The Largest Showcase of Canadian Wine

Canada’s Great Kitchen Party toured nine cities in 2023.

Canada’s Great Kitchen Party is an annual series of culinary and wine events that gives thousands of people a chance to taste high-quality wines from across Canada. During the latest edition, in fall 2023, 4,000 people in nine cities were able to taste some of Canada’s most awarded wines. It is, says David Lawrason, Toronto-based wine writer and judge, and a wine adviser to Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, “Canada’s biggest showcase of Canadian wine, and the largest collective charitable undertaking by Canada’s wineries.”

In all, 65 wineries from British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia donated 300 cases of wine—110 different wines—to events in Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, and St. John’s. At these events, local wine writers and sommeliers voted for a wine that would go forward to the final, the Canadian Culinary Championship, held in Ottawa in February 2024.

At the Canadian Culinary Championship, chefs from each city competed against one another, and the winning wine from each city competed for Wine of the Year. The wine finalists were a diverse group that included a sparkling wine from Nova Scotia and many whites and reds from Ontario and British Columbia. Did any varieties or styles stand out for David Lawrason? “From Ontario it was the pinot noirs and chardonnays, hands down, plus cabernet franc. The Wine of the Year was an Ontario pinot noir. The B.C. styles were more mixed, but bigger reds like syrah and the Bordeaux reds dominated, plus some very interesting whites from warmer climate varieties like viognier, albariño, and roussanne.”




The Wine of the Year was Rosehall Run St. Cindy Pinot Noir 2020 from Prince Edward County, Ontario, an expressive and elegant pinot noir with excellent structure and balance. The runner-up was The Long Way Home Chardonnay 2022 from Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, a very attractive chardonnay full of gorgeous, layered fruit paired with finely calibrated, juicy acidity. In third place was Ursa Major Exile, Love and Misunderstanding Gamay, from Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, a finely tuned gamay that delivers across the board, with balance and structure.



The great majority of the 110 wines served throughout the events were from established Canadian wine regions, but Lawrason says there are new regions to watch. “I would love to see representation spread into the Quebec wineries—I’m quite impressed by what’s going on there. There are other new vineyards in the Rideau Lakes and west into Central Ontario. Out west, I think Vancouver Island has huge potential, and nooks like the Kootenays around Creston.”

Canada’s Great Kitchen Party raises funds for various charities (so far $18.5 million), and it is clearly an important showcase for excellent Canadian wines. If you missed last season’s events, you can buy some of the wines directly from the wineries.



Finalists for Wine of the Year at the Canadian Culinary Championships, 2024

Bachelder Grimsby Hillside Frontier Block Chardonnay 2021 (Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario)

L’Acadie Vineyard Vintage Cuvée 2020 (Nova Scotia)

Mission Hill Perpetua Chardonnay 2021 (Okanagan Valley, British Columbia)

River Stone Cornerstone 2019 (Okanagan Valley, British Columbia)

Rosehall Run St. Cindy Pinot Noir 2020 (Prince Edward County, Ontario)

Rust Ferreira Vineyard Syrah 2020 (Black Sage Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia)

The Long Way Home Chardonnay 2022 (Beamsville Bench. Niagara Peninsula, Ontario)

Ursa Major Exile, Love & Misunderstandings Gamay 2022 (Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia)