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B.C. wineries Mission Hill, Moon Curser take top spots at national awards

It’s a problem plaguing grape growers worldwide in an ever-changing climate, to protect their crops from the undesirable effects of wildfire smoke exposure. Kevin Dunn / MCV

Two Okanagan wineries were named Canada’s best at this week’s 2019 national wine awards.

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in West Kelowna was named the 2019 winery of the year, while Moon Curser Vineyards of Osoyoos was named the best performing small winery of 2019.

According to the wine award organizers, just over 61 per cent of the entries were from B.C., with the West Coast taking 60.8 per cent of the medals.

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Ontario had 36 per cent of the entries and took home 35 per cent of the medals.

Mission Hill won 18 medals, including two platinums, six golds, seven silvers and three bronze.

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“Never in this competition has a winning winery strung together so many medals,” wine journalist David Lawrason wrote on WineAlign’s website, “and they range across wine styles, grape varieties and price points.”

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Meanwhile, Moon Curser was named the best performing small winery. The award is presented to wineries that produce 10,000 cases of wine or less.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said Moon Curser co-owner Beata Tolley.

“Moon Curser has been a labour of love for us for over 15 years now, and this award is a testament not only to the skill and dedication of our vineyard and winemaking teams, but also to the exceptional growth and development of the South Okanagan as a wine-growing region.”

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The Moon Curser name pays tribute to the gold smuggling history of Osoyoos.

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The awards also ranked the top 25 wineries in Canada, and Mission Hill topped the list at No. 1, with Moon Curser coming in at No. 2. Placing third was Hidden Bench Estate Winery of Beamsville, Ont., with Desert Hills Estate Winery of Oliver in fourth and Nk’Mip Cellars of Osoyoos in fifth.

Of the top 25, 19 were from B.C., including eight in the top 10, with the remaining six hailing from Ontario.

For the full list, click here.

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Below are the top 10 wineries in B.C.:

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  • 1. Mission Hill Family Estate, West Kelowna
  • 2. Moon Curser Vineyards, Osoyoos
  • 3. Desert Hills Estate Winery, Oliver
  • 4. Nk’Mip Cellars, Osoyoos
  • 5. Cedar Creek Estate Winery, Kelowna
  • 6. Arrowleaf Cellars, Lake Country
  • 7. Blasted Church Vineyards, Okanagan Falls
  • 8. Corcelettes Estate Winery, Keremeos
  • 9. Road 13, Oliver
  • 10. Painted Rock Estate Winery, Penticton

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