2014 Ontario Wine Awards

20 Years and Platinum Strong!

An annual tradition celebrating excellence in Ontario viniculture

Friday, May 9, 2014 – Niagara-on-the-Lake – Since 1995, the Ontario Wine Awards (OWA), now in its 20th year, has been celebrating the Ontario Wine industry, and accrediting some of the finest and most respected VQA wines Ontario has to offer. As the Ontario Wine Industry continues to flourish throughout the Province’s appellations, so does the quality of wines being produced. As host this year, the OWA had the privilege of welcoming Andy Brandt, former CEO of the LCBO, raconteur extraordinaire and accordion maestro.

The evening began with a sparkling wine reception allowing the who’s who of the wine industry to mix and mingle with each other and the gala VIPs. After the guests settled into their seats, Andy welcomed the audience with his lively enthusiasm. Special guest this year was Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls & Niagara-on-the-Lake, who rose to say a few words to the audience. During the awards ceremony, a delicious five-course meal was served by Queen’s Landing Executive Chef Marc Lyons, inspired by and created with locally produced, grown and raised Ontario foods, with each course paired with an Ontario Wine Awards Gold Medal wine.

This year, with an all-time record of 548 wine submissions from 73 wineries, Tony Aspler, Founder of the Ontario Wine Awards and Order of Canada Recipient, announced, “The entries to the Ontario Wine Awards definitely reflect the trends in consumer tastes. Sparkling wine grew exponentially and blended reds with Bordeaux varieties keeps surging ahead. All in all the quality of the wines submitted this year speaks to the health of the Ontario wine industry.”

The Ontario Wine Awards recognize VQA varietal quality in 25 different categories such as Dry Riesling and Cabernet Franc, and acknowledge winners in Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal levels. This year the OWA introduced a new category award for Appassimento red wines. There are also distinctive awards given out honouring the Winemaker of the Year, White Wine of the Year, Red Wine of the Year, Wine Journalism Award, and Best Label Design.

In order to acknowledge both red and white varietals, there are two ‘Wine of the Year’ awards, sponsored by Vintage Hotels. The ‘Red Wine of the Year’ was awarded to Angels Gate 2010 Mountainview Pinot Noir, and the ‘White Wine of the Year’ was awarded to Château des Charmes 2012 ‘Old Vines’ Riesling, Estate Bottled.

The Vintage Hotels ‘Winemaker of the Year’ award, went to Brian Schmidt, Vineland Estates Winery. This award recognizes the winemaker’s consistent quality production across his portfolio, successes as demonstrated by additional wine awards, and his overall contribution to the wine industry.

Rick VanSickle received this year’s Wine Country Ontario ‘Wine Journalism Award’, which recognized his article, ROWS, published in the October 2013 issue of Tidings Magazine (now Quench).

The Ontario Wine Awards expresses a sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone’s contribution and support for making the evening a huge success.

2014 Ontario Wine Awards Sponsors



Vintage Hotels

Post City Magazines

Wine Country Ontario


ASL Print FX


Bullfrog Power

Crush Wine Bar

Grape Growers of Ontario


Luxor Realty Inc.

Niagara Airbus

Q water

The Miller Tavern

The Ontario Wine Society

The Stonemill Bakehouse Ltd.

VIA Rail Canada

Niagara Wine Videos

Zenan Glass

sip & Savour Ontario, Local Fair. Global Flair – Summer 2015 - An evening dedicated to Ontario’s Finest VQA Wines and Regional Cuisine

sip & Savour Ontario is now in the midst of redeveloping the festival so that it aptly reflects the growing cultural diversity of our province. In 2015, the event will evolve into a top-tier, cultural experience premiering an exciting new direction as we target Toronto’s dynamic, diverse multicultural community under one roof; pairing culinary enthusiasts with local market-fresh Ontario cuisine, award-winning VQA wines, craft beers, and artisan spirits. For more information please visit www.sipandsavourontario.ca.

For further information, please visit us online at www.ontariowineawards.ca


Sandy Kurbis

Director of Client and Event Services
The Forefront Communications Network Inc.
1917 Avenue Road, Suite A
Toronto, ON  M5M 4A2
Tel: 416-398-3335 Ext. 2#
sandy@forefrontcom.com / www.ontariowineawards.ca / www.forefrontcom.com

Tony Aspler - Tony Aspler Enterprises - 416-488-8597

tony.aspler@rogers.com / www.tonyaspler.com / www.grapesforhumanity.com

About The Forefront Communications Network Inc.

Forefront Communications is an acknowledged full-service marketing and communications company specializing exclusively in the beverage alcohol industry. To date, Forefront has served such clients as; Brewers Association of Canada, Fruit Wines of Canada, Pacific NW Wine Coalition, Wines of Chile, SOPEXA, Tetra Pac, Wines of New York, Wine Institute of California, Wines of Ontario, United States Department of Agriculture, Wines of South Africa, Trade Commission of Spain, Distillers Corp. and Pernod Ricard S.A.  www.forefrontcom.com


Judging of the Wines

Each entry is assessed blind by panels of accredited wine judges from the wine writing and teaching community. The criteria for judging the entries not only involve having an appreciation for wine, but also include a knowledge and expertise of wines from the Ontario region. Included amongst the winning categories; White Wine of the Year, Red Wine of the Year, Winemaker of the Year and the Journalism Award, which recognizes the best article/book published in 2013 on the Ontario wine industry.

How does the judging occur?

The 20th Annual Ontario Wine Awards wine judging, with the exception of Icewines, was held over two consecutive Saturdays – April 12th and April 19th, 2014 at Crush Wine Bar and was not open to the public. Icewine Judging took place on April 20th at the Fine Wine Reserve Wine Storage and was not open to the public.


Tony Aspler, one of Canada’s most acclaimed wine writers, founded the Ontario Wine Awards in 1995. His vision was to catapult Ontario VQA wines into the most successful, most revered wines available to domestic and foreign markets by recognizing and promoting the top Ontario wineries for the quality product they produce. “Our mission is to provide recognition for outstanding Ontario wines and to the men and women who are dedicated to producing a superior product,” explains Tony Aspler. “These awards enhance the profile of Ontario wines in the world market, opening doors to new opportunities for Ontario wineries.”

2014 Ontario Wine Awards – Final Results


Q water Sparkling Wine Award

Gold:  Peller Estates NV Ice Cuvée Rosé

Gold:  Peller Estates NV Ice Cuvée Classic

Silver:  Trius NV Brut

Bronze:  13th Street 2007 Grand Cuvée

Bronze:  Angels Gate 2011 Archangel Chardonnay

BlackSquare Inc. Dry Riesling Award

Gold:  Château des Charmes 2012 ‘Old Vines’ Riesling, Estate Bottled

Gold:  Henry of Pelham Estate 2009 Speck Family Reserve Riesling

Silver:  Hinterbrook Estate 2012 Riesling

Bronze:  Flat Rock Cellars 2013 Nadja’s Vineyard

Quench Semi-Dry Riesling Award

Gold:  Trius 2012 Showcase Ghost Creek Riesling

Silver:  Mike Weir Estate 2012 Riesling

Bronze:  Tawse 2012 Quarry Road Riesling

Luxor Realty Inc. Dry White Varietal Award

Gold:  Château des Charmes 2012 Aligoté, St. David’s Bench Vineyard

Silver:  Union Wines 2011 Gold

Bronze:  Hernder Estate 2011 Vidal

Gewurztraminer Award

Gold:  No Gold Awarded

Silver:  Riverview Cellars 2012 Gewurztraminer

Bronze:  Calamus Estate 2013 Gewurztraminer

Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris Award

Gold:  No Gold Awarded

Silver:  Peller Estates 2012 Private Reserve Pinot Gris

Silver:  Pelee Island 2012 Singing Moon Pinot Blanc

Bronze:  PondView Estate 2013 Pinot Grigio

680News Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Award

Gold:  Trius 2012 Showcase Clean Slate Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc

Silver:  Jackson-Triggs 2012 Delaine Fumé Blanc

Silver:  Jackson-Triggs 2012 Grand Reserve White Meritage

Bronze:  No Bronze Awarded

Bullfrog Power Oaked Chardonnay Award ~ Under $20

Gold:  Angels Gate 2010 Mountainview Chardonnay

Silver:  Niagara College Teaching Winery 2011 Balance Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

Bronze:  Magnotta 2012 Kittling Ridge Chardonnay Barrel Fermented Limited Edition

Quench Oaked Chardonnay Award ~ Over $20

Gold:  Exultet Estates 2012 Chardonnay “the Blessed”

Silver:  Tawse 2010 Estate Chardonnay

Bronze:  Palatine Hills Estate 2010 Neufeld Vineyard Chardonnay

Forefront Communications Unoaked Chardonnay Award

Gold:  Malivoire Wine Company 2013 Musqué Spritz

Silver:  Mike Weir Estate 2012 Weir Family Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay

Bronze:  Vineland Estates 2011 Chardonnay Musqué

Bronze:  Château des Charmes 2012 Chardonnay Musqué, Estate Bottled

Niagara Airbus Rosé/Blanc de Noir Award

Gold:  Sue-Ann Staff Estate 2012 Rosé

Silver:  Ridgepoint Wines 2013 White Cabernet

Bronze:  Coopers Hawk Vineyards 2013 Rosé

Crush Wine Bar Gamay Award

Gold:  Château des Charmes 2012 Gamay Noir, Estate Bottled

Silver:  Malivoire Wine Company 2012 Courtney Gamay

Bronze:  Peller Estates 2012 Private Reserve Gamay Noir


Grape Growers of Ontario Pinot Noir Award

Gold:  Angels Gate 2010 Mountainview Pinot Noir

Gold:  Rosewood Estates 2012 Origin Pinot Noir

Silver:  Kew Vineyard Estate 2012 Pinot Noir

Bronze:  Le Clos Jordanne 2011 Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir

680News Red Hybrid Award

Gold:  Malivoire Wine Company 2012 Old Vines Foch

Silver:  Henry of Pelham Estate 2011 Baco Noir Reserve

Bronze:  Sandbanks Estate 2012 Dunes Red

Post City Magazines Cabernet Sauvignon Award

Gold:  Ravine Vineyard Estate 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver:  Riverview Cellars 2011 Salvatore’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze:  Peller Estates 2010 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze:  Colio Estate Wines 2012 Bricklayer’s Reward Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Franc Award

Gold:  No Gold Awarded

Silver:  Thirty Bench Vineyards 2011 Small Lot Cabernet Franc

Silver:  Peller Estates 2011 Signature Series Cabernet Franc

Bronze:  Stoney Ridge Cellars 2010 Cabernet Franc

The Stonemill Bakehouse Ltd. Merlot Award

Gold:  Angels Gate 2012 Merlot

Silver:  Rosewood Estates 2012 Origin Merlot

Bronze:  Tawse 2010 Member Select Merlot

The Miller Tavern Syrah/Shiraz Award

Gold:  Jackson-Triggs 2011 Delaine Syrah

Silver:  Tawse 2010 Member Select Syrah

Bronze:  Lailey Vineyards 2012 Syrah

The Ontario Wine Society Meritage and Cabernet/Merlot Blends Award

Gold:  The Foreign Affair 2010 Temptress

Silver:  Trius 2012 Red

Bronze:  Redstone 2010 Meritage


VIA Rail Canada Late Harvest Award

Gold:  Peller Estates 2012 Private Reserve Late Harvest Vidal

Silver:  Pillitteri Estates 2012 Select Late Harvest Riesling

Bronze:  Inniskillin 2013 Discovery Series Botrytis Affected Viognier

680News Vidal Icewine Award

Gold:  Inniskillin 2011 Sparkling Vidal Icewine

Silver:  Inniskillin 2012 Vidal Icewine

Bronze:  Château des Charmes 2012 Vidal Icewine, Estate Bottled

LCBO Vinifera Icewine Award

Gold:  Inniskillin 2012 Sparkling Cabernet Franc Icewine

Silver:  Château des Charmes 2012 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Estate Bottled

Bronze:  Jackson-Triggs 2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc Icewine

Quench Appassimento Red Award

Gold:  Rennie Estate 2011 G

Silver:  The Foreign Affair 2010 Gran Q

Bronze:  Burning Kiln 2010 Kiln Hanger-The Sequel

Allen’s Blended White Award

Gold:  Vineland Estates 2012 Chenin Blanc

Silver:  Redstone 2013 Viognier

Bronze:  Burning Kiln 2010 Chenin Blanc

Bronze:  Rockway Glen Estate 2012 White Assemblage

Bronze:  Flat Rock Cellars 2012 Twisted

Bronze:  Inniskillin 2013 Reserve Series Viognier

Allen’s Blended Red Award

Gold:  Inniskillin 2010 Winemaker’s Series Shiraz-Cabernet

Silver:  Wayne Gretzky Estate 2011 No.99 Estate Series Shiraz Cabernet

Bronze:  Tawse 2010 T-Blend

Bronze:  Vineland Estates 2012 Pinot Meunier


ASL Print FX Best Label Design Award

Gold:  Niagara College Teaching Winery 2012 Balance Sauvignon Blanc

Silver:  EastDell Estates 2012 Black Label Chardonnay Sur Lie

Bronze:  Colio Estate 2012 Bricklayer’s Predicament Cabernet-Merlot

Wine Country Ontario Wine Journalism Award

Rick VanSickle

Vintage Hotels Red Wine of the Year Award

Angels Gate 2010 Mountainview Pinot Noir

Vintage Hotels White Wine of the Year Award

Château des Charmes 2012 ‘Old Vines’ Riesling, Estate Bottled

Vintage Hotels Winemaker of the Year Award

Brian Schmidt, Vineland Estates Winery

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