Of the 540 entries entered in the annual autumn British Columbia Wine Awards competition, only five received Platinum awards and only one of those, received the title of The Premier's Wine. See Ya Later Ranch Winery's Rover, a Shiraz-Viognier blend, took the top prize at British Columbia Wine Awards reception and tasting at the Laurel Heritage Packinghouse in Kelowna.
Brand new this year, the Premier's Wine Award was selected from all Platinum medals, and was based on the judges' consensus. This wine represents varietal consistency and a combination of superb grapes and winemaking. Premier Christy Clark presented the honour to See Ya Later Ranch senior winemaker Dave Carson for his 2012 Rover Shiraz Viognier.
"What an absolute honour," said a very excited Carson. "We always strive to make the very best wines, using the best grapes and techniques and I've had a great feeling about the wines we presented this vintage. But this type of recognition exceeds expectation and fills the whole See Ya Later Ranch team with pride and renewed appreciation for the work that we do."
"BC wines are a source of pride for British Columbians throughout our province," said Clark. "Our wine industry creates jobs and drives economic activity in communities from the Okanagan up to Prince George. Today more than ever, BC wines are taking their rightful place among the world's best.
This year’s competition had a record 540 entries, with 33 gold, 113 silver and 122 bronze medals. Amongst the winners, the judges singled out from the Gold honourees five Platinum awards, bestowed on wines determined to be the top 1% of wines entered. The Platinum medals help showcase the varietals and blends that distinguish British Columbia’s wine region. Medals went to:
- Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2012
- Quails' Gate Syrah 2012
- See Ya Later Ranch Rover Shiraz – Viognier 2012
- Silkscarf Winery Viognier 2013
- SpierHead Winery Pinot Gris 2013
The oldest and largest wine competition in the province, the British Columbia Wine Awards, is open to all local wineries that use 100% fruit grown in the province. Judging is conducted by a panel of pre-eminent wine professionals from across North America, ranging from wine writers to wine educators. This year's judging was held at the Naramata Heritage Inn over four days ending on September 24, and featured the following acclaimed judges:
Sid Cross - Vancouver - Honorary President International Wine & Food Society
Doug Frost - Kansas City - Master of Wine & author
DJ Kearney - Vancouver - Wine educator
Kurtis Kolt - Vancouver - Wine consultant and writer, Georgia Straight wine critic
David Lawrason - Toronto - WineAlign and Toronto Life wine critic
Darren Oleksyn - Calgary - Calgary Herald wine critic & author
Tim Pawsey - Vancouver - Wine and food writer North Shore News, Vancouver Courier
Troy Townsin - Victoria - Wine columnist CBC Radio & author
Stephanie Yuen - Vancouver - Wine columnist for Chinese radio and newspapers & author
The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival offers sensory delights that span the Valley’s unique terroir from the Canada-US border to Kamloops. It’s a fabulous way to celebrate all things local, enjoying British Columbia wine and cuisine directly from the source. Savour the terroir and taste the dishes of iconic tastemakers at the numerous Signature and winery events. The festivities commence with the annual British Columbia Wine Awards Reception and wrap up at the Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings on October 10 and 11.
Event and ticket information is available at www.thewinefestivals.com.
About See Ya Later Ranch
Set on Hawthorne Mountain 2,000 feet above sea-level, See Ya Later Ranch offers one of the most spectacular perches in the entire valley. The Okanagan Valley's highest-elevation vineyard at Okanagan Falls takes its name from the quirky history of the ranch's founder, Major Hugh Fraser. While the style and attitude at See Ya Later Ranch are playful, the wines are much more than that. The highly acclaimed portfolio crafted by award-winning winemaker Dave Carson includes a Brut, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and a selection of blended wines named after the Major's favourite pups, including Rover, Ping, and Jimmy My Pal. See Ya Later Ranch: seriously playful wines. www.sylranch.com