Wine Culture Magazine

Tantalus Vineyards takes home the top honour in this year’s awards

Tantalus Vineyards Winemaker David Paterson’s 2018 Old Vines Riesling received the prestigious Wine of the Year Award. Eric Hanson photo

Last week, the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society announced the 2021 BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards. 800 wines were judged by an esteemed panel of judges from the US and Canada. “I couldn’t be more delighted with the growth in interest, the boost to the provincial economy, and the stellar reputation that fine BC wines enjoy around the world,” announced BC Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin.

The top honour, the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Wine of the Year, went to the 2018 Tantalus Vineyards’ 2018 Old Vines Riesling. The wine was produced from Riesling grapes first planted in 1978. The vineyards and winery are situated on the eastern shores of Lake Okanagan overlooking the lake and the City of Kelowna.

Old Vines, Authentic Wines: Tantalus Vineyards was founded on the belief that exceptional wines made from a single vineyard of outstanding pedigree, would capture the palates of those seeking authenticity and a sense of place.

Within a couple of days of the announcement that Tantalus Old Vines Riesling was the Wine of the Year, it was sold out! But there are dozens of other wines that were medal winners that you may be able to purchase if you search quickly.

Platinum Medal winners

Cabernet Franc: Kismet Estate Winery 2018 Reserve ($54.99), Mission Hill 2019 Terroir Collection Vista’s Edge ($60).

Chardonnay: Mission Hill 2019 Perpetua ($65), Tantalus 2018 ($27.83).

Pinot Gris: Chain Reaction 2019 Tailwind ($23), Enrico 2020 Shining Armour ($22.75).

Pinot Noir: SpearHead 2019 Saddle Block ($36.00), 2019 Cuvée ($42.00), 2019 Golden Retreat Block ($36.00).

Raspberry: Maan Farms 2020 Table Wine ($19.10).

Semillon: Mt. Boucherie Estate 2020 Original Vines.

Riesling: Arrowleaf 2019 ($18.10), Inniskillin 2018 Estate Icewine ($27.49 for 200 mL).

Rosé: Liquidity 2020 ($29.90), Cedar Creek 2020 Platinum Home Block ($35).

Sparkling Wine: Silhouette N/V Boyd classic Cuvée ($49.54).

Syrah: Burrowing Owl 2019 ($35.00), Mt. Boucherie 2018 Reserve ($44.99), Three Sisters 2019 Rebecca ($45.00).

Syrah-Viognier: Silk Scarf 2017 ($36.00).

Gold Medal Winners:

There are dozens of gold medal wines. Here are a few of ones I’ve enjoyed from previous vintages:

Pinot Noir: Blue Grouse 2019 Estate, 50th Parallel 2019, La Frenz 2019 Reserve, Syrah: TIME 2018, Moraine 2019, Stag’s Hollow 2018, Nk’Mip 2019 Qwam Qwmt.

Misc: Lake Breeze 2019 Pinot Blanc, Blue Grouse 2020 Estate Pinot Gris.

Silver Medal Winners:

Here are my recommendations:

Moon Curser 2019 Dead of Night.

See Ya Later Ranch 2019 Rover and 2020 Gewurztraminer.

Burrowing Owl 2019 Merlot.

Sunrock Vineyards 2018 Shiraz. Stag’s Hollow 2020 Albarino.

Fitzpatrick 2017 Fitz Brut.

Moraine 2020 Riesling and 2019 Pinot Noir and 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir.

Hillside 2019 Gewurztraminer.

Arrowleaf 2020 Pinot Grs, and 2019 Pinot Noir and 2018 Archive Pinot Noir.

The View 2019 Pinot Noir and 2019 Pinotage Reserve.

Terravista 2020 Fandango.

Road 13 2019 Seventy-Four K and 2020 Chenin Blanc.

For the complete list of medal winners, visit

—by Eric Hanson, Richmond News

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