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2019 Okanagan Riesling named B.C.’s wine of the year for 2020

Click to play video 'Upper Bench Winery and Creamery wins big' Upper Bench Winery and Creamery wins big
At the annual B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards this week, Upper Bench Estate Winery was named this year’s winner on Friday with its 2019 Riesling.

A Riesling from the South Okanagan was named B.C.’s best wine for 2020.

At the annual B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards this week, Upper Bench Estate Winery was named this year’s winner on Friday with its 2019 Riesling.

Located in Penticton, Upper Bench is a boutique winery, and produces a limited number of cases per year. So if you’re thinking of picking some up, better move quick before it sells out.

Read more: Small Okanagan winery’s 2017 Syrah wins 2019 B.C. wine of the year

“It’s the end of the season,” Upper Bench co-owner and head winemaker Gavin Miller told Global News. “When the competition was announced, we had 75 cases left. If you want some, you better get some quick.”

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Last year, another boutique winery, Deep Roots in nearby Naramata, won the 2019 title for its 2017 Syrah. Not long after the wine-loving public heard the news, it sold out.

Asked what makes Upper Bench’s 2019 Riesling so special, Miller said “I make this Riesling in this style every year; we make it just off-dry. There’s just enough sugar left to balance out the Riesling acid, which is quite high.

“Some years I guess we hit the spot a little better than others.”

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Miller called the win surprising, stating “it’s a big (award); the best of any competition is a big one. But this is nice because it’s local and has local judges, which makes it more relevant.”

The platinum award winners are as follows:

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  • Arrowleaf Cellars, 2018 Pinot Noir
  • Deep Roots Winery, 2018 Parentage
  • Deep Roots Winery, 2018 Syrah
  • Laughing Stock Vineyards, 2017 Syrah
  • Lake Breeze Vineyards, 2017 Riesling
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, 2018 Perpetua
  • Moraine Estate Winery, 2018 Syrah
  • Nk’Mip Cellars, 2017 Qwam Qwmt Syrah
  • O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars, 2019 Riesling
  • Spearhead Winery, 2018 Pinot Noir Cuvee
  • SpearHead Winery, 2018 Pinot Noir Saddle Block
  • Tantalus Vineyards, 2017 Old Vines Riesling
  • Terravista Vineyards, 2019 Albarino
  • Therapy Vineyards, 2018 Chardonnay
  • Three Sisters Winery, 2018 Syrah

To view all the winners, click here.

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