Winners of the 2007 Challenge


Grand Award Winner: Aaron Pitcher

2nd place: Anton Potvin

3rd place: Paul Pender



1st place: Lesley Fraser



1st place: Allison Vidug



1st place: Marlise Ponzo

2nd place: Jayne McMahon

3rd place: Andrea Harrington


The Renaissance ProjectTM raises a glass to all participants, volunteers and sponsors who made last year's Challenge the best yet.


Prize List for 2007


Antinori and Halpern Enterprises

Tuscany: Antinori and Halpern Enterprises have generously donated 5 days in Tuscany touring the famous Antinori vineyards, tasting legendary wines, enjoying specially prepared fine food AND all the while staying in the private residences of the Antinori family. Priceless.


Bordeaux: Diageo, once again, has honoured us with the donation of an exclusive all expenses paid three and a half day Bordeaux "wine school" experience for two.


Scotland: Diageo, this year, is also offering a trip for two visiting Scotland and its distilleries includes airfare.

Concha y Toro and Select Wines

Chile: The winner of this prize will do the Chilean tour with a small group of sommeliers and wine buyers in Fall 2008 (dates to be confirmed by the winery). Trip will include all designated group meals, accommodation and transportation while they are with the Concha y Toro tour staff.

Wines of Germany

Germany: This all expenses paid trip to Germany includes a scholarship to the 2008 German Wine Academy including accommodation, travel in the program, all meals, wine tastings and winery visits.


Spain: The prize includes round trip airfare, provided by Pacific Wine & Spirits, to the invitation only, Miguel Torres Wine Course. The course is held annually at the Torres winery in Vilafranca del Penedes, Spain. The winner will attend the full program where all ground transportation, accommodations, and meals will be provided.

Cantine Lungarotti

Umbria, Italy: 2 night stay at Le Tre Vaselle Hotel. The dates will be on availability of the hotel to be worked out with the winner Dinner both nights at the hotel restaurant, Winery tour , V.I.P. tasting, Museums tour More info on the winery at

Barrique and VinVino

Oregon: Four days to visit wine cellars, talk with winemakers, taste the 2007 vintage from the barrel, preview new releases of the 2006 vintage, and revisit some great old vintages from winery libraries (Includes airfare).

Barrique and VinVino

California: Discover what some are calling California's new wine frontier in Paso Robles and visit one the area's oldest and most established wineries J.Lohr Vineyards and Wines (Includes airfare).

Via Allegro

Via Allegro is one of the founding four partners and producer of this prestigious competition. They have generously invested in the development of the competition from its inception four years ago.

Also, Via Allegro continues to offer yearly cash awards to the winners to be used towards furthering their wine education. In addition, all winners receive gift certificates for an exceptional multi course dining experience at Via Allegro ($10,000.00 +).

PMA Canada

A trip for two to one of the prestigious wine areas represented by PMA Canada (Including airfare).

B&W Wines

Australia: Visit the Vineyards of Southern Australia. Arranged through B&W wines.


FWP Wine Company

Portugal: Seven days including airfare in the wineries of Southern Portugal.


Charlton Hobbs

Champagne, France


Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate Winery

Ultimate Jackson Triggs Niagara Visit Experience: overnight for 2 at a Four Star Hotel Property, progressive tasting dinner at Jackson Triggs Winery for 2 (Savour the Sights), private tour, which will be conducted by Marco Piccoli, the winemaker.

Le Clos Jordanne: Spend a day with Thomas Bachelder, winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne in lovely Jordan, Ontario.  Experience winemaking alongside the man Tony Aspler describes as having "...established himself as the top Pinot Noir producer in Canada."  Includes a barrel tasting and visit to the vineyards. 

Inniskillin Wines

Next morning of the Ultimate Jackson Triggs Niagara Visit Experience: tour and private Riedel Icewine Experience tasting at Inniskillin Winery

Huff Estates

Two nights stay in a premiere Suite at The Inn at Huff estates and dinner for two at your choice of several fine dining establishments In Prince Edward County.

EastDell Estates

One nite stay in the cabin at EastDell Estates and Dinner for two at the View Restaurant at EastDell Estates.

More info on the winery at

Colio Winery

Colio is please to offer a one night stay for two (one room) at Casino Windsor (Saturday only) including dinner for two at the casino. This prize also includes a private barrel room tasting with Colio winemaker Tim Reilly on the Saturday at the winery in Harrow.


One of the founding four partners. Spiegelau stemware to all winners. ($6,000) For the Grand Award Winner prize: $1,000 to be used towards travel expenses plus an invitation to the factory for a personal tour. Spiegelau also provides all Expert Tasting Glasses for the day of the competition.

Wine Regions of Ontario

The grand champion will receive a full colour half page promotion in the Wine Regions of Ontario Magazine.

Tawse Winery

Cash awards towards winners trips and education ($10,000.00)

Fairmont Royal York

The Fairmont Royal York is once again offering the royal treatment for one of our winners. The recipient will have a dinner for two at Epic restaurant followed by a one night stay in the royal suite with breakfast in bed. Pure luxury.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is proud once again to offer two VIP passes to their 17th annual international food and wine festival in October of 2008. While at the castle in the Rockies all expenses will be paid for the three day festival.


The LCBO has generously donated 6 pairs of tickets to special events and tutored tastings.

Whisky Live Magazine

Whisky Live Magazine will be providing tickets to Whisky Live Toronto and subscriptions to their magazine produced in London, England.

Vineland Estates Winery

Vineland Estates Winery will be pleased to host the winner of this prize and a guest at the winery's B and B for two nights. This prize also includes a dinner for two at the famed winery restaurant and a special VIP tour and tasting with the winemaking staff.

Henry of Pelham Henry of Pelham: a lunch for two (with wine) at our Coach House Café plus a VIP Tour and Tasting
Peninsula Ridge Winery Peninsula Ridge: an extraordinary wine and culinary experience with a Private Tour and Tasting and 3- course dinner (+wine) for 2 at The Restaurant

Cave Spring Cellars Niagara package

Cave Spring cellars: one night contemporary room at the Jordan House, plus an enhanced continental breakfast at On The Twenty Restaurant and a complimentary Tour and Tasting.

James Chatto

Two people are invited to join Toronto Life's restaurant critic and author on a review of one of Toronto's most interesting restaurants. Share the insights, critical techniques and tall tales of a professional restaurant-goer. Date to be decided by mutual agreement. Also included are copies of James Chatto's books. Value: Inestimable.

Donald Ziraldo

An incredible day at the Icewine harvest with the legendary Donald Ziraldo co-founder of Inniskillin winery and a signed copy of his new book "Icewine Extreme Winemaking". Insights and information from one of the visionaries of the Ontario wine industry.

Via Allegro:
is one of the founding four partners and producer of this prestigious competition. They have generously invested in the development of the competition from its inception four years ago.

Via Allegro:
supplies all trophies, plaques, and awards paraphernalia.
The Grand Awards Luncheon is hosted annually at Via Allegro - Priceless

Toronto Life Magazine: One of the founding four partners of this prestigious competition. Pre and post advertising and coverage of the event.

University: One of the founding four partners. Website, registration, overseeing protocol and auditing of the event are all under the direction of the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).

: One of the founding four partners. All Expert Tasting Glasses for the day of the competition graciously provided by Spiegelau.

Four Seasons Hotel:
Venue for competition and event day support. Food graciously provided by Truffles restaurant.


NOTE: All prizes are subject to change without notice. All prizes are non-transferable.