Niagara-on-the-Lake winery students collect 5 medals at ‘The Nationals’


Published August 1, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Niagara College Winemaker Allison Findlay holds up the Dean’s List Rosé and Dean’s List Riesling, two of the five wines that won the Teaching Winery medals at the 2023 WineAlign National Wine Awards. (Photo: Niagara College)

The Niagara College Teaching Winery on the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus continued with its winning awards ways, collecting five medals — including two golds, two silvers and a bronze – at the 2023 WineAlign National Wine Awards, known as ‘the Nationals.’

“These awards are especially significant as we are going up against the best in the country,” said Niagara College Winemaker Allison Findlay. “I was proud to submit some of my first vintage wines and have them show well too. It is a great example of things we have done great in the past, as well as continuing the reputation of quality in the future.”

The Teaching Winery’s latest winning wines include:

  • 2022 Dean’s List Riesling St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula, which won gold in the Riesling category;
  • 2018 Balance Riesling Brut, VQA Niagara Peninsula, which won gold in the Sparkling category;
  • 2022 Dean’s List Cabernet Rosé, VQA Four Mile Creek, which won silver in the Rosé category;
  • 2020 Dean’s List Savant, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula , which won silver in the Icewine category; and
  • 2020 Marmitons Gastronomy Pinot Noir, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, which won bronze in the Pinot Noir category.

The Dean’s List Rosé and Dean’s List Riesling are from Findlay’s first vintage with the College since she joined as Winemaker in 2022. A 2014 graduate of the college’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program, Findlay was previously Head Winemaker at Flat Rock Cellars in Jordan, where she honed her craft producing award-winning wines including a Best in Show at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards.

If she had to choose, Findlay said she is most proud of the 2022 Dean’s List Riesling.

“There were high expectations as I had just received a Decanter Award for a previous Riesling I worked on,” she recalled. “This was our first estate grown Riesling off our newly planted vines in 2019 that I was so excited to vinify in 2022. It’s also the perfect excuse to drink more Riesling!”

The 2023 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada gathered 1,930 entries from over 255 different wineries from seven different provinces. Judging for the 2023 awards was held in Penticton, British Columbia from June 24 to 28.

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