The iconic bell tower of the Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna BC.
Anthony von Mandl was 12 years old when he rang a bell for the first time. As a schoolboy in Europe, bells were part of his daily routine, something forever etched on his mind. To him, bells represent a special sense of time and place. They bring people together, strike a celebratory note, and provide a natural rhythm and a sense of order. His dream was to bring that cadence to the Okanagan and share it with its people.
Standing 12-storeys tall and visible as guests approach the winery, the Bell Tower, with its lightning rod and pelican-inspired weathervane, taken from the von Mandl family crest, entices visitors to enter the grounds. Inside the tower, there are four bronze bells, handcrafted in Annecy, France by the Paccard Bell Foundry. Each is dedicated to a member of Anthony's immediate family, his late father Martin, his mother Bedriska, his sister Patricia and himself. Since 1796, seven generations of the Paccard family have cast more than 100,000 bells using the time-honoured traditions passed down from father to son. Listen to the Bells of Mission Hill. Click here for 56K low speed | 200+K high speed internet connection.
Bells cast by Paccard include those found in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Sacré Coeur in Paris. This was the first time in the foundry's history that it cast bells for a winery. The first bell ever cast by the Paccard Foundry, more than 200 years ago, still resides in the local church in Quintal, France. The family maintains it to this day.
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