The Home Vintner Wine Guild brought home 38 medals in an impressive showing at this year’s Alberta Amateur Winemakers Provincial Competition, including Winemaker of the Year and Best of Show.
Airdrie store manager Pat Morrison won best of show for her peach ice wine, an award she also received last year for her Australian traminer-riesling.
“Out of all the wine guilds that entered, the Home Vintner took home the most medals out of all of them,” Morrison said.
Each wine was judged out of 20 points for its appearance, aroma and bouquet, balance, body, astringency, flavour, finish and general quality, Morrison said.
If a wine receives 18 or more points it earns the gold medal, with 16 points required for silver and 14 for bronze.
Guild member Wayne Thomsen won winemaker of the year for garnering the most points for all the wines he entered, and a number of other guild members received silver and bronze medal finishes in categories ranging from aperitif sherry to dessert wines.
Wines out of the Home Vintner Guild will represent over half of Alberta wines at the national level, Morrison said.
The entire province is allowed to send just 30 bottles to the competition, and 17 of those are coming from the Home Vintner.
The guild also sends between five and 10 bottles to an international competition held by Wine Maker Magazine in the U.S. every year, Morrison said.
“It varies every year because it’s a little more expensive to send wines down to an international competition,” she said. “It’s about $25 a bottle.”
The medals won at the provincial competition bring the Home Vintner’s total award count to 575 since 1996.
Morrison said the Home Vintner, which has two main stores in Calgary and one in Airdrie, is a great place for winemaking. She started making wine herself in 1995 and was still working for the Calgary Board of Education when she began working part time for the Home Vintner. When the Airdrie store opened, she quit her job in Calgary and became the store’s manager.
Airdrie Echo May 16, 2012