Two Okanagan Wineries topped the list of gold medal winners at an international Chardonnay competition in France.
Earlier this month, the 2018 Chardonnay du Monde competition awarded Liquidity Wines the top spot on its Top 10 gold medal list, for the winery’s not-yet-released 2016 Chardonnay Reserve.
Coming in just behind the Okanagan Falls winery was West Kelowna’s Kalala Organic Estate Winery, whose 2016 Chardonnay Icewine won second place.
The pair of Okanagan wineries topped a field consisting of 679 wine samples, from 39 countries, scored by a panel of 300 international expert judges.
“This competition is our Olympics,” explained Kalala founder and owner Karnail Singh Sidhu. “We feel proud to be up in second place, and we feel proud of Liquidity for top place. To be judged the world’s two top Chardonnays is good, even great, not just for the Okanagan and B.C. wine producers, but for the entire wine industry in Canada.”
According to Chardonnay du Monde’s website, the competition is “based on a single conviction: distinctive marks of quality are the key to real differentiation, and therefore enhancing the value of the awarded wines in this highly competitive market where the array of products becomes more vast each day.”
Sidhu says his secret to making top-notch icewine is to grow good grapes and extend the fermentation process to just the right length.
He credits Okanagan wine-industry consultant Alan Marks with encouraging Kalala’s ongoing pursuit of excellence. Marks, in turn, says he has not been surprised to watch wineries like Kalala get global recognition for their products.
“A lot of wineries make icewine,” Marks comments. “Some think as long as they have frozen grapes they’re good to go. Growing excellent grapes can be a bit overlooked. Karnail knows the relationship between exceptional grapes and exceptional wine.”