This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Canadian Red over £15 went to Laughing Stock Vineyards, Syrah, Okanagan Valley 2011 (14%)

Tasted against:

  • Church & State, Coyote Bowl Syrah, Okanagan Valley2011
  • Joie Farm, En Famille Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley 2012
  • Moon Curser, Syrah, Okanagan Valley 2011
  • Quails’ Gate, Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley 2011


In 2003, investment professionals David & Cynthia Enns followed their hearts and traded finance for wine, investing everything in their new enterprise. Much derision was thrown their way by their peers, and the name Laughing Stock Vineyards served as a motivator for them, as well as a signpost to their philosophy of ‘making serious wine with a light-hearted attitude’.

This Trophy-winner is their fourth Syrah vintage, and 760 cases were produced. The wine is in the style of Côte-Rotie, featuring 6% Viognier, which contributes ample perfume and texture. Both varieties are grown (along with Bordeaux varieties) at the Enn’s Perfect Hedge vineyard at Osoyoos, British Columbia. Osoyoos is Canada’s only desert, and the sandy soils and high heat have proved to be a winning combination in growing Syrah in what is still an extremely new viticultural region.

The 460m2, gravity-fed winery allows for a minimal-intervention approach, although the fruit itself is subject to vigorous selection on a double sorting table. Only French oak is used, including doing barrel ferments in large format puncheons.

Written by Decanter