News from Poplar Grove
When it comes to the world of fine wines, recognition and accolades serve as a testament to the artistry and craftmanship behind each bottle of Poplar Grove wine. We are thrilled to share the remarkable achievements of our recent releases, offer insights into our library, and provide a sneak peek into the exciting wines that you can look forward to in the future. Join us on this wine journey as we explore the impressive awards and upcoming releases that have captivated wine enthusiasts and experts alike.
Current Releases: A Triumph of Excellence
2018 Sparkling Extra Brut: Silver Medal at Drink Business Global Sparkling Masters
Our journey begins with the 2018 Sparkling Extra Brut. This wine is handpicked by our owners, Tony and Barb Holler, from their home estate vineyard on the shores of Okanagan Lake. Comprised of 100% single vineyard estate-grown Chardonnay and strategically picked early to be developed into a dry and crisp sparkling wine, this vintage has been awarded the Silver Medal at the prestigious Drink Business Global Sparkling Masters Competition. This is a testament to its exceptional quality and effervescent charm.
2019 CSM: A San Francisco Wine Competition Gold Medalist
This Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend stands tall with a Gold Medal proudly earned at the San Francisco Wine Competition. This blend masterfully combines the best of three varietals to create a harmonious blend of flavours that gives a platform to bouquets of rosemary, sage, with flavours of cardamom, oak and vanilla on the palate.
2019 Merlot: A San Francisco Wine Competition Gold Medalist
The 2019 Merlot wins a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Wine Competition. This bold red wine offers aromas of sticky toffee, peppercorn and plum. This wine has a medium body that is host to velvety tannins, with sweet notes of cherry, plum and vanilla. Red wines like this embody the passion and dedication of our winemakers, resulting in a sensory experience that is second to none.
2019 Syrah: A Gold Medalist at National and International Competitions
The 2019 Syrah has garnered gold medals at the San Francisco Wine Competition with 91 points, as well as gold medals at The Drink Business Global Syrah Masters and the esteemed Wine Align National Awards. This wine is deep purple in colour with fragrant clove and savoury blackberry aromatics that burst from the moment the bottle is open. This wine has flavours of succulent raspberry, smooth vanilla, and black pepper with a medium acidity and bold tannins. The dominant oak essence in this Syrah encourages this wine to have a long and complex finish.
2019 Cabernet Franc: Topping the Podium at the New York and San Francisco Wine Competitions
The 2019 Cabernet Franc has garnered dual Gold Medals at two international competitions in San Francisco and New York. The alluring scent of this Cabernet Franc offers aromas of cherry pie, black tea and lavender that greet your senses with the first pull of the cork. This medium bodied wine has bold tannins that surprise your palate coupled with sweet flavours of red fruit, smooth vanilla, and oak. With each sip, you’ll discover the intricate layers that make this varietal a true standout.
2022 Pinot Gris: Wins Double Gold at the New York Wine & Spirits Competition
The 2022 Pinot Gris has garnered a Double Gold Medal at The New York & Spirits Competition. This wine is medium lemon in colour with aromas of white lilac and citrus. The palate displays a bright acidity with flavours of ripe Okanagan peach, white nectarine and a soft floral note on the mid palate. This wine offers a smooth mouthfeel and long delicate finish making it the perfect pairing to any occasion.
Our Library Selection: A Cellar of Excellence
2017 The Legacy: Best in Show and Gold Medalist Winner in London Wine Competition
The Legacy 2017 has not only secured a Gold Medal with an impressive 93 Points, it has also been honoured with the Best in Show title at the London Wine Competition. Elegant and refined, the 2017 version marries elegance and finesse, with serious density and grip. All component varietals were estate grown and hand-picked for their specific characteristics, then rigorously sorted prior to fermentation and extended maceration. The various lots were aged in 100% traditional French barriques for 21 months before the final blend was assembled, and then matured in-bottle for 2 years prior to release. The wine is a testament to our unwavering commitment to crafting exceptional wines that contribute to the Poplar Grove Legacy.
2018 Cabernet Franc: A San Francisco Wine Competition Gold Medalist
The 2018 Cabernet Franc wins a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Wine Competition. Cabernet Franc was one of the original grape varietals planted in the Poplar Grove Vineyards. An immediate favourite from the first vintage in 1995, because of its intense fruit quality and ripe velvety tannins, this wine is deep ruby red with aromas of red berry fruit and cedar. The palate begins with flavours of blueberry and dark chocolate and finishes with hints of vanilla and dried herbs. This elegant wine is refined in its approach offering fine integrated tannins and balanced acidity. This vintage exemplifies the consistent quality and dedication that define our winemaking philosophy.
2018 Syrah: A Decanter World Wines Gold Medalist
The 2018 Syrah has secured its place among the best, earning a Gold Medal with an impressive 95 Points at the Decanter World Wines Competition. This Syrah is medium purple with a silky mouthfeel and dark red fruits with enticing savory elements. The aromas are youthful with notes of white pepper and blueberry. This wine has flavours of raspberry and spice with notes of tarragon on the finish. Beautifully balanced with bright acidity, it marries well with grilled lamb and roasted duck dishes. This recognition underscores the elegance and complexity that this varietal brings to our portfolio.
Upcoming Releases: Anticipation Builds
2019 The Legacy: Double Gold Medalist at The New York International Wine & Spirits Competition
The excitement builds as we anticipate the release of the 2019 The Legacy, with a Double Gold Medal at The New York International Wine & Spirits Competition. This wine has a rich intensity in the nose with deep garnet hues in the glass. You can expect bold aromas of cassis and black cherry with notes of plums, vanilla, and blackberries on the palate. This wine promises to carry forward The Legacy of excellence that define the Poplar Grove brand.
2020 Merlot: Wins Best in Class at The Los Angeles International Wine Competition
A class of its own, the 2020 Merlot has earned both a Gold Medal with 95 Points and the coveted Best in Class title at The LA International Wine Competition. This vintage is poised to redefine the standards of Merlot craftsmanship. With aromas of blueberry, bay leaf and aged leather at first smell, the palate offers notes of bright red cherry, dark chocolate, and a subtle spice note on the finish.
2020 Syrah: Wins Double Gold at Pacific Rim International Wine Competition
With a Double Gold from the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition and a Gold Medal from The Drink Business Global Masters, this release promises to captivate wine enthusiasts worldwide. This Syrah exhibits aromas of plums, vanilla and pepper on the nose. The palate is sharp and precise with ripe raspberry, black licorice, and a subtle essence of oak on the finish.
Our recent and upcoming releases are a testament to our unwavering commitment to producing wines of the highest quality and distinction. The accolades and awards they have garnered show the passion, skill, and dedication of our winemaking team.
Poplar Grove was awarded a GOLD medal for its Syrah 2019 at the 2023 Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada, which was held in Penticton, B.C this past June. The “Nationals” are Canada’s largest wine awards, with over 1,930 entries representing 255 wineries from seven different provinces across the country.
Poplar Grove Syrah 2019 also won GOLD at the 2022 Los Angeles International Wine Competition (USA) and GOLD at the 2022 Drink Business Global Syrah Masters, held in the U.K. This international recognition and acclaim speak to the consistent quality of Poplar Grove’s red wine program.
The grapes for this prestigious wine were hand-picked from Poplar Grove’s Haynes Creek vineyard, located on the east side of Osoyoos Lake, and cold-soaked for four days of careful fermentation with gentle tannin extraction. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrels, maturing for 15 months in French oak, followed by 21 months of cellar aging. The wine’s deep purple hues are fragrant with clove and savoury blackberry aromatics and boasts flavours of succulent raspberry, smooth vanilla, and a hint of black pepper, complemented by medium acidity and bold tannins.
Poplar Grove Syrah 2019 is ideal pairing for roast lamb and a great addition to any dinner party.
Both the Syrah 2019 and Syrah 2018, winner, GOLD Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards (95 points), are available for purchase from the winery, at poplargrove.ca and at fine restaurants and retail stores throughout Canada. Our wines are distributed in the USA by Kascadia Wine Merchants.
About the Wine Align National Wine Awards: Each summer since 2001, The Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada has been taking the pulse of Canada’s wine quality by assembling over 20 judges from several provinces to taste almost 2000 wines over five days. Wine Align was designed by wine consumers (not wine sellers) who want logical, practical, and objective wine buying advice. The service aggregates ratings from a growing portfolio of top Canadian wine critics who taste thousands of wines a year and have an objective frame of reference for rating quality and the journalistic ability to effectively communicate the style, character, and background of the wine.
About the Los Angeles International Wine Competition: For more than 100 years, the Los Angeles International Competitions have bestowed gold medals to the best wines, spirits, olive oils and dairy products from around the globe, showcasing the winners at the LA County Fair. Judged by an array of the finest palates in the world, the ensuing scrutiny can result in catapulting a little-known product to worldwide fame or reiterate the staying power of a traditional label.
About the Drink Business Global Syrah Masters: The Drink Business Global Wine Masters Competitions began in 2013 as an offshoot of The Drinks Business, the world’s leading magazine for the wine and spirits trade, to promote the world’s best wines. The Wine Masters take a distinct, new approach to the way wine is judged. Each competition showcases a key variety or style – such as Pinot Noir, sparkling or organic – and is open to wines from anywhere in the world. All tastings are done blind, with only price bracket and category revealed to the judges so that wines can be tasted without prejudice or bias.
About Poplar Grove Winery: Founded in 1993, Poplar Grove Winery is one of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench. Tony and Barb Holler purchased the winery in 2007. Their sons, Chris, Andrew, Matthew, and Eric farm more than 140 acres of estate vineyards with care. The family is widely recognized for crafting their outstanding signature red blend The Legacy, as well as delicious Cabernet Franc and Merlot focused wines and an exceptional Pinot Gris. Together they share a commitment to distinctive, genuine wines that reflect the character and richness of the Okanagan Valley.
Poplar Grove was awarded BEST IN SHOW by varietal and a GOLD medal (93 points) for its signature red blend, The Legacy 2017, at the 4th edition of the London Wine Competition which took place in London, England, on March 17, 2021. Over the years, each vintage of The Legacy has spent time at the top of the podium, an achievement that recognizes the consistent quality of Poplar Grove’s signature red blend.
Historical awards for Poplar Grove’s The Legacy:
- 2013 The Legacy - Double GOLD medal 95 points – San Francisco International Wine Competition
- 2014 The Legacy - Winner of the 2018 Judgement of BC
- 2015 The Legacy - GOLD medal 91 points – London Wine Competition
- 2016 The Legacy - GOLD medal 96 points – Decanter World Wine Awards
- 2017 The Legacy - GOLD medal 93 points, BEST IN SHOW by varietal - London Wine Competition
The Legacy begins in the vineyard. The Holler family, owners of Poplar Grove since 2007, focus on farming. Barbara and Tony, and their four sons Chris, Andrew, Matthew, and Eric share the labor of growing grapes on their 140 acres of estate vineyards to ensure the quality of Poplar Grove’s wines.
“We decided to get into the wine industry in the Okanagan Valley because of the belief that the valley could produce wines of distinction that rivalled the best wines produced anywhere in the world. The Legacy's success and the success of other Okanagan wines in the premiere international wine competitions provides proof of our original belief. This has taken time, patience and diligence both in the vineyards and in the winery. I personally spend most of my time in our vineyards because this is where the wine is made. We are farmers first and every family member not only understands this but is a wine grower”, says Tony Holler, Owner and President.
The Legacy 2015 and The Legacy 2016 are available for purchase from the winery, online, and at fine restaurants and retail stores throughout Canada. The Legacy 2017 will release Fall of 2021. The Legacy 2014 will re-release as part of the Library program at Poplar Grove in 2022. Our wines are distributed in the USA by Kascadia Wine Merchants.
About the Competitions
The London Wine Competition
Widely considered to be one of the leading wine competitions of its kind, The London Wine Competition rates wines by quality, value and packaging. The organizer of the event is the Beverage Trade Network, which organizes wine industry events around the world.
The San Francisco International Wine Competition
The San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) is a member of The Tasting Alliance, the parent organization of the world-renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition, New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, and Singapore World Spirits Competition.
The Decanter World Wine Awards
Launched in 2004, the Decanter World Wine Awards is considered to be the world’s largest and most influential wine competition.
Judgement of BC
The Judgement of BC tasting is an annual tasting. The inaugural tasting was in 2015. In 2018, the Judgement of BC was hosted by the BC Wine Institute and curated by Vancouver based wine expert DJ Kearney.
About Poplar Grove Winery
Founded in 1993, Poplar Grove Winery is one of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench. Tony and Barb Holler purchased the winery in 2007. Their sons, Chris, Andrew, Matthew, and Eric farm more than 140 acres of estate vineyards with care. The family is widely recognized for crafting their outstanding signature red blend The Legacy, as well as delicious Cabernet Franc and Merlot focused wines and an exceptional Pinot Gris. Together they share a commitment to distinctive, genuine wines that reflect the character and richness of the Okanagan Valley.
At the 17th annual Decanter World Wine Awards, Poplar Grove Winery was awarded a prestigious gold medal for its signature blend, The Legacy. The Decanter World Wine Awards is an esteemed wine competition known internationally for its rigorous judging process. The contending wines are judged as part of a blind tasting in London, England by renowned experts from all over the globe.
Poplar Grove is honoured to have received a gold medal and a staggering 96 points for its signature blend, The Legacy 2016. The winery’s awards didn’t stop there, with it also receiving two silver medals for its 2017 Cabernet Franc and 2017 Merlot, as well as three bronze medals for its 2017 Syrah, 2017 Reserve Chardonnay and 2018 Chardonnay.
Poplar Grove’s winning wines are:
- Gold medal 96 points – 2016 Legacy
- Silver medal 92 points – 2017 Cabernet Franc
- Silver medal 90 points – 2017 Merlot
- Bronze medal 89 points – 2017 Syrah
- Bronze medal 89 points – 2017 Reserve Chardonnay
- Bronze medal 88 points – 2018 Chardonnay
“We are extremely proud to have been awarded these medals from what is considered the premier wine competition in the world. I congratulate our farming team led by my sons Andrew and Matthew and our winemaking team led by Stefan Arnason and our consultant, Alain Sutre. I have always believed that the Okanagan Valley has the ability to produce wines that can compete with the best in the world and these awards confirm my belief. I would also like to congratulate my friends at Mission Hill, Nk’Mip, Clos du Soleil, and Sunrock Vineyards for the gold medals their red wines received” said Tony Holler, Owner and President of Poplar Grove Winery.
The 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards medals build on Poplar Grove’s success at the 2020 London Wine Competition where four of Poplar Grove’s red wines won gold medals.
“A golden 96 points for The Legacy 2016 show that as our vineyards mature the wines will continue to get better and better. To me, great wines start in the vineyards, so as a team we will continue to increase our understanding of the specific vineyard blocks and work toward making the best wines we can” said Executive Winemaker Stefan Arnason.
The 2017 Reserve Chardonnay and the 2018 Chardonnay are available for purchase from the winery, at poplargrove.ca and at fine restaurants and retail stores throughout Canada. Our wines are distributed in the USA by Kascadia Wine Merchants. The remaining winning wines, including The Legacy 2016, are set to be released before the end of 2020.
About Decanter World Wine Awards: Launched in 2004, the Decanter World Wine Awards is considered to be the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. Wines submitted are judged against others in their price point and from the same region to ensure a just competition. Each winning wine is then tasted two to three times to ensure they are thoroughly reviewed.
At the 4th annual London Wine Competition which took place in London, England, on March 15, 2020, Poplar Grove was awarded gold medals for all four of the red wines Poplar Grove submitted to the competition. The Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc (93pts), Poplar Grove Syrah (92pts), Poplar Grove Legacy (91pts) and the Poplar Grove Merlot (90pts) were all at the top of the podium, which is the ultimate seal of approval in the global wine industry.
“From the beginning we were convinced that the Okanagan Valley would be internationally recognized as a premium wine region. We have focused on sustainable farming, understanding what our vineyards are capable of and practicing winemaking that minimizes intervention to show the true quality of our vineyards. This has allowed us to make beautiful wines, honest to the vintage they were made in. I am so proud of our winemaking team, led by Stefan Arnason, our consultant Alain Sutre, and our farming team led by my sons, Andrew and Matthew.” said Tony Holler, Owner and President of Poplar Grove.
The competition judges wines in three key areas: quality, value for money and package and design. According to Sid Patel, CEO of The Beverage Trade Network, “Consumers want to enjoy an ‘experience’ from a bottle of wine, it is much more than an alcoholic commodity. That’s why the Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and experienced traders judging at the 2020 London Wine Competition look at wines the way wine drinkers do. Yes, they analyze quality professionally; they are then asked to judge and award marks based on value for money and appearance.”
- Gold medal 93 points – 2016 Cabernet Franc
- Gold medal 92 points – 2016 Syrah
- Gold medal 91 points – 2015 Legacy
- Gold medal 90 points – 2016 Merlot
- Silver medal 85 points – 2018 Pinot Gris
In today’s competitive market, it is not enough to just provide good wine. Wine lovers expect it to look good and be great value for money. That’s why we are extremely proud that our wines scored so highly at the 2020 London Wine Competition. Winning these awards is particularly important to us because it not only shows that we are making the types of wines that wine drinkers actually want to buy and enjoy, but also that we are making the types of wines that the trade wants to include on their lists.
All wines that won Gold Medals are the current release wines that are available for purchase from the winery, at poplargrove.ca and at fine restaurants and retail stores throughout Canada. Our wines are distributed in the USA by Kascadia Wine Merchants.
The release of Poplar Grove Legacy 2014 is good news indeed. A wine that sets new standards and serves as a benchmark for the style. The judges at the fourth annual Judgement of BC agreed: our proprietary red blend took top spot!
Said a jubilant Tony Holler: “Winning such a prestigious award validates what we’re doing in the vineyards.” He added, “prominent awards like this one enhance awareness and interest in the Okanagan Valley, our wineries and their wines.”
DJ Kearney, head judge, wine educator and global wine expert had this to say about the winning 2014 Legacy: “It has that wonderful crossover character with old-world structure and quality and new-world fruit generosity and weight, and our signature acidity. It is so well made and so well balanced, a worthy winner.”
Poplar Grove Legacy 2014 is a Bordeaux-inspired blend originating from the following vineyard locations - Osoyoos 65%, Oliver 15%, Penticton 13%, Naramata 7 %. The blend comprises 44% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot.