Led by renowned viticulturist Helmut Becker, over 30 different grape varieties were specifically planted at (what's now) Becker Vineyard as a demonstration that traditional European vines could survive in British Columbia. And not only did they survive - they thrived.
Becker Vineyard was one of the first in the South Okanagan to showcase the potential for late ripening Bordeaux reds, putting it at the forefront of the shift that would soon take place in the region's winegrowing philosophies.
Phantom Creek Vineyard was planted by leading Okanagan viticulturist Richard Cleave to Cabernet family varieties and Syrah. Today, our namesake vineyard is recognized as one of the best in the country, and has produced the "Best Red Wine in Canada" on three separate occasions.
Kobau Vineyard was originally planted as an apple orchard in 1929, shortly after irrigation was introduced to the South Okanagan. Located on the Golden Mile Bench, the acclaimed vineyard was planted to Cabernet family varieties, Viognier, and Syrah in 2005.
Driven by a love of Bordeaux-style wine, Richter Bai purchases Becker and Phantom Creek Vineyards, where his dream of starting a winery in the famed Okanagan Valley begins.
With the aim of setting the benchmark in Canadian viticulture and winemaking, Phantom Creek's estate vineyards are now in transition to organic and biodynamic farming practices. We've got a foot firmly rooted in the past with our vision to the future.
Our winemaking truly begins in the vineyard. We farm our estate grapes with the aim of expressing the character of each vineyard in the final wine. And then we get out of the way.
From sampling each individual block to meticulously hand-harvesting each cluster, our goal is to ensure fruit is brought into the winery at optimal ripeness. We pick earlier than most, a crucial step to retaining freshness and achieving balance once bottled.
Our red wines are first hand sorted, then optically sorted; each berry must meet our standards before it's pressed and fermented in Rousseau oak casks and small French oak barriques. Our whites are pressed whole cluster, wild fermented in custom Stockinger oak casks. Our goal with every one of our wines is to achieve optimal texture, layers of complexity, and integration with oak.
Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of Beringer Vineyards' founding brother Jacob Beringer, was immersed in wine from the moment he was born in the heart of the Napa Valley. As the direct descendant to Beringer's first winemaker and one of the most iconic family names in Napa Valley wine history, he knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his ancestors. Eager to immerse himself in winemaking after receiving an Enology degree from California State University in Fresno, he spent a year in the cellars at Benziger in Sonoma and then joined Duckhorn in 1992. Mark began as Enologist and worked his way up to Vice President of Winemaking at Duckhorn. In 2009 Mark joined Artesa as Vice President and Winemaker. In 2015, Mark Beringer returned to his namesake Beringer Vineyards, joining as Chief Winemaker and following in the footsteps of acclaimed Winemaker Emeritus Laurie Hook. Now, he is bringing years of winemaking expertise and experience to Phantom Creek Estates. Mark is a proud father to three daughters, and in his spare time enjoys mountain biking and skiing, as well as traveling with his wife who works as a commercial pilot.
Olivier, France's first Master of Wine, is the owner and winemaker of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht. The renowned estate has been in his family since 1620, and today is one of the world's leading Pinot Gris and Riesling producers. Olivier has an integral role in our white winemaking program, and also guides our transition to organic and biodynamic practices.
Philippe Melka is an internationally renowned consulting winemaker. His first position was at Bordeaux's legendary Chateau Haut-Brion. From there, he took a role with the venerated Moueix Company and was sent to Dominus Estate in Napa's Yountville in 1991. Philippe has worked with the most notable personalities in the wine business and continues to consult for some of the world's top wineries. Philippe will serve as the consulting winemaker for Phantom Creek's red wine program working closely with winemaker Francis Hutt.
Amy obtained a Bachelor of Viticultural Science from the University of Adelaide in Australia, after which she travelled to the South Island of New Zealand to purse her interest in cool climate viticulture and winemaking. In 2004, Amy returned to Adelaide to join the South Australian Research and Development Institute as a researcher. The results of her research lead to the award of Australian Viticulturist of the Year in 2011. In 2009, Amy moved to Treasury Wine Estates in the role of Viticulturist for McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek vineyards and then in 2015, was relocated to California, USA where she managed their portfolio of grower contracts in the Napa Valley. In 2020, inspired by the region's potential to produce outstanding red wine grapes, Amy relocated to the Okanagan Valley.
Anahita has embraced a profession in luxury hospitality and wine beginning in south of France where she completed her Bilingual Masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management and then worked with the J.W. Marriott group of hotels in Paris. After working a harvest in Alsace France, Anahita relocated to Canada to join the Relais & Chateaux group of hotels at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino. However, her love for wine drew her to the Okanagan Valley where for the past decade she has held Sales and Marketing positions at impressive establishments including CedarCreek Estate Winery and Mission Hill Family Estate. Now as the Director of Sales and Marketing at Phantom Creek Estates, Anahita brings her extensive industry knowledge and experience in luxury brand marketing to the estate team.
Ian began his career in wine with Poplar Grove Winery in Penticton, BC, overseeing logistics, IT, projects, finance, hospitality, and operations of Poplar Grove & Monster Vineyards as the Director of Operations. Ian comes from a large Italian family where wine, hospitality, and community has always been part of the family culture. These values, his interest in biodynamic farming, and sustainability are what led to him joining the team at Phantom Creek Estates.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Sarah Fiore started her culinary career at one of Canada's best restaurants in Toronto, Buca Osteria & Enoteca at age 15. She spent 8 years working with Chef Rob Gentile, opening up new locations, with a Sous Chef promotion and having responsibility for menu creation. She then spent a year working at Ignacio Mattos' restaurant Estela in New York City, which gained a Michelin Star during her tenure. Back to her roots in Canada, she is ready to put all her knowledge together to create an ultimate dining experience.
Having discovered wine's complex appeal in his youth, Richter Bai retained an interest in wine throughout his career in China. Born within an agricultural community, he has always been close to the land, and Phantom Creek Estates marries his passion for great wine, appreciation of agriculture, and pursuit of excellence in a thrilling new venture.
Born and raised in China, Faye graduated from the University of British Columbia before developing a successful career in real estate. In 2014, she transitioned to the wine industry and worked closely with Richter Bai to begin to realize his dream of building one of the leading wineries in Canada. Since day one, she has been involved with every facet of the project.