' Gate 2004 Family Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Red Rooster Winery 2004 Merlot Grand Reserve, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30

Cabernet Sauvignon
Gold
Creekside Estate Winery 2002 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Niagara Peninsula, ON
$29
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Proprietors' Grand Reserve,
Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 SunRock Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$30
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
Silver
Cedar Creek Estate 2004 Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $45
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$23
Quails' Gate 2004 Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon B.C. $18
Reif Estate 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
Sumac Ridge 2004 Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$20

Gold
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Red Meritage Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $25
Summerhill 2002 Cabernets, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $19
Silver
CedarCreek Estate Winery 2004 Estate Select Meritage, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Creekside Estate Winery 2002 Reserve Meritage, Niagara Peninsula, ON $34
Laughing Stock 2004 Portfolio, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $37
Magnotta Winery 2003 Enotrium, Niagara Peninsula, ON $40
NK 'Mip Cellars 2004 Qwam Qwmt Meritage, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
NK 'Mip Cellars 2003 Qwam Qwmt Meritage, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Trivalente Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $75
Sandhill 2003 Small Lots Two, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
See Ya Later Ranch 2004 Ping, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25
Sumac Ridge 2003 Pinnacle Red, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $50

Syrah/Shiraz
Gold
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2003 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Silver
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Shiraz Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $25
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Shiraz Proprietors' Reserve, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $19
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 SunRock Vineyard Shiraz, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30

Other Reds - Vinifera and Hybrid Single Varieties
Silver
Inniskillin Okanagan 2004 Discovery Malbec, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $24

SWEET WINES
Late Harvest
Gold
Chateau des Charmes 2004 Late Harvest Riesling, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara
Peninsula, ON $18
Silver
Quails' Gate 2005 Botrytis Affected Optima, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Wild Goose Vineyards 2004 Total Botrytis Affected Riesling, Okanagan Falls, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $60

Icewine - Riesling
Gold
Cave Spring Cellars 2004 Riesling Ice Wine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $60
Chateau des Charmes 2002 Riesling Icewine Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard, St. David's
Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $6
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2005 Riesling Icewine Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $60
Silver
Hillebrand Showcase 2004 Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $60
Inniskillin Wines 2004 Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $70
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 S.L.C. Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $80
NK 'Mip Cellars 2005 Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$60

Other White Ice Wine
Gold
Gehringer Brothers 2005 Minus 9 Ehrenfelser Icewine, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $48

Icewine - Vidal
Gold
Château des Charmes 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, ON
$42
Silver
Birchwood Estate 2005 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $35
D'Angelo Vineyards Estate 2004 Vidal Icewine, Lake Erie North Shore, ON $40
Flat Rock Cellars 2005 Sweet Revenge, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $40
Jackson-Triggs Niagara 2004 Vidal Icewine Proprietors' Reserve, Niagara Peninsula,
ON $46
Magnotta Winery 2004 Vidal Icewine Limited Edition, Lake Erie North Shore, ON $30
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 Reserve Vidal Icewine, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $50
Peller Estates AP Signature Series 2005 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $60
Pillitteri Estates 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $40
Reif Estate 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $47
Strewn Winery 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $45

Red Icewine
Gold
Inniskillin Wines 2004 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $89
Pillitteri Estates 2004 Merlot Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
Silver
EastDell Estates 2004 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $65

Fruit Wine
Silver
Clos St. Denis 2004 l'Original Pomme de Glace Ice Cider, Quebec $24
Raven Ridge 2005 Braeburn Iced Cider, B.C. $36