Even as quality improves across the board, the top medal is a rare mark of excellence.
These Platinum-medal wines were scored the highest and, in every case, they made it through two rounds of judging, facing tougher competition as they moved through the system. The scarcity of Platinums — with 24 this year — ensures only the best make the list. And as it happens, it is almost impossible to be in the Winery of the Year conversation without one or two Platinum medals in your haul.
It is clear that terroir is a big part of the success for Platinum- winning wines. Names like McLean Creek Road Vineyard, Okanagan Falls; Jagged Rock Vineyard, Oliver; Nadja’s Vineyard, Twenty Mile Bench; Felseck Vineyard, Beamsville Bench; Rockyfeller Vineyard, Oliver; Storm Haven Vineyard, Okanagan Falls; or Home Block Vineyard, South Kelowna Slopes continue to make it to the top every year.
In the last decade, we’ve seen a steady increase in improved farming techniques in almost every Canadian vineyard. The leading growers embrace precision agriculture, giving their grapes, growing much north of the 49th parallel, a fighting chance to reach their full potential each year. Of course, it’s no cakewalk when heat domes, wildfires, droughts, and pests can descend on your vineyard anytime, but the results must be heartening for the hard-working.
Pricewise, six wines came in at $50 or higher, although, in the scheme of things, the best wine sells for a modest $60 — not outrageous when you think about top wines from other countries. The average price of the Platinums is about $38.