In the just-announced Canadian National Wine Awards, La Frenz Winery has been awarded Top Performing Small Winery in Canada for 2017, the second time in as many years that this award has gone to a winery on the Naramata Bench.
La Frenz also took fifth place in the Top 10 Wineries in BC; and was recognized as 10th in the Top 25 Wineries in Canada.
La Frenz was also awarded 12 medals, including one of the prestigious 20 Top One Per Cent Platinum Awards Medals for the 2015 Ensemble Sauvignon Blanc /Semillon blend; a Gold medal for the 2016 Semillon; and seven Silver medals and 4 Bronze medals for wines across all styles.
The Canadian National Awards represented the largest and most comprehensive tasting of Canadian wines with over 1,700 wines from 242 wineries.
Earlier this spring, La Frenz Winery also dominated the prestigious Dan Berger International Awards Competition, one of California’s oldest and most respected wine competitions, winning four Gold medals (La Vita Pazza 2015 white blend, Vivant 2015 Rhone white blend, Tawny port NV, and Sauvignon Blanc 2016), nine Silver medals, and four Bronze medals across all their wine styles. These medals resulted in La Frenz being awarded the Small Winery of the Year for 2017.
Jeff Martin, owner of La Frenz Winery, comments, “I am extremely pleased to win two Small Winery of the Year awards from the only two competitions I entered this year. These awards represent our fourth and fifth Small Winery of the Year Awards in the past four years which underscores our consistency from year to year.”
La Frenz was also a featured winery, the only one from B.C., at the 31st Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinville, Oregon from July 28 to 30. La Frenz is one of the two wineries invited from Canada, Norman Hardie from Ontario being the other selection representing Canada. Over 100 wineries from around the globe submitted their Pinot Noir wines for review and only 36 featured wineries are selected. This very prestigious event hosted wineries from California, Oregon, New Zealand, Alsace and Burgundy, in addition to La Frenz and Norman Hardie from Canada.
La Frenz Winery is owned and operated by Jeff Martin and his wife, Niva, who arrived in British Columbia from their native Australia in the late 1980s. After serving as head winemaker at Quails Gate Estate Winery in Kelowna, the Martins bought land and planted grapes on the Naramata Bench near Penticton.
“We came to B.C. for a two-year working holiday 22 years ago and never left. It was the Wild West back then, but it’s been a wonderful experience to play our part and to witness where the B.C. wine industry is today,” says Martin. “We have a world-class wine industry here, it is not even a serious question today, our best producers are clearly making wines worthy of sitting alongside wines from anywhere in the world. The major wins by La Frenz Winery and other B.C. wineries at international competitions prove this point.”