Combining award-winning wines with award-winning architecture
On a recent business trip to Kelowna, a group of us were very fortunate to have a chance to visit Mission Hill Family Estate winery. Since my return I have been looking at all the fabulous photos we took and am kind of obsessed with how wineries are combining award-winning wines with award-winning architecture.
We had a wonderful tour and tasting with a very knowledgeable sommelier who happened to be from e Netherlands. I seem to be more struck by the architecture then I was by the wine. Not to say their wines were anything less than stellar. ey really have done an amazing job of creating an experience that combines the beautiful vistas of the Okanagan Valley with buildings that look like they have always been on the site. You literally want to stay there for hours sipping wine and enjoying the views.
During the summer months they have concerts in their very own amphitheatre and a restaurant with a menu that changes constantly. ey work with local farmers and grow their own produce. In both the production of wine and the preparation of food they employ sustainable and biodynamic agricultural practices. ey even have their own honey bees!
e transformation of the site took a team of architects, designers and craftsmen six years to complete. Award-winning architect Tom Kundig was chosen to lead the transformation. e concrete structures with curved arches are intended to be second to the landscape. Their intention was to create a place where life slows down, and I think they have done exactly that. You feel relaxed the moment you enter the front gates. As you arrive you see two statues in meditation and you have the urge to join them.
Now I know the reason I loved this property so much — “A museum-style reception hall, home to a Marc Chagall original, is about the fullness of emptiness, according to Kunig. e goal, to edit out the extraneous and allow visitors to experience the simplicity that comes from a tranquil environment.” To read more about the architecture of this amazing place, check out their website https:// www. missionhillwinery. com/ estate_ winery/ architecture/architect.aspx.
ere are a couple of reasons I wanted to share all of this with you as we head into the holiday season. First of all, you know I love the concept of emptiness and simplicity. Creating a little emptiness in your space right now might be an excellent idea. Also, as we head into the gift-giving season and the stress of guring out what to buy for whom, I love the idea of an experience-based gift.
On the theme of wineries and tours, you could book a Grape Escapes tour for a group of family and friends right here in our own back yard — in Nova Scotia’s own wine country in the Annapolis Valley. It appears you can even book a tour in the winter. at’s one way to beat the winter blues.
e concept of an experience might give you some other awesome ideas that would include adults and children. at would be one way to achieve your giftgiving goal with a little more ease. Although, I suppose you would be signing up for some extra work coordinating everyone when it comes time to use the gift. I know that many of you love getting people together for an outing, so go for it.
Jane Veldhoven owns Get Organized by Design in Halifax and loves working with busy people to help them de-clutter, redesign, and redecorate their spaces, move to a new
home, or renovate their existing home
The estate room at Mission Hill Winery
The Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery
Outdoor amphitheatre at Mission Hill Winery