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Santé: The Bloor-Yorkville Wine Festival announces award-winning wines and event lineup for 2004 

One of Toronto's most successful events, Santé: The Bloor-Yorkville Wine Festival (taking place in Toronto May 12-16, 2004), has announced the ten wines awarded its prestigious Santé/Toronto Life Gala Wine Awards of Excellence, which will be enjoyed at the Fine Wine & Food Gala Dinner on May 12, 2004 during the Santé festival. Five of the award-winning wines were submitted by wineries in Canada. Santé also made announcements regarding several new elements of the festival this year, including an on site LCBO store and a travel package designed to encourage tourism to Toronto during the festival.

Award Winners
"We had a very difficult time deciding on this year's award winners," remarked Steve Thurlow, chair of the Santé Wine Selection Committee. "In all, we tasted 124 wines and because the wines were of such high calibre, we had to re-taste in four categories to make a decision."

The awards were open to all wineries participating in Santé and were submitted in six categories. The award winners, chosen by wine experts Tony Aspler, James Chatto, David Lawrason, Margaret Swaine and Steve Thurlow, were as follows (in order of pouring at the Gala Dinner):

  • (FRANCE) Champagne: Champagne Gardet, Charles Gardet Champagne, 1997
  • (CANADA) Sparkling Wine: Chateau des Charmes, Brut Sparkling Wine, Methode Traditionnelle, N/V
  • (NEW ZEALAND) White Table Wine: Kim Crawford Wines, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2003
  • (CANADA) White Table Wine: Cave Spring Cellars, Riesling Reserve, 2002
  • (CANADA) White Table Wine: Legends Estates Winery, Chardonnay Reserve, 2002
  • (AUSTRALIA) Red Table Wine: Beringer Blass Wine Estates, Golf Label Pinot Noir, 2002
  • (CANADA) Red Table Wine: Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, Meritage Founders Signature Collection, 2002
  • (AUSTRALIA) Red Table Wine: DogRidge Vineyard, DV7 McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2001
  • (ITALY) Fortified Wine: Case vinicole di Sicilia, Florio Targa 1840 Marsala Riserva, 1993
  • (CANADA) Sweet White Wine: Hillebrand Estates Winery, Showcase Videl Icewine Barrel Fermented, 2002

The ten wines awarded the 2004 Santé/Toronto Life Gala Wine Award of Excellence will be served at the Fine Wine & Food Gala Dinner, taking place during the festival on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. The event is $195.00 per person, will include a silent auction, and is hosted by award-winning food writer James Chatto.

New Additions, Old Favourites at Santé 2004
"Now in its sixth year, Santé is a major stop on the world wine circuit," said Susan Puff, festival manager. "The Bloor-Yorkville area provides a wonderful backdrop for a festival that just gets better and better every year."

Puff noted that crowd-pleaser events such as Our Canadian Roots, the International Tastings, Fine Wine & Food Gala, Education Seminars and Sip, Savour & Shop will indeed return again this year. The festival will also introduce several new events including the Fetzer Appetizer Challenge, a Trade Luncheon and Trade Tasting for winery agents and their guests and a Brunch which will close out the festivities on May 16th at the new Lesendro restaurant in Hazelton Lanes.

She also revealed that a boutique LCBO store will be open during the following events at The Carlu: The Fetzer Appetizer Challenge, the Trade Tasting and the two International Tastings. The store will carry a wide variety of wines featured at this year's festival.

Travel Package
Puff concluded with details on a new "Santé Toasts Toronto" travel package, designed to attract wine lovers from outside the Greater Toronto Area.

Starting at $249 CDN per couple, the package includes a one-night stay at the Delta Chelsea Downtown Toronto, two tickets to a select Santé event, 20 per cent off admission to select exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, continental breakfast for two, two Sip, Savour & Shop passports and one $50 gift certificate for a Sip, Savour & Dine restaurant. The package can be booked directly by calling 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732).

"We are thrilled that we are able to offer a package that will bring more tourism to Toronto," said Puff. "Santé has succeeded through the last five years in offering a unique wine festival experience and we look forward to many more years of providing this opportunity for international wineries to showcase their fine products."

For more information about the Festival, visit To purchase tickets, call 416-870-8000 or visit




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