Mission Hill Family Estate Winery of West Kelowna is the inaugural winner of the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada title as the Winery of the Year. It is based on the accumulation of points for the top five wines it submitted to the awards competition.
WineAlign is an online service that has only recently included B.C., providing professional critical ratings and reviews of wines available locally. It was based first in Ontario, but is now expanding.
It makes use of electronic media to help wine consumers make wine buying choices.
Judging for the awards is by top wine critics, writers and buyers from across the country.
Two Mission Hill wines took platinum awards, the 2009 Compendium and the 2011 Reserve Riesling; while three whites won gold medals, the 2010 Perpetua, 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine and 2011 Reserve Chardonnay. None of its reds won gold medals, but it also picked up three silver and four bronze medals, concluding with a performance score of 9,927.03 for the 16 wines it submitted.
Second place went to Tawse Winery of Ontario which submitted 37 wines; while Road 13 Vineyards of Oliver came third with 19 wines submitted.
CedarCreek Estate Winery of Kelowna placed 15th of the top 20 wineries in Canada.
In all, 150 wineries submitted a total of 1,200 wines.
Awards chairman Anthony Gismondi said the award is the biggest in Canadian wine.
Mission Hill proprietor Anthony von Mandl said, “We continue to make significant investments in our family’s sustainable vineyards to perfect the art of precision farming that enables us to achieve incredible results.
“It’s extremely satisfying to consistently produce wines of incredible depth and character, even when faced with the challenging weather conditions characteristic of the Okanagan Valley. With this level of commitment to the land you can literally taste the difference with each vintage.”
He noted that some of the winning wines were produced in the most challenging growing seasons ever experienced in the valley.