Winners from the 2009 Challenge




Grand Award Winner: Zoltan Szabo

2nd place:  Eric Gennaro

3rd place:   Will Predhomme



1st place:  Rene Van Ede



1st place:  Lesley Provost

1st place:  Martin Zikmund



1st place:     Livio DiNello

2nd place:  David Wright

3rd place:   Carly Gillham



Prize List for 2009


Prizes will be posted as they are confirmed...

Tawse Winery

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

B&W Wines

TRIP:  CALIFORNIA - Visit the Vineyards of California. Arranged through B&W wines.

Trip includes a two-day Sonoma Winery Tour donated by Jackson Family Wines which includes:

- Matanzas Creek, La Crema, Edmeades, Kendall-Jackson, Stonestreet, Hartford, Arrowood, Murphy-Goode and Verite

- Lunch at the top of Hawkeye Mountain included (weather permitting)

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 five 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 +).

James Chatto


Two people are invited to join Toronto Life's restaurant critic and author on a review of one of Toronto's restaurants.  Share the insights, critical techniques and tall tales of a professional restaurant-goer.  Date to be decided by mutual agreement.  Also included will be a copy of James Chatto's latest book.

Profile Wine Group

TRIP - Profile Wine Group trip for five days to Napa touring vineyards.  Trip includes airfare and accommodation.

Halpern Enterprises

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.

To the winner of the "Spirits Round" goes a trip for two to SCOTLAND.  Trip includes a VIP tour of distilleries.

Whiskey Live MagazineWhiskey Live Magazine will be providing tickets to Whiskey Live Toronto and subscriptions to their magazine produced in London, England.
Huff EstatesTwo nights stay for the winner of this prize in a premiere suite at "The Inn at Huff Estates".  The winner plus a guest will also enjoy a VIP wine tasting plus dinner at the "Harvest Restaurant". 
Cave Spring Cellars Ltd.One nights accommodation at the Jordan House (contemporary room) plus an enhanced continental breakfast at On The Twenty Restaurant.  Also included will be an in-depth vineyard and winery tour conducted by one of Cave Springs' principals.
Norman Hardie Winery and VineyardA VIP winery tour, tasting and luncheon for the winner of this prize plus NINE of your guests!  Yes, ten people will enjoy this exclusive opportunity to tast, tour and eat at the Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard in lovely Prince Edward County.

The LCBO has generously donated to all the winners in the Professional Round - Tickets for two to attend a Vintages Event held in Toronto.  Also, to all the winners in the Amateur Round - Tickets for two to an upcoming Tutored Tasting at one of the LCBO event kitchens.

Peninsula Ridge Estates WineryA magnum of Peninsula Ridge Meritage 2000 will be the tasty prize for one of our winners.  Only 56 bottles were made with this one signed by Norman Beal, Founder and President of Peninsula Ridge.
Henry of Pelham Family Estate WineryJoin Paul, Matthew or Daniel Speck, the brothers who own Henry of Pelham, for an eco-tour of their estate vineyards along Niagara's Short Hills Bench. Afterwards an indepth tasting of their wines will follow in Canada's largest underground barrel cellar.  This is a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how family tradition and innovation combine to produce quality, sustainable wines of origin.  Prior booking is necessary to ensure availability of the winery principals.
Michael Vaughan, Vintage AssessmentsPreview 100 vintages releases with Michael Vaughan. Spend a day assessing some 100 Vintages releases with Michael Vaughan, one of Canada's leading critics, columnist and editor of Vintage Assessments.  Join Michael on his hectic schedule into the LCBO tasting lab.  See how he sources the best offerings from the LCBO while discovering the upcoming bargains.  Prior booking is necessary to ensure availability.
The Vine - Robert Groh Agency

The Vine will provide for one lucky winner a three bottle selection from our portfolio of premium, family-owned wineries in Italy and California.  One bottle of each of:

Bastianich 2006 Vespa Bianco, Venizie-Giulia

Nicolis 2003 Amarone 'Ambrosan', Veneto (single vineyard Amarone)

Hartford Court 2006 Pinot Noir 'Lands Edge', Sonoma Coast

Diamond EstatesA gift basket of four wines including two autographed bottles of Dan Aykroyd wines.
Vineland Estates WineryVineland Estates Winery is happy to support the front line hospitality service staff by providing a unique Chef's Creative Menu dinner at the award-winning Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant. The winner of this prize and three guests will enjoy a special multi course meal expertly paired with Vineland Estates wines. We will make this a night to celebrate your achievement at the Challenge.
Fairmont Chateau FrontenacThe winner and a guest will be able to celebrate in high style in Quebec City.  Two people will enjoy a four night VIP stay at the historic Fairmont Chateau Frontenac.  Breakfast will be provided each morning to get your day started right.  One evening during your stay you will also enjoy a dinner for two at one of the signature restaurants within the Chateau Frontenac.
Fairmont Royal YorkA "Royal" Stay.  Fairmont Royal York - Dinner for two at Epic Restaurant followed by a one night stay in a VIP suite with breakfast in bed to follow.
Colio Estate Winery

Colio is pleased 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.

SpiegelauOne of the founding four partners. Sets of Spiegelau stemware are awarded to all winners ($6,000).  Spiegelau also provides all Expert Tasting Glasses for the day of the competition.
Fettah Wine ServicesA 5000 ml bottle of 2007 Chianti Leonardo Da Vinci bottle of wine.
Donald ZiraldoSpend an incredible day at the Icewine harvest with the legendary Donald Ziraldo, co-founder of Inniskillin Winery. Share the day, learn the insights of one of Canada's most prolific visionaries.  The winner will also receive a signed copy of his book "Icewine:  Extreme Winemaking".  NOTE - the Awards Banquet will take place in 2010, consequently this prize shall be booked during the Icewine Harvest in 2011 - prior arrangements are necessary to ensure availability.
Pillitteri Estates WineryFor the winner and 19 of your friends goes a private Tutored Wine and Cheese Tasting. Become "one of the family" as Pillitterri Estates takes you and your friends on a tour of its vineyard and winemaking facilities. This includes a visit to their one-of-a-kind beautiful barrel cellar. You will enjoy specific food and wine pairings while learning the fine art of wine appreciation.  Pillitteri will feature five of their premium VQA wines including their award winning Icewine, along with gourmet appetisers.
VINCOR -Constellation Co.Overnight stay for two at a four star hotel property in Niagara.  Tickets for two for a Twilight in the Vineyard performance at Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre grill dinner included.  A private tour and Riedel tasting at Inniskillin Winery.  Prize includes two bottles of Inniskillin Icewine!
Family Wine MerchantsTRIP - Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos, California who have generously donated two nights accommodation for two at their on site inn and spa along with a VIP tour and tasting.

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 has been hosted annually at Via Allegro or off-site - Priceless

Brock 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).

Spiegelau: 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.


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


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