Ontario Wine Awards Goes Virtual During the Pandemic

Niagara, Friday, August 28th, 2020: 2020 would have been the 26th year for the Ontario Wine Awards. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put paid to the usual rigorous judging of entries by 24 highly qualified tasters. However, our OWA team was determined that we celebrate the quality of Ontario’s VQA wines in the fashion of the day.

So, we reached out to judges who had participated in the last three years of the competition, and asked them to nominate the top three white, red and sparkling wines they had tasted during the year. From their responses we tabulated the top scoring wines.

In addition, the judges were asked to vote on whom they considered should be honoured with the title “Winemaker of the Year,” sponsored by 105.7 EZ Rock / Newstalk 610 CKTB.

The results for 2020 are:

Allen’s Red Wine of the Year Award
Rosehall Run 2018 JCR Pinot Noir, Rosehall Vineyard

Quench Magazine White Wine of the Year Award
Charles Baker 2017 Riesling, Picone Vineyard

Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College Sparkling Wine of the Year Award
Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2014 Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc

Quench Magazine Winemaker of the Year Award
Philip Dowell, Angels Gate Estate Winery

(Owing to Social Distancing protocols, presentation of the awards will be made privately this year.)


Sadie Darby presents Phil Dowell with the Ontario Wine Awards’ traditional gift of a watch as the 2020 Winemaker of the Year


Cake to celebrate Phil Dowell’s recognition as Ontario Wine Awards’ 2020 winner of Winemaker of the Year

We are looking forward to 2021, when we will celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the Ontario Wine Awards with everyone.

Thank You to Our Loyal Sponsors:
105.7 EZ Rock / Newstalk 610 CKTB
A.O. Wilson Ltd.
ASL Print FX
Benchmark Restaurant
Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College
Criveller Group
Donna’s Fashions
FCC Agribusiness and Agri-Food
Fine Wine Reserve
George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts
Grapes for Humanity
Niagara Airbus Quench Magazine
VIA Rail Canada
Vintage Assessments
VQA Wines of Ontario

For further information, please visit us online at www.ontariowineawards.ca


Sandy Kurbis
Program Director
Ontario Wine Awards

Tony Aspler
Tony Aspler Enterprises Ltd.
Tel: 416-801-0477


Tony Aspler, one of Canada’s most acclaimed wine writers, and Order of Canada Recipient, founded the Ontario Wine Awards in 1995. His vision was to catapult Ontario VQA wines into the most successful, most revered wines available to domestic and foreign markets by recognizing and promoting the top Ontario wineries for the quality product they produce. “Our mission is to provide recognition for outstanding Ontario wines and to the men and women who are dedicated to producing a superior product,” explains Tony Aspler. “These awards enhance the profile of Ontario wines in the world market, opening doors to new opportunities for Ontario wineries.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply