The Goods from CedarCreek Estate Winery
Kelowna, BC | CedarCreek Estate Winery is the winner of the coveted ‘Winery of the Year’ title at the 2022 WineAlign National Wine Awards, with more than 1887 wines entered from 250 wineries across Canada. In addition to the ‘Winery of the year’ title, CedarCreek collected an unprecedented 19 Medals in the competition, including two Platinum Medals, four Gold Medals, eight Silver Medals and five Bronze Medals for its portfolio of luxury wines.
Presented by WineAlign, the National Wine Awards of Canada is the nation’s largest and most prestigious wine competition. The rigorous judging process is led by the most respected wine writers, educators and sommeliers in the country who bestowed top honours on CedarCreek for the third time in the history of the competition.
Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C. assumed ownership of CedarCreek in 2014 with its extraordinarily distinctive vineyards, most notably the winery’s Home Block Vineyard which he believed had the potential to rival some of the best vineyards in the world.
“CedarCreek’s award-winning wines honour the extremely rare terroir of our Home Block vineyard, a tiny parcel of land with soil diversities so unique they can be found only here and nowhere else in the world,” says von Mandl. “Tens of thousands of years in the making, these vineyard blocks were formed by not one, but two separate glacial ages combined with volcanic activity. Planted over 30 years ago and farmed with a single-vine philosophy, Home Block vineyard has proven itself to be a Grand Cru of the Okanagan. The resulting quality of the wines produced here embodies the soul of our valley and our pioneering efforts to place the Okanagan Valley on the world wine map.”
In 2020, CedarCreek underwent a dynamic transformation to build a new winery and winemaking facility that delivers a visitor experience unlike any other. The design of the winery’s three contemporary farmhouse buildings captures the essence of CedarCreek which is reflected in the wines and the guest experience in the Tasting Room, at year-round Home Block Restaurant and in the private member’s Aspect House.
The von Mandl family believes that great wine comes from a well-balanced, thriving vineyard. At CedarCreek, the focus on regenerative farming has transformed the winery into an actual working farm with a diverse collection of animals including Scottish Highland cows, flocks of chickens, earthworms, and honeybees to help increase biodiversity and to provide nutrients for the vines to thrive.
“The shift to regenerative farming and organic winemaking has been a huge amount of work, and commitment on a grand scale,” says winemaker Taylor Whelan. “Winning the WineAlign Winery of the Year title is a reflection of all our hard work and changes that we have made to maximize the true potential of our vineyards. As a result, we’ve seen dramatic increases in soil quality and corresponding improvements in vine health and fruit quality that is ultimately expressed in the quality of our wines that are the best we have ever produced.
CedarCreek’s Home Block restaurant pairs these extraordinary wines with home-style dishes featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients that embrace the bounty of the Okanagan Valley and are prepared on a wood-fired grill. Nominated as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants, Home Block has become a destination for culinary enthusiasts from around the world.
“CedarCreek Estate Winery is leading Canadian cool climate winemaking. The East Kelowna winery has reimagined its production facility, while engineering a collection of architecturally advanced visitor facilities. Topping the National Wine Awards will only fuel its ambition to be one of the most important wineries operating on the edge of the northern hemisphere grape production zone. The wines are born with natural energy and electricity that is undeniable.” ~ Anthony Gismondi, Co-Chair, National Wine Awards of Canada.
A Victory Five Years in the Making
Winemaker Taylor Whelan and viticulturalist Kurt Simic began managing their Estate Vineyards organically in 2017 and with it ushered in a new era of viticulture and winemaking excellence at CedarCreek. Kurt Simic explains: “We set out on our organic journey with the understanding that it was an enormous commitment. That’s what it takes, a level of nurturing that was unprecedented and it became the highest priority for everyone at the winery. We were meticulous in our block-specific philosophy and our hands-on approach with the soils, the vines and the winemaking. We quickly realized the difference going organic can make and the results are showing in each new vintage.”
The ‘Winery of the Year’ title is the culmination of CedarCreek winning Platinum Medals for the 2020 Platinum Jagged Rock Syrah and 2019 Aspect Collection Block 5 Chardonnay and Gold for the 2020 Jagged Rock Chardonnay, 2020 Aspect Collection Block 3 Riesling, 2021 Home Block Riesling, and 2021 Estate Pinot Noir Rose. Medals Silver and Bronze medals were also awarded to several vintages from CedarCreek’s Platinum and Estate Tier, wines that are elegant, balanced and reflect CedarCreek’s commitment to winemaking excellence. A complete listing of medal winners is available here: winealign.com/awards