CALGARY — Niagara’s Tawse Winery, established a mere 10 years ago, has taken top honours at the Canadian Wine Awards. It won 18 medals and has become the first Ontario winery to be awarded the coveted designation of Canada’s Winery of the Year.
Located in Vineland, along Ontario’s popular Wine Route, Tawse won five gold, three silver and 10 bronze medals, making it the first winery to win as many gold medals in a single year during the awards’ 10-year history.
In addition, Tawse won the White Wine of the Year Award for its 2008 Robyn’s Block Chardonnay. The chardonnay received a score of 93 out of 100 — the highest ever achieved by a table wine in this competition.
The Canadian Wine Awards have been held annually since 2000 by Wine Access magazine and involve strict, international-calibre competition with blind tasting by wine experts. Tawse Winery submitted 25 wines for judging.
“We’sre extremely pleased and honoured to be named Canada’s Winery of the Year,” says Moray Tawse, Toronto financier and owner of the winery he started in 2001. “Our goal is to make great wine and it’s a good feeling to have our efforts recognized. I think the recognition is also good for our entire region and will encourage people to try Niagara wines.”
Tawse credits his winemaker, Paul Pender, and the winery’s organic and biodynamic method of grape growing, which does not use pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers and incorporates long-standing farming practices based on the rhythms of nature.
“If you’sre feeding your vines on chemicals and fertilizers, it’s kind of like a human being fed on junk food,” he says. “Our vineyards have been farmed organically since 2001 and with biodynamic principles since 2006. You can taste the difference.”
The complete list of award winners will be published in the December/January issue of Wine Access magazine, December 6.