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Rare and Precious Medals Discovered at the 2007 Ontario Wine Awards 

Winning never tasted so good...

As Tony Aspler says, "Of all the precious medals in the world, none can compare to the gold, silver and bronze of the Ontario Wine Awards." This year's competition drew 355 entries from a record 57 wineries in 24 categories, all assessed by four panels of professional tasters in a blind evaluation. Each judge has had extensive experience assessing wines from around the world, and their selection of gold, silver and bronze awards is a sure indication of a high-quality wine and serves to guide consumers when making their selection of Ontario wines.

Awards founder Tony Aspler addressed and welcomed the attendees of the Gala before introducing the Master of Ceremonies, Mike Mandel, a well-known hypnotist with an infamous alter ego: "gangsta" wine writer Deacon Dr. Fresh. Bringing a barrel of laughs to the show, Deacon Dr. Fresh entertained, cajoled and guided the wine-industry crowd through an incredible gourmet dinner and the highly anticipated Wine Awards.

Along with the Wine Awards recognizing VQA varietal quality, there were also distinctive awards given out honouring the Winemaker of the Year, Wine of the Year, Sommelier of the Year, Best Label Design, and the Wine Journalism Award.

This year special recognition was paid to Larry Patterson, with the Grapes for Humanity Award, presented for his hard work, dedication and passion exhibited in the Ontario wine world. The Grapes for Humanity Award is an honour that is not recognized every year. At present, there has only been one other recipient. This prestigious and significant award recognizes the influence and contributions made by an individual to the Ontario Wine Industry over the years.

The Vintage Hotels Winemaker of the Year Award went to Paul M. Bosc, Château des Charmes, in recognition of his consistent quality production across the Château des Charmes portfolio, his successes as demonstrated by additional wine awards, and his contribution to the wine industry. The traditional prize, a Montblanc watch, was presented to Paul M. Bosc by Barrie Laver, the President and CEO of Vintage Hotels.

This year, the Wine of the Year trophy was awarded to Maleta Estate 2002 First Frost Last Grape American Oak-Aged Vidal Icewine for receiving the highest aggregate score of the competition – sponsored and presented by Robin Garrett, President and CEO, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

Lindsay Groves received the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Sommelier of the Year Award in recognition of her skills in a blind tasting of a selection of Ontario VQA wines against fellow sommeliers.

Rod Phillips received the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Wine Journalism Award for his book Ontario Wine Country. This award recognizes Rod for the best published work on the Ontario Wine Industry in 2006.

To let wine lovers experience these wines first hand, the 12th Annual Ontario Wine Awards will continue during Ontario Wine Week, June 10th to 16th. This year the Ontario Wine Awards are proud to present "Sip Ontario, Taste the Best of the Ontario Wine Awards," a consumer tasting of award-winning wines to be held at The Distillery Historic District in Toronto on Tuesday, June 12th. In a culinary celebration, exemplary wines will be matched with local cuisine presented by the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, a Platinum sponsor of the Ontario Wine Awards. Chefs from Ontario's distinctive getaway destination properties will match their culinary talent with award-winning vintages from some of this year’s winners. This marriage of wine and food will present a delicious menu of choices for consumers as they indulge in Ontario's delectable culinary palette. In addition to these tempting tastings, the event will feature live culinary demonstrations, informal chef chats and a focus on Ontario's fresh in-market ingredients. Visit for more information on exciting Ontario getaway destinations.

Inspired to plan an Ontario getaway that indulges your taste for delicious diversions and unforgettable wine and culinary adventures in Ontario’s wine country? The Wine Council of Ontario provides online winery maps that clearly indicate wine-tasting routes throughout all of Ontario's wine regions. Visit for further information.

See a full listing of the Ontario Wine Awards results. For more information, please visit




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