Mission Hill Wins Canadian Winery of the Year

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery | BCBusiness
Anthony Gismondi of WineAlign presents the Winery of the Year award to Mission Hill Family Estate Chief Winemaker John Simes.

The Okanagan winery receives 12 medals for its wines

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery has been named “Canadian Winery of the Year” as a result of winning several individual medals at the inaugural 2013 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.  
“The ‘Canadian Winery of the Year’ designation is as big as it gets in Canadian wine,” said Anthony Gismondi, chairman of the National Wine Awards. “We are proud and delighted that the performance of Mission Hill Family Estate led all others in 2013.”
Mission Hill received recognition for several wines, winning platinum medals for its 2011 Reserve Riesling and 2009 Compendium, and gold medals for 2010 Perpetua, 2011 Reserve Chardonnay and 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine. The winery, which submitted 16 wines to be judged, also received three silver and four bronze medals. This was the first time that the awards included platinum in the medal categories.
“It was time to raise the bar and reward the real stand-outs with platinum. They are the top one per cent,” said co-head judge David Lawrason, who has been judging wines nationally since 2001.
Sixteen independent wine critics gathered in Niagara, Ont. to blindly judge the 1,081 wines over five days in June. The wines were grown and produced by over 150 wineries across Canada and were released for sale in the 2013 calendar year.
Mission Hill competed against other B.C. wineries such as Road 13 Vineyards, which took third place, and Moon Curser Vineyards, which came in fourth. The top 20 wineries were split evenly between B.C. and Ontario with 10 wineries making the list from each province.
Mission Hill farms 85 per cent of the grapes for its wines in its own vineyards, enabling the winery to optimize growing conditions. The award-winning wines were produced in the most challenging growing seasons ever experienced in the Okanagan Valley, according to the winery.
Anthony von Mandl established the family-owned winery in 1981. Chief Winemaker John Simes, in his 22nd harvest with the winery, leads the winemaking and viticulture teams as they farm several distinct estate vineyards in the Okanagan Valley.