2020 Ontario Wine Awards: Sparkling Wine of the Year

By / Wine + Drinks / September 19th, 2020 / 15

2020 would have been the 26th year for the Ontario Wine Awards. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put the usual rigorous judging of entries by 24 highly qualified tasters on hold. Last week, we shared how the OWA team was determined to celebrate the quality of Ontario’s VQA wines and reached out to judges asking for their top three white, red and sparkling wine nominations. From their responses, the OWA tabulated the top scoring wines and winemaker of the year.

We’ve already read about the 2020 Winemaker of the Year, Red Wine of the Year and White Wine of the Year. Now it’s time for the final award: 2020’s Sparkling Wine of the Year.

2020 Ontario Wine Awards Sparkling Wine of the Year CC Carte Blanche NVSparkling Wine of the Year Award: Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2014 Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc

Sponsored by Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College

What makes a sparkling wine memorable? Elegant, lemony flavours and fresh-baked bread aromas for starters. Add in the fact that this 100 percent Chardonnay cuvée is entirely estate-grown and hand-picked, and you’ve got a sparkling wine perfect for celebrations… or just a quiet night and delicious meal. Henry of Pelham Family Estate suggests pairing the 2014 Catherine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc with salmon caviar with sour cream, or Malpeque oysters with a hint of lemon.

This cuvée is named in memory of Henry’s wife, widow and family matriarch, Catharine Smith. In addition to the 2020 Sparkling Wine of the Year, it has also received Best in Show & Gold at the 2018 InterVin Awards, Gold at the 2018 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, Gold at the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada, and Gold at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.

About the Sponsor

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute (CFWI), located at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, offers programs that provide students with valuable hands-on experience and academics in all aspects of food, food innovation, wine and beer. They’re home to Canada’s only commercial Teaching Winery. Their dedication to arming the next generation of winemakers makes them an integral part of the Ontario wine industry.


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