Italian Wine Competition Captured by Canada



    Inniskillin wins "wine industry's world cup" at Vinitaly 2009

    NIAGARA ON THE LAKE, ON, April 1 /CNW/ -

    In short:

    Canada's Inniskillin Wines has captured the top prize at the 17th Annual
International Wine Competition at Vinitaly: "The Premio Speciale Gran Vinitaly
2009". The special prize for top producer at the show is considered to be the
wine industry's "world cup". Vinitaly, held in Verona, is the largest and one
of the most prestigious annual wine competitions, attracting the global wine
elite. Inniskillin qualifies based on its performance of scores. For
Inniskillin to take the top award of the show highlights Inniskillin's
international reputation as a quality producer, and also has the wine world
shifting its attention to Canada.

    In full:

    Bruce Nicholson, director of Inniskillin winemaking announces the
exciting news that Inniskillin, the producer of the most famous Icewine in the
world, has captured the top award at Vinitaly's 17th International Wine
Competition: "The Premio Speciale Gran Vinitaly 2009". Donald Ziraldo,
Inniskillin co-founder, will attend the Vinitaly Awards Ceremony April 2 to
accept the award.
    "This is a huge win, on par with when Inniskillin's Vidal Icewine won a
Grand Prix d'Honneur at Vinexpo in Bordeaux in 1991," says Ziraldo. "This
award is receiving lots of attention in Europe, which really helps put Niagara
and the Canadian wine industry on the world map."
    To qualify for the "The Premio Speciale Gran Vinitaly 2009" award the
winery must have received the highest score based upon two gold medals
obtained in two different categories. The two categories were Sparkling Wines
and Sweet Wines, and the gold-winning wines are the Inniskillin 2006 Sparkling
Vidal Icewine and the Inniskillin 2006 Vidal Gold Oak Aged Icewine.
    "I am very happy to see that our wines have been recognized on the
international stage with the highest honour at Vinitaly 2009," Nicholson
comments. "My pride grows when I see how few of the wines receive medals. It
reinforces my belief in the quality of wines we are able to consistently
produce in Niagara," he continues. "As we have for decades, we will strive to
keep our wines at this high level."
    Three additional Inniskillin wines received a "Gran Menzione" award: the
Inniskillin 2007 Riesling Icewine, the Inniskillin 2007 Vidal Icewine and the
Inniskillin 2007 Montague Vineyard Chardonnay.
    Known as the "world cup" among global wine competitions, the Vinitaly
wine competition has become a landmark for such competitions on an
international scale, in part because it has always been extremely selective.
Each year, medals are awarded to only 3% of the wines entered in the
challenge. Out of 3,539 entries, only 113 medals will be handed out this year.
This includes 34 countries participating, judged by an international panel of
105 judges. The win of "The Premio Speciale Gran Vinitaly 2009" places
Inniskillin among past winners including Banfi of Italy, Divino Nordheim of
Germany, and Wyndham Estate of Australia.
    Inniskillin Icewine is harvested at the pinnacle of Canada's crisp
winter; the grapes are left to freeze on the vine and picked when the
temperature drops to -10 degrees C. The finished wine is intense, sweet and
luscious, yet balanced with brilliant acidity, creating a unique sensation on
the palate. Renowned for fruit flavours that range from mango and peach to
lychee, Icewine is truly a natural wonder, representing extreme winemaking at
its best.

    Inniskillin Wines, established in 1975 by co-founders Donald Ziraldo and
Karl Kaiser, is Canada's premier estate winery producing truly distinctive and
elegant wines from premium grape varieties grown in Canada. Inniskillin has
vineyards in the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in
British Columbia. Inniskillin has gained international recognition for its
award winning Icewines, which, as the number one selling wine by distribution
in duty free stores, can be found in over 68 countries around the world.
Inniskillin is proud of the role it has played and continues to be one of the
rising stars in bringing recognition to Canada as part of the international
success of Canadian wines. For more information, visit www.inniskillin.com.

    Notes to editors:

    
    Availability of Inniskillin Niagara Icewine within Canada
    2006 Sparkling Vidal Icewine VQA: Winery Boutique
    2006 Gold Oak Aged Vidal VQA: Winery Boutique, Wine Rack
    2007 Riesling Icewine: VQA Winery Boutique, LCBO
    2007 Vidal Icewine: VQA Winery Boutique, Wine Rack, LCBO, SAQ, BCLDB,
    MLCC, NSLC, NLC, NB Liquor, liquor stores in Alberta

    Upcoming release: 2007 Montague Vineyard Chardonnay VQA.

    Resource materials

    For your convenience, online is an image library with winery, personnel
    and product shots.
    To access, with your web browser visit: www.inniskillin.com/mediacentre
    Enter the user word: "Inniskillin"
    Password: "icewine"
    

    Additional photos will be posted once Donald Ziraldo accepts the "Premio
Speciale Gran Vinitaly 2009" award on April 2. We suggest you add the media
centre to your favourites, and check back often, as we update the centre
frequently.





For further information:

For further information: contact the media team: At the winery, contact
Deborah Pratt, 1-888-466-4754 x 5410 or (905) 468-2187 x 5410;
dpratt@inniskillin.com; Coletta Consultants: Leeann Froese at (604) 904-9793;
leeann@ccltd.ca or Christine Liber at (416) 651-4722;
christine.liber@ccltd.ca

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