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Judging the Wines

Trophies : “All Canadian Best Wines of the Year”

All wines are judged using the 100-point system. Trophies are awarded for each of the following categories.

  • Best Red table wine
  • Best White table wine
  • Best Dessert wine
  • Best Sparkling wine
  • Best Fruit wine

All Canadian medals : Double Gold medals/ Best of Category

Double Gold medals will be awarded to the single highest rated wine (using an average of the aggregate judges scores) from each of the categories below. Ties to be decided by a final tasting. These wines are submitted for the Trophy round.

Medals of Merit: Gold, Silver, Bronze

  • Gold awards of merit will be awarded to those wines scoring in the top 10 percentile.
  • Silver awards of merit will be issued to those wines scoring in the second 10 percentile.
  • Bronze awards of merit will be issued to those wines scoring in the third 10 percentile.
  • Please note: Should a category show exceptionally well, or conversely, poorly, the medals will be adjusted to reflect this. I.E. no Gold awarded, or extra Gold….

Red Wines

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (under $30 / $30 and over)
  • Merlot (under $30 / $30 and over)
  • Cabernet Franc  (under $30 / $30 and over)
  • Bordeaux Blends  (under $30 / $30 and over)
  • Pinot Noir  (under $30 / $30 and over)
  • Syrah/Shiraz  (under $30 / $30 and over)
  • Marechal Foch
  • Gamay Noir
  • Single Varietal Red Hybrid
  • Red Hybrid Blends
  • Other Single Red Vitus Vinifera
  • Other Red Vitus Vinifera Blends

White Wines

  • Chardonnay (under $20 /$20 to $30, $30 and over)
  • Chardonnay Unoaked
  • Riesling Dry or Off Dry
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gewurztraminer
  • Pinot Gris style
  • Pinot Grigio style
  • Viognier
  • Other Single White Vitus Vinifera
  • Vitus Vinifera Blends
  • Other Single White Hybrid
  • White Hybrid Blends

Dessert Wines

  • Riesling Icewine
  • Vidal Icewine
  • Red Icewines
  • Other Icewines
  • Late Harvest Wine
  • Grape Fortified


  • Blanc de Noir style
  • Blush style

Sparkling Wine (Traditional Method,  Charmat and Frizzante)


  • Modern
    • Apple only, can be focused on specific apples, although usually with culinary/table apples; fresh, New World-style. Faster ferment, typically one month or less. Can be any range of sweetness, but residual sugar/sweetness level to be identified upon submission.
  • Heritage
    • Apple- only, focused on the specific apple used, Old World-influenced. Typically made with multi-use apples (such as Russets, Baldwin, Gravenstein) or cider-specific fruit, resulting higher in tannin and acid. Fermented slower, typically three or more months. Also including keeved and still cider. Can be any range of sweetness, but residual sugar/sweetness level to be identified upon submission.
  • Natural/Sour
    • Ciders made in a natural, traditional sidra style (sharp/semi-sharp apple varieties, lower bubbles, higher acidity), including Spanish sidra and ciders fermented using native yeast and without adjuncts. Also including ciders made intentionally sour using non-standard yeast, mixed fermentation and/or bacterial fermentation. Fermentation intention (natural sidra style vs. sour) would be useful if identified upon submission.
  • Single Varietal
    • A showcase of one varietal; must be 80% varietal and apple only
  • Perry
    • 100% fermented pear, made from pear varieties grown specifically for perry production, as well as those made from culinary/table pears. Can be labeled as pear cider as long as it is exclusively pear juice. Blended pear and apple ciders go in the Fruit category.
  • Fruit
    • Cider base infused or co-fermented with other fruits, such as pear, berry, tropical fruit, stone fruits, etc
  • Botanicals/Spiced/Hopped
    • Cider base infused with any combination of herbs, nectars, leaves, tea, spices, spicy vegetables (habaneros, ginger, etc.) or cider base that has hops added.
  • Dessert/Fortified
    • Ice cider, late harvest, pommeau-style or other styles with spirits added.


  • Sparkling
  • Dry
  • Sweet
  • Cyser

Fruit Wines (broken down into soft fruit and tree fruit)

  • Table Dry
  • Table Off-Dry
  • Dessert
  • Fruit Sparkling
  • Fruit Fortified

Order Your Stickers

Every bottle deserves its meal

Items of Interest

John Paul Robinson
The Artist’s Words: the ACWC trophy

Past Winners

A look back at ACWC winners