Rosé and Gamay – Medal Winners from NWAC 2018

Announcing the Results from the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada

In 2018, over 1,850 wines from 257 wineries were entered into the National Wine Awards of Canada, making this largest and most comprehensive wine competition in Canadian history. In late June, 22 judges assembled in Penticton BC for five full days to determine the best wines in Canada. Wines were tasted blind in multiple rounds based on category or style.

Due to the amazing array of top quality Canadian wines entered this year, we have decided to break the announcement of the results into more manageable pieces. Each day for the next two weeks we will be announcing a few categories at a time, with the highly-anticipated Platinum Awards to be announced on July 27th, the Best Performing Small Winery on July 30th, and finally the Winery of the Year, along with a list of the nation’s Top 25 Wineries, on July 31st. 

National Wine Awards of Canada

We’ve asked a few of our judges to summarize their impressions of each category. Today we present Rosé and Gamay with a few words from Treve Ring:


Category Overview by Judge and Panel Leader Treve Ring

As colourful and fragrant as the cherry blossoms bursting out across the country every spring, Canadian rosés swell in numbers, and tighten in form, consistently year over year. Pinot noir leads the blends, with gamay and cabernet franc pulling in impressive appearances. Though styles vary widely, we’re seeing a decrease in residual sugar, and an increase in purpose, both of which are promising trends.

This year’s top medal winning rosés were all about freshness, all from 2017, and all charming enough to encourage a second, or third glass. Rosé, though such a quaffable, friendly wine, can easily be overwrought by heavy hands (extraction, residual sugar, oak, yeasts, etc.). The ones that impressed us the most, our gold medal winners, feel effortless: pale, taut, savoury, subtly fruited, finely structured and dry. This year’s gold winners included two from British Columbia’s Wine Islands, a welcome reflection of cool, coastal, climate wines, and the style the judges believe in.

NWAC18 Rosé Medal Winners


Category Overview by Judge and Panel Leader Treve Ring

#GoGamayGo. This humble hashtag, coined years ago by our own Dr. Janet Dorozynski, has united gamay fans globally, and become a rallying collective for a misunderstood red grape. Gamay isn’t geeky anymore, long-shackled to the marketing mechanics of Beaujolais Nouveau. This characterful light red is now one of the cool kids, grown confidently from Beaujolais to BC, Niagara to New Zealand, Stellenbosch to Saumur, and California to Chile (and beyond).

In the wake of big, dark, richer reds, gamay’s appeal comes via its fresh acidity, fragrant fruitiness, fine tannins and lissom structure. Its full name, Gamay Noir à jus Blanc, reflects that its skin is black, its juice is white, but the wine produced is a light bodied red.

Gamay has emerged as one of Canada’s top red grapes, worthy of championing. From effortlessly smashable, chillable reds to structural, ageworthy, Cru-carved wines, gamay suits a range of tastes and terroirs. This year’s gold medal winning wines covered grounds in Niagara Peninsula, Similkameen, and Beamsville Bench, with the silvers near equally split between BC and Ontario. A strong showing across the board, and more evidence that you should #GoGamayGo.

NWAC18 Gamay Medal Winners

National Wine Awards of Canada National Wine Awards of Canada Judges