Results from the 2023 Nationals – Other Single White Varieties

Announcing the Results from the 2023 National Wine Awards of Canada

The 22nd running of the National Wine Awards of Canada wrapped up on June 28 in Penticton. Category results will be rolling out throughout the rest of July, with the final Platinum, Best Performing Small Winery, and Winery of the Year announcements coming at the end of this month. We hope you will stay tuned to follow the results and become engaged in anticipating the final results.

We’ve asked a few of our judges to summarize their impressions of each category. Today we are pleased to present the Other Single White Varieties winners.

Other Single White Varieties

Category Overview by Judge John Szabo, MS

“Single white varieties” is the umbrella category at the National Wine Awards under which are gathered all the bits and pieces of odd, non-mainstream white varieties bottled unblended, outside of the big categories of chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, viognier, and white blends. It includes rarities such as albariño, arneis and grüner veltliner, as well as hybrid white grapes, and more common but not-quite-deep-enough-to-be-a-category varieties like semillon and pinot blanc.

Overall, this tends to be an exciting category, affording judges a view into the more experimental and creative side of the Canadian wine industry, and perhaps a window on its future for particularly successful trials. Judges are given the name variety so it’s not a completely blind process, important to establish some context and to benchmark against known examples from around the world, experience all NWAC judges are required to have.

This year, 39 medals including 9 gold were awarded out 64 entries, an impressively high percentage (61 percent), indicating that many experiments are already bearing successful fruit. Unsurprisingly, B.C. provided the lion’s share of winners including all gold medals, with only five wines out of the 39 coming from out of province (four from Ontario and one from Québec). I’d chalk this up to not only to the wide range of climates that B.C. enjoys, but also the industry structure, which counts a high number of small wineries, each fighting for a piece of the pie in a hyper competitive market and seeking points of differentiation.

Excitingly for consumers, this category provides fertile hunting ground for values; the most expensive wine among the medals was $40, but the average falls to just under $27, meaning there are many delicious and well-priced wines to choose from. Be sure to give the top examples a try.

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