Stag’s Hollow Winery in Okanagan Falls has been hard at work crafting single-vineyard wines alongside intricately crafted and unique blends for almost 20 years. They are now starting to get national recognition for their wines with the latest results of the 2014 Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada. They were awarded 10 medals – two Gold, six Silver, and two Bronze – at the recent competition and with that many medals, they have placed 8th overall in Canada.

Winemaker Dwight Sick, who has been at Stag’s Hollow since 2008, is quick to deflect any credit for this strong national showing away from his own skills in the cellar. “Winemaking is much easier with good fruit,” says Dwight. “What happens out there in the vineyard is 90% of the game.” He credits the relationship with growers, some of whom Stag’s Hollow has been working with for many years. Close relationships with the growers means that they can learn the intricacies of each vineyard. “We can get the best out of each year,” explains Dwight.

As proof of this consistency across styles and vintages, their 10 awards are spread out evenly over the past three vintages encompassing both single-variety wines and blends, and a near even split between reds and whites. The two top Gold Medals were awards to whites – the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Balwant Vineyard and the 2013 Viognier Hearle Vineyard. The special wine club-only wine “Hawk’s Hollow”, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot, won Silver. Of course, you’ll have to join their wine club to enjoy one of only 110 cases that were produced of this wine.

~ Luke Whittall