Robert Bell's

Wineries to Watch for in 2019

Corcelettes Estate Winery

These are the wineries I feel will leave their mark on Canada's wine future in 2019. They are listed in random order.

Shrugging Doctor Brewing Company

448b Brooklyn Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba

It is a brave new world and this Winnipeg winery has no fear of growing grapes and producing wine in Manitoba!

Shrugging Doctor Brewing Company was incorporated in April 2016 by two Winnipeggers; Zach Isaacs and Willows Christopher.

They produce cider, mead, fruit wines and now grape wines. Releasing a White and a Rose both made from grapes grown in Manitoba. Vandal Cliche and Frontenac. 

One must watch to see how those grape wines do!

British Columbia

Whispering Horse

43721 Vedder Mountain Road,
Chilliwack BC V2R 4C5

Fraser Valley has another impressive new winery! Located in Yarrow BC the west side of Chilliwack.

A family operated winery owned by Barry & Shirley Giesbrecht, Laurent & Melissa Fadanni. Their first release wasOctober 2017. They will specialize in Sparkling wine using L'Acadie grapes

Winemaker Laurent Fadanni has the passion and the desire it takes to make great wines!

Twisted Hills Craft Cider

2080 Ritchie Drive
Cawston, BC

Established in 2012 in the heart of Similkameen Wine Country, Twisted Hills Craft Cider became the first stand alone cidery in the Similkameen Valley. Kaylan Maderia and Jo Schneider (Husband) are the owners. Kaylan is the cider master at this Similkameen Cidery

Jo, is a fifth generation Cawston grower, who learned about apple production while growing up on his parents’ orchard, Heart Achers Farm, the location of Twisted Hills’ current tasting room.

In the Fall of 2017 Jo and Kaylan purchased and additional 5 acres on top of their 7 acre orchard which will become the new home of their tasting room dubbed the CiderDome which has a projected opening date of June 2018 located at 2070 HWY 3 Cawston BC.

Practicing Organic methods of farming and cider making they are the only cidery in BC to have a full line up of Certified Organic ciders made with Organic Estate Grown Cider Apples.

Twisted Hills’ Kingston Twist won the Judges’ Choice Award for Best Cider at the 2015 and 2016 Okanagan Fest-of-Ale celebrations. Midnight Cherry, won BEST CIDER OF THE YEAR at the 2018 WineAlign Awards!

Larch Hill Winery

110 Timms Rd
Salmon Arm, BC 

Larch Hills Winery was established in 1997 as British Columbia's most northern winery - a true cool climate vineyard. Wine produced from the grapes grown on the vineyard quickly earned awards at several prestigious Pacific Northwest wine competitions. Larch Hills Winery's signature wine is Ortega. For many years their Ortega was the talk of the Okanagan. The founders of the winery retired and new owners moved in. Today they are back just as strong as ever.

Their Tamermack Rose is an award winner. The Madeleine Angevine is also very impressive.

Corcelettes Estate Winery

2582 Upper Bench Road
Keremeos, British Columbia

Making the Similkameen Valley proud! The growth here has been phenomenon both in their facilities and their wines.

At the 2018 Best of BC Wine Awards! They won Best BC Red Wine, Best BC White Wine, Best BC Rose’ Wine, Best BC Sparkling wine, Best Winery View and Best Winery Event in the Similkameen Valley! 

Corcelettes Estate Winery has recently acquired 132.5 acres of Bench land in the Similkameen Valley- this will bring our total Estate to 159 acres!

The future is bright for the Baessler Family.


2152 Barcello Rd,
Cawston, BC 

Orofino was named as one of the top 10 small wineries in the country ( ranked #9) and one of the top 25 wineries overall at the 2018 National Wine Awards (ranked #24). However the quality of their wines can not be questioned.

The Orofino Beleza 2014 is exceptional. The winery’s flagship red, this is 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Owners are John and Virginia Weber. Orofino means fine gold in Spanish.


1865 Naramata Road
Penticton, British Columbia

Moraine is a family-owned winery and vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake, located just minutes from the city of Penticton. From its shelf-like location above striking clay bluffs, Moraine peers over the landscape and water. These iconic glaciated white clay cliffs comprise the breathtaking Naramata Bench and inspire the winery’s land-formed name.

Dwight Sick as their new winemaker and director of vineyard / winery operations. Making them a winery to watch in 2019.

Culmina Family Estate

4790 Wild Rose Street
Oliver, BC

The Triggs family began planting its Golden Mile vineyards in 2007 and made the winery’s first vintages in 2011.They have a long term goal for producing quality wines.

The Triggs' ultimate goal is to make wines that fully express the most desirable characteristics of the varieties planted, and the uniqueness of each block of terroir; wines that are elegant, rich, intensely flavoured, and capable of long term cellaring. The winemaking process is guided at every stage by two key principles: gentle handling / Minimal intervention

The 2015 R&D by Culmina White Blend has earned a double gold medal at the Cascadia Wine Awards. 2019 is promising to be a very good year for Culmina.

The new 2013 Hypothesis, the flagship red from Culmina Family Estate Winery, is the best of the three vintages released to date from the winery.- John Schreiner

2019 is promising to be a very good year


Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards

697 Highway 97 S
Peachland, BC V0H 1X9

We’re just a little south of Peachland, a little ways north of Summerland on Hwy 97 at the historic Greata Ranch site. It’s quiet out here. Serene. A peaceful oasis on a bench above Okanagan Lake with some incredible views. And, of course, there's all this wine to try too.

The winery produces only Traditional method sparkling wine.

At the WineAlign National Wine Awards they were awarded 5 Gold 1 Silver and 1 Bronze

Sarah Bain is the winemaker.

Stags Hollow Vineyards

2237 Sun Valley Way
Okanagan Falls, BC

After a very successful 2018 the winery faces the 2019 season with a new winemaker. Stags Hollow is one of BC's oldest and well established wineries

Named winery of the year by Wine Press Northwest 2012
2013 BC Lieutenant Governor Award of Excellence. 2016 InterVin International Wine Awards-gold – 2014 Renaissance Syrah

They won 8 awards at National Wine Awards of Canada in 2018. Keep an eye on them in 2019.

Road 13

799 Ponderosa Road
Oliver, BC  

Tip of the hat to Road 13 Wine Align National Wine Awards Winery of the Year

Road 13's wine making philosophy is to grow great fruit in the vineyard, maintain this fruit character through careful steps in the wine making, and finally, to perfect the texture of the mouthfeel of the wine with the use (or not) of barrels and fining.

 Road 13 “took home 15 medals including one platinum, eight gold, two silver, and four bronze, wowing judges over multiple flights in a blind tasting environment.”

Recently the winery was sold to von Mandl Family Estates

Road 13 Vineyards took first and second place at this year’s BC Iconic Reds competition.

Gray Monk Estate Winery

1055 Camp Rd
Lake Country,

Gray Monk Estate Winery

Any time a major winery is sold it brings about a sense of anticipation and excitement, especially when the purchaser is one of Canada's leading wine companies Andrew Peller LTD.

The Lake Country winery has a proud history and a reputation of excellence.

Odyssey White Brut 2014 awarded The Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines

What plans does Andrew Peller have for the future of Gray Monk!

Black Hills Estate Winery

30880 Black Sage Road
Oliver, BC

When you add to your team a winemaker with the talents and reputation of Ross Wise great things will be expected from you.

Black Hills' vineyard sites have been recognized as having some of the best terroir in Canada. Located on Black Sage Road, our microclimate provides us one of the hottest, driest and sunniest sites in Canada.

2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence 

So keep you eye on Black Hills under Andrew Pellers Ltd and Mr Wise.

Wild Goose Vineyards

2145 Sun Valley Way,
Okanagan Falls, BC

How do you not have Wild Goose Vineyards as one of the Wineries to Watch in 2019. They have produced top quality wines year after year after year. They will do it again in 2019.

They have received nine Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines since they were established in 2003, winning again in 2018.

The Smoke and Oak Brit provides world class cuisine  to the Okanagan.

Tight Rope

1050 Fleet Rd,
Penticton, BC 

Tightrope Winery of Naramata, BC. In its début at the prestigious Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition, Tightrope has won a total of ten medals: three gold, three silver and four bronze.

Graham and Lyndsay O’Rourke have had a passion for the fine art of winemaking for years.

Tightrope is an evocative term for them. “It represents the balancing act you go through when you make wine, from decisions in the vineyard, depending on the season, to decisions in the winery and winemaking. All of those variables have to be balanced.”

Keep your eye on this winery

River Stone

143 Buchanan Dr
Oliver, BC

This family owned winery is located on a small knoll in the middle of the valley, just south of the well recognized McIntyre Bluff and just north of Oliver, BC, the Wine Capital of Canada.

The winery won 4 medals at the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada! Their wines are a focus of interest on social media.

You will like their wines! They are a winery to watch for in 2019.

Bordertown Winery

140 92 Ave
Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V2

Bordertown is nestled in the heart of Osoyoos, a border town that has long been celebrated for rich soil and brilliant sunshine. One of BC's most awarded wineries.

Yet beyond all the awards its the buzz, the word of mouth acclaim, that makes Bordertown a winery to watch in 2019.

Sperling Vineyards

1405 Pioneer Road
Kelowna, British Columbia

Sperling can trace its history back to 1860. They planted their first vineyard in 1920's . They established their label in 2008 and became Organic certified in 2017

The winery is owned in partnership of Ann and Susan Sperling, along with their husbands, Peter Gamble and Paul Richardson.

Ann Sperling is a well known winemaker. Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2013was awarded a 95 by John Schreiner.

2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence 

Definitely a winery to watch in 2019

Castoro de Oro

4004 BC-97
Oliver, BC 

One of those small family wineries you just can't help but like. They state on their website Family owned and operated, we look after wine-making from grape to glass, and we actually pretty good at it. I have to agree.

Crimson Rhapsody won the Peoples Choice award for the Best Red at the Edmonton and Calgary Wine Fests this past February

Their 2015 Merlot is extremely good

Fort Berens Winery

881 BC-99
Lillooet, BC

Here is just a very brief sample of the awards given to the wines of Fort Berens in 2018. They took home the hardware for Best B.C. White Wine, with its much-lauded Riesling; the Best B.C. Rosé; and the Best BC Winery Tasting Room, while The Kitchen at Fort Berens earned the nod for Best B.C. Winery Restaurant Showcasing Local Food.

A second vineyards is now been developed. The north field vineyard will represent a total of about 18 new acres to be planted in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, planting will include 4 acres of Merlot and 5 acres of Cabernet Franc. Planting will continue in 2019 with 3.5 acres of Riesling, 2 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon,1.5 acres of Gruner Veltliner, and 2 acres of Merlot.

Their reputation for producing top notch wines continues, watch for even more great wines in 2019.

Lariana Cellars

9304 2 Ave,
Osoyoos, BC

Dan Scott  Lariana Cellars

When noted author and wine judge John Schreiner gives your wines scores of 92 and 93 you have done something!!

This small winery close to USA border is owned by Dan and Carol Scott. The modest winery, which was built in 2012, is very well-equipped. Lariana was one of the earliest small wineries in the Okanagan to install a concrete egg for fermenting and aging wine.

Senka Tennant, is the consulting winemaker.

Noble Ridge

2320 Oliver Ranch Rd
Okanagan Falls, BC

Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery

Noble Ridge Vineyard and winery made quite a squash at the award events in 2017 and again in 2018. This included a Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines. Once again a define winery to watch for in 2019.

The winery lays in the Okanagan Valley at the northern most tip of the only desert in Canada. The winery is named for the noble varieties of grapes grown and the ridge that divides the land on which they thrive. 

Jim and Leslie D’Andrea began their winery in 2001.

Currently their cellar of wines are all 90 plus wines.

Okanagan Crush Pad

16576 Fosbery Rd,
Summerland, BC 

Now established as one of the leading wine producers in the province, owners the husband and wife team Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie are promoting free trade between the provinces as well as promoting Canada's wines around the world.

Located in Summerland they produce organic wines under the Haywire and Narrative names. Winemaker Matt Dumayne joined in 2013 from New Zealand via Australia, California and Oregon, works closely with Italian consultant Alberto Antonini and Canadian native David Scholefield.

They were the first to introduce concrete tanks to BC.

Home of Haywire wines
 The owners give credit to consulting winemaker Alberto Antonini and terroir consultant Pedro Parra for their guiding influence.

read more

Mt. Boucherie Estate

829 Douglas Road
West Kelowna
British Columbia

With a rapidly growing reputation for their wines Mt. Boucherie has begun construction on a new wine centre and restaurant. They have vineyards in Okanagan Falls, South Cawston, Golden Mile Bench and West Kelowna.

They have been award with far too many awards to mention here. Mt. Boucherie Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah 2014 is very popular.

Jim Faulkner is the dedicated winemaker.

Under its new owner (since 2016) the winery is busy upgrading its facilities and production.

Recline Ridge

2640 Skimikin Road
Tappen, B.C

This northern Okanagan winery is definitely a dark horse here. However winemaker Jamie Flemke is a fresh new face willing to try to things to produce great wines such as her sweet sherry made for Ortega grapes. Jamie is now in her third year at Recline Ridge.

Their Bacchus and Ortega wines always receive high praise.

Also getting good reviews Recline Ridge Just Being Frank 2014. The wine is 100% Blaufrankisch.

Spearhead Winery

3950 Spiers Rd,
Kelowna, BC has named SpearHead as one of the 12 Boutique Wineries you have to try in the Okanagan Valley. They would be right the well located in east Kelowna is inviting quaint and beautiful The wines even better.

I stop counting when I reach over twenty medal won by the winery in 2018. With Grant Stanley, a highly respected BC winemaker coming on board as their new winemaker/general manager, 2019 will be an even better year for the winery

St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery 

5205 Lakeshore Rd
Kelowna BC

The Idyllic and historic estate winery is located just minutes south of Kelowna,  nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Okanagan. Just name an award competition it is most likely the winery has received a gold or Platinum from them, These awards span through their entire cellar of wines.

"a strong belief in family, healthy sustainable organic farmed vineyards, and great wines."

2019 should once again prove to be another banner year for the winery!

Pipe Dream

168 Sportsmens Bowl Road
Oliver, BC   V0H 1T5

The winery is owned by John Ness who bought the property in 2009. It is located on the north west side of Oliver. The name of this winery comes from a question that John Ness, the owner, asked himself when launching the project: is it a big dream, or just a pipe dream?

After childhood summers with his family experiencing the Okanagan, John formed a lifelong dream to return and live among grapevines. Throwing caution to the wind, he moved to Oliver in 2009 to bring his dream to life. He secured prime grape growing land and planted some less-common-in-BC varietals, ones that are best suited to the site including Kerner, Zweigelt, Gamay and Grüner Veltliner.

Consulting winemaker is Mark Wendenburg. John chose varieties outside the mainstream of Okanagan plantings: Grüner Veltliner, Kerner, Gamay Noir and Zweigelt. 

Pipe Dream produces a very nice Grüner Veltliner


Naramata Bench BC

Sadly this winery, located at the north end of Naramata, owned by Skip and Judy Stothert has no tasting room. What they do have is one of the best Chardonnays in BC. Matt Dumayne is the winemaker. Consulting to Coolshanagh is the internationally renowned terroir specialist Dr. Pedro Parra.

Coolshanagh is a Celtic word that translates as “a meeting place of friends.” So maybe one day they will build that tasting room.

Keep you eye on them they also grow Pinot Noir.

Backyard Vineyards

3033 232 St,
Langley, BC

Backyard Vineyards has established itself as a producers of fine wines under the guidance of winemaker James Cambridge. In 2018 the winery was purchased by Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc. of Ontario.

What will this mean for the winery? Most likely positive growth. 2019 will be a very interesting year for the winery!

They won nine awards this year at the 2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition including GOLD for our 2017 Riesling. 

Poplar Grove Winery

425 Middle Bench Road
North Penticton, British Columbia

The Legacy 2014 take top spot for Bordeaux-style red-blends at the 4th annual Judgement of BC

Founded in 1993, Poplar Grove Winery is one of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench. Tony and Barb Holler purchased the winery in 2007. Their wine grower sons, Chris, Andrew, Matthew, and Eric farm the estate vineyards with meticulous care. The family is recognized for crafting benchmark Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc as well as multiple varietals and outstanding blends, with some wines in extremely limited quantities. Together they share a commitment to create distinctive, genuine wines that reflect the character and richness of this special place, the Okanagan Valley.

Painted Rock

400 Smythe Drive
Penticton, BC, Canada, V2A 8W6

Intervin winery of the year. Painted Rock is indeed a producer of high premium wines year after year!

The vineyard, growing about 50,000 vines, has been developed on property south of Penticton and east of Skaha Lake that old-timers still call Braeside Farms. 60-acre Blackhawk property is owned by John Skinner. It was decided to plant the primary red components of the classic Bordeaux blends, including a small planting each of Malbec and Petite Verdot to provide spice for their blend and to broaden blending options for their winemaker.

What will this world class winery give us in 2019!

Mirabel Vineyards

3740 Hart Road
Kelowna,   BC

Expectations are hight when who have engaged two masters of wine, Rhys Pender and James Cluer, to advise you.

Numerous noted wine critics such as John Schreiner, Anthony Gismondi, Tim Pawsey, and Kristof Gillese, have given their wines extremely high scores.

The Reimer Family Vineyard was planted in 2006 on a steep hill with both southwesterly and northwesterly aspects. Grapes were planted at an elevation of 930 feet, up to 1220 at the top.

Mirabel, “of wondrous beauty”, perfectly represents the Reimer family’s stunning South East Kelowna hilltop estate and vineyard overlooking the beautiful Okanagan Valley.

Ciao Bella Winery

3252 Glencoe Road
West Kelowna

Ciao Bella Winery is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery in West Kelowna, BC. They are proudly producing Okanagan wines with Italian flair The Fiume family originated from Italy where they had grown grapes for generation. They moved to Yellowknife operating a restaurant before moving to the Okanagan.

For over 20 years Roberto Fiume has been growing the finest grapes and this is reflected in the awards won by our boutique winery. Most recently our 2016 Pinot Nero won Gold at two National competitions, the 2018 Wine Align and also 2018 The All Canadian Wine Championships and our 2016 Dolce Vino Dessert wine won Gold at the 2018 BC Best of Varietals. Some of our past awards include a silver medal for our 2014 Pinot Ros and Best Pinot Noir in BC at the Best of Varietal Awards for our 2014 Pinot Nero!

They have one of the oldest vineyards on the west bank
Signature wines : Focus on Pinot Noir Estate grown grapes, also planting Pinot Grigio in spring 2016

Clos du Soleil 

2568 Upper Bench Road,
Keremeos, BC, V0X 1N4

Once again Clos du Soleil  has widen its ability to produce outstanding wines by purchasing a second vineyard within a year. In total they have added 22 acres on the Upper Bench Road in Keremeo.

Clos du Soleil makes wine only with Similkameen fruit, some of it purchased from other growers or vineyards managed by Clos. 

Clos du Soleil Signature Red 2014 made it into the top ten at the BC Iconic Reds competition.

Phantom Creek Estates farms

Black Sage Rd.
Oliver B.C

The winery is scheduled to open in spring 2019. It sits On the sunbathed Black Sage Bench, Phantom Creek Estates farms exceptional wines from the historic Phantom Creek and Becker Vineyards.

The top quality vineyards are joined by an excellent team of winemakers and vineyard managers. Olivier Humbrecht an expert in organic and biodynamic farming

The facilities will be world class! There will be a amphitheatre.

Black Market Wine Co

2434 Oliver Ranch Road
Okanagan Falls. BC

A small Garagiste winery that shines. Rob Hammersley and Michelle Shewchuk both have full time jobs away from the winery but manage to produce outstanding wines.

Noted author John Schriener gave their wines scores ranging from 90-93. Quite a cellar! I would keep your eye on the Black Market.

40 Knots

2400 Anderton Road
Comox, British Columbia 

40 Knots Estate Winery was established in 2005 on 24 lush coastal acres in the heart of the Comox Valley. The winery was purchased by Brenda Hetman-Craig and Layne Craig in July 2014

The name comes from the 40 Knots winds from the Strait of Georgia. These winds help keep the grapes dry in the vineyard.  The wineries founder was a tugboat captain, 40 knots at sea, is a time to come in to land and enjoy a nice bottle of wine. 40 Knots' logo has swallows which are seen in the vineyard and they depict homecoming to a sailor

They had a very successful 2018 including 4 medal at the Lieutenant Governor awards'

40 Knots is committed to their Community and donates to numerous charities and events

Alderlea Vineyards

1751 Stamps Road,
 Duncan, V9L 5W2

Alderlea Vineyards

One has to be impressed with the progress made by Zac and Julie Brown took over Alderlea Vineyards in April 2017. The winery is located near Duncan on the slopes above Quamichan Lake. The winery was established in by Rodger and Nancy Dosman. Dosman strong vision for an island vineyard and skilled winemaking made Alderlea one of the pioneers in Vancouver Island winegrowing. Prior to 1911, the town of Duncan was known as Alderlea.

Their Bacchus is extremly good. Watch for their wines in 2019.


Two Sisters Vineyards

 240 John St E,

What a year they had in 2018 named Best Performing Small Winery of the Year at the All Canadian . They won
1 Platinum, 4 Gold, 1 Silver at the Ontario Awards along with with many other awards.

The winery is owned by two sisters Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli and Angela Marotta between them they have seven children hence the seven grapes on the logo.

Wine reviewers have been given their wines scores of 94 and 93. We see no reason that their success will continue in 2109.

Adam Pearce is the winemaker

Pelee Island Winery 

455 Seacliff Drive 
Kingsville, Ontario 

The historic Pelee Island winery is actually located in Kingsville, Ontario. They do have a pavilion and vineyards on the Island.

Pelee is a well established winery with a outstanding reputation in Ontario. Their president and chief winemaker is Walter Schmoranz.  In 1985, he joined Pelee Island Winery where his experience and skills have led to Pelee Island Winery winning hundreds of awards around the world, most notably for our 2002 Cabernet Franc Ice wine - winner of the Citadel de France Gold Medal.

Martin Janz looks after the day to day winemaking tasks. Tim Charisse completes the team.

The winery has won too many awards in major events than can be listing here, 2019 should be another grand year!

Rennie Estate

4260 King St. East,
Beamsville, Ont.

Rennie Estate Winery is a small, family owned, artisan producer, specializing in crafting Super Niagara Bordeaux blend wines and dedicated to the vilification of single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

Heron Pond Benchland Vineyard is a fifty acre site located on the Beamsville Bench, a sub appellation within the Niagara Peninsula Viticultural area Graham and Christine Rennie purchased the vineyard in 1997.

The Ontario wine writers have heaped praised on their wines.

Watch for their wines in 2019 will they equal the buzz!


1829 Concession 4,
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Fabian and Stephanie Reis – along with Erwin Wiens have purchased and taken possession of Rancourt winery.

Fabian Reis make icewines for Ziraldo Icewine  then started his own label Ferox. Erwin is a longtime grape grower for Peller – and has won grape grower of the year from Peller three out of the past seven years.

Fabian Reis was born into a traditional vintner family in Stuttgart, Germany. He is the sixth generation winemaker and his family winemaking background dates back to 1893. He moved to Niagara on the Lake, Canada in 1995. He returned back to Germany for over 5 years to study his winemaking roots from 2006-2011 and attended one of Germany's prestigious winemaking schools, working alongside wineries that are ranked Europe's best. 

Hidden Bench Estate Winery

4152 Locust Ln,
Beamsville, ON

A perennial favourite in Ontario. They keep producing wines people really like.

Owner Harald Thiel's uncompromising attention to detail has landed Hidden Bench in the Canadian Wine Awards' top 10 every year since the winery opened in 2007. 1 Platinum, 4 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze at2018 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada

Pondview Estate Winery

925 Line 2 Rd
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Located in the Four Mile Creek region of Niagara.

Ontario writer Michael Pinkus says Pondview Estate 2014 Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon is the best.

Lou Puglisi, Proprietor: "My work is my passion, and my goal is to establish a worldwide reputation for PondView as a premium wine producer.". Fred Di Profio is the winemaker.

Keint-He Winery & Vineyards

49 Hubbs Creek Road
Wellington, ON

The Wellington winery has three vineyards The Big lake vineyard benefits from off the lake. The Little Creek Vineyard are the second oldest planting in Prince Edward County (planted in 1997).

Lee Baker is the winemaker. Kein - He is a dark horse selection for winery to watch for in 2019!


3100 Glen Road
Jordan, ON
L0R 1S0

Calamus Vineyards started by Derek Saunders and Pat Latin with a 14 acre property in 1999 near Beamsville and planted their first 10 acre vineyard in 2000. With the goal of supporting and 8500 case winery, a second farm and 19th century barn was purchased in 2001. 

Peter and Rosalee Van-Helsdingen and family purchased the winery as of September 5th 2018. Peter and Rosalee are the owners of Feastivities Events and Catering serving the Niagara region since Peter's father started the company in 1971.

Will new owners bring Calamus into prominence in 2019?

The Farm

2132 King Street,
Town of Lincoln, Ontario

The Farm 2015 Pinot Noir, Mason Vineyard Ontario wine Awards Red wine of the year.

Peter & Dora Neudorf are the owner of this vineyard and winery, The majority of their grapes is sold to Domaine Queylus.

A small quantity is held back by the Neudorfs to produce THE FARM Pinot Noir.

Kelly Mason is the winemaker

Big Head Wine Co

304 Hunter Road,
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Andrzej (Andre) Lipinski a successful winemaker and consultant in Ontario who opened his own wine company featuring Big Head Wines. The name Lipinski draws from his childhood, a self-deprecating salute to his, well, big head!

Focusing on wild fermentation and the appassimento winemaking method (kiln drying of the grapes), Big Head Wines is producing small-batch artisanal wines.

There is quite a buzz about the wines One Ontario magazine gave very one of their wins scores above 90

2019 may be the year of the Big Head!

Back 10 Cellars

4101 King Street, 
Beamsville, Ontario

Back 10 Cellars started with a big dream , pure will, gumption and determination. It was the passion of Andrew and Christina Brooks that made their dream come true. It only took ten years.

With the help of winemaker Dave Johnson Back Ten Cellars could easy be the surprise of 2019. After all when their highest price wine Pinot Noir sells out they are doing something right!

Stratus Vineyards

2059 Niagara Stone Road
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Stratus, one of the few pump-free wineries in the world, wine is transported in tanks and barrels or moved through gravity flow, but it is never pumped.

Their winemaker J-L (Jean-Laurent) Groux with a reputation few can match.

The winery was founded by Teknion CEO and president David Feldberg, who cultivated a passion for wine while travelling to Italy, France and Spain for business. It was the first LEED accreditation awarded by the Canadian Green Building Council in 2005. It earned international attention for its bottle and label collaborations, namely with industrial designer Karim Rashid and San Francisco Michael Vanderbyl. Visitors to the vineyard, meanwhile, are greeted by tasting rooms and retail environments designed by Diego Burdi of Toronto interior design studio Burdifilek.

However it is Stratus allowing wine lovers to rediscover the noble tradition of assemblage, the art of combining several grape varieties to create a single wine that makes them a winery to watch in 2019

Blueberry Hill Estate Winery

1195 Front Road
St Williams, ON

Blueberry Hill Estates is a high bush blueberry farm estate that operates a winery and farm market on location. Situated overlooking Lake Erie in Norfolk County with nearby towns of Turkey Point, Long Point, and Port Dover.

They produce grape wines, fruit wines and Cider. In August, the St. Williams winery won two awards at an international competition featuring more than 1,380 wines from more than 16 countries.

Keep your eye on them!

Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd

1067 Niagara Stone Rd.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

A major wine company based in Ontario they operate their wineries under Lakeview Cellars wine company, producing some of Ontario's top-selling wine brands, including EastDell, 20 Bees, FRESH, Lakeview Cellars McMichael Collection, Seasons (De Sousa Wine Cellars) and Canadian acting legend Dan Aykroyds line of wines as well as the top-selling kosher wines Tzafona Cellars.

They recently expanded into British Columbia purchasing Backyard Vineyards in Langley Township.

They did well at the Wine align All Canadian Awards

What will Diamond do in 2019!

Icellars Estate Winery

615 Concession 5 Road
Niagara On The Lake

 It was founded in 2010 by the ICEL family who pays tribute to their homeland Anatolia, now present day Turkey. The Anatolian civilization of Hittites called their lands 'Wiyana Wanda' meaning “Land of Wine”. 

Owned by Adnan Icel a 60 acres (24 Ha) vineyard&future winery focusing on big reds Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Four Mile Creek sub-appellation provides the ample nutrients needed to produce high quality fruit for winemaking. 

This is not one of those wineries that boast numerous award It is a winery people take about for their wines and hospitality.

Inniskillin Estate Winery

Gorhams Bluff Road
Kingston, NB

Inniskillin has played an important pioneering role in the modern Canadian wine industry. It has played a major role in the advancement of Canada's icewine helping to introduce Canada's icewine to to world.

The winery continues to win award around the world under winemaker Bruce Nicholson. Driven by his love of wine, Bruce works to achieve the perfect balance with the natural components that begin in the vineyards. "I enjoy working with the good acidities here in Niagara and believe that the possibilities are endless."

Inniskillin won the Sweet Wine Award at Decanters Worlds for its 2012 Vidal Icewine.

Yes! 2019 will be another amazing year for the winery!


Dunham's Run Estate Winery

Gorhams Bluff Road
Kingston, NB

A true dark horse in this years picks simply because we do not hear about the winery in competitions or news articles. We hear about the winery through social media. Those who have been to winery and tasted their wines are impressed.

Richibucto River Wine Estate 

940 Route 495
Mundleville, NB

New Brunswick is not as yet considered a major wine producing region in Canada. Richibucto has a number of awards for their wines thats say they can compete with Canad's top wine regions.

They have approximately 20 varieties of cold-climate hybrid grapes. The majority of their grapes are either French hybrids (Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, etc) or Minnesota hybrids (Sabrevois, Prairie Star, Raddison, etc) Hybrids are bred from vinifera to obtain traits that are able withstand cold Canadian winters and ripen in a short growing season.

Alan Hudson grew up locally and had lived on the property with his family for 20 years before starting the vineyard. He is also the winemaker, although in 2017 he began teaching his youngest son, Derek,

Benjamin Bridge

1966 White Rock Road
Gaspereau, Nova Scotia

A global news report used the following headline "Surprise! One of Canada's best wines is from Nova Scotia" let me correct that headline to read Benjamin Bridge continues it's tradition of producing world class sparkling wines.

They will continue to be a top notch producer to in the years to come.

Bear River

133 Chute Road
Bear River, Nova Scotia

The first vines in Nova Scotia were planted right here in Bear River in 1611 by the French Apothecary Louis Hebert.  He recognized the warm and sheltered micro-climate unique to Bear River was ideal for grapes.  

New owners Darren a and Sue Carey are bring new life to this well established winery. The vineyards current vines were first planted in 1963 with additional planting in 1987.

Atop the vineyard sits the Winery.  Housed in a masterfully renovated bank barn that dates back to 1883, 

Keep an eye on Bear River and visit if you can

Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards

11143 Evangeline Trail
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards

The Lightfoot family have been farming in the Annapolis Valley for eight generations, Lightfoot & Wolfville provides a truly unique farm winery experience. Embracing organic and biodynamic agriculture. Located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

They focus on classic vinifera includes ChardonnayPinot Noir,Riesling, and other German-styled whites specifically selected for our micro-climates.

Winners 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines. They held their grand opening in 2017. Consulting winemaker is Peter Gamble.

Winegarden Estate Ltd

851 Route 970
Baie Verte, N.B.

Winegarden Estate Ltd.

Winegarden Estate Ltd., formerly Rosswog-Farm-Distillery, was established by Werner and Rose Rosswog in 1991, marking the first fruit distillery and the only winery and distillery in Atlantic Canada. The first product ‘Johnny Ziegler Apple Schnaps,’ dry, Black-Forest style, was released in 1992.

Winegarden Estate Ltd. has grown from its modest beginnings to include a wine storefront and function room, a small museum and an event barn, alongside the vineyard and distillery. Winegarden Estate Ltd. remains a family business with Steffen as Master Winemaker, Distiller, and Production Manager. His sister, Elke, is the company President, as well as Manager of Finances and Sales

Their VM Cuvée – The initials VM represent not only the Valiant and Minnesota grapes this wine is made of, but also Dr. Victor McLaughlin of Riverview, NB, a passionate grapevine selector. He donated more than two thousand selected vine cuttings to Winegarden Estate Ltd. because he was happy to find a New Brunswick winemaker who made the production of grape wine from locally grown grapes possible. Naming this wine after him is our way of saying thank you to Dr. Victor McLaughlin and his wife, Peggy.

They are located near Port Elgin


Vignoble Gagliano Vineyards

1046 Rue Bruce
Dunham, Quebec

A family run winery in Quebec's Eastern Township, The Winery walked away with four medals at the 2018 Finger Lakes Festival.

Originally know as Le Vignoble Les Blancs Coteaux which opened its doors in May 1989. On August 21st 2008, the Gagliano family acquired this beautiful winery and changed its name to “VIGNOBLE GAGLIANO VINEYARDS” to personalize its character.

Numerous Quebec writers have acknowledge the quality of their wines. One to watch for for sure

Domaine Bresee

303, Draper Hill
Sutton, Quebec

Domaine Bresee

I hear the whispers! Its about the quality of their red wines. Some say the best reds in Quebec. Yet it was their Bressoc White winning at the all Canadians.

Owned by the Richard Bresee and family. Richard is the winemaker. Production will be about 20,000 bottles in 2019.

Domaine Bresee also raises Charolais beef

Vignoble de l'Orpailleur

1086 Rue Bruce
Dunham, QC


 l’Orpailleur planted its first vines in 1982 in the beautiful Dunham Valley, one of the most welcoming and wonderful regions in Quebec. Today, the production borders 165,000 bottles.

In 1986 they added a restaurant and terrace.
2012 — Construction of a new building which became the new cellar. This building now provides for an ultra-modern hall with a 180-degree view on the vines on the second floor, and welcomes corporate groups, private receptions and weddings

A vineyard is built by each person’s hard work. L’Orpailleur is what it is today thanks to a team that has supported me in pursuing my wildest dreams. Every team member is moved by a passion that sets the standards higher in terms of product quality and clientele service. Without them, L’Orpailleur wouldn’t have the same flavour.”

Two of their wines were awarded the Double Gold medal at the 15th edition of the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. 


Festina Lente Estate Winery Ltd.

21113 16 Ave,
Langley BC

Located in the Fraser Valley across the street from Township7. . The meadery is owned by Teresa Townsley and Bill Townsley. You can feel the passion and dedication of Tersesa the moment you walk into the tasting room.

If you enjoy desert wines the Silvanas with a touch of pure Canadian Maple Syrup is the one for you Barbara and I were both impressed by the wine.

Our visit

Meadow Vista

3975 June Springs Road
Kelowna BC

Meadow Vista Honey Wines is located in Kelowna, BC on a five and a half acre farm, nestled amongst the orchards of East Kelowna. In partnership with our beekeeper, the farm is home to 110 hives of hardworking honeybees.

They produce six different meads (honey wines) using BC ingredients including local honey, apples, cherries and blackberries. All of their meads are gaining international recognition

Tall Grass Mead

Thorndale, ON.

A very small operation, a female owned and operated business based on the family farm near Thorndale, Ontario. Tallgrass Mead is named for the tallgrass prairie ecosystem which once dominated the Southwestern Ontario landscape, but is now one of the rarest ecosystems on earth.

Their meads are made using sustainable production methods in the spirit of celebrating this rare ecosystem and protecting the environment around us.

Tugwell Creek

8750 West Cost Road
Sooke, BC

Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery was licensed as Western Canada's first Meadery in 2003. Bob Liptrot's passion for over 40 years, our bees produce the finest honeys from the local Sooke area on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Over 25 years of passionate mead making has lead to several award winning meads.

I think they are the best mead producer in Canada. Their consistent quality makes them a winery to watch again in 2019.


Cidrerie Milton

5, Route 137
Sainte-C écile-de-Milton

Quebec is famous for ciders. One that stands out is Cidrerie Milton than can trace their routes back to 1927.

A the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition their  Cid Rosé named Best Cider

Watch for their products.

The Old Third

251 Closson Road
Hillier, ON

The Old Third Vineyard is located on a steep south-south-east slope in Hillier, Prince Edward County

Social Media tells me they make a very good cider.

The winery is owned by partners Jens Korberg and Bruno Francois who began their passion of starting a winery in 2004

McKeown Cidery

30, chemin de Marieville
Rougemont, Québec

Created in 2004 by Robert McKeown and Andrée St-Denis, the cidery produces ciders focused on the freshness and the purity of the fruit. The McKeown ciders include the Draft, Cranberry, Pear, Honey and the Bone dry flavours.

McKeown ciders are distributed outside of Québec, in the United States, England, and China

The growth of this company is amazing!

Cidrerie du Minot

376 chemin
Covey-Hill Hemmingford, Quebec

The Minot Cider House’s closed-tank method produces fine sparkling ciders, in which the signature taste of apple dominates. 

 Robert and Joëlle Demoy left their native Britanny in the late 1970s to settle in Quebec and set up Minot Cider House in Hemmingford in 1987. Over the years, the couple shared their passion with their children, Audrenne and Alan, who are now ensuring succession of the Minot Cider House.

Robert – Oenologist-cider maker Breton-born, Robert Demoy, a graduate oenologist from the University of Bordeaux is recognized in the cider industry in Quebec for his expertise as well as for both his artisanal and innovative methods.

Honourable mention

L'Acadie Vineyards - Nova Scotia never count this winery out consistent quality

Le V ignoble du Ruisseau -Dunham, Quebec, a very beautifully designed vineyard. Stunning barrel room and more

Léon Courville - Knowlton, Quebec considered to produce some of Quebec's best sparkling wines

Michel Jodoin Cidery - Quebec There is a buzz about their quality ciders

Cep d'Argent Winery -  Eastern Townships, Quebec. Local papers rave about their wines.

Little Red Wagon - Clarendon, Quebec Eight years of hard working are paying off for this family owned winery.

Mann Farms Winery - Abbotsford BC, winner best fruit wine All Canadians

Seaside Pearl Estate Winery - a new winery who just keep on improving. Their hard work will payoff!

Chaberton Estate What a cellar some truly wonderful wines

Lang Vineyards - Naramata BC One of the original Naramata wines producing quality wines

Harpers Trail - Kamloops BC They have put Kamloops on the BC winemake

Hillside - Naramata BC A very successful winery with a strong history. Reserve Pinot Gris 2017  Lieutenant Governor Award platinum

Lake Breeze - Naramata BC - the wine of the year for their 2016 Pinot Noir at the recent B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards.

Red Rooster - Naramata BC this will be their year to crow!

Parsell Vineyards, Saanich, Vancouver Island opened in 2018 owned by well know author Tilar Mazzeo

Cave Spring Cellars Nigara-on -the- Lake, Ontario Consistency

Unsworth Vineyards - Cobble Hill, British Columbia the buzz creates a major interest in their wines.

Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards- Pender Island - Ortega won the 2017 “Best of Show” for the Province of B.C. competition held in Victoria.

Blue Sky Winery - Osoyoos  a young winery accumulating its share of silver and bronze awards. Cab Sauvignon 2013-Gold Medal At all Canadian wine championship 

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