“Excited and shocked ” is how Kaylan Medeira described her reaction when she found out Twisted Hills newest release Midnight Cherry earned Best Cider of the Year in the WineAlign Awards.
|Jo Scneider and Kaylan Medeira, owners of Twisted Hills.(Submitted)|
“I was at home when I got the email. I was pretty excited, I’m not going to lie. I texted my whole, entire family to let them know,” she said during an interview with the Review Tuesday.
WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada is the country’s largest competition for Canadian wines. This year marks’ the first that Best Cider of the Year was chosen.
“WineAlign has been around for quite some time, that’s why I enjoy putting our ciders in WineAlign. It’s really cool because a lot of consumers do pay attention to WineAlign,” she said.
Since Twisted Hills was named Best Cider of the Year, Medeira said she’s been receiving calls from all over and as far away as Manitoba asking where to get Midnight Cherry.
“I didn’t think it was going to win going in, but I understand why it did. It is really good. I worked on the recipe for quite some time. This first batch was what we sent out to be judged. You never know what people are going to like,” she said.
The Glo Haven, which is a peach apple cider, earned silver in the competition.
Medeira and her partner Jo Schneider bought an additional orchard just off Highway 3, east of Cawston, in October. The pair completed building their cider dome earlier this summer with it opening to the public just before the Canada Day long weekend.
The geodesic dome is made of 160 cedar triangles in six different sizes. Medeira and Schneider worked with friend Ben McKay of Fractal Geodesics to construct the unique building.
“It was a lot of work. I have a nice 300-foot-square office up top. It’s lovely, quite nice,” she said. “It’s a good time for us. We’re pretty excited. We’re happy making cider and farming.”
Medeira said she thinks the area is becoming well-recognized and wanted to congratulate all the wineries that are doing good work.
“It’s definitely neat to have the Best Cider of the Year here in the Similkameen Valley, but there are lots of them that are doing amazing things and winning awards all over the place. We have a great group here that are doing really great things,” she said.
On the wine side of WineAlign, more than 1,850 wines from 257 wineries were entered into the National Wine Awards of Canada – the most entrants in the history of the awards.
In late June, 22 judges came to Penticton and tasted the wines blind for five days.
Top medal winners survived multiple elimination rounds and only 42 per cent of all wines entered were awarded medals.
The Similkameen’s Corcelettes and Orofino wineries were listed in the Top 10 Small Wineries in Canada. Corcelettes earned the #8 ranking while Orofino was right on their nearby neighbour’s heels with #9.
Here are a list of awards received by Similkameen wineries:
Best Cider Of the Year, Midnight Cherry
Gold, Midnight Cherry
Silver, Glo Haven
Recognized as #9 in the top 10 small wineries
Gold, Rose, 2017 Cabarnet Franc Rose Pozza Vineyard
Gold, Gamay, 2017 Gamay
Gold, Syrah, 2016 Syrah Scout Vineyard
Silver, Cabernet Franc, 2017 Cabernet Franc Pozza Vineyard
Silver, Rose, 2017 Rose
Bronze, Red Blends, Right Bank 2014
Bronze, Syrah, 2014 Syrah
Bronze, Chardonay, 2017 Everday Chardonay
Silver, Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Semillon
Gold, Red Blends, 2014 Signature
Silver, Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Capella
Recognized as #8 of the top 10 small wineries
Gold, Red Blends, 2015 Meritage
Gold, Pinot Noir, 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir
Gold, Gewurztraminer, 2017 Gewurztraminer Second Chance Vineyard
Silver, Pinot Noir, 2017 Pinot Noir
Silver, Syrah, 2016 Syrah
Silver, Red Single Varities, 2015 Petit Verdo
Gold, Red Blends, 2014 Telltale
Gold, Red Blends, 2014 The Estate
Silver, Cabernet Franc, 2014 Cabernet Franc Speaking Rock Estate
Gold, Fruit Wine, Mead & Other Non-Fruit Based Wine, 2017 Sparkling Plum Flaunt
Bronze, Pinot Noir, 2017 Pinot Noir
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