Friday, 9 August 2019

Former Jacob's Creek winemaker stars in Canada

Remember Ben Bryant, who was making some terrific wines for Jacob's Creek/Pernod Ricard and then headed off for Canada?

Well Bryant has made an immediate impact in his new home in the Okanagan Valley, British Colombia, with Mission Hill Family Estate is the winner of the coveted Winery of the Year title at the 2019 National Wine Awards.




The awards saw more than 1800 wines 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.

Presented by WineAlign, the National Wine Awards of Canada is the nation's largest and most prestigious wine competition. Mission Hill won 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."

Mission Hill Family Estate proprietor Anthony von Mandl 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% 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."

What makes the award special is that it comes in the inaugural year for new chief winemaker Bryant.

"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," he said.

"This award underscores this belief and represents a tremendous achievement for everything our team has accomplished.

"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."

See www.missionhillwinery.com

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