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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
NOTL wineries strike gold at national awards
The backroom at the National Wine Awards of Canada is a veritable what's what of Canada's finest wines. Supplied

Visitors to Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries will soon see some of the wine bottles sporting stickers to boast their award-winning status.

The 2022 Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada were released last week and NOTL wineries fared very well.

This was the 21st year the awards have been held and 24 judges did blind tastings of 1,890 entries from more than 250 wineries across the country.

More than 60 wineries from Niagara participated, including 18 from NOTL.

“There are many more wineries in B.C. than Niagara, but the percentage of submitted wines that win awards is comparable,” said David Lawrason, one of the founders of the awards and co-head judge.

“The consistency of quality is on par in both places,” he added.

Stratus Vineyards won the most awards of any NOTL winery, with a total of 16.

Four of the large wineries followed, with Peller Estates garnering 15 awards, Trius 14, Jackson-Triggs 13, and Inniskillin 12.

Two NOTL wineries were also included in Ontario’s Top 10 Wineries, with Two Sisters in fourth place and Peller in fifth.

The top three wineries in Ontario were 13th Street, Vieni and Thirty Bench.

Some lesser-known and newer NOTL wineries also won awards.

Niagara College had a good showing across several styles of wine and they have done reasonably well consistently,” noted Lawrason.

A relative newcomer to the  competition, De Simone, took two awards. The winery opened in 2017.

It’s “a very small winery. I’ve met their winemaker and I was very impressed, so I’m glad to see they did well,” said Lawrason.

Winemaker Vincenzo Robert De Simone was pleased with the results.

“It’s a gamble to enter, because there is a cost, but it’s a great way to attract customers, and it definitely draws attention. Everyone wants to try award winning wines,” he said. 

For full results, visit winealign.com/awards.

Read more about the awards won by Niagara College at niagaranow.com.

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