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Local pinot noir-best in the world

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 Columbia’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 quality.”

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 Mission Hill Family Estate 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


Several other Okanagan vineyards were recognized at this years Decanter Awards.

Top mentions include Quails Gate WInery who took 'Gold' for their 2010 Family Reserve Chardonnay, See Ya Later Ranch who also got 'Gold' for their 2011 Riesling and Joie Winery who was bestowed 'Gold' for their Farm En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay 2011!

Here is the list of all the BC wine winners at the 2013 Decanter Awards!

[bronze] - Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

[commended] - Black Sage Vineyard Merlot 2010

[bronze] - Burrowing Owl Athene 2010

[commended] - Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc 2010

[silver] - Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

[bronze] - Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

[bronze] - Burrowing Owl Merlot 2009

[bronze] - Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir 2010

[silver] - Burrowing Owl Sauvignon Blanc 2011

[bronze] - Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Chardonnay 2011

[bronze] - Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Chardonnay 2010

[commended] - Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Syrah 2010

[bronze] - Inniskillin Riesling Icewine 2011

[bronze] - Inniskillin Okanagan Dark Horse Estate Vineyard, Riesling Icewine 2008

[silver] - Jackson-Triggs Entourage Grand Reserve 2009

[bronze] - Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz-Viognier 2010

[silver] - Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Riesling Icewine 2009

[bronze] - Jackson-Triggs Reserve Riesling 2012

[silver] - Jackson-Triggs Reserve Riesling Icewine 2011

[commended] - Jackson-Triggs Reserve Rosé 2012

[bronze] - Joie Farm A Delicate Balance Riesling 2012

[gold] - Joie Farm En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay 2011

[bronze] - Joie Farm Pinot Blanc 2012

[silver] - Joie Farm The Pure Grape Muscat 2012

[silver] - JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2012

[bronze] - JoieFarm En Famille" Reserve Pinot Noir 2011

[commended] - JoieFarm Reserve Pinot Noir 2010

[bronze] - JoieFarm Rosé 2012

[bronze] - Kalala Gewürztraminer 2010

[commended] - Kalala Pinot Gris 2010

[bronze] - Laughing Stock Portfolio 2010

[commended] - Mission Hill Family Estate Compendium 2009

[international trophy] - Pinot Noir under £15 - Mission Hill Family Estate Martin's Lane Pinot Noir 2011

[silver] - Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2010

[bronze] - Mission Hill Family Estate Quatrain 2009

[commended] - Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2011

[commended] - Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2011

[commended] - Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling 2011

[silver] - Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine 2011

[commended] - Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Shiraz 2010

[commended] - Mission Hill Family Estate S.L.C. Riesling Icewine 2011

[silver] - Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark 2011

[commended]  - Moon Curser Border Vines 2010

[commended] - Moon Curser Dead Of Night 2010

[bronze] - Nk'Mip Cellars Chardonnay 2011

[commended] - Nk'Mip Cellars Pinot Blanc 2011

[commended] - Nk'Mip Cellars Pinot Noir 2011

[commended] - Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

[commended] - Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay 2011

[commended] - Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Merlot 2009

[silver] - Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir 2010

[regional trophy] - Canadian Sweet over £15 Trophy - Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine 2011

[commended] - Nk'Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Syrah 2009

[bronze] - Nk'Mip Cellars Riesling 2011

[silver] - Nk'Mip Cellars Talon 2010

[bronze] - Painted Rock Estate Grown Syrah 2009

[commended] - Poplar Grove Chardonnay 2011

[bronze] - Poplar Grove Winery Cabernet Franc 2010

[silver] - Poplar Grove Winery Syrah 2010

[silver] - Quails' Gate Chenin Blanc 2011

[gold] - Quails' Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2010

[commended] - Red Rooster Reserve Pinot Gris 2011

[silver] - Red Rooster Riesling 2011

[commended] - Sandhill Chardonnay 2011

[commended] - Sandhill Pinot Gris King Family Vineyard 2011

[commended] - Sandhill Small Lots, Single Block B11, Chardonnay 2011

[bronze] - See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2011

[commended] - See Ya Later Ranch Hunny Late Harvest Riesling 2011

[commended] - See Ya Later Ranch Ping 2010

[commended] - See Ya Later Ranch Pinot Noir 2010

[gold] - See Ya Later Ranch Riesling 2011

[bronze] - See Ya Later Ranch Rover 2010

[bronze] - See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Gewurztraminer 2012

[commended] - Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Gewurztraminer 2012

[silver] - Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Stellar's Jay Brut 2007

[commended] - Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench White 2011

[commended] - Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Oldfield Series Syrah 2009


Get more details or see all the winners here.



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