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WEST KELOWNA, BC, Sept. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Mission Hill Family Estate is the winner of the coveted 'Canadian Winery of the Year' at the WineAlign National Wine Awards with 150 wineries and 1200 wines entered in 2013. The competition's rigorous judging process is led by the most respected Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine in 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."
Being relentless in the pursuit of quality is why this family-owned winery farms 85% of the grapes for its wines in its own vineyards. This enables Mission Hill to optimize growing conditions each year toward the objective of producing the highest quality wines possible. This award is particularly gratifying given the award-winning wines were produced in the most challenging growing seasons ever experienced in the Okanagan Valley.
"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," said Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, O.B.C. "It is 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."
The 'Canadian Winery of the Year' award is the result of Mission Hill winning several individual medals, including Platinum Medals for the 2011 Reserve Riesling and 2009 Compendium, and Gold Medals for 2010 Perpetua, 2011 Reserve Chardonnay, and 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine. The complete listing is available at winealign.com/awards.
As part of the von Mandl family's commitment to the future, Rick Bonitati was recently appointed as President of winery & vineyard estates. For 20 years, Bonitati was at Jackson Family Wines in California where he was responsible for various roles in sales, vineyard operations, farming, and winemaking at several of their key ultra-premium wineries, including La Crema and Kendall-Jackson.
In commenting on the award Bonitati added, "From the first time I visited the Okanagan Valley, walking through Mission Hill's estate vineyards and tasting the wines, I knew there was something very special and unique here. This prestigious award underscores my rationale for being drawn to this region and my passion to continue producing wines of distinct character and unprecedented quality right here in the Okanagan Valley."
About Mission Hill Family Estate
Established in 1981 by Anthony von Mandl, Mission Hill Family Estate is located in the heart of British Columbia's pristine Okanagan Valley. This family-owned winery is world-renowned for its award-winning wines and spectacular setting. Majestic mountains, scenic lakes and lush orchards encase the winery's dramatic architecture and culminate in a setting that celebrates wine, food, and the arts. Chief Winemaker John Simes, in his 22nd harvest with the winery, leads the winemaking and viticulture teams in their pursuit of quality as they farm several distinct estate vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. Mission Hill's elegant, internationally-acclaimed portfolio celebrates the unique character of one of the world's most exciting, emerging wine regions. With sustainable practices that ensure care for the environment, and a timelessness that respects the von Mandl family's European heritage, guests experience the height of winemaking in an incomparable location.
SOURCE Mission Hill Family Estate
Image with caption: "Anthony Gismondi of WineAlign presents the Winery of the Year award to Mission Hill Family Estate Chief Winemaker John Simes (CNW Group/Mission Hill Family Estate)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130919_C8960_PHOTO_EN_31077.jpg
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