The Platinum Medal Winners from NWAC 2022

Announcing the Results from the 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada

The 21st running of the National Wine Awards of Canada wrapped up on June 23 in Niagara. We have now finished announcing the winners for each category and for the next three days we are concluding with the Platinum winners today, the Best Performing Small Winery tomorrow, and Winery of the Year on Friday. 


Platinum Pack Case 2022 with Light


Today we present the Platinum Medal Winners:

The Platinums – the 24 highest rated wines of the competition

By Co-Head Judge Anthony Gismondi

The judges don’t award Platinum medals at the Nationals. Like all the medals, they “come out in the wash” once the wines are tasted and scored. One percent and ties define the limited number of Platinum medals issued at The Nationals, and in 2022 that number is 24. NWAC22_Platinum

We prefer the one percent method for ferreting out the best at the competition because it is done without restriction to colour, grape, price, or origin, allowing the best to be recognized strictly by their performance. These are the wines the judges marked 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 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. 

If you were to break down the Platinum list, it is clear that terroir is a big part of their success. 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. For example, the average price of the Platinums is about $38. Still, you can buy the Vieni 2020 Riesling, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, for $16.95, the Redstone 2019 Bistro Riesling, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario for $14.95, or the Kitsch 2019 Esther’s Block Riesling, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia for $25. 

Riesling, the grape we love to champion but consumers not so much, led all the Platinum varietals with six labels split evenly between B.C. and Ontario. Flat Rock Cellars Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2020 and the Mosel-like Storm Haven 2020 Riesling Gibson-Block 3 led the category that boasted some of the highest scores and lowest price. 

As the years go by and the wines continue their refinement, chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah all figured evenly, grabbing four Platinum medals each. The Meyer 2020 Old Block Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyard, Okanagan Falls, topped the pinots delivering finesse and flavour with a bit of fun; the number one chardonnay was the Broken Stone 2019 Chardonnay Home Farm, with a simple VQA Ontario G.I., while the syrahs were led by a terrific bottle of CedarCreek Platinum 2020 Jagged Rock Syrah, from the Black Sage Bench in the Okanagan Valley. 

Oddly the sparkling wine category appeared strong as ever yet yielded only one Platinum from 13th Street 2015 Premier Cuvee, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario. However, what we love most about blind tastings is discovering new developments; indeed, the Hainle 2020 Merlot and the Bordertown 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, both from the Okanagan Valley, caught the attention of the judges. 

Finally, the red blends category is undergoing some critical change as winery tweaks their blends, looking for the kind of balance we all want in our red wines. It’s a journey, but we have no complaints at the top. The Black Hills Estate Winery 2020 Ipso Facto announces the arrival of winemaker and MW Ross Wise at Black Hills,  See Ya Later Ranch 2019 Ping Meritage, reveals even the largest producers are starting to dig into the quality sector of the wine business while the Road 13 GSM 2019 signals the pursuit of all options and grapes available in Canada. 

Despite the challenges of working for eight days under strict Covid protocols, it was an exciting year. A big shout out to the back of the house that constantly presented every wine at its best temperature and in its best light, giving every entry the opportunity to be the best it can be in the tasting room. 

And the Platinum medal winners are…

13th Street Premier Cuvee 2015

13th Street 2015 Premier Cuvee

13th Street 2020 Reserve Syrah

50th Parallel 2020 Chardonnay

Black Hills Estate Winery 2020 Ipso Facto

Bordertown 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Broken Stone 2019 Chardonnay Home Farm

CedarCreek 2019 Aspect Collection Block 5 Chardonnay

CedarCreek Platinum 2020 Jagged Rock Syrah

Flat Rock Cellars 2020 Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling

Fort Berens 2020 Pinot Noir

Four Shadows 2021 Riesling Classic

Hainle 2020 Merlot

Hidden Bench 2019 Pinot Noir Felseck Vineyard

Kitsch 2019 Esther’s Block Riesling

La Frenz 2019 Syrah Rockyfeller Vineyard

Le Clos Jordanne 2019 Le Grand Clos Chardonnay

Meyer 2020 Old Block Pinot Noir McLean Creek Road Vineyard

Mission Hill 2020 Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Syrah

Redstone 2019 Bistro Riesling

Road 13 GSM 2019

See Ya Later Ranch 2019 Ping Meritage

SpearHead 2019 Coyote Vineyard Pinot Noir

Storm Haven 2020 Riesling Gibson-Block 3

Vieni 2020 Riesling

NWAC22_Gold NWAC22_Silver NWAC22_Bronze



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