New managing director hired for Mission Hill Family Estate

Ian Morden was previously the estate director for Cloudy Bay Vineyards in New Zealand.

Ian Morden

Mission Hill Family Estate has reached all the way to New Zealand to hire a new managing director.

Ian Morden has been hired for the job, coming from his last position as estate director for Cloudy Bay Vineyards.

Morden had overseen eight consecutive years of growth for the New Zealand winery.

“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,” said Mission Hill Family Estate propreitor Anthony Von Mandl.

“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. ”

Morden also resumes responsibility for the von Mandl Family’s extensive Sebastian Farms vineyard estates which grow up to 95 per cent of Mission Hill’s grapes, are leaders in viticulture research in the Okanagan Valley, and are focused on “cultivating excellence.”

Morden starts his new job later this month.