The tradition of winemaking has been passed down through the Humbrecht family from father to son since the late 1700s. Olivier Humbrecht, France’s first Master of Wine, is the current owner and winemaker of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace, France. Phantom Creek Estates marks the first and only winery consulting project for the famed winemaker
Olivier is the President of Biodyvin, the prestigious biodynamic certifying body based in Europe. Biodynamics is a philosophy and method of sustainable farming that requires meticulous attention to detail, in turn, yielding exceptional, energetic wine. By farming biodynamically, we minimize off-farm inputs while developing integrated solutions for pest and weed management, maximizing vine nutrition and site biodiversity.
Understanding the energy of a grape-growing region is so important; this especially rings true for the South Okanagan, where the environment is bold, big, intense, beautiful, and vastly extreme. The landscape of the Okanagan embodies power and energy with its dramatic mountain ranges giving way to vast lake districts.
The goal for every vineyard, which is well taken care of, is to produce high-quality grapes on a regular basis, revealing the true character of the place. Setting up a vineyard so it can produce for the long term comes down to how well the site is built-up to produce something remarkable. You are the caretaker of the vineyard for your children or whoever will look after it in the future. So, you try to give it to them in a better state then you received it.
When you make wine, you’re making a cultural product. It is not just a beverage with alcohol in it. Wine must show the characteristics of a place. It’s in the way the vine explores the soil, getting every inch of the environmental aspects through the climate and vineyard composition that showcases the authentic taste and flavour of the wine. It can take hundreds if not thousands of years to build up good soil. If done correctly and well, it can truly make a winery or vineyard last the test of time and produce something remarkable.
Making great wine is the result of a team effort and is also a reflection of the culture and the people who work the land. The team at Phantom Creek is doing something that has never been done before. It can’t be understated how hard it is to develop a new vineyard. “In France, we know where all the great vineyards are. In a new region, you don’t know yet where all the great vineyards are – you have to discover by yourself.”
“My goal for Phantom Creek is to see the vineyards grow into a beautiful environment that is alive with a great ecosystem paired alongside great people working on it.” Olivier Humbrecht
Welcome to Phantom Creek Estates!
Chapter 3: Character