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Canadian Chardonnay wins prestigious ‘Wine of the Show’ title at the 2019 Six Nations Wine Challenge

Canada’s incredible results at the renowned Six Nations Wine Challenge have continued in 2019, demonstrating again that Canadian wine is much more than just ice wine!

“Who would have thought that Canada’s trophy swag would equal the combined haul of Australia and New Zealand?” said Michael Fridjhon, the Chairman of Judges in 2019.

Competing alongside wine-making giants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and the United States, Canadian wine Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche Blanc de Blanc won the overall title of ‘Wine of Show’.

The Niagara region 2013 Chardonnay from the Henry of Pelham Family Estate clearly lived up to the slogan of the Estate: ‘not just good wine – beautiful wine’, winning the Challenge’s best sparkling wine.

‘Wine of Show' winner Cuvee Catharine from Henry of Pelham Family Estate
2013 Cuvee Catharine, Henry of Pelham Family Estate

In total, Canada claimed the winning spot in four categories, with the honours shared evenly between Canada’s two main wine producing regions – Ontario’s Niagara region and British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley region.

Also in the Niagara region, Thirty Bench Wine Makers produced a 2017 Winemaker’s Blend Riesling that received the first place trophy in the ‘Riesling’ category. This winery was also successful in this category at the 2017 and 2018 Wine Challenges – a remarkable hat trick of performances!

2017 Winemaker’s Blend Riesling, Thirty Bench Winemakers

The two Okanagan Valley region trophy winners were a 2016 Cabernet Franc from the Mission Hills Family Estate Winery in the ‘Other Reds (Light-Medium Bodied)’ category and a 2014 Merlot from the Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in the ‘Merlot and Carmenere’ category.

In addition to the awards mentioned above, Canada received nine double gold medals and 21 gold medals. Such impressive results coming out of the Six Nations Wine Challenge this year are likely to boost the interest in Canadian wines within Australia.

2016 Cabernet Franc, Mission Hills Family Estate Winery
2014 Merlot, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery

Ross Anderson, Director of the Six Nations Wine Challenge, told Canada Down Under that the Canadian wines surpassed all expectations.

“The Six Nations Wine Challenge, now into its 17th year, has been a highly successful season, full of surprises.

“Without a doubt, Canada has delivered some of its best results since joining the challenge in 2016,” he said.

“It has been interesting to watch the Canadian wines over the past four seasons flex their muscle in wine classes previously dominated by other nations.

“In particular, the Riesling class has been dominated by Canada, with Thirty Bench setting a record of three consecutive trophy wins with their Winemaker’s Blend 2017.

“The cool climate of the Niagara Peninsula is clearly a secret weapon that Thirty Bench and Henry of Pelham use to their benefit. What a great result!”

You can find out more about the Six Nations Wine Challenge, including the full 2019 results, on its website: 


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Canada Down Under is an on-line portfolio of Canadian-Australian stories produced by the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and other contributors.

Canada Down Under est un portefeuille en ligne d'histoires canado-australiennes produites par le Consulat général du Canada à Sydney et d'autres contributeurs.

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