Who’s Anthony von Mandl?: Meet the billionaire who made a fortune with genre-defying alcoholic drinks

Who’s Anthony von Mandl?: Meet the billionaire who made a fortune with genre-defying alcoholic drinks

As soon as penniless, von Mandl’s Mike’s Laborious Lemonade and White Claw Laborious Seltzer drinks have added to his fortune

Article content material

When Anthony von Mandl purchased his first vineyard in 1981, there have been solely 45 wineries in Canada. As we speak there are greater than 700 and, based on the Wine Growers of Canada, it’s a $9-billion business, with von Mandl credited as an element behind each the expansion and the elevation of Canada’s wine fame. Von Mandl additionally claims to have began within the alcohol enterprise “penniless” and as we speak, because of his profitable creation of each Mike’s Laborious Lemonade and White Claw Laborious Seltzer, is a multi-billionaire.

Commercial

Story continues under

Article content material

In accordance with the 2021 Forbes record of worldwide billionaires, von Mandl has, as of early October, a web value of US$7.1 billion (down from US$8.7 billion in April of this 12 months). “I had a ardour for wine, meals, and journey,” he instructed an viewers on the Thought Metropolis convention in 2003. “And I had a dream.”

Contemplating his wealth and the favored merchandise he’s developed, von Mandl isn’t a widely known determine in Canada. “I’m a personal particular person,” he instructed his viewers in 2003. “This isn’t a narrative I inform usually.” A spokesperson for his non-public, Vancouver-based firm, Mark Anthony Group Inc., stated its founder and CEO “doesn’t conduct business-related media interviews.”

In accordance with a bio on the Mark Anthony Group web site, von Mandl was born in Vancouver to European mother and father. The household returned to Europe when he was 9 years outdated, however von Mandl finally got here again to Canada and graduated from the College of British Columbia with an economics diploma. Then 22 years outdated and “penniless,” von Mandl was unimpressed with the few, mediocre import wines obtainable in B.C. within the early Nineteen Seventies.

Commercial

Story continues under

Article content material

Anthony von Mandl checks grape vines at his Mission Hill Winery in 1999.
Anthony von Mandl checks grape vines at his Mission Hill Vineyard in 1999. Picture by Jeff Vinnick/Nationwide Publish information

So he apprenticed within the wine commerce in Europe earlier than making an attempt to develop into the Canadian importer for varied worldwide wineries. “In fact, nobody within the business would give a 22-year-old child the rights to their wines,” he recalled.

His solely purchasers had been vintners “who didn’t know the place Canada was or didn’t care,” and he labored out of an workplace in Vancouver subsequent to a Greyhound bus station. Regardless of some preliminary success promoting white wines to Canadian airways, von Mandl obtained burned in Los Angeles — the place he’d arrange a shabby warehouse — when he delivered 80 circumstances of wine (utilizing his station wagon) to a retailer in receivership. “I’d been had,” he recalled. “I used to be completely naïve.”

In 1981, von Mandl fulfilled his ambition of proudly owning a vineyard, buying with companions an property on Mission Hill in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley, which he considered as “a Napa Valley with a 90-mile lake working by way of it.”

Commercial

Story continues under

Article content material

“My mates thought I used to be loopy,” he recalled. “My rivals thought I used to be completely mad.”

Surveying his new buy, von Mandl discovered it stuffed with grime and fruit flies. “I barely slept that evening, questioning if I’d made the largest mistake of my life.”

Anthony von Mandl at the Mission Hill Winery in 2002.
Anthony von Mandl on the Mission Hill Vineyard in 2002. Picture by Brian Sprout/Postmedia Information information

He proceeded so as to add a 12-storey bell tower, blasted underground cellars out of volcanic rock, added tons of of acres to his holdings, and vastly improved the wine. In 1994, Mission Hill Household Property’s 1992 Grand Reserve Chardonnay gained finest chardonnay on the Worldwide Wine and Spirits Competitors.

“That, in an enormous means, put the Canadian wine business on the map,” stated Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO of the Wine Growers of Canada, in an interview. “We had been a really younger business on the time, and that… offered a halo impact not only for the Okanagan, however all the Canadian wine business… He’s exhibiting that we are able to produce among the finest wines on the earth, not simply ice wine.”

Commercial

Story continues under

Article content material

Mission Hill has since gained worldwide awards for finest Pinot Noir in 2013 and finest Canadian pink in 2017, and has been voted one of many high 50 vineyards on the earth.

“There are actually tons of of hundreds of various wine manufacturers around the globe. So to be in the identical stratosphere as among the finest acknowledged property wineries on the earth in such a brief time period is de facto troublesome to do. And he’s managed to do it,” Paszkowski added. “The investments that he’s made, the modern strategies, and the dangers that he’s taken have paid off.”

The investments that he’s made, the modern strategies, and the dangers that he’s taken have paid off

Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO, Wine Growers of Canada

Von Mandl has used the extra worthwhile — although much less cultivated — points of his liquor enterprise to assist fund his wine ambitions. “It’s a very robust business,” he stated. “To make a small fortune within the wine enterprise, it’s important to begin with a big one. I actually didn’t have that choice.”

Commercial

Story continues under

Article content material

In 1986, he launched Corona beer in Canada. Ten years later, he created Mike’s Laborious Lemonade, a beer different that he later stated was the supply of fist-fights at liquor shops in Ontario when provide dwindled. He took Mike’s Laborious Lemonade to the U.S. in 1999, and in 2015, Labatt Breweries purchased the Canadian rights to the favored drink (and some different Mark Anthony Group manufacturers) in a US$350-million deal.

Cartons of White Claw at a store in New York City.
Cartons of White Claw at a retailer in New York Metropolis. Picture by Timothy A. Clary/AFP through Getty Pictures information

Extra lately, he delivered one other beer different hit: White Claw Laborious Seltzer, which within the U.S. in 2019, based on Bloomberg, outsold each craft beer and even enormous manufacturers akin to Budweiser for stretches at a time.

The corporate has at occasions struggled to maintain White Claw in inventory. “All the pieces I created was an instance of getting to invent one thing new or at the least put a twist on one thing present,” von Mandl famous in 2003. As Bloomberg put it: “Von Mandl has since made a fortune creating genre-defying alcoholic drinks.”

Commercial

Story continues under

Article content material

White Claw and its rivals have turned the so-called ready-to-drink class into a big market, value US$2 billion in 2019, up from simply US$3 million in 2015, based on Euromonitor.

  1. Lino Saputo Sr., front, of the Montreal dairy giant Saputo Inc., and Lino A. Saputo Jr., president of and chief executive officer of the company, are seen at the annual Saputo meeting in Laval, in 2009.

    Who are the Saputos?: Meet the Quebec billionaire family thriving on North America’s love affair with pizza and mozzarella

  2. As of Sept. 8, David Cheriton’s net worth was US$11.5 billion (up from US$8.8 billion in April), according to Forbes.

    Who’s David Cheriton?: Meet the Canadian billionaire who made an early bet on Google and calls himself ‘cheap’

  3. None

    Who’s Joseph Tsai? The Canadian man of action behind Alibaba’s embattled Jack Ma

  4. David Thomson with works by Lawren S. Harris in the Thomson Canadian Gallery at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2008.

    Who’s David Thomson? A peek into the mysterious, ‘reluctant’ head of Canada’s richest family

Von Mandl has in recent times bought new wineries (he now owns 5 in Canada, based on Forbes), and is investing in a facility in Arizona to spice up manufacturing of White Claw and different ready-to-drink merchandise.

Again in 2003, von Mandl stated he generally rises earlier than daybreak, leaves his home at Mission Hill, just under the vineyard, and begins strolling. “I stroll up Mission Hill and I am going by way of the entry arch, and I stroll by way of the piazza, and I climb the steps of the bell tower,” he stated. “And I anticipate the dawn. And I mirror on what I’ve achieved over time, and the place I’ve been and the place we’re going and what lies sooner or later.”

Monetary Publish

Commercial

Story continues under

Feedback

Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the positioning. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We’ve enabled e mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e mail if you happen to obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a consumer you comply with feedback. Go to our Community Guidelines for extra data and particulars on the best way to modify your email settings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven + 13 =