Anthony is the Founder and CEO of The Mark Anthonly Group of Companies
Intensity, infectious passion, overcoming obstacles by innovation, and an unwavering commitment to his vision led Anthony von Mandl to begin his journey more than four decades ago. Born in Vancouver and European educated, Anthony without resources, founded a wine importing firm in Vancouver at the age of 22. Despite difficult initial years, he successfully grew Mark Anthony Wine Merchants, and in 1981 began to realize his audacious dream: to produce world-class wines in British Columbia’s then unknown Okanagan Valley. Little did he know that in order to self-finance his vision he would organically build a more than $3B corporation from the ground up without outside financing – and along with it, a collection of enduring and iconic brands that would disrupt the beverage alcohol business in the U.S. and Canada, and connect with consumers for decades. Today, the Vancouver-based, private and family-owned Mark Anthony Group has no debt and self-finances all expansion.
Anthony risked everything to purchase a near bankrupt winery in the Okanagan Valley and as no one believed in his dream had to find a way to self-finance capital-intensive vision. His only option was to innovate by creating ‘new to the world’ drinks brands, pioneering new categories including the world’s first flavoured ciders with the Okanagan Cider Company in the early 1980’s, followed by the creation of the Mike’s Hard Lemonade in the 1990’s and most recently, White Claw ‘The purest hard seltzer in the world.’
Mike’s has since gone on to achieve iconic brand status in America and White Claw Hard Seltzer over-night captured hearts and minds of consumers who have made it the #1 brand with 60% market share in the explosive hard seltzer category in the U.S. and became the leading RTD (Ready To Drink) brand in Canada in its first month. Building on this success in North America, Anthony has begun building White Claw into an iconic, global brand. Mark Anthony is the leading company in the ‘Ready to Drink’ category in the U.S. and is the fourth largest brewer in America out of some 8,000 breweries.
It took until 1994 when his Mission Hill Family Estate winery stunned the international wine world by winning the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London for ‘Top Chardonnay Worldwide’ that he knew his dream had legs. Mission Hill Family Estate has since been transformed into an internationally renowned architectural winery landmark, built to endure centuries. It has been called “the gold standard of wineries” by Condé Nast Traveler and “The Versailles of the Valley” by The New York Times. After winning ‘Canadian Winery of the Year’ for the sixth time, Mission Hill Family Estate surprised the pundits by winning the prestigious ‘Best Pinot Noir in the World’ trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London, which put the Okanagan on the international Pinot Noir map.
Anthony assumed ownership of CedarCreek Estate Winery in 2014, recognized three-times as ‘Canadian Winery of the Year’. CedarCreek joins Mission Hill Family Estate and the newly released CheckMate Artisanal Winery, which was awarded the first-ever perfect back-to-back 100-point scores for a Canadian wine for its exceptional ‘Burgundian-style’ Chardonnays.
Anthony’s passion for innovation continues with the recently completed Martin’s Lane Winery, the world’s most radical Pinot Noir winery. Architecturally stunning, the 6-level gravity-fed winery is carved deep within a steep mountainside. The inaugural Martin’s Lane vintage was awarded 97-points. In 2019, Liquidity Wines joined the family’s collection, along with Road 13 Vineyards in 2018, winner of the 2018 ‘Canadian Winery of the Year’ Award. Each winery operates independently, the common purpose is to build an international prestige following of wines that are hard to find and stand alongside the best in the world.
In spirits, Mark Anthony owns Glendalough Distillery, Ireland’s first craft whiskey and gin distiller producing unique spirits at the highest end. In 2018, Mark Anthony set out to change the way consumers view Canadian Whisky, and once again put Canada on the world stage, by innovating and launching Bearface Whisky, which won ‘Gold’ at the 2019 International Wine & Spirit Competition in London, and awards for ‘Best New Whisky’ and ‘Excellence in Innovation’ at the Canadian Whisky Awards. The Company’s, Toronto-based Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits business is Canada’s leading importer and distributor of fine wines, spirits and import beers.
In 2016, Anthony was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and is also a recipient of the Order of British Columbia; both honors recognize his innovative contributions to enhancing Canada’s international reputation in the wine industry. A former YPO International Board Member, Anthony holds four Honourary Doctorates and has served on the Advisory Boards of the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He is also a co-recipient of ‘The Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence’ alongside A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble. Previous winners include Mikhail Gorbachev, Benazir Bhutto, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks. Anthony is also Chairman of The von Mandl Family Foundation, supporting the arts, health initiatives, environmental conversation and vulnerable communities in Canada and the U.S.