The Canada/U.S. border has been closed for months, but the pandemic didn’t prevent Wild Goose Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, from using its 2019 Mystic River Vineyard Gewürztraminer to win best of show at the Cascadia International Wine Competition.
It marked the third time in four years for the Kruger family to use its scintillating white wine program to top the annual showcase of Pacific Northwest wines staged by Great Northwest Wine. And it signaled the successful winemaking transition from Hagen Kruger to his son, Nicholas, who took over as head winemaker prior to the 2019 harvest.
“The 2019 vintage has all been Nick,” said general manager Roland Kruger, who co-founded the winery in 1984 with his older brother, Hagen, and their late father, Adolf. “Hearing about this award was very exciting for us and Nick and assistant winemaker Riley Hollenbach and our amazing team. This award is an indication of just how well we’ve been able to make the change.”
Wild Goose Vineyards was named Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest magazine back in 2009, yet the accolades have continued. The Krugers won best of show at the Cascadia in 2017 and 2018 with exciting examples of Pinot Gris. At the 2014 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition — a tasting held in Hood River, Ore., for leading Northwest wine buyers — the Wild Goose 2012 God’s Mountain Vineyard Riesling led the judging.
“For many, many years, we’d say that Nick does the work and Hagen gets all the credit,” Roland quipped.