Iconic Family-owned Okanagan Winery Captures an Unprecedented Fifth ‘Winery of the Year’ Title; The Most Ever in the History of Canada’s Premier Wine Competition
Mission Hill Family Estate is the winner of the coveted Winery of the Year title at the 2019 WineAlign National Wine Awards, where more than 1,800 wines were entered from 259 wineries in Canada. In addition to the Winery of the Year title, Mission Hill collected an unprecedented 18 medals in the competition, including two Platinum Medals, six Gold Medals and seven Silver Medals for its portfolio of luxury wines.
Presented by WineAlign, the National Wine Awards of Canada is the nation’s largest and most prestigious wine competition. The rigorous judging process is led by the most respected wine writers, educators and sommeliers in the country who bestowed top honours on Mission Hill for the fifth time in the history of the competition.
“The ‘Winery of the Year’ designation is as big as it gets in Canadian wine,” said David Lawrason, co-chairman of the national wine awards. “We are very impressed that the performance of Mission Hill Family Estate led all others in 2019 with an incredible 18 medals. Never in the history of this competition has a winning winery amassed such an array of medals that range across wine styles, grape varieties and price points.”
Commenting on the award, Mission Hill Family Estate Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C. said: “Winning Canadian Winery of the Year for the fifth time is hugely exciting, especially as Canada has never had as many wineries making such excellent wines across the country. A number of years ago, we took a bold decision to farm 100 per cent of our own grapes and are now doing so organically. This level of commitment to the land enables our teams to push the boundaries of viticulture and winemaking in the Okanagan Valley. We see the difference in our vineyards with soils that are more alive, vines that are healthier and stronger, and grapes with increased varietal character. You can literally taste the difference in each vintage of our wines. This amazing award is not only a validation of this enormous commitment, but of our passionate team in the vineyards and at Mission Hill that care so much; relentlessly raising the bar on quality year after year to establish Canada’s presence on the world wine stage.”
The ‘Winery of the Year’ title is the culmination of Mission Hill winning Platinum Medals for the 2017 Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Vineyard Chardonnay and 2017 Perpetua Chardonnay, and Gold and Silver Medals for the 2016 Quatrain, 2016 Compendium, 2016 Prospectus Pinot Noir, and several vintages from Mission Hill’s Terroir Collection and Reserve Tier, wines that are elegant, balanced and reflect Mission Hill’s commitment to winemaking excellence.
What makes this award extra special is that it comes in the inaugural year for new chief winemaker, Ben Bryant. Bryant shocked the wine community in 2018 when he left his position as chief winemaker at Orlando Wines in Australia to move his family across the world to join Mission Hill Family Estate in the Okanagan Valley.
When asked about the motivations for his move to Mission Hill, Bryant stated: “I was drawn to Mission Hill by what I saw as the incredible potential of the Okanagan Valley and Anthony von Mandl’s vision to create iconic wines that can stand among the best in the world. This award underscores this belief and represents a tremendous achievement for everything our team has accomplished. I am particularly pleased to see the results for our Terroir Collection, these extremely small production, single vineyard wines are the purest expression of the unique microsites and diversity of the Okanagan. Without a doubt, this is the most unique winemaking region in the world, and I am incredibly proud of our team and their commitment to producing wines of distinct character and quality.”
A complete listing of medal winners is available at winealign.com/awards