Perhaps one of the most respect and honoured winemakers in all of Canada John Simes
leader of the viticulture and winemaking teams at Mission Hill Family Estate. John was born and raised in New Zealand. He took a degree in Food technology and turned into a most successful career in winemaking/
After university John travelled around the world visiting the major wine regions. It was while visiting British columbia that he met his wife. BAck home in New Zealand John founda job with Montana Wines in 1978 as asssistant winemaker in less than a year he was promoted to head winemaker. The winery grew into New Zealands largest and was known around the world for is Benchmark Sauvignon Blanc
In 1990 John recieved the prestigious IWSC trophy for his Sauvignon Blanc. In 1992 Montana Winery made him Chief Winemaker responsable for all aspects of producing thier wine.
As time went by John and his wife Sheilagh had the urge to return to British Columbia were they had spent may summer vacations.
He met Anthony von Mandl during a visit and it was soon apparent that both men shared a philosophy based on quality. During that trip, he walked the vineyards and tasted the fruit and immediately understood the region's potential. He joined Mission Hill in 1992 partway through harvest and went to work on the Grand Reserve Barrel Select Chardonnay.
The London Internationl Wine and Spirit competion award Jon his second trophy for The Best Chardonnay in 1994.
As the leader of the viticulture and winemaking teams at Mission Hill Family Estate, John's obsession with quality has resulted in a host of significant accomplishments and international recognition. The highlights of which include: winning the prestigious Avery Trophy in 1994 for 'Best Chardonnay in the World' at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the United Kingdom, bringing home North America's only Gold Medal from the 2001 Chardonnay du Monde Competition in France and earning the distinction of being named 'Winery of the Year' at the 2011 InterVin International Wine Awards and 'Canadian Wine Producer of the Year' at the 2011 International Wine& Spirit Competition in the United Kingdom.
Mission Hills Family Estate winery is located in West Kelowna in British Columbia's Okanagan. It sitts high on the hill over looking Okanagan Lake. In 1981 Anthony Von Mand purchased the winery starting on the road to world wide sucess.
The estate has a sixty-seat restaurant called "Terrace" that opened in 2002. In 2008 it was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the five best winery restaurants in the world
Mission Hill Family Estate won ‘World's Best Pinot Noir' in the under £15 category at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
More than 14,000 wines from 61 regions around the world entered this year's competition. Mission Hill 2011 Martin's Lane Pinot Noir won the International Trophy - the competition's top award - and the Regional Trophy for ‘Best Wine.' It's the first time a single wine variety (red or white) from any region in the world has won both competitions.