LET’S WINE TOUR AGAIN: REIMAGINED ENRICHED (Part Two Mission Hill)

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Mission Hill Family Estate Winery also an exhibition of fine art

Like a castle on a hill complete with its iconic bell tower, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery beckons you to its West Kelowna sanctuary. The inaugural jewel in Proprietor Anthony von Mandl’s family estate wineries is almost as much an art exhibition as winery. My last post reviewed how this premium group reimagined tastings, tours and culinary experiences at Road 13 Vineyards and CheckMate Artisanal Winery in Oliver and Liquidity Winery, Okanagan Falls.

Mission Hill now requires reservations as a safety precaution for visitors and staff. To gain an appreciation for the depth of wine touring in the Okanagan visiting this iconic winery is a must.

Sculptures at Mission Hill lead to the vineyards

Mission Hill has guided tours and tastings that reflect its unwavering commitment to winemaking and viticulture. Select from different tasting experiences, including one focused on rare single-vineyard wines. Three different wine and food pairing experiences are offered, including a private lunch on the winery’s loggia. “A Lasting Legacy” experience at the alfresco Terrace Restaurant highlights wines from Mission Hill’s Legacy

Collection paired with seasonal dishes crafted by Executive Chef Patrick Gayler. You also can opt to reserve a table at the Terrace for prix fixe multi-course, wine-paired, lunch and dinner menus.

I took in “A Taste of Single Vineyard Wines Tour” with my husband highlighting the complexity of the Okanagan Valley and its diversity of micro-climates and soil types. The Okanagan’s distinctive soil types and slopes conspire to yield a dramatic viticultural landscape which produces intense and balanced fruit from vines rooted deep in ancient volcanic and glacial soils.

Greeted with a glass of wine at the winery entrance, we were led into the vineyard to learn Mission Hill’s organic farming practices and why it is so selective in planting specific vines in different parts of the valley. A short film followed providing insight into the past, present, and future of Mission Hill Family Estate.

Past, present, and future of Mission Hill covered in short introductory film. Shown is Proprietor Anthony von Mandl and Chief Winemaker John Simes.

Then, Margarita gave us an intimate, guided tasting from the Terroir Collection – single-vineyard wines, produced in such limited quantities that they are only available at the winery.

Guided tasting of Terroir Collection – single-vineyard wines with Margarita

After browsing the elegant retail shop, we headed to the Terrace Restaurant for a two-course wine paired lunch. Even though the day we visited was overcast, the views through the vineyards to Okanagan Lake and beyond were spectacular.

We could have sipped wine and stared all day, however, competition came in the form of the artistry on our plates. Beautiful focaccia bread with delicate olive oil and a light balsamic vinegar arrived while we made our choices.

Fresh focaccia bread with delicate olive oil and a light balsamic vinegar

The Terrace Restaurant has a philosophy to source and promote local, sustainable, seasonal food so what’s available when you book may be quite different from our July choices. Based on my experiences dining there over the years, I am confident whatever the menu the preparation will be exquisite and honour the ingredients and where they are grown.

Unearthed Farm’s Greens, Canadian Wagyu, mushroom & onion marmalade, potato crisps served with 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir.
Medley’s Organic Beets & Seared Feta, coriander falafel, estate mint, yogurt ranch with 2019 Reserve Rose

BC Wild Sidestripe Shrimp & Fresh Durum Spaghetti, halibut, last year’s green tomatoes, garlic scape, kale pesto with 2019 Terroir Collection Jagged Rock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon

Remember details are subject to change and the Terrace Restaurant is seasonal so reserve your experience soon at missionhillwinery.com.

Tastings can be reserved in Mission Hill’s elegant retail shop


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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and blog.hellobc.com. Based above BC’s Naramata Bench in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Instagram @roslynebuchanan

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