Victory in London
It turned out to be a stellar event for Canadian wine in London, England this month. Winemakers across the country came home with trophies and awards recognizing, internationally, the quality of our wines. The list of winners includes Peller Estates Winery, Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery, Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Winery, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, Thirty Bench Winemakers, Sandhill Wines, Strewn Inc, NK’Mip Cellars, and so many mothers.
Jackson Triggs’ Okanagan Estate winemakers Brooke Blair and Derek Kontkanen and Niagara Estate winemaker Marco Piccoli have won a total of 29 awards at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) in London, England. In addition, Brooke Blair, Jackson Triggs Okanagan Estate Red Winemaker, has captured the “World’s Best” Product Trophy for Jackson Triggs Proprietors’ Grand Reserve Merlot 2007, and Okanagan Estate White Winemaker Derek Kontkanen has earned the “World’s Best” Product Trophy for Best Dessert Wine for the Proprietors’ Grand Reserve Riesling Icewine 2007. All in all, a good day for Canada on the international stage.
Founded in 1969, the International Wine and Spirits Competition is recognized as the world’s premier competition of its kind. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such an amazing team. To be recognized on an international scale like this, it’s hard to put into words,” says Brooke Blair, Jackson Triggs Okanagan Estate red
winemaker. Inspired by her father’s career as vineyard manager, Blair has wine in her blood and her Aussie roots suit her well in crafting rich and robust red wines in the Okanagan.
Okanagan Estate white winemaker Derek Kontkanen, a native of Southern Ontario, started his career as a vineyard assistant at Inniskillin while attending the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University Niagara, both fostering in him to learn and master the art of Icewine. “It is an extremely great honour to win this award. This shows the dedication of our entire team, from the vineyard through to the cellar,” adds Derek.
Marco Piccoli, Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate winemaker, was thrilled to win 10 awards from 11 wines submitted, including Gold (Best in Class) for the Proprietors’ Grand Reserve Syrah 2007 and Delaine Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2007. “To have my wines distinguished on the world stage amongst such other fine competitors is an honour,” says Piccoli. A native of Northeastern Italy, one of the world’s renowned wine regions, Piccoli has extensive experience working vintages in the Northern hemisphere, skills which result in the award-winning wines he produces at Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate.
Jackson Triggs Okanagan Estate earned a total of nineteen IWSC awards from the twenty wines submitted. Jackson Triggs Okanagan and Jackson Triggs Niagara are both also short-listed for this year’s IWSC’s “Best Canadian Producer” award. Winemakers Brooke Blair and Derek Kontkanen will be attending the IWSC awards banquet to be held on November 17 in London, England. Vincor Canada’s Chief Winemaker Keith Bown, a past recipient of the IWSC’s “Best Australian Producer” commented “I am thrilled with the team’s success at the 2010 competition. To have such a level of consistency in almost all wines submitted winning an award speaks volumes for the skill of the winemakers and the quality of the wines crafted.”
Jackson Triggs currently has the unprecedented honour of winning the “Best Canadian Winery” title twenty times in global wine competitions, six of which were “Best Canadian Producer” at IWSC. The entire Jackson Triggs team is currently waiting on the November 17 announcement, which could mark the 21st “Best Canadian Winery” accolade for them.