Fort Berens Estate Winery Riesling Wins Best White Wine at Pacific Rim Wine Competition
Riesling 2018 GOLD – Best in Class & Best White Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2019 Riesling Reserve 2017 GOLD – National Wine Awards 2018 Riesling 2017 GOLD – British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards 2018 Riesling 2016 GOLD – Los Angeles International Wine Competition 2017 GOLD – Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2017 Dry Riesling 2016 GOLD – Los Angeles International Wine Competition 2017 GOLD – Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2017 Riesling 2015 Double Gold - San Francisco International Wine Competition 2016 Riesling 2013 GOLD – Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2014 Riesling 2012 LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S AWARD for Excellence in British Columbia Wines, 2014 GOLD & BEST IN CLASS (91 points) – Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition 2013 Riesling 2011 GOLD and BEST IN CLASS – Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2012] LILLOOET, BC – The Riesling 2018 from Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet has just received top honours. It was named Best White Wine at the 2019 Pacific Rim Wine Competition. After winning Best in Class for the Riesling category, it went on to be awarded the Best White Wine in the entire competition.
Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens shared, “We are honoured and humbled to see our Riesling recognized with this outstanding award from such a prestigious international wine competition. We could not be more proud that this Lillooet Riesling was judged to be the top of its class in this international wine competition. In addition to the Best White Wine award for the Riesling 2018, we were also awarded a Double Gold for the 2018 Riesling Reserve at this competition.”
Since 1985, the Pacific Rim Wine Competition has held a two-day, blind-tasting event with an esteemed panel of international judges representing all aspects of the wine industry. The judges evaluate the wines and award medals accordingly. This competition celebrates high-quality wines of all styles, from all regions of the world. The 2019 competition featured 1,000 wines from wineries around the world.
While there were many Canadian wineries that received a variety of medals in the competition, the Fort Berens Riesling 2018 was the only Canadian wine to be included in the list of the top 5 wines of the competition.
Rolf explained, “As the first winery in Lillooet, we see it as our duty to showcase the region and our unique terroir. From early days, we knew that the Riesling grape was able to express the Lillooet terroir. Our 2012 Riesling won the very prestigious 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines. Since that time, our Rieslings have been awarded numerous prizes along the way. See the sidebar for a list of all Gold medals awarded to Fort Berens Riesling. These outstanding results reaffirm that Riesling is one of the signature grapes for our winery and the Lillooet region. The region experiences huge diurnal variations during late summer and early fall. These swings from high daytime temperatures to cool nights preserve the fresh fruit qualities of our grapes. The retained acidity allows for superb balancing of residual sugar at a number of different points, whether the wine is dry, off-dry or medium sweet. The versatility of the Riesling grape combined with the excellent growing conditions in Lillooet, create an award-winning combination.”
Fort Berens was awarded a number of medals at the 2019 Pacific Rim Wine Competition, including:
Riesling 2018 – Gold, Best in Class, Best White Wine
Riesling Reserve 2018 – Double Gold
Rosé 2018 – Double Gold
Cabernet Franc Reserve 2016 – Gold
Chardonnay 2017 – Silver
Pinot Gris 2018 – Bronze
Pinot Noir 2016 – Bronze
Fort Berens wines are available for sale at the winery, online, and at fine liquor stores and restaurants around BC.
For the full list of winners visit: http://pacificrimwinecomp.com/pacific-rim-wine-competition-results/
Fort Berens Estate Winery is a culmination of the dreams, vision and pioneering spirit of several entrepreneurs – Heleen Pannekoek, Rolf de Bruin, Hugh Agro, Sean Harvey, Jason Neal, John McConnell, Tara Christie, Raymond Rae, Joseph Neal, Dan Barnholden and Patrick & Caroline Downey. The owners of Fort Berens share a common belief in the incredible winemaking potential of the area and a shared vision to make Fort Berens into one of Canada’s leading producers of fine wine. With its vineyards on sagebrush covered benchland along the Fraser River at the base of towering mountains, Fort Berens embraces the spirit of Lillooet. Discover Fort Berens Estate Winery, Lillooet’s first winery, in BC’s newest wine region and explore 150 years of pioneering spirit. For more information, call 1.877.956.7768, visit www.FortBerens.ca, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2018
LILLOOET, BC – The 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships, held recently in Kelowna, brought together eleven of the country’s top chefs for the prestigious Gold Medal Plates competition. The competing chefs participated in a series of tough challenges, including the Mystery Wine Pairing Competition.
In the Mystery Wine Pairing Competition, Chefs were given a mystery bottle of wine and they were challenged to create a dish with local ingredients that best complemented the mystery wine in a set amount of time and with a set budget. Each chef then served this dish to 400 guests, who had the opportunity to vote on their favourite pairing of the night.
While the competing chefs and guests were held in suspense until the end of the event, the suspense finally ended when it was announced that the mystery wine was the 2016 Pinot Gris from Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet, BC.
Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens explained, "We were delighted to have our Pinot Gris selected as the mystery wine in the Mystery Wine Pairing Competition. As the first winery in the emerging wine region of Lillooet, our wine region is still very much a mystery and a surprise to many people, so it seems fitting that the mystery wine was from Lillooet. During the event, many guests guessed that it was a Pinot Gris. Many even guessed that it was from BC. But very few guessed that it was from Lillooet.”
The suspense also ended with the announcement of the People’s Choice Award for the best food and wine pairing going to Chef Mike Robins from Sous Sol in Winnipeg. Chef Robins created a dish featuring cold smoked halibut cheek and Salt Spring mussels, juniper berry, chantrelle mushroom lobster bisque with parissienne gnocchi and cashew cream.
Rolf continued, “It was an absolute honour to have these incredible chefs from across the country try our wine and showcase their amazing culinary creations designed specifically to go along with our Pinot Gris. The competing chefs created dishes that were diverse and distinct, much like our wine. Congratulations to all of the chefs for their incredible talent in creating amazing dishes to pair with our wine. And a big congratulations to Chef Mike Robins for winning the People's Choice Award for creating the best dish to pair with our wine.”
Chef Mike Robins, thrilled with his win, explained about his winning pairing. “After tasting the mystery wine, my team and I felt we knew the varietal was Pinot Gris. We didn’t want to overcomplicate anything, so we thought about what the wine made us want to eat. Grapefruit was used in our brine to bring out the nice low acidity of the wine. We also heavily charred some green onions to make our green oil. We felt the wine was calling for a bit of char and buttery seafood, so we spent the majority of our budget on the shells to make the bisque and the halibut cheeks.”
David Lawrason, national wine advisor for Gold Medal Plates was instrumental in choosing the mystery wine for this year’s competition. “The Pinot Gris from Fort Berens, an emerging wine region in Lillooet, BC, was a wine that was discovered when I was part of a media tour last year. The goal each year is to select a wine that will challenge chefs, guests and keep everyone guessing.”
Now that the mystery has been unveiled, wine lovers are invited to uncover the mystery for themselves.
Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian excellence in food, wine, beer, athletic achievement and entertainment. Net proceeds from Gold Medal Plates are provided to the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which supports Olympic athletes and high performance programs. For more information, visit the Gold Medal Plates website.
Fort Berens Estate Winery is a culmination of the dreams, vision and pioneering spirit of several entrepreneurs – Heleen Pannekoek, Rolf de Bruin, Hugh Agro, Sean Harvey, Jason Neal, John McConnell, Dan Barnholden and Patrick Downey. The eight owners of Fort Berens share a common belief in the incredible winemaking potential of the area and a shared vision to make Fort Berens into one of Canada’s leading producers of fine wine. With its vineyards on sage brush covered benchland along the Fraser River at the base of towering mountains, Fort Berens embraces the spirit of Lillooet. Discover Fort Berens Estate Winery, Lillooet’s first winery, in BC’s newest wine region and explore 150 years of pioneering spirit. For more information, call 1.877.956.7768, visit www.FortBerens.ca, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
High-resolution images from the competition can be found here.
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