The battle was on for B.C. wines during a blind-tasting where 24 of the province’s grape varieties were pitted against 16 international benchmarks.
The Judgement of BC took place in Penticton on Oct. 29 where wine expert Steven Spurrier along with 32 top wine professionals spent the day sipping and judging.
The following B.C. wines took top place in their category:
- Arrowleaf Cellars ranked first among the Pinot Noir flight.
- Meyer Family Vineyards came in first for the flight of Chardonnay, with 50th Parallel Estate Winery in a close second.
- CedarCreek Winery came in second for the Riesling flight, with St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery coming in third.
- Three wines took top spots for the Syrah flight, Tightrope Winery coming in first, Le Vieux Pin Winery in second and Stag’s Hollow Winery and Vineyard in third.
Inspired by the Judgment of Paris in 1976, the inaugural Judgment of BC was hosted in 2015 by the BC Wine Institute, which coincided with Steven Spurrier’s visit to British Columbia. Now, five years later, Spurrier has returned to the province for another tasting.
“Since I was last in British Columbia in 2015, what I’m seeing is the increasing commitment, investment and quality. Seeing the vineyards showed me how extraordinary some of these vineyard sites are. The purpose of terroir is to allow the grape variety to express itself and B.C.does that well. Whether it’s Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc, the vineyards are showing an undeniable expressiveness of grape variety and high quality, and in my view, that puts the area in a very strong league in the international market,” said Spurrier of Decanter Magazine.
READ MORE: Wine experts featured at Okanagan College Penticton
The B.C. wines chosen for the judgment were selected through a blind tasting conducted by Barb Philip MW, Rhys Pender MW, Michaela Morris, Kurtis Kolt, Shane Taylor, Christina Hartigan, Alistair Veen, Matt Landry and Sean Nelson, led by DJ Kearney, of the BC Wine Institute. The selection committee chose the final 24 B.C. representatives out of a selection of 189 wines.
Kearney, wine educator and wine writer explained the Judgement is an experiment to see how B.C. wines are assessed in a global context.
“I think the quality of wines is so high and that was a common theme as we went through flight by flight. Judges were astonished at how high the overall quality was,” said Kearney.
READ MORE: B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies