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Canada’s Inniskillin Wines wins ”Best Sweet Wine” award

Canada’s Inniskillin Wines wins ”Best Sweet Wine” award at the world’s most important wine event - Vinexpo in Bordeaux, France!

The Canadian company that won Vinexpo’s coveted ”Grand Prix d’Honneur” award back in 1991, has now won another exceptional, top-ranking prize from the largest and most prestigious wine event in the world. The ”Best Sweet Wine” award in Vinexpo’s ”Decouvertes” competition was awarded to Canada’s Inniskillin Wines at a special ceremony held on June 25. The award was presented to Inniskillin’s Co-Founder, Donald Ziraldo by the exhibition’s President, Jean-Marie Chadronnier. Now in its second year, the ”Decouvertes” competition brings together the world’s most respected sommeliers and wine writers to review all Vinexpo exhibitors” wines, and to pick their personal favourites in the ”red”, ”white”, and ”sweet” wine categories.

This year’s wine writers included: Tim Atkin, MW (UK), Helga Baumgartel (Germany), Michel Bettane (France), Christian Flaceliere (France), Joshua Greene (USA), Jo Gryn (Belgium), Robert Joseph (UK), Charles Metcalfe (UK), Anthony Rose (UK), Marco Sabellico (Italy), Bartolome Sanchez (Spain), Steven Spurrier (UK), and Othmar Staheli (Switzerland). The sommeliers were the six finalists in the World’s Best Sommelier Competition held in San Francisco in November 2002: Paolo Basso (Switzerland), Meril Bruno (Luxemburg), Branco Grizelj (Monaco), Igor Jakomin (Slovania), Georges Loukas (Greece), and Flavia Rizzuto (Argentina). Now in its twelfth year, Vinexpo 2003 hosted 2,500 exhibitors from 40 countries, approximately 48,000 visitors and over 1,200 journalists. From their short list of 60 wines in all three categories, the ”Decouvertes” judges eventually picked their top three: the Tuscan Testamatta 2001, from Bibi Graetz, as the red; the Austrian Hornivogl-Gruner Veltiner-Smarragd 2002, from Franz Hilzberger as the white; and, as the sweet, the Inniskillin Vidal Oak Aged Icewine 2002, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada.

”It is another extraordinary blessing that the judges chose our Icewine as one of the world’s best at Vinexpo,‛ enthused Donald Ziraldo. ”We are honoured.” A product of Canada’s cold winter, Canada’s Icewine is made from grapes that are netted and left to freeze naturally on the vine. They are carefully picked by hand, only when the temperature drops to - 8?C (17.6?F) or colder. (Inniskillin prefers to pick its Icewine grapes at -10?C (14?F). The frozen grapes are then pressed to release a highly concentrated nectar, rich in sugar, acids and flavour that represents only 5 to 10% of normal yield. Bottled in small, 375 ml quantities (or less), Icewine is both rare and expensive, and has become a unique Canadian delicacy that is now exported around the world. Inniskillin is Canada’s premier estate winery, producing truly distinctive estate wines that rank among the world’s finest.

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