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Have a taste of the best sparkling wine in Canada

Rigel, the brightest star in the Orion constellation, is a blue supergiant 40,000 times brighter and 78 times larger than the sun.

Rigel also happens to be 863 light years from Earth.

All these star stats are coming out because the 2020 Seven Stars Rigel ($37) from Township 7 on the Naramata Bench just won 'best Canadian sparkling wine' at the 2023 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in London, England.

</who>Mary McDermott of Township 7 Winery on the Naramata Bench made the award-winning Seven Stars Rigel.

"This recognition highlights the remarkable terroir of British Columbia, showcasing its capacity to produce exceptional, world-class wines," said Township 7 winemaker Mary McDermott, who jetted across the pond to accept the trophy.

"We take great pride in earning 'best sparkling wine in Canada' and are honoured to stand alongside esteemed global Champagne leaders."

Township 7 makes six Champagne-method sparkling wines in its Seven Stars collection -- all with celestial names from the aforementioned winning Rigel, Polaris (blanc de blancs) and Equinox (sparkling rose) to Vega (sparkling Viognier), Aurora (blanc de noirs) and Sirius (the winery's top sparkler).

</who>The winning Township 7 Seven Stars Rigel ($37).

The distinction between Champagne and sparkling wine is important because Champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France using the traditional grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with bubbles produced during a second fermentation in the bottle.

Sparkling wine made outside of Champagne can be called traditional-method, Champagne-method or Champagne-style if it gets its bubbles from second fermentation in the bottle.

If the bubbles come from a second fermentation in a big stainless-steel tank or injection of carbon dioxide the sparkling wine can be called Prosecco or frizzante.

Anyway, Rigel is made of Riesling, which makes it an aromatic sparkling wine.

It's the first aromatic to win 'best Canadian sparkling wine' in the world championships' 10 year history.

Rigel was also runner-up for 'world champion aromatic sparkling wine,' with the title going to Cuvage Acquesi Asti from Italy.

Three other Canadian sparkling wines picked up silver medals at the championships -- Frind Brut from West Kelowna, Speck Brothers Luzzara Bianco Secco from Ontario and Two Sisters 2020 Lush from Ontario.

</who>Township 7 winemaker Mary McDermott accepts the 'best Canadian sparkling wine' trophy at the 2023 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in London, England.

By the way, the top prize 'supreme world champion' winner at the London competition was the 2008 Millesime Magnum Rare Champagne from France.

In awarding 'best Canadian' to Rigel, the championships lauded the sparkler for its "true variety, petrolly Riesling character, showcasing pristine, crunchy fruit, fresh feistiness and a fine balance with elegant light toastiness."

This is the second time Township 7 has snagged the 'best Canadian' trophy, the first in 2019 when Seven Stars Polaris won.

Now, some bad and some good news.

The winning 2020 Rigel is sold out.

However, the recently released 2021 Rigel is extremely similar and is touted as a delicious and dynamic sparkling wine with bright varietal aromatics of fresh lime with light-toast notes.

On the palate there's a hint of sweetness balanced by crisp, flinty minerality with a creamy mousse contributing to additional layers of complexity.

You can buy it for $37 at the winery's tasting room and boutique on the Naramata Bench or online at www.township7.com.



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