Ontario wineries submitted 36 per cent of wines judged

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Picton – Niagara area wineries scored five of the 23 Platinum medals awarded in the 2019 National Wine Awards of Canada. They were the only platinum medals awarded to Ontario wineries and included three whites, one red and a single Sparkling wine.

In a release today, WineAlign also noted that Ontario wineries submitted 36 per cent of wines judged, and brought home 35 per cent of the medals.

The 2019 National Wine Awards were held in Wellington, Prince Edward County in early June with awards being announced this week.

In offering a “State of the Nation,” commentary on Canada’s wine industry, co-head judge David Lawrason noted that Ontario produced 14 of the gold medals wines in the Chardonnay category, “but the notable trend is that tiny Prince Edward County produced five!”

B.C. produced nine Golds including three of the six Platinum winners in the Chardonnay, he said.

Platinum medals are awarded to the top one percent of wines in the competition which saw more than 1,800 entries submitted from 260 wineries. The wines were judged by 21 judges from eight provinces over five days and included “Sifting through 90+ wines per day using objective filters that look at balance, complexity and depth.

“When judging within flights or categories where the overall character is much the same, distinguishing the nuances is even more exacting,” he said in the WineAlign release.

Lawrason said the competition has now completed its 19th year, and the overall quality has continued to improve.

That the “medal percentage from each region was very close to their entry percentage,” he says, indicates “that winemaking expertise is equivalent from coast to coast and that sub-regions can be discussed for stylistic interpretation and varietal strengths and not for quality.”

Sparkling wine, which … “is a coast to coast proposition, took only one Platinum from a very unusual source – Two Sisters Blanc de Francs made from cabernet franc in Niagara,” he said.

On Thursday WineAlign will announce its Best Performing Small Winery and Friday will see the announcement of the 2019 National Wine Awards, Winery of the Year.

Ontario’s five platinum medalists were: (Sparkling) Two Sisters 2016 Blanc de Franc, Niagara River; (Whites) Leaning Post 2017 Chardonnay Senchuk Vineyard, Lincoln Lakeshore; Organized Crime 2017 Cuvée Krystyna Chardonnay, Beamsville Bench; Trius 2017 Showcase Clean Slate Sauvignon Blanc Wild Ferment, Niagara-on-the-Lake; and (Reds) Tawse 2015 Meritage.

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