Tawse has been named Canada’s No. 1 winery for the third straight year.
Tawse wines were awarded 32 medals in the recent competition held by Wine Access Magazine, setting a record with both their overall medal count and their nine gold medals. The Vineland winery also won nine silver medals and 14 bronze.
“This is a grand slam, and we’re over the moon,” said Moray Tawse, Toronto financier and winery owner. “We were excited the first year, thrilled the second year and I can hardly describe our feelings on learning we achieved winery of the year again.”
Tawse said his wine sales are up over the last two years, with interest growing from both consumers and restaurants across the country.
“We are an estate winery but becoming very well known, and winning the top award three years in a row has played a role in that. But the win benefits the whole industry. It gets people more interested in trying not just our wine but other quality Ontario wines.”
The Canadian Wine Awards have been held annually since 2001. There were more than 1,200 entries in the 2012 competition.
Wine Access editor Anthony Gismondi called Tawse’s showing “pretty amazing.”
“To keep scoring gold is very impressive because it shows the depth and quality of the work being done at Tawse. Hats off to them, they keep rising to the top.”
Winemaker Paul Pender plays a huge part in the win, Moray Tawse said. Pender’s approach uses no chemical fertilizers, fungicides or pesticides. Tilling equipment is pulled by horses and farm animals roam the vineyards on the bench of the Niagara Escarpment eating weeds and excess vine foliage as well as providing natural fertilizer.
“As our vines get older and the roots go deeper, the wines get more interesting,” TAwse said. “The roots are uncovering more levels of minerals in the soil and the wines just keep getting better. Instead of fertilizing the top of the plant, we pay attention to the roots and the health of the soil – that’s what is paying off for us.”
The nine gold medals won by Tawse are for Carly’s Block Riesling, David’s Block Cabernet Franc, Estate Chardonnay, Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Members Select Chardonnay, Members Select Wine Club Syrah, Members Select Meritage, Sketches Chardonnay and Sketches Riesling, all from the 2010 vintage.