Mission Hills Family Estate winery is a Okanagan Valley treasure. Located on the hills of West Kelowna overlooking the Okanagan Lake.
Residents of Canada know the winery for its quality wines and stunning Architecture. The winery is owned by Anthony Von Mandl.
Visitors enter the main winery grounds by passing through a massive set of contemporary, curved arches held together by a single Keystone. Hand chiselled from a five tonne block of Indiana limestone by English-born Master Stone Mason Tony Rojac and Welshman Andrew Swinley, the Keystone features images taken from the von Mandl family crest.
In 1965 a Okanagan businessman
named R.P. "Tiny" Walrod
led the development of a California interest along with local investors
in starting a winery perched on Mt. Boucherie over looking Okanagan
lake. There were two separate companies Mission Hills Vineyard Ltd.
and Mission Hills Wines Ltd. They would later consolidate into
one public company. Walrod passed away before the winery opened.
Poor wine and financial problems caused the winery to fail. In
1970 Ben Ginter takes over the winery renaming it Uncle Ben's Gourmet
Wines Ltd. He set about trying to match the hot product of the
day Baby Duck He came out with Foddle Duck Yellow bird and Hot
Goose. However the winery slipped into receivership in 1978. Ben Ginter
managed to find the funds to repurchase the winery changing the name
to Golden Valley Wines Ltd. In 1981 he sold the winery to Anthony Von Mandl
and Nick Clark.
Mission Hill was relaunched. changing the wines names and spreading their
sales base. Their poorer quality wines were released under various labels
including Caves Chauvignon and Klosterberg . The better wines were sold under
Pandosy cellars. The Mission Hill label was saved for classic European varietals
starting with the 1981 Gewürztraminer and Johannisberg Riesling. Mission
hill also sold Golden Valley Cider which help keep the winery afloat.
In 1982 the Winery had a new tasting room and hired actor Bruno Gerusis to do
TV ads. The ads worked as sales increased.
They also hired winemaker Daniel Lagnaz who began producing award winning
wines. In 1992 John Simes a well known New Zealand winemake joined Mission Hill. In 1994 under winemaker John Simms won the very prestigious
Avey's Trophy for their 1992 Grand Reserve Barrel select Chardonnay, bringing
international attention to Mission Hill and BC wines
Today Darryl Brooker is General Manager of Mission Hill Family Estate and Sebastian Farms. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of winemaking, viticulture, and guest experiences at Mission Hill Family Estate. He also oversees Sebastian Farms, the von Mandl Family's collection of exceptional estate vineyards located throughout the Okanagan Valley.
The Bell Tower
Standing 12-storeys tall and visible as guests approach the winery, the Bell Tower, with its lightning rod and pelican-inspired weathervane, taken from the von Mandl family crest, entices visitors to enter the grounds. Inside the tower, there are four bronze bells, handcrafted in Annecy, France by the Paccard Bell Foundry. Each is dedicated to a member of Anthony's immediate family, his late father Martin, his mother Bedriska, his sister Patricia and himself. Since 1796, seven generations of the Paccard family have cast more than 100,000 bells using the time-honoured traditions passed down from father to son.
Adjacent to the Bell Tower, the Wine Education Centre is the winery's principle building off the main courtyard. The Centre's wooden doors stand over 24 feet tall and open wide to welcome visitors to a museum-style reception hall, known as the Chagall Room.
The pre-eminent feature of which is a one of a kind tapestry, called Animal Tales, by Russian-born painter Marc Chagall, one of only 29 Chagall tapestries ever made. Considered one of the leading artists of the 20th Century, Chagall's work adorns the dome of the Paris Opera House, and is displayed at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. One of his most striking pieces, his Tapestry for the Entrance Hall, is showcased in the museum that bears his name in Cimiez, in the hills above Nice.
Proprietor Anthony von Mandl searched for two years before he found the perfect piece to suit the space. The Chagall tapestry dominates the room and is the focal point of the von Mandl family's art collection.
In addition to the Chagall Room, the Wine Education Centre houses an intimate theatre that serves as the starting point for all of the winery tours. The multi-media presentation transports the visitor to our Estate vineyards and explains the grape growing and winemaking cycle. It is dedicated to the men and women who farm our land.
The Education Centre also includes a state-of-the-art Culinary Theatre, a teaching kitchen for culinary professionals, modeled on Napa's Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This intimate yet highly functional and adaptable venue includes kitchen-viewing capability and an optional screen for multi-media presentations. This is the only facility of its kind in the Okanagan Valley.
The Terrace Restaurant is open from
May 12th - September 30th, 2018*. Reservations are required.
The winery owns five distinctive vineyards through the Okanagan. Organic practises are in place.
Mission Hill Road Vineyard - West Kelowna
Lakeshore Vineyard - East Kelowna
Naramata Ranch Vineyard - Naramata Bench
Black Sage Bench Vineyard - Southeast Oliver
Osoyoos Vineyard - East & West Osoyoos
Mission Hill Family Estate hosts a stunning musical line-up of performers at the winery's spectacular outdoor Amphitheatre in the summer months.
Their signature wine is a Bordeaux inspired blend, called Oculus. It is crafted from
only the highest quality grape clusters from designated blocks that are set aside and nurtured to maturity.
The fruit undergoes extended fermentation and maceration the wine is then aged in new and old French
barrels for a minimum of 14 months. A rich and deeply concentrated and powerful artisanal wine. It will
develop additional complexity over three to five years. It is so named Oculus, as it encapsulates the
vision Anthony von Mandl has for Canadian wines.
They have been award Year of the Year on numerous occasions. The 2011 Martin's Lane Pinot Noir International Trophy
for Best Pinot Noir
in the World.
Wineries of West Kelowna