We've come a long way since Calona Vineyards opened its first commercial winery in 1931.
There's simply no comparison from the wines first produced, to those achieving world wide recognition. It’s a little like comparing apples to oranges or should I say grapes.
Imagine what it would have been like for Mission Hill Winery winning the Avery Trophy for “Best Chardonnay Worldwide.” A world class competition held in London in 1994 and for those that don’t know, the award was won during a blind tasting.
In fact this particular win shocked the judges into tasting everything blind a second time just to make certain there were no mistakes. You guessed it, we won again. Personally I believe we won best chardonnay twice that day. Since this first major award win for BC our wineries have continued to surprise the world.
The Academy Awards has even served our bubble not once but twice thanks to Stephen Cipes from Summer Hill Winery. If you haven’t heard of Summer Hill Winery it is located in the Okanagan Valley and stores its cases of wine in an on site pyramid (that’s another story altogether). Another claim to fame for this winery apart from being the largest organic winery in Canada, was their 1991 Cipes Gabriel Blanc de Blanc.
This luscious bubble won itself a gold medal at the Chardonnay du Monde competition in France. You can well imagine the heads turning that day and the attention our wine growing region has secured since.
One of my favorite world stamp of approval was given to Jackson Triggs for their 2004 Okanagan Estate Proprietors’ Grand Reserve Shiraz winning best in the world and taking on the likes of Australia and South Africa. These two nations have historically dominated the Shiraz/Syrah category.
If that isn’t fodder for wine conversation I don’t know what is. Does it get better? I don’t think so. When it comes to perfect wine it appears as though we know what we are doing. As the awards mount up and the gold and silver medals continue to drip from the walls of our wineries take advantage of what’s available here in Vancouver. Eat local and drink local, too.