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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tuesday, June 30 2020

Mission Hill: Another step forward

By: Anthony Gismondi
The team on the hill reinvents the decades-old, belly-up-to-the-bar visitor experience.

Looking to the future is nothing new for Anthony von Mandl, owner of Mission Hill Family Estate in British Columbia.

The winery's signature bell tower is visible from both sides of Okanagan Lake, whether you're entering British Columbia's third-largest city from the Connector from Vancouver or the airport northeast of the city. As a result, it has acted as a signpost to British Columbia wine country since it was built in two decades ago.

Before the opening of the landmark winery in 2002, the Okanagan Valley was more famous for its beaches and peaches. Von Mandl saw beyond the fruit stands, boat rentals, and ice cream stops, launching a European-style estate that set a much-needed visitor standard for the region. Since that time, BC wine country has flourished with wineries, wines and a rich and unique wine and food culture.

While many think they have reached the summit, Mission Hill is forging a new visitor experience in 2020 that involves replacing the 50-year-old drop-in, stand-up, tastings with more focused and personal interactions. Storytelling and reserved experiences are the new standard, with personal tours that begin in the vineyard, or the cellar and can include food pairings. It's similar to how wine critics has engaged with wines for decades and it makes sense that the people who buy the wines get to do the same. In this video, we sit down with Mission Hill President and Winemaker Darryl Brooker to take you on a visit to the winery, its vineyards and offer a glimpse of Mission Hill's new visitor experiences.

To book your appointment this summer: Mission Hill Family Estate Website

Learn more: Read Anthony Gismondi's Vancouver Sun article "Mission Hill Leads the Way..", June 27, 2020. 

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Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For 30 years he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. His twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to 10 million readers. Anthony co-hosts the 20-year-strong BC Food & Wine Radio Show, which is broadcast in seven markets in B.C. and available online everywhere on iHeartRadio.ca. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.