Winery of the year has a nice ring to it.

And Kelowna's CedarCreek Estate Winery is hearing it for a third time.

In 2002 and 2005, the winery on Lakeshore Road won winery of the year at the WineAlign Canadian National Wine Awards.

This week it was revealled CedarCreek has been named winery of the year at the 2019 InterVin International Wine Awards.

The contest is put on by Vines Magazine to recognize the best of both Canadian wines and wines from all other countries that are for sale in Canada.

"This is an amazing moment in Cedar Creek's (32-year) history," said CedarCreek winemaker Taylor Whelan.

"We cannot wait to celebrate with you at the winery."

Whelan is referring to the special four-course dinner, paired with award-winning wines, of course, at CedarCreek's Home Block Restaurant on Wednesday to honour the winery of the year win.

There may be some last-minute spaces available for $150 by calling 250-980-4663.

If you can't make the dinner, you can drop by the tasting room 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. any day to sip and buy medal-winning wines.

And if you can't get to the tasting room, CedarCreek's wines are for sale at most government and private liquor stores.

InterVin bases the winery of the year accolade on the cumulative points of the top five ranking wines from each competing winery.

CedarCreek over-performed with gold medals for its 2018 Platinum Block 3 Riesling ($30) and 2017 Platinum Syrah ($50) and silver medals for seven of its wines – 2018 Estate Pinot Gris ($19), 2018 Estate Pinot Noir Rose ($19), 2018 Estate Riesling ($19), 2015 Platinum Desert Ridge Merlot ($50), 2017 Estate Chardonnay ($19), 2017 Estate Pinot Noir ($27) and 2017 Platinum Block 5 Chardonnay ($35).

My wife, Kerry, and I had the chance to taste six of CedarCreek's new-release wines and concurred they are definitely befitting a winery of the year.

The 2018 Platinum Block 3 Riesling, which won a gold medal, is classic of the variety with an uplifting and off-dry expression of apple, peach, lime and mandarin orange.

The 2017 Platinum Haynes Creek Syrah, which also picked up gold, is also classically bright and brooding of the varietal with aromas and flavours of violet, blackberry, cherry and pepper.

Whelan went light in style with the 2017 Estate Pinot Noir to produce a black cherry-and-spice stunner.

The oak is just right on the 2018 Estate Chardonnay ($19) to let the apricot-and-lemon minerality shine.

Peach, fig and spice dominate the intense and complex 2018 Platinum Block 7 Pinot Gris ($30).

Icewine's sweetness can scare some people off.

But don't be frightened.

Choose an excellent one, like the CedarCreek 2017 Platinum Riesling Icewine ($58 for 355 ml bottle), which balances the sweetness with Riesling's inherent acidity.

As such, the luscious punch of tangerine, marmalade and honey can be sipped as a stand-alone dessert or paired with strong cheeses or charcuterie.

InterVin also generated a top 15 wineries of the year from the competition.

1. CedarCreek (Kelowna)

2. 50th Parallel (Lake Country)

3. Mission Hill (West Kelowna)

4. Thirty Bench (Ontario)

5. Painted Rock (Penticton)

6. Leaning Post (Ontario)

7. Fort Berens (Lillooet)

8. La Crema (California)

9. La Frenz (Naramata)

10. Angove (Australia)

11. Tinhorn Creek (Oliver)

12. Inniskillin Niagara (Ontario)

13. Two Sisters (Ontario)

14. Tightrope (Naramata)

15. Nk'Mip (Osoyoos)


Sip wine mid-mountain.

Cheer chefs on.

Taste wines from wineries in Oliver and Osoyoos.

And combine bubbles and brunch.

All is on offer during the Savour the Sun Mountain Wine Festival, Dec. 5-8, at SunPeaks Resort near Kamloops.

The Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association has teamed up with the ski resort for the four day fest to spotlight the region's wines and the resorts alpine delights.

The fest kicks off on the Thursday night with Uncork the Blackbox (tickets $139), an event at SunPeaks Grand Hotel where chefs use surprise ingredients from a blackbox to create dishes for guests to enjoy with wine.

Friday evening, guest will take the ski lift to the mid-mountain Sunburst Lodge for a food-and-wine-pairing event ($109) featuring hard-to-find vintages.

Guests have the option of a guided, starlight ski down the mountain afterwards.

Uncork Your Senses ($99) is the marquee Saturday night tasting at the Grand with 15 Oliver and Osoyoos wineries pouring samples and food stations by the Grand's heck Hans Stierli.

The fest wraps up Sunday afternoon after Uncork Bubbles at Brunch ($79), also at the Grand.

Buy event tickets at and get 10% off accommodation at the Grand with the promotional code SAVOUR at


Construction of District Wine Village in Oliver will start in the spring to create a unique venue for small-batch wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries.

Penticton-based Greyback Construction, which has built many wineries in the Okanagan, including Burrowing Owl, Black Hills, Hester Creek and Nk'Mip, saw the need for a development for micro producers who can't make massive investments.

District Wine Village features a shared crush pad and 16 individual buildings with tasting rooms and production facilities.

The 16 buildings ring a plaza with food service sites and 600-person entertainment centre for concerts and events.

"Not only are we creating a diverse community for our resident wineries, cideries, breweries, distilleries and eateries," said Greyback Construction general manager Matt Kenyon.

"But we are really looking to be a significant economic driver for our local communities and support the future growth of wine and culinary tourism in the South Okanagan."


Steve MacNaull is a reporter at The Okanagan Weekend. Reach him at Also listen to Steve's Okanagan Wine & Dine Show exclusively on Saturdays at 11:15 a.m. If you miss it then, it's always available in the podcast vault.