News from Scout supporter Mission Hill Family Estate
Vancouver, BC | With the first day of fall upon us, we’re delighted to announce a series of celebratory events to commemorate Mission Hill’s tenth vintage of our premium Bordeaux-inspired wine, Oculus, this autumn. Next month during the 30th Okanagan Fall Wine Festival we’re holding a selection of intimate activities in our Oculus Salon: from vintage library, component and barrel tastings by our Sommeliers to “Message on a Bottle” personalized Oculus signings by Chief Winemaker John Simes and Proprietor Anthony von Mandl. Also on Thanksgiving weekend, we’re honoured to have top restaurants in British Columbia and Alberta offer “Buy the Glass” pours of rare Oculus magnums. More details on our website. Read more
News from Scout supporter Mission Hill Family Estate
Vancouver, BC | Join Mission Hill’s Director of Wine Education Ingo Grady and Fleuri Executive Chef Michael Deutsch as they showcase the classically inspired Okanagan Valley wines of Mission Hill Family Estate and the progressive Northwest cuisine of Fleuri Restaurant at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel. Date: Tuesday September 28th 2010. Time: 6:30pm. Cost: $120 per person. Reserve after the jump… Read more
As noted in a mobile post yesterday, I’m up in the Okanagan staying at Mission Hill for a few days. I woke up this morning (following a near-debaucherous evening at Jamie Maw’s place), shook out the Syrah and Heineken cobwebs, and took my coffee up to the winery. Following a tour of the kitchen with Matt Batey, the new winery chef – replacing Michael Allemeier, more on that here – I wandered around the wintry grounds, listening to the bells chime and contemplating the seasonal extremes of the world’s deserts before the gates opened to the public. It was fortuitous timing, as I’d never had the place to myself before. Snaps below.
I also had the good fortune of tasting Mission Hill’s new Perpetua and Quatrain labels (among a half dozen others) with Ingo Grady and resident sommelier Jesse Harnden (tasting notes by Rhys Pender). Two very charming chaps whose enthusiasms for their wines are infectious.
Tonight, Matt Batey and Michael Allemeier are cooking with Ned Bell at Cabana. I’m really looking forward to it, and will report back upon my return to Vancouver tomorrow (it’s unlikely I’ll be able to find my laptop under the table once this evening winds its way down, so you’ll have to bear with me – occupational hazards, et cetera). Late on Thursday or Friday I’ll put together a lengthy field trip film that will see plenty of shots and clips from every day that I’ve spent up here. So far so awesome…
Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines, and a proud board member of the Chef’s Table Society of BC. He lives and works by the beach in Vancouver.
Mission Hill Family Estate has announced that chef Michael Allemeier (interview) will be departing the winery this summer on August 1st. He will be replaced as Winery Chef by Matt Batey, who is promoted from the position of Terrace Chef to lead all of the winery’s culinary programs. Read more
Each week, Scout poses 60 questions to a local who has made life in BC that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A Rorschach test, for sure.
Michael Allemeier is the Winery Chef at Mission Hill’s picturesque restaurant, The Terrace.
Three things about your neighbourhood that make you want to live there: Being surrounded by wineries, being able to walk to work and being able to hike up Mt Boucherie within a five minute walk!
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Duck fat and cracklings.
Sexiest fashion item for the opposite sex: Stockings and Bra.
Favourite Vancouver bridge: Burrard Bridge.
One thing you’d like to change about Vancouver: Less traffic lights.
Cheap place for dinner: Hon’s Noodles.
Last place traveled: Seattle
Biggest fear: Losing my palette.
Best sneaker in the world, ever: Chuck Taylors
Your ancestry: German and British
Under what circumstances would you join the army: To protect my family.
Your paternal grandfather’s personal story: An Oxford scholar who loved to ride BSA motorcycles. Moved to the Sudan in the 30’s to grow cotton for the British Empire.
What are you proud of: My family.
The thing that makes you the angriest: Doing something twice.
Saddest thing about Vancouver: Homeless People
Ice cream flavour: Mint Chocolate Chip
Best fine dining restaurant in the city: Vij’s – great wines, service and food all wrapped in one.
Food your mom makes better than anyone: Sunday Pork Roast
Talent you wish you possessed: To juggle.
Musical instrument you long to play: Trumpet.
Grooming products: Toothpaste – pretty important stuff.
Mac or PC: PC but thinking of a MAC = vista
Favourite sports team: Calgary Flames
The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: Being in a ditch, during a blizzard in January Manitoba Winter and car unable to start.
Best concert experience ever: Stevie Ray Vaughn
Cologne/Perfume: Never touch the stuff – too smelly
Describe your tattoos: Killer Whale and Maple Leaf
The dish you’re proud of: The latest one I am working on.
Town you were born in: Johannesburg South Africa
Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: Original Batman
Album that first made you love music: Supertramp, Breakfast in America
Default junk food: French Fries
The career path you considered but never followed: Being a vet.
The one country that you have no interest in ever visiting: Somalia
Luckiest moment of your life: Meeting my wife.
Favourite book as a child: Tintin
To read past Q&As, click here.
Did you know there was a fancy French club with an international membership devoted to celebrating fine dining? Up until recently, I didn’t. Welcome to La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and leave your jeans at home, thank you very much.
I had the very good fortune to attend a Chaîne induction dinner in the Chagall Room at Mission Hill Family Estate on Saturday night. Hosted by MH executive chef (and Chaîne member) Michael Allemeier and his killer kitchen team, the event welcomed five new Kelowna members including representation from Mission Hill, Cabana Grille, Fresco, Tantalus Vineyards and Quail’s Gate Winery.
“The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table. Although the modern day Chaîne began in 1950, the traditions and practices are based on those of the old French guild of roasters, whose written history dates to 1248.” (linkage – Chaine Canada)
It was posh indeed, and Mission Hill is stunning (duh). But really really stunning when you’re alone at night. The group of about 45 had the winery all to itself.
The evening began with the induction ceremonies. The head of Chaîne Canada, David Tetrault, had flown into Kelowna from Calgary to conduct the ceremony which involved swords and sashes, oaths and medals. It felt a bit DaVinci Code but things around these parts, Vancouver included, could use a little formality now and then. It was fun and novel to rub shoulders with people who take their food and drink seriously.
The ceremony concluded with a reception that included MH’s first vintage of rosé and some swish canapés including a delicious pork belly spoon. Then chef Allemeier rallied the group out into the MH courtyard. The bell rang continuously from its commanding tower during the short walk to the Chagall Room where the new inductees were to be honoured. Totally cool and pretty surreal.
I had the best seat in the house, next to the fireplace with a prime view of the famed Chagall tapestry hung above a black baby grand piano. The six-course dinner was exquisite. Michael Allemeier rocks. The crowd favourite seemed to be the ballontine of Guinea Hen, recognized by the experts in attendance for its nod to history and technique. My favourite course was the Maple Lake rainbow trout and sugar pumpkin croquette paired with the ’04 Select Lot Collection Merlot.
It was a blast. Though I’d seen the tapestry before, I was wowed by the giant Chagall all night long and MH assistant winemaker Wade Stark displayed several hidden talents to the crowd, among them stand up comedy, mad piano-playing skills, and a group serenade. It was fantastic, though I’d expected a stuffy evening.
I did, however, poke some fun at the Chaîne. It seems the “1248 to 1950″ emblazoned on their crest represents the 702 years that the group was not active. Umm…ok. Sure. I guess I could list the number of years I have not been a doctor, a gold-medalist, or an astronaut, though some might think it a bit odd.
In all, it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening of unexpected talent, engaging conversation with tablemates Jane Hatch and Warwick Shaw of Tantalus Vineyards, and a truly superb meal.
The Winery is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm with tours and educational seminars offered.
The Terrace is open from May to September for lunch from 11:30 to 3:00pm and Tapas from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. For restaurant or seminar reservations, visit our website, or call 250-768-6467
Proprietor: Anthony von Mandl
Chief Winemaker: John Simes
Executive Winery Chef: Matthew Batey
Wine Education: Ingo Grady
Sommelier: Jesse Harnden
About Mission Hill
“The centerpiece of the Canadian wine tourism industry…understated wines which rank among the country’s best and the Terrace Restaurant on the estate’s front lawn is one of the most glorious dining experiences around.” Travel & Leisure Magazine, February 2008
Located in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, Mission Hill Family Estate is a family-owned winery that crafts boutique wines. Majestic mountains, scenic lakes, and lush orchards encase the winery’s dramatic architecture and culminate in a setting that celebrates wine, food and the arts. Our Chief Winemaker John Simes, uses a ‘pruning to bottle’ program for the viticulture to winemaking process that ensures all our wines reflect the origin and unique character of the Valley. Visit us at the winery’s Education Centre for workshops and seminars on tastings, viticulture, wine and food pairings and more or enjoy our elegant tasting salons which provide a luxurious setting for an exclusive sampling of Mission Hill Family Estate wines.
We invite you to join us for patio dining at The Terrace and enjoy lunch or tapas overlooking our lush vineyards. Our Winery Chef’s innovative culinary style of Cuisine de Terroir, a seasonal and regional approach to gastronomy, is globally influenced, but locally crafted. Our Chef selects only the freshest local ingredients and seasonal fare is handcrafted to compliment our wines. Year round private dining is also available with the pinnacle Chef’s Table dining experience, an intimate evening with our renowned Winery Chef.
The Terrace is a proud member of OceanWise.
Mission Hill Family Estate has been honoured with numerous awards including:
* The Terrace, Top Five Winery Restaurants in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine, 2008
* The Terrace, Best Okanagan Restaurant, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2009
* Best Icewine in the World, 2008 International World Challenge
* 2007 & 2001 Winery of the Year as rated by Wine Access Magazine