Industry Greats Celebrated during 2018 Canadian Wine Industry Awards

KELOWNA, BC – July 11, 2018 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Canadian Wine Industry Awards alongside headline sponsor, MNP. These prestigious awards recognize individuals, organizations and businesses that have gone above and beyond to support and enhance the wine industry in Canada, celebrating the success, leadership and outstanding commitment in Canada’s grape wine industry.

The winner of the Canadian Wine Industry Award of Distinction – regarded as the highest form of peer recognition in the Canadian wine industry – is Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C. For more than 40 years von Mandl has dedicated his life’s work to an audacious dream: to produce world-class wines in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and showcase them at architectural landmark wineries that attract visitors from around the world. Today, the von Mandl Family’s collection of Estate vineyards and luxury wineries includes Mission Hill Family Estate, CedarCreek Estate Winery, CheckMate Artisanal Winery, and the radical new gravity-fed Martin’s Lane Winery which crafts exceptional Pinot Noir and Riesling wines that have captured the world’s attention.

“Anthony’s lifelong commitment to putting the Okanagan Valley on the international map as a region producing world class wine, is remarkable,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association. “His vision and dedication have been instrumental in the development of the BC wine industry, a region whose exceptional quality wines can stand alongside the best in the world.”

The Wine Industry Champion Award, presented to an individual who has provided exemplary support to the Canadian wine industry through media, research, policy or advocacy, was awarded to David Lawrason, a wine journalist who has spent over 30 years reporting on wine, and making wine more accessible to Canadian consumers. Toronto-based Lawrason has travelled across Canada, tasting thousands of Canadian wines and sharing his observations with consumers from coast to coast.

“I am thrilled to honour David’s exceptional contribution to consumer wine education today,” stated Paszkowski. “David’s dedication to Canadian wine whether through co-founding As the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, or teaching the Canadian Wine Scholar course are a snapshot of how hard he has worked to educate Canadian consumers about Canada’s high-quality fine wines.”

The Canadian Vintners Association was thrilled to add a third award to its Canadian Wine Industry Awards in 2018. The Karl Kaiser Canadian Winemaker Award, was created to celebrate great Canadian winemakers, in honour of the legacy of the late Karl Kaiser, a Canadian wine industry pioneer and viticultural visionary. The recipient of this inaugural award was Bruce Nicholson, Senior Winemaker at Inniskillin.

“There is no-one more deserving of this inaugural Karl Kaiser Canadian Winemaker Award than Bruce. With over 30 years of experience in both British Columbia and Ontario, he has made world-class wines that have gained international acclaim, shared his skills and knowledge with a new generation of winemakers, and continues to demonstrate the endless potential for Canadian wines,” remarked Paszkowski.

The awards were presented on July 10, 2018, in concert with the BC Wine Institute’s Wine Industry Recognition Award and Award of Distinction, following the CVA’s 51st Annual Meeting which brought together winery owners from across Canada to hear from a panel of speakers, presenting on retail opportunities and market trends in the industry.