The 2021 award season is starting to wrap up with only a couple more competitions left. We are thrilled to tell you about our results from the 2021 BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards. 

The Medals 

British Columbia’s oldest and most prestigious wine judging competition that recognizes excellence in winemaking for all British Columbia wineries. You can see all of the results here:

Gold – 2020 Living Land Sparkling Rose (available soon)


Silver – 2020 Living Land Chardonnay (available soon)

The Judges

The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards judges are a diverse group of wine experts from many different professional areas—winemakers, wine educators, wine writers, sommeliers, wine retailers, and more—who all have two things in common: a passion for wine, and daily exposure to it.  They are chosen for their immersion in the world of wine, with regular tastings of many wines as an integral part of their professional life.

The Judging Process

The entire competition is “blind” and comprises three phases: the initial blind tasting; the medaling round; and the final round where the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine of the Year is decided.

Throughout the first two days of highly controlled blind tastings, judges taste every wine entry to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on the producer, ensuring each wine is judged fairly, equally, and without bias. For the initial round, the judges are split into 5 panels (3 judges per panel).  Odd numbers are used because it’s easier to get a decision by a simple majority.

On the third day, judges evaluate each wine on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in a flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Platinum, Gold, or a Silver medal. Entries that receive a Platinum medal from all judges on the panel will move forward to the Wine of the Year Award.

In the medaling round, each wine is judged on its own merits including color, clarity, aroma, bouquet, taste, aftertaste, and overall quality—rather than as part of a ranking.  In other words, 10 wines will not be ranked 1 to 10, but rather recommended for specific medals.  In a particular flight, there might be 1 Platinum, 1 Gold, 4 Silver, for example, and 4 receiving no award; but there are no predetermined numbers or percentages of medals.  Sparkling wines and white wines are tasted first, followed by rosé and red, and finally dessert wines.  When there are different levels of sweetness, with Riesling for example, the wines are tasted from dry to sweet, because tasting the sweeter wines first would make the dry wines taste bitter.  Palate cleansers include lots of water (still or sparkling) and unsalted crackers.

At the end of the third day, Platinum wines advance to the final round. Here, all competition judges deliberate together to determine the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine of the Year.

Definition of the Awards 

Wine of the Year:  An exceptional wine with fine personality that stands our among its peers

Platinum:  An excellent wine with great personality and is a classic example of its style and variety

Gold:  An accomplished wine with considerable personality, character and complexity

Silver:  A perfectly well-made wine that provides an enjoyable drinking experience