Okanagan winery recruits former head of New Zealand's Cloudy Bay

Industry leader on board to take Okanagan Valley's unique wines to the world; the natural progression in celebrating the excellence, the beauty, the outstanding opportunity that is Mission Hill Family Estate

OKANAGAN VALLEY, BC, Sept. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Mission Hill Family Estate Proprietor Anthony von Mandl is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Morden as Managing Director.

Prior to taking the leadership role at Mission Hill Family Estate, Ian was the Estate Director of Cloudy Bay Vineyards, which is part of the LVMH Group. With his team there he delivered 8 consecutive years of creatively fueled growth for the iconic New Zealand winery.  As well as reinforcing a meticulous focus on wine quality and style evolution during his tenure, Ian led Cloudy Bay's development as a next generation luxury wine brand, inspired by the simple pleasures and natural riches of its New Zealand provenance.

Von Mandl observed: "Many years ago on a fly fishing trip to New Zealand, I visited Cloudy Bay winery and stayed in its then humble guest house, the Shack. I recall not only being impressed by the wines but by the way a newcomer like New Zealand was making its mark in the world of wine.  Having seen the progression of Cloudy Bay globally under Ian's leadership, I felt like he was the right person to take Mission Hill to the next level with me. I am a great believer in our distinctive and unique Okanagan Valley wines and I am personally looking forward to Ian bringing his experience in building a New World region and an iconic brand and taking them to the world stage."

When asked about the motivations for his move to Mission Hill, Morden said: "It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the visionary Anthony von Mandl and the Mission Hill team.  Anthony understands wine and his broader vision goes beyond that.  The landscape, distinctive wines and people of the Okanagan have inspired me in a similarly primal way to when I first set foot in Marlborough.  Canada fills the senses.  It is like New Zealand in panorama – the mountains are higher, the lakes are larger and the climate is more extreme.  This is a landscape of imposing proportions and my experience in places like Central Otago is that great wines are often born of this kind of adversity.  My first taste of a fine Canadian Pinot Noir was one of those 'discovery moments' of my wine career.  It was a Mission Hill wine at the Cloudy Bay 2012 international benchmark tasting.  The Okanagan climate delivers the kind of fresh, vibrant wine styles that resonate with modern palates and cuisine.  This is the New New World of wine – operating at the avant-garde, working with a great group of like-minded people, which is personally where I want to be.  I'm delighted to be in Canada, and with some major US markets on our doorstep and the Pacific Northwest's natural pivot towards Northern Asia, I sense enormous potential ahead."

Morden also assumes responsibility for the von Mandl Family's extensive Sebastian Farms vineyard estates which grow up to 95% of Mission Hill's grapes, are leaders in viticulture research in the Okanagan Valley, and are focused on "cultivating excellence."

Ian takes up his new Mission Hill role from mid-September 2016.

About Mission Hill Family Estate
Since 1981 Mission Hill Family Estate has pioneered British Columbia's Okanagan Valley as a premium wine making region. The iconic winery is known for its international award-winning wines and dramatic architecture including a 12 story bell tower and cellars blasted into volcanic rock, set against a backdrop of majestic mountains, scenic lakes and the geometric beauty of the vineyards that define the valley. Darryl Brooker, originally from Australia, leads the Mission Hill winemaking team in the pursuit of making wines that reflect the numerous distinctive terroirs and climate zones found in the Okanagan Valley.  Mission Hill's elegant and internationally acclaimed wine portfolio celebrates the unique and diverse micro-climates of perhaps the world's most exciting emerging wine region.  Sustainability and harnessing climate change is key to the family's approach in farming with the von Mandl family's European heritage evident in their artisanal approach to winemaking, and total commitment and passion to excellence.  Condé Nast Traveler has described Mission Hill as 'The Gold Standard of Wineries'.

SOURCE Mission Hill Family Estate

Image with caption: "Ian Morden appointed Managing Director at Mission Hill Family Estate winery in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. (CNW Group/Mission Hill Family Estate)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160920_C5730_PHOTO_EN_777439.jpg

Image with caption: "Mission Hill Family Estate winery located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. (CNW Group/Mission Hill Family Estate)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160920_C5730_PHOTO_EN_777515.jpg

For further information: Ian Galbraith, Director Communications, Mission Hill Family Estate, Tel: (604) 269-7017, igalbraith@missionhillwinery.com

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