From July 3-5, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the ‘Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines’ (thankfully abbreviated on Twitter as the #LGWineAwards). This was my first experience behind-the-scenes at a wine competition. And what an experience it was.
A total of 268 wines were entered, from which the judges (ahem, adjudicators) ultimately selected only 11 winners. I was glad to not be a judge. The level of quality, on the whole, of these Ontario wines was quite high. There easily could have been upwards of twenty winners. Unfortunately, according to the parameters of the competition, a maximum of 12 winners could be chosen.
Each category of wines had their standouts. But, in my view, the categories that were most consistent were no surprise: Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Icewine, and Sparkling. These are some of the grape varieties (and wine styles) that have proven to be most successful in Ontario.
The list of winners will be announced in the coming weeks, all of which are exceptional. (There will be no leaks from me!) I am proud to know that these wines will be representing the Ontario wine industry.
In Part II, I hope to provide an in-depth view of what happens behind-the-scenes at a wine competition.