Words: Henry Yuen (Chinese postings: http://taiyangbao.ca/author/henryyuen/?variant=zh-hans)
What are the impacts of winning awards time after time, especially at International competitions, to a winery?
The consequential effects are inevitably plenty and very positive; and most of the time, followed by direct and indirect financial gains!
Since the award itself is the essential and most convincing testament to the quality and drinkability of the awarded wine, the wine’s market ranking would naturally shoot up! The raised reputation potentially allows the wine to sell itself. The wine, being in the much more recognized and desired position, can now command a higher price point. Quite likely, more wines bearing the same brand name will be sold. It is the best window of opportunity to use the award as a marketing and promotional tool; not just on the award wine but the winery as well. Who does not fancy an award-achieving wine story?
Winning an award is with no doubt a morale and motivational booster to the staff; an affirmation that the winery is heading in the right direction. Most of all, it’s the ultimate endorsement of the winemaker’s skill and the related viticulture practices of the winery.
This holds true for the wines from Joie Farm who has been constantly seen at the podium receiving awards. Their new tier of wines from 2011 is so impressive to the point that a Gold Medal is handed to them at the recent 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards; the wine - 2011 “En Famille” Reserve Chardonnay has been swept off the shelves. And it didn’t stop there! The 2011 “En Famille” Reserve Gewurztraminer also won the “Best in Class Gold Medal” at the 2013 Los Angeles International Wine Competition; and the PTG garnered another Gold Medal at the 2013 Riverside International Wine Competition. The triple ‘Gold’ is the best statement to the world and Joie so deserves them, even their entry level Gamay and Pinot Noir won various wine awards! Bear in mind that these are competition awards that speak solid volume instead of those merely recognition awards handed out by various wine related organizations.
The “En Famille” series, crafted with exceptional care by winemaker Heidi Noble, spent 10 months in barrel and a full year in bottle before release. According to her, “these small lots, low yield wines are a true expression of the Okanagan Valley’s finest with meticulous canopy work and stringent green thinning to produce grapes that render full phelonic ripeness and complex flavours; even though 2011 was a short growing season.” The judges all agreed!
Here are the gold grabbers:
Reserve Chardonnay: Before telling you the grapes were handled and selected handled with extreme care, it’s good to know wines made with grapes from these two sites (Okanagan Falls & Naramata) are no strangers to winning awards. Inspired by Heidi’s love of French wines, this beautifully-balanced Chardonnay lingers in your palate with meandering fruit notes of longan, dried honey dates and sugar apple. Pair it with Sauté prawns and scallops in a birds nest, Deep-fried spicy tofu or Pan-fried lightly-breaded pork chop with sauté onion.
Reserve Gewurztraminer: Floral and aromatic, this Gewurztraminer is laced with hints of star fruit and honeyed almond. The note of candied ginger that follows brings out the mild spicy layer. Pair this with Curry coconut pork or chicken, Seafood Laksa or even Satay.
PTG “Passe-Tout-Grains”: With equal share of Pinot Noir and Gamay harmonized together, this wine speaks great volume. The vitalizing red berry fruits mingle nicely with the underlining earthy and herbal hints. The slight spicy and smoky tones make this wine a good fit for dried-meat platters and barbequed fares.
The Joie 2011 series of En Famille wines has just been released this September. They are worth a trip to the liquor store. If you are a frequent shopper and happen to come across them, pick up one or more bottles. They will surely impress your wine cellar and your dinner guests.