2020 Ontario Wine Awards cancelled due to COVID-19
Ontario’s popular and well-known wine competition won’t be held this year. The Ontario Wine Awards, which celebrates the achievements of Ontario’s vintners, is one of many events cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the 1860s, a disease of the vine named Phylloxera laid waste the vineyards of Europe. Today, a human equivalent of the contagion is devastating the populations and economies of the world,” wrote Ontario Wine Awards founder and Quench expert, Tony Aspler, in the cancellation announcement. “One small and somewhat insignificant victim of COVID-19 is the Ontario Wine Awards.”
What does this mean?
Well, first, there will be no award-winning wines list for the 2020 Ontario Wine Awards.
The Ontario Wine Awards has grown since 1994. In contrast to the 100 to 200 entries they received in the early days, 2019 saw over 500 entries, which were judged by their eight judges’ panels. These entries span 20 different categories, including the recently added appasimento and sparkling wine categories. This is a testament to Ontario’s growth as a winegrowing region.
The Ontario Wine Awards will return next year.
Secondly, there will be no annual wine event, Winetario.
Winetario is a consumer show turned wine festival of sorts. It started out in 2004 as a modest event held in the Miller Tavern in Toronto. Over the years, it’s been held in the Distillery District, Pantages Hotel, the Roundhouse at Steam Whistle, George Brown College atrium and the Arta Gallery. Now it’s the wine event of the season for Ontario. The Lieutenant Governer herself makes an appearance to present her awards for Excellence in Ontario Wine to winning winemakers.
This is the first year since its inception that the Ontario Wine Awards have been cancelled. Which proves both how much Canadians love wine, and how serious COVID-19 truly is to the health and safety of our community.
Luckily, this doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Ontario wine. In fact, the third week in June is dubbed “Ontario Wine Week”. The provincial government started Ontario Wine Week back in 2005 to recognize the world-class wines produced in Ontario.
Prepare your cellars now.
Browse through the previous winners of the Ontario Wine Awards to find a few new gems.