Gold Medal Plates 2016 Results


  • Chef: Jesse McCleery
  • Restaurant: Pilgrimme
  • Pairing: Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards 2015 Blanc de Noir

Best of Show

Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards 2015 Blanc de Noir


  • Chef: Mark Filatow
  • Restaurant: Waterfront Wines
  • Pairing: Tantalus, 2014 Chardonnay

Best of Show

Haywire 2013 Canyonview Pinot Noir


  • Chef: Ricardo Valverde
  • Restaurant: Ancora
  • Pairing: the hatch “Black Swift Vineyards” 2014 Pinot Noir

Best of Show

Culmina 2015 Decora Riesling

James-Chatto-by-George-Whiteside-high-resCulinary Report
by James Chatto by National Culinary Advisor

Say it ain’t so! Was this really the last event of the Gold Medal Plates 2016 campaign? It has been an intense few weeks but the fun and excitement of finding our gold-medal winners across the country is intoxicating. It’s also pretty cool to hobnob with Olympic athletes, iconic musicians, captains of industry, and a spectacular group of judges across the country – the renowned chefs, chef-instructors, educators, food writers, restaurant critics and gastronomes who collectively make up the Gold Medal Plates culinary judiciary. No other network of food professionals spans Canada the way we do and I am continually amazed and honoured by the dedication these people – volunteers all – show to GMP. Last night in Victoria the judges were led by our joint Chiefs of staff for British Columbia, Senior Judge Sid Cross – one of Canada’s great authorities on food and wine – and Senior Judge Andrew Morrison, author, critic and editor-in-chief of Scout Magazine. With us were Sooke Harbour House hotelier, restaurateur and recipient of the Nation’s Table Governor General’s award, Dr. Sinclair Philip, sommelier, chef, writer and founder of EAT magazine, Gary Hynes, and of course last year’s gold medal-wining chef, Alex Chen of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar in Vancouver.

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david-new-2014Victoria Wine Report
by David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor

For the first time both a chef and a wine from B.C.’s Gulf Islands have carted off the top two honours at a Gold Medal Plates event.  And it happened in Victoria on the last night of Gold Medal Plates 2016 campaign, thrilling the hometown crowd.

Gold Medal Chef Jesse McCleery of Pilgrimme on Galiano Island chose Sea Star 2015 Blanc de Noir from Pender to accompany his winning dish (see James Chatto’s Culinary Report). This pure and tautly balanced dry rose, made 100% from Pender Island pinot noir also captured the Best of Show honours.  But it was close. At the end of the first balloting among our five judges it was tied with Haywire 2013 Canyonview Pinot Noir.  Then in a tie-breaker vote it went forward with four votes to one.

So both will be going on the Canadian Culinary Championship in Kelowna.  Chef McCleery will compete for Canada’s Best Chef honours, while Sea Star 2015 Blanc de Noirs will go up against Best of Show winners from nine cities to compete for GMP Wine of the Year.

The Runner-Up was Haywire’s smoothly textured, very complex concrete-fermented pinot noir, a consistent favourite among B.C. sommeliers. And in third place, the intense, racy and layered Culmina 2015 Decora riesling, from the ambitious new Oliver-based winery by the Triggs family.

The Best of Show Wine Award was created to gain exposure for the dozens of wines, ciders and beers donated to Gold Medal Plates by Canadian wineries.  Not only does the program highlight the wines it gives them exposure to some of the leading wine writers, judges, educators, sommeliers and retailers in the country.

This day I was joined by three Victoria wine judges – and special guest Dr. Jamie Goode from the U.K, who has emerged as one of the world’s best known international wine authorities.  Treve Ring is a WineAlign National Wine Awards judge and one best and busiest wine writers in the country.  Sharon McLean, another National Wine Awards judge and the busiest wine educator in Victoria, teaching the range of WSET courses as well as specialty programs on French and Italian wine.  Brent Muller is an earnest student heading for his Master of Wine certification and buyer of one of the city’s best retail selections at Vessel Wines and Spirits on Fort St.

As well as acknowledging the great array from terrific B.C wineries (see full list below) that poured in Victoria, I want to acknowledge the B.C. cider scene, that was in full gait with a fine dry cider from The BX Press in Vernon, and the superb Sea Cider Pommeau, a fortified, aged cider from the Island’s Saanich Peninsula.

I also want to thank several wineries who have donated wines to the Celebration tables in Victoria.

The iconic Burrowing Owl winery very generously donated their fine Calliope white and red in four different cities.  Culmina decorated the tables with their exquisite Decora Riesling.  Encore Vineyard donated their exotic Time White Meritage by constant GMP supporter Harry McWatters. And for the first time, we heartily welcomed Pipe Dreams with their daring new bottling of Gruner Veltliner, Austria’s signature white variety.  It showed surprising power and ripeness, and sketches out a new direction for B.C. whites.

To read more about the chefs and their pairings please see the accompanying report by National Culinary Advisor James Chatto.

Here are all the wines donated to Victoria this year in the tasting order presented to the wine judges


The Victoria Wines, Ciders and Beers

Pipe Dreams 2014 Gruner Veltliner
Oliver, BC

Culmina 2015 Decora Riesling
Golden Mile, BC

Encore Vineyards 2014 Time Estate Meritage White
Okanagan Valley, BC

Burrowing Owl Estate Calliope Fig 8 2015 White
Okanagan Valley, BC

Tightrope Winery 2014 Viognier
Naramata Bench, BC

Stag’s Hollow 2014 Viognier, Hearle Vineyard
Okanagan Falls, BC

Liquidity 2014 Chardonnay
Okanagan Falls, BC

Tantalus 2014 Chardonnay
South East Kelowna, BC

Sea Star Estate 2015 Blanc de Noir
Pender Island, BC

Haywire 2013 Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir
Summerland, BC

The Hatch “Black Swift Vineyards” 2014 Pinot Noir
East Kelowna, BC

Black Sage Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc
Okanagan Valley, BC

Tinhorn Creek 2012 Oldfield Series Cabernet Franc
Golden Mile, BC

Burrowing Owl Estate Calliope Fig 8 2015 Red
Okanagan Valley, BC

Quail’s 2014 Gate Merlot
Okanagan Valley, BC

The BX Press 2015 Prospector Traditional Dry Cider
Vernon, BC

Sea Cider Pommeau
Saanichton, BC

Vancouver Island Brewery
Islander Lager

Vancouver Island Brewery
Pipers Pale Ale

Vancouver Island Brewery
19 IPA

Merridale Distillers
Nitro Coffee Cocktail

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Thank you to the Gold Medal Plates sponsors and supporters who provide vital support to the project