Major Canadian Wine Events

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Vancouver International Wine Festival



Trophy, Best Red Wine of the Year

2017 Marcus Ansems Shiraz $49.90
Daydreamer Wines, Naramata, BC


Trophy, Best White Wine of the Year

2018 Riesling $21.00
SpearHead Winery, Kelowna, BC

Trophy, Best Dessert Wine of the Year

2017 Vin de Glace $30.00
Vignoble du Marathonien, Havelock, QC

Trophy, Best Fruit Wine of the Year

2018 Pomme Desiree Iced Apple $26.00
Forbidden Fruit Winery, Cawston, BC

Trophy, Best Sparkling Wine of the Year

2016 Blanc de Franc $62.00
Two Sisters Vineyard, Niagara OTL, ON

Sparkling Wine-Traditional Method

Double Gold — *Trophy, Best Sparkling Wine

2016 Blanc de Franc $62.00
Two Sisters Vineyard, ON

Trophy, Best Dessert Wine of the Year

2017 Vin de Glace $30.00
Vignoble du Marathonien, Havelock, QC


Total number of wines entered  1376

Awards by province: 

BC        302 (845 entries)

ON       113  (394 entries)

QC         25  (80 entries)

NS         11 (16 entries)

NB          6   (22 entries)

AB          3   (15 entries)

SK           3  (4 entries)



Garagiste North

The small guys wine festival. This event held in the Okanagan and in Vancouver features the smaller wineries of British Columbia. the event celebrates the Artisan Winemaker. s It showcases hard to find, cult wines, farmgate , garagistes commercial wines producer. No awards are given out.

This all came about when a few small wine producers were commiserating about how challenging it is to sell wines when you're also working full time somewhere else, don't have a tasting room, or don't have deep pockets! It's one thing to produce wine because you are compelled to, it's another to enter the competitive fray of reaching the public. It's all about the love of wine, of food, of this crazy way of life. We stumbled across the term 'garagiste' (gar-ah-jeest)and the idea of the wine festival was born and the two of us decided to team up to help organize this collaborative event and form Garagiste North. 

Photos by Jennifer Schell

The first Small Guys Wine Festival was held in Okanagan Falls in 2014 at Meyer Family Vineyards.  It was a sellout success and more importantly really, really fun.  So they decided to do it all again. They been Jennifer Schell the Editor of Food & Wine Trails Magazine and Terry Meyer Stone who well immersed in the Okanagan wine industry; she works at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, her brother owns Meyer Family Vineyards and she and her mad scientist husband Andrew Stone have a 4 acre vineyard on Anarchist Mountain where she works as a farmer on evenings and weekends

2015 event at Laurel Packing house Kelowna winemaker Dylan Roche and his wife Penelope chat wth
Charlie Baessler from Corcelettes Estate Winery

What is a garagiste? (gar-ah-jeest).  It started out in France (of course) where it was a derogatoryphrase for those avante garde and crazy mavericks making wine in their garage and outside the highly regulated system. Gradually and grudgingly came the acknowledgement that something really interesting was happening with these small case lot artisan wines, and a movement was born

Vancouver International Wine Festival

2014 will mark the 36th annual wine festival. It brings together wineries, winemakers and owners from around the world.
It is a week long celebration for Bc residents and visitors with a full slate of wine tasting, Minglers, lunches, brunches, seminars and dinners. Something for everyone from the industry professional to the novice.

The heart of the event is the International Festival Tasting Room. Last year over 175 wineries were represented. The event is held both on Friday and Saturday nights. Winery principals are asked to be at their table, making this a very exciting event.

There is no Wine awards at this event. There is a TRADE COMPETITION AWARD luncheon The awards, which are sponsored by W. H. Puddifoot Ltd., honoured those professionals who contribute to our region's exceptional wine and food culture.

The festival grew from humble roots as a fundraising initiative of then Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company board member John E. Levine. The inaugural festival in 1979 featured one vintner - Robert Mondavi - and saw approximately 1,000 people attend the two-day event at Hycroft, the Shaughnessy mansion owned by Vancouver's University Women's Club.

In its second year, VanWineFest was also a one-winery show, but had grown by its fourth year to attract 45 California wineries, becoming known as the California Wine Festival. The ninth festival in 1987 was the first multi-national event, with wineries from six more countries joining to showcase their wines. After outgrowing several different venues, the Wine Festival moved to the Vancouver Convention Centre in 1988, where the main Tasting Room sessions have been held for the past 25 years.

In 1996, VanWineFest began shining the spotlight on specific wine regions by featuring a new theme region each year, with the French wine region Bordeaux being the inaugural theme. In 2014, the regional theme is France. Starting in 2004, VanWineFest highlighted an annual global focus, with Syrah/Shiraz that year, and Bubbl y this year.

2013 Festival ~ The wines of 2013

Sélections mondiales des Vins Canada


Sélections mondiales des Vins Canada  is the most important wine competition in North America. It is held. It is held in Canada in Quebec city. This competition of prestige created into 1983 is held under the high patronage of the International organization of vine and wine (OIV) and of the World Federation of Major International Wine and Spirits competitions (VINOFED).

Sélections mondiales des Spiritueux is an international spirit championship.  In this competition, the spirits of any nature are appreciated by a jury of experts and experienced consumers. The purpose of this tasting is to increase the awareness of consumers to the fact that the spirits could be more present in their gastronomical pleasures. Also held in Quebec city.

Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada is a competition of prestige, established since 1983. The competition proceeds under the high patronage of the International Organization of the Vine and Wine (OIV), the "Union International des ?nologues" (UIOE) and the World Federation of Major International Competitions of wines and spirits (VinoFed). The medals which are awarded there are universally recognized by commercial purchasers and of the public in general.


Types of medals and percentage Samples having been granted the required amount of points will be awarded with the following medals:
1. Grand Gold Medal: at least 92 points
2. Gold Medal: at least 85 points
3. Silver Medal: at least 82 points

Limit of medals awarded
The sum of all medals awarded must not exceed 30% of the total of the samples presented at the competition according to the O.I.V. Standard on International Wine Competition.

Promotional use
Winners will be able to mention in their publicity that they were awarded a Great Gold Medal, a Gold Medal or a Silver Medal by the present competition of Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada.

The Organizer of the Competition will deliver to each producer, trader or agent an attesting diploma, of the medal obtained. This diploma will carry the designation of the wine having obtained the reward and the identification of the producer, the trader or the agent in question

Special Prizes

"Special Prizes" will underline the quality and excellence of wines in competition.

The "BEST PRODUCER" prize will be awarded to the producer having obtained the highest average for the sum of wines presented in the competition. To be eligible, the producer must have presented a minimum of 5 (five) wines.

The "BEST AGENT" prize will be awarded to the agent doing business in the Province of Quebec and having obtained the highest average for the sum of wines presented in the competition. To be eligible, the agent must have presented a minimum of 5 (five) wines.

The "FIJEV" prize will be awarded to the wine having obtained the highest grade in the overall competition.

The "PRESTIGE" prize will be awarded to the wine having obtained the highest grade in the Champagne category of this competition.

The "VINOFED" Prize will be awarded to the wine having obtained a gold medal whose standard deviation is the weakest.

The Competition's Organizer will publish a buyer's guide called "Buyer's guide of the best wines of the world of Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada 2010" in which all wines granted 80 points and over will be featured. The guide is distributed to all participant producers and other registrants, the jurors and main canadian restaurants holders


A celebration of winemaking in Ontario. It is THE spring time event in Ontario. The wineries roll out the red carpet to feature special tasting flights embodying the best of the best of Ontario wines, chosen by the winemakers. Cuvée en Route guests have the exclusive opportunity to shop for featured Cuvée wines direct from the wineries.

The hallmark event is held on the first evening CUVÉE GALA a black tie optional event. Proceeds from the CUVÉE all go to the Niagara Community Foundation 2013 will mark their 25th Anniversary. Here winemakers select their favourite wine and present if for tasting. Best of all you get to meet the winemaker. You can as los enjoy some amazing cuisine from some of Ontario's top chefs.

What makes the Cuvée’s Grand Tasting unique is that it features Ontario’s finest winemakers presenting his or her single favourite wine.   With over 50 wineries pouring, it gives ticket holders a truly exceptional experience.  In addition, Ontario’s top chefs will showcase deliciously creative live cooking stations.  The Cuvée en Route passport program will run at participating wineries from Feb. 27 to March 1 and features exclusive tasting flights.

One of the more exciting events is the Icewine and Sparking Wine Bar. The APRÉS CUVÉE featuring music and dancing.

To see the wines selected for the CUVÉE GALA please click Here

As mentioned proceeds from the Cuvée Wine Weekend go to the Niagara Community Foundation. Established in 2000, the Niagara Community Foundation has raised almost $20 million and granted over $4.8 million from its endowment fund created to support local charities working in the arts, heritage, environment, social services, health, education and community development. Community foundations are one of the world's fastest growing philanthropic movements, with more than 1,100 similar organizations in 42 countries.

Everyone's talking about Cuvée's "silver celebrations"!

"Winemakers are proud of their work and want to showcase their best effort. It will give the public an insight into what they consider the 'favoured child' of their family." - Tony Aspler

"This new format is a wonderful way to celebrate the silver anniversary of Cuvée...and the reintroduction of Après Cuvée should delight everyone as well!"- Sue-Ann Staff, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

"Wow, big changes! Exciting."- Peter Bodnar Rod, 13th Street Winery

Cuvée En Route

Tour and taste along the wine route Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when the wineries roll out the red carpet to feature special tasting flights embodying the best of the best of Ontario wines, chosen by the winemakers. Cuvée en Route guests have the exclusive opportunity to shop for featured Cuvée wines direct from the wineries

Tony Aspler Award

Each year the Tony Aspler Award, named for the well-known wine writer, educator and Ontario wine advocate, is awarded to a member of the industry who has done outstanding things for wine education. This year that award was given to Terence Van Rooyen, winemaker at the Niagara College Teaching Winery . Praised for his contribution to the industry and for the quality of graduates leaving the Winery and Viticulture Technician program, Van Rooyen is a hands-on element of the program and acts as a mentor to the talented crop of students that attend each year.

Cuvée Award

The 2013 Cuvée Award of Excellence in Viticulture, sponsored by BASF Canada Inc., was presented to David Beyers, Vineyard Manager at Ravine Vineyards Estate Winery. Terrance Van Rooyen, Professor at Niagara College Teaching Winery was recognized with the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence for honing the skills of future cool climate winemakers for Canada and the world. The VQA Promoters' Awards from Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) were also announced at the Cuvée Gala and presented formally on Saturday at the CCOVI Experts Tasting. The 2013 winners in each category for those awards were:

* Hospitality: James Muir, beverage manager and sommelier at CN Tower's 360 the Restaurant. His restaurant lists a VQA wine in every varietal category, side-by-side with international labels.

* Promoter-at-Large: Harald Thiel, vigneron and proprietor of Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery and chair, International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C). Thiel demonstrated significant leadership in starting the i4C which is now planning its third weekend-long event for this July.

* Media: Rick VanSickle, wine writer. Through his website , social media, and as a column writer for several wine publications, VanSickle is known as one of the references for Ontario wines, opening VQA wines to a much wider audience than ever before.

* LCBO: Charles Ronzio, the LCBO's product consultant in Waterloo, Ontario. He not only promotes VQA Ontario wines, he truly believes in the product. Going beyond his normal duties, he brings Ontario wineries into the store for customer tastings and has received accolades for his high VQA sales volume in what is considered a non-traditional VQA market.

Cuvee Awards 2012


The Okanagan Wine Festivals

The Okanagan Wine Festivals are an experience for all who love fabulous wine accompanied by great food, unique events and a breathtaking setting . There three major Okanagan Festivals held through out the year, the Spring, Fall and Winter Events. The Spring festival is usual held during the first ten day of May. The Fall also ten days ending on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend – the Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is a celebration of earthly delights. With over 165 events happening around the valley. The winter event takes place in January at the magnificent alpine setting of Sun Peaks Resort, the annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is one of a kind. From skiing and snow boarding, to wine seminars and progressive tastings, this is a unique experience – kind of like our award winning icewines and a hot tub.

The Spring festival is extremely popular with over 100 events held from one end of the Okanagan to other. rom light lunches to gourmet wine dinners to, tasting events to teaching seminars there is a function for everyone. Most wineries also offer special events at their winery.

Festival Awards

the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society rolls out the red carpet in celebration of the Best of Varietals Competition in the Spring and the Best of BC Wine Awards as the kick off to the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival.

The Okanagan Wine Judging Competitions has its own website for both of the Best of Varietal Wine Competition and the British Columbia Wine Awards at and the OWFS is active on Facebook and Twitter promoting these awards. They also feature the British Columbia wine label awards


the National Wine Awards of Canada

A new competition ( actually two)designed to recognize the best in Canadian wine, WineAlign will host the National Wine Awards of Canada “The Nationals” and invite Canadian wine producers to compete annually to determine who is making the best wine in the country. To complement the domestic awards, the World Wine Awards of Canada “The Worlds” competition will be open to wines sold in Canada, with emphasis placed on wines offering outstanding value.

The “Nationals” will be held from June 16 – 22, 2013 in Niagara, Ontario and will open for entries on April 1, 2013. The “Worlds” will be judged from September 8 – 14, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario and will open for entries on July 1, 2013. Results of the “Nationals” and the “Worlds” will be released on, which had close to one million unique visitors in 2012. With upcoming expansions to British Columbia and Quebec, the WineAlign audience is expected to grow significantly in the months ahead.

Wines will be tasted blind by a team of top wine critics from across the country, including head judge Anthony Gismondi (WineAlign, Vancouver Sun), David Lawrason (WineAlign, Toronto Life), John Szabo Master Sommelier (WineAlign), Margaret Swaine (WineAlign, National Post), Rod Phillips (WineAlign, Ottawa Citizen), Bill Zacharkiw (Montreal Gazette), Steve Thurlow (WineAlign), Sara d'Amato (WineAlign), Janet Dorozynski (WineAlign), Nadia Fournier (Le Guide du Vin Montreal), Rémy Charest (wine journalist in Quebec City), Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson (Winnipeg Free Press), Craig Pinhey (New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, The Coast), DJ Kearney (wine educator in Vancouver), Treve Ring (wine journalist in Victoria), Rhys Pender (Master of Wine, B.C.) and Gurvinder Bhatia (Edmonton Journal).

Canadian Winery of the Year winners:

2015 – Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

2014 – Peller Family Estate, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
2013 – Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2012 – Tawse Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
2011 – Tawse Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
2010 – Tawse Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
2009 – Sandhill Winery. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2008 – Jackson-Triggs Okanagan, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2007 – Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2006 – Jackson-Triggs Okanagan, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2005 – CedarCreek Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2004 – Jackson-Triggs Okanagan, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2003 – Jackson-Triggs Okanagan, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2002 – CedarCreek Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
2001 – Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

This page will be updated with additional major events held annually in Canada Feel free to contact us.

Results of the 2013 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada (The Nationals)

2013 results
2014 Results

All Canadian Wine Championships

Established in 1981, it remains the oldest and largest competition for Canadian wines. Wines are critiqued by a panel of writers, Sommeliers and wine educators from across Canada, including Craig Pinhey, Shari Darling, John Schreiner, Michael Pinkus, Kempton Hyson.

Five Trophies are awarded :
Double Gold for Best of Category
Awards of merit (Gold, Silver, Bronze) for the top 10% in the flight. Essentially, only 30% of wines will receive an award, making it a tight race. They are the crème de la crème of that year's entries.

It includes all manner of grape wines, soft and tree fruit, ciders, meads. Open to all commercial Canadian wineries, including those made in a virtual setting. Wines are 100% Canadian content and produced. Competition is on the move to Prince Edward County, Ontario, as of June 2013, after 33 years operating in Lake Erie North Shore.

After judging is complete, there is a public walk-about featuring the wines from the entries submitted. This is in partnership with the local hospital and has seen as many as 700+ eager wine lovers attend the event.

2014 results / 2013 Results

InterVin International Wine Awards

The InterVin International Wine Awards is designed to recognize and celebrate the very best wines available to Canadian consumers. The goal is simple: help winemakers attain well-deserved recognition and celebrate outstanding achievements in winemaking.

Through InterVin's international scope and diligent evaluation process, an entirely objective, blind tasting format has been developed that utilizes a team of qualified and respected judges. The panel features wine industry professionals with backgrounds in hospitality, media, education and winemaking.

Competing wines will be grouped by varietal or style ensuring that each is fairly evaluated. Judges will award gold, silver and bronze medals in each category as well as determine the prestigious top awards for the overall best wines.

The tasting process for the InterVin International Wine Awards sets it apart from virtually every other competition. A winemaker, a sommelier and a wine educator are paired together to taste and evaluate brackets of wine, looking to celebrate excellence in winemaking.

Allow your truly superior wines to stand out from the crowd and earn the accolades they deserve!

Judging takes place at the spectacular White Oaks Resort & Spa, August 12 to 15, 2013.



Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian Excellence in cuisine, wine, the arts and athletic achievement. Celebrated in eleven cities across Canada in 2013, Gold Medal Plates features the premier chefs in each city in a competition to crown a gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team in each city, and subsequently nation-wide at the Canadian. Culinary Championships held the second week of February each year in Kelowna, B.C.

Founded in 2003, the goal of Gold Medal Plates is to raise substantial funds for Canada's high performance athletes, while celebrating Canadian excellence. Since 2004, Gold Medal Plates has received tremendous support and accolades all across Canada, and generated a combined net total of over $8.2 million for Canada's Olympic athletes! Gold Medal Plates is supported by corporate partners and individuals from across Canada who are committed to Canadian Excellence and supporting Canadian athletes.

The celebration of Canadian wine, beer and spirits has become an integral part of the success of Gold Medal Plates. The wine, beer and spirits that are presented to the more than 5000 Gold Medal Plates guests gets more comprehensive and more fascinating each year. Gold Medal Plates is now the largest program in Canada to feature and highlight excellent Canadian wines.

The generosity of the Canadian industry is impressive and in 2012 a record seventy winemakers, brewers, and distillers donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of their products…and most donated their premium labels! At the VIP, guests get to sample unique products. During the culinary competition, the chefs pair their dish with their chosen wine, beer or spirit. And during the entertainment portion of the evening, guests are treated to some incredible labels. Guests go away educated and impressed with the caliber of Canadian wine, beer and spirits.

In fact Gold Medal Plates is now the largest truly national consumer showcase for Canadian wine. Each year about 5,000 Canadians enjoy selections from over sixty wineries – plus Canadian breweries and distilleries. All the wines, beers and spirits are generously donated by the producers, with that cost savings going directly to the benefit of Canada's Olympians.

The core of the Gold Medal Plates wine program is donation of wine, beer or spirits to each competing chef. The quality of the food and wine pairing is one of the judging criteria, and for this reason the chef is given the freedom to select the accompanying wine. I am a resource if help is required. My other role is to co-ordinate wine for events like the VIP Reception and Celebration portions of the events in each city. At the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna I have the added pleasure of sourcing a Mystery Wine for the first leg of the competition, wherein chefs are presented an unmarked wine for which they must create a recipe to be served to 300 people 24 hours later. Great fun! ~ Lawrason, Gold Medal Plates National Wine Advisor and Head Wine Judge


2103 Ontario Wine awards

Fort Berens Estate Winery
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2012 estate grown Riesling wins the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in BC

Lieutenant Governor Awards of Excellence in Wine BC

Lieutenant Governor Awards of Excellence in Wine Ontario

Lieutenant Governor Awards of Excellence in Nova Scotia

Institute of Masters of Wine

Wineries of Canada

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