What is the quintessential red wine to have in your cellar, a wine to representing the most perfect example of its class? How about a gold medal  meritage grown on the Golden Mile in the South Okanagan?


Quintessential, a 2012 Bordeaux blend from Church & State Wines in British Columbia, struck gold at the recent International Wine Challenge (IWC). Now in its 31st year, the IWC is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.

The wine made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot is described as super savoury. With hints of cedar, tobacco, graphite, mulberry and black currant the wine drinks well now to five years.

It is the first time in six years that a BC Wine Institute member winery has taken home a gold medal.

“Discovering great wines from emerging regions is one of the most exciting aspects of the International Wine Challenge,” says Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC. “This year we have seen some truly stunning wines coming from all corners of the globe and these medal wins will catapult these lesser-known wine producers onto an international stage.”

“These international competitions are a great measure for BC VQA wines as we place more focus on increasing our export markets,” says BC Wine Institute President and CEO, Miles Prodan. “Congratulations to each of the winners, who are among the growing number of internationally recognized Wines of British Columbia.”

Along with the gold, BC VQA wines won 12 silver medals and 24 bronze medals.

Canada also received five Gold medals for Niagara Peninsula sweet ice wines, produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine.