Sparkling – Medal Winners from NWAC 2021

Announcing the Results from the 2021 National Wine Awards of Canada

The 20th National Wine Awards of Canada wrapped up in October in Penticton, B.C., fittingly judging a record-setting number of wines from coast to coast. It’s been an amazing two-decade journey for the most respected and important Canadian wine competition. The week-long tasting is but a snapshot of Canadian wine, yet like old family photos, much has changed over two decades. The inaugural competition in 2001 drew 528 wines from 71 wineries, judged by eight men. In 2021, 26 judges — 14 men and 12 women — tasted 2,075 entries from more than 260 wineries. 

As in previous years, we have decided to break the announcement of the results into more manageable pieces, starting today with Canada’s best Sparkling wines. On October 29th we will begin announcing a few categories a day over a two week period, concluding with the highly-anticipated Platinum winners on November 10th, the Best Performing Small Winery of the Year on November 11th, and finally the Winery of the Year along with the nation’s Top 25 Wineries on November 12th.

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We’ve asked a few of our judges to summarize their impressions of each category. Today we present Sparkling:

 

Sparkling

Category Overview by Judge Janet Dorozynski, DipWSET

Tasting and judging the sparkling wine flights is always one of the highlights of the National Wine Awards of Canada because the quality of Canadian fizz is so high and keeps getting better. While Canadian wineries have been making sparkling wine in earnest since the late 1980s, we have really come into our own over the past two decades. Many areas of Canada’s wine growing regions have the ideal climate and growing conditions to produce sparkling wines with that perfect combination of acidity and richness. As a result, we make excellent sparkling wine from coast to coast, from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, to the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, as well as ever-increasing amounts in Quebec and Ontario. We make sparkling from many different grape varieties: from the traditional Champagne grape varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, as well as riesling, pinot blanc, chenin blanc, gamay and even cabernet franc, along with hybrids like L’Acadie Blanc and Frontenac in the cooler regions of Nova Scotia and Quebec. Canadian winemakers excel at making all styles of bubbly, from traditional method and charmat with increasing amounts of pétillant naturel, or methode ancestral and frizzante. The future of Canadian wine is definitely fizzy, so raise a glass with any of these winners.

 


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