WineAlign picks winners out of 1,335 entries; Mission Hill ranks second

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TORONTO - Peller Estates Niagara has been named Canadian winery of the year in an annual national competition.

The WineAlign 2014 National Wine Awards of Canada also handed Peller 13 medals in a contest that saw wine experts evaluate more than 1,335 entries from 209 wineries across the country, an increase of more than 20 per cent over last year.

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery and Nk'Mip Cellars, both in British Columbia, came second and third respectively.

In its 14th year, the awards were held during five days in June in Penticton, B.C., and the results, determined by a panel of 19 wine writers, critics, buyers, master sommeliers and masters of wines, were announced Wednesday.

The judges, who blind-tested the wines, issued 14 platinum medals to the best wines in the competition — the top one per cent. They also awarded a record 82 gold medals. There were 302 silver and 251 bronze medals.

"We couldn't ask for a broader, more representative selection of wines from Ontario and British Columbia and growing interest from Quebec and Nova Scotia," Anthony Gismondi, co-head judge and principal at WineAlign, said in a release.

The online site WineAlign is a free, community-based service for reviewing, sharing and discovering wine. It also runs the World Wine Awards of Canada.

The complete results are available online at http://goo.gl/Q17LOD.

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