The All Canadian Wine Championships are currently Canada’s only national wine competition. Each year, countless Canadian wineries vie for one of its most-coveted prizes: best in class. This year, that award goes to Oliver’s family-run boutique winery, Desert Hills (DH).
Co-proprietors, brothers Randy, Jesse and Dave Toor were thrilled with the trophy for best white wine awarded to their 2013 Gewürztraminer.
“Gewürztraminer has always been one of our signature wines,” explains Randy Toor. “It’s won some big medals in the past, but this is by far the best. We knew it was going to be a big hit for us, but you never know what will happen. We are very happy.”
This isn’t the first time DH has received this trophy. Their 2006 Syrah won the award a few years ago.
“We knew we had the best Syrah in the valley. The heat, the slope, the terroir…the winemaking experience of Elias and George Phiniotis. It’s so exciting to see that it got that kind of recognition,” says Randy.
Many of DH’s biggest awards have gone to their well-aged, well-crafted red wines.
“We hold back our reds after bottling, usually four to five years. We have the cellaring capacity for our customers so that they don’t have to wait. Our wines are ready for people to take home and enjoy,” explains Randy.

2013 Gewürztraminer  $22.90
Aromas of rose petal and lychee in an off-dry-style that accentuates it’s super-natural tropical spice flavours. Randy’s favourite pairing? “Spicy food, like Thai, butter chicken and vegetarian Indian dishes. Or just as a great sipper. It’s a guaranteed good time.”
~ Sarah Willard