In a massive ego boost for British Columbia wines, the Okanagan Valley's Mission Hill Family Estate winery was dubbed the "World's Best Pinot Noir" in the under £15 category at the Decanter World Wine Awards that took place Oct. 3 in London, England.
Considered the world's leading wine competition by industry experts, Decanter's awards are a huge deal and Mission Hill's win puts the winery, established in 1981, on the international map. The 2013 awards featured over 14,000 wines from 61 regions around the globe.
Mission Hill's Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir from 2011 took the top prize, marking Canada's first time winning an International Trophy from Decanter. The wine was named after winery proprietor Anthony von Mandl's late father; it was fermented in small French oak barrels and aged for 11 months.
"I was totally shocked when I learned that our Pinot Noir was named best in the world," said von Mandl in a press release. "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!"
According to another press release, Mission Hill also recently won the award for "Canadian Winery of the Year" at the 2013 WineAlign National Wine Awards.
Wine connoisseurs may be hard-pressed to find a bottle. Only 450 cases of this now-world-famous pinot noir were produced.