We found out yesterday that we have won our 88th medal at either a National or International competition.
At Rocky Creek Winery, our winemaker, Mark Holford, has strived to create wines that he can be proud of. Above all else he makes wines he will enjoy to drink himself, not to fit 'in a certain box'. Over the 12 years of having a family run winery currently his wines have been awarded 88 medals to validate his creative and individual take on winemaking.
In 2006, Mark's first medal was won on his 2005 vintage of the Wild Blackberry wine. It was a silver from the Northwest Wine Summit, a competition we still enter and have won medals at every year since. This win was a momentous occasion as a young winemaker starting out with a small family business. For Mark this was validation that his risks were finally starting to pay off, his wine was now 'award winning'. Since then the Wild Blackberry has won a double gold as well from the Northwest Wine Summit, the highest prestige a wine can get.
Over the years we have worn each medal as a badge of honour to give our wines a pedestal to stand on against their competition. In the Cowichan Valley we are the single most awarded winery and we hope that will speak to our consumers about the quality we want to give them. After 88 medals, Mark and the rest of the Rocky Creek Winery family are very proud of our wines, and our story that goes along with that. Our story is one of family, support, and following our passions.
The latest medal is a bronze for our just released 2016 Pinot Gris at the National Wine Awards. Full results of the competition will be released over the next two weeks.
Earlier this year we won a gold, two silvers and a bronze at the Northwest Wine Summit and the All-Canadian Wine Championships - for the Wild Blackberry, Katherine's Sparkle and On the Mark. Every year we enter many competitions because we see the worth in having our wines awarded, so that the public can see our worth as well. However, we haven't entered as many wines in competitions this year - for a couple of reasons.
First, we were really busy in the spring getting our remodeling done on the tasting room - and as a result most of our new vintages weren't bottled in time for the early competitions.
Second, we've made a strategic decision not to enter as many competitions - as they are expensive, and we think we've made our point about the Cowichan Valley being able to produce wines that can compete toe to toe with wines from any other region in the world.
We will still enter in some competitions, just to gauge where our latest releases sit in respect to the rest of Canada and the world. But our biggest metric on that is how popular our wines are, and how quickly our new releases are selling out. Our TLC and Robin's Rose are almost completely sold out, and our just-released Pinot Gris is flying off the shelves. That's the biggest compliment anyone can give a winemaker - so thanks for all the support.
From where we are now we would only love to achieve more and provide all consumers with the highest quality wine, in a local family business, we want to have people come to our winery and have a unique experience, one they will remember.