Prestigious Award Puts Canada on the World Pinot Noir Map
LONDON, England, Oct. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Mission Hill Family Estate took on
the best in the world and won top honours as 'World's Best Pinot Noir' in the under £15 category at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London, England.
More than 14,000 wines from 61 regions around the world were entered in
the competition in 2013. Mission Hill 2011 Martin's Lane Pinot Noir won a coveted International Trophy - the competition's top award, the first time a single wine variety
(red or white) from any region in the world has won both a Regional Trophy for 'Best Wine' and an International Trophy for 'World's Best Wine' at the Decanter Awards.
The Decanter Trophy was presented at a black-tie affair in front of
1,000 wine luminaries at the Royal Opera House in London by the
legendary Steven Spurrier, Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Ironically, his 1976 Paris Wine Tasting (as portrayed in the award-wining movie Bottle Shock which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival), put Napa and California on the world wine map for the first time when
they won out against legendary French wines. Now he has done the same
for the Okanagan Valley with Pinot Noir, considered to be one of the
most difficult wines to make from what is called "the heartbreak grape".
"This is a ground-breaking achievement for Mission Hill," said Steven
Spurrier. "To receive an award at this level is quite an achievement
and an important recognition for the quality of Pinot Noir produced in
British Colombia's Okanagan Valley."
"I was totally shocked when I learned that our Pinot Noir was named best
in the world," said Mission Hill's Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, O.B.C.
"I am still in awe that a wine from the still emerging Okanagan Valley
could win against the best Pinot Noir in the world from Burgundy,
Sonoma Country, Oregon, and New Zealand. This is a seminal moment for
the entire Canadian wine industry!"
In 1994 Mission Hill Family Estate put the Okanagan Valley on the map by
winning the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London for 'Best Chardonnay in the World' and at the time the Master of Wine Judges were in such disbelief they
re-tasted all of the wines and Mission Hill won a second time.
"I never could have imagined that lightning would strike twice,"
continued von Mandl. "This is an incredibly proud moment for my family
and the realization of my life-long dream to produce wines of
exceptional quality right here in the Okanagan Valley that could stand
alongside the best in the world."
Rick Bonitati the recently appointed President of Winery & Vineyard
Estates for Mission Hill Family Estate accepted the Trophy at the Royal
Opera House in London on behalf of the von Mandl Family. Bonitati
joined the von Mandl Family from Jackson Family Wines in California
where he was responsible for several ultra-premium wineries, including
La Crema, Cambria, Arrowood, and Kendall-Jackson.
"This is a defining moment for Mission Hill Family Estate and the entire
Okanagan Valley," stated Bonitati. "Martin's Lane Pinot Noir was the
first wine I tasted when I came to the region. I was totally impressed
at the calibre of Pinot Noir produced at Mission Hill Family Estate and
this was instrumental in my decision to join the von Mandl Family in
their quest to produce wines of distinct character and unprecedented
Commenting on accepting the 'World's Best Pinot Noir' trophy in London, Bonitati added, "I was completely overwhelmed with
congratulations from many of the wine luminaries in attendance that had
no idea Canada was producing top quality Pinot Noir. This international
recognition and the recent WineAlign 'Canadian Winery of the Year' award have made for a phenomenal beginning to my time with the von
Mandl Family. This is only the start!"
The Decanter World Wine Awards are judged by 219 individuals from 27
countries, including 75 Masters of Wine and 13 Master Sommeliers. The
Decanter Trophy follows Mission Hill's recent 'Canadian Winery of the Year' win at the 2013 WineAlign National Wine Awards. A complete listing of all recent awards can be found at missionhillwinery.com
About Mission Hill Family Estate
Established in 1981 by Proprietor Anthony von Mandl, Mission Hill Family
Estate is located in the heart of British Columbia's pristine Okanagan
Valley. This family-owned winery is known 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. New Zealand born 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
throughout the Okanagan Valley. As a result, Mission Hill's elegant,
internationally-acclaimed wine 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. For more information visit missionhillwinery.com; Twitter @MissionHillWine and Facebook Facebook.com/MissionHillWine
Image with caption: "Steven Spurrier, Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards presents the coveted International Trophy to Rick Bonitati, President of Winery & Vineyard Estates at Mission Hill Family Estate. (CNW Group/Mission Hill Family Estate)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131003_C7225_PHOTO_EN_31692.jpg
Image with caption: "Mission Hill 2011 Martin's Lane Pinot Noir (CNW Group/Mission Hill Family Estate)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131003_C7225_PHOTO_EN_31693.jpg
SOURCE: Mission Hill Family Estate
For further information:
Ian Galbraith, Director, Corporate Communications
Mission Hill Family Estate
* Video and photography of the award presentation is available for media.