Category Archives: Press and Media

Sparkle and Shine: Phantom Creek Estates Launches a New Duo of Sparkling Bruts

Spectacular South Okanagan Winery Releases First Bubbles in Time for the Holidays

Oliver, British Columbia, Nov. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Phantom Creek Estates, one of the Okanagan’s most acclaimed wineries, announces the newest two additions to their renowned repertoire of wines. A new 2017 Sparkling Brut and a 2017 Sparkling Brut Reserve will be released as single bottles and together in beautiful holiday gift bundles, just in time to celebrate the holiday season and to ring in a dazzling 2023.

Leading the dynamic Phantom Creek cellar team is Director of Winemaking Mark Beringer. His surname is among the most storied in California winemaking: Mark is the great-great-grandson of Jacob Beringer, one of the founders of the Napa Valley’s Beringer Vineyards. With his inherited passion for winemaking and knowledge passed down through generations, Mark is leading his team into groundbreaking territory in Okanagan winemaking. Using both traditional and modern techniques and with the latest technology, they are creating a portfolio of award-winning and memorable wines. 

The 2017 Sparkling Brut and the 2017 Sparkling Brut Reserve will fit right in. “The release of these wines is very exciting for me and it was an honour to be a part of the winemaking process,” said Mark. “These wines reflect the team’s vision on modern winemaking while rooted in tradition and represents the beginning of a new chapter in my Napa winemaking history, and for my family’s roots reborn here in my new Okanagan home. These are beautiful celebration wines, which speak to the exquisite terroir we have here in the Okanagan and to the great passion of our winemaking team.”

2017 Sparkling Brut Reserve Méthode Traditionnelle ($80)
93% Chardonnay 7% Pinot Noir
This Chardonnay-dominant Brut Reserve shows delicate, elegant fruit, led by lemon and crisp green apple lifted by orchard blossoms and acacia. There’s added richness and complexity from aging in neutral barriques for 11 months prior to blending, along with toasty brioche notes from an additional 47 months in the méthode traditionnelle. That patience gives this wine its soft, creamy mousse, leading to a precise, richly textured palate that combines an evocative chalky minerality with impeccable purity of fruit.

2017 Sparkling Brut Méthode Traditionnelle ($70)
64% Chardonnay 36% Pinot Noir
This poised Brut seamlessly blends the lively finesse of Chardonnay with the depth of Pinot Noir. The nose shows bright and expressive fruit, with ripe lemon and golden apple, along with toasted hazelnut and subtle, harmonious sweet spices. The wine is framed by rich brioche notes, benefiting from extended aging on its lees for 47 months, leading to a fine, persistent mousse. It’s exceptionally balanced in a classic Brut style, with a verve and tension that carries the long, chalky finish.

The Sparkling Holiday Gift Bundles for 2022
These festive packages, valued at $200, will include:   

  • One bottle each of the 2017 Sparkling Brut and the 2017 Sparkling Brut Reserve
  • A Phantom Creek Estates seated tasting and charcuterie board voucher for two people
  • Free shipping
  • Duration: between November 23 and December 14 for all provinces except B.C. and available until December 20 for B.C. residents with guaranteed delivery before Christmas

Phantom Creek’s new 2017 Sparkling Brut, 2017 Sparkling Brut Reserve and holiday gift bundles are available to purchase online at phantomcreekestates.com/collection/bundle.

Northwest Food and Drink Seattle Dining

Northwest Food and Drink – Connie Adams – August 2022

Penticton, Okanagan Valley

Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates celebrated the 25th anniversary of Phantom Creek Vineyard in July 2022. The vineyard was established in 1996 by viticulturist Richard Cleave. This vineyard is known for producing some of the best red wines in Canada from the lower terrace of Black Sage Bench, sitting just above the valley floor giving it afternoon sun. It is now planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot.

Going back a bit further, the viticulturist Helmut Becker began a project growing over 30 different Germanic white grape varietals at what is now Becker Vineyard to show that traditional European grape vines could survive in B.C. As we know now, it worked. In 1993, Becker Vineyard was replanted to show the potential for late-ripening Bordeaux red grapes. That also worked. Becker is now planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, and Syrah.

In 2005, Kobau Vineyard was planted and now boasts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Viognier, and Syrah. Located in B.C.’s first official sub-appellation, Golden Mile Beach, wines from this vineyard have a minerality that comes from the gravelly soils paired with morning sun and afternoon shade.

In 2016, Richter Bai purchased Becker and Phantom Creek Vineyards, followed by Kobau Vineyard in 2017. In 2018, Phantom Creek Estates entered into a long-term collaboration with Olivier Humbrecht, Frances’s first Master of Wine. He is the owner and winemaker of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace, an estate that has been in his family since 1620. It is now of the world’s leading producers of Pinot Gris and Riesling. He moved his winery to organic and biodynamic practices in 1997. He is part of Phantom Creek’s move to add Pinot Gris and Riesling to its portfolio. Influenced by Humbrecht and having a vision of building a winery that will be here for 100 years, Bai began transitioning the vineyards to organic practices. Kobau became certified organic in 2020, joined by Phantom Creek in 2022. Becker is also certified organic. Evernden Springs Vineyard in nearby Similkameen Valley, planted after Bai purchased it, added a fourth vineyard, which is also certified organic.

Mark Beringer, the Director of Winemaking, is the great-great grandson of Beringer Vineyards’ founding brother Jacob Beringer. After getting his Enology degree from California State University in Fresno, he worked at Benziger in Sonoma in the cellars, then moved to Duckhorn in 1992, starting as Enologist and working his way up to VP of Winemaking. In 2009, he went to Artesa as VP and Winemaker, returning to Beringer Vineyards in 2015 before coming to Phantom Creek Estates in late July 2021.

Chef Alessa Valdez helms the kitchen at the Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates. She took culinary arts in high school and has worked in Toronto at Buca Yorkville, Alobar, Oliver & Bonacini’s Auberge de Pommiere and Canoe, and Gusto 101. She worked in the kitchen at Phantom Creek before being promoted to Chef, and works closely with the winemakers to ensure dishes work with Phantom Creek wines, using locally grown ingredients.

Spring risotto

Menu items all have interesting twists, like the Tanto Latte Burrata with apple, green apricot chutney, sunflower seed, pea shoots, and bee pollen. The suggested paring is a 2019 Viognier. 63 Acres Beef Tartare included pickled shimeji, caperberry, xo yolk caramel mushroom dust, and tendon chips. Suggested pairing is the Petit Cuvee. Currently her food can be enjoyed by everyone for lunch in the restaurant, and for private events in private rooms, patios, and the Founder’s Cellar.

The winery itself is quite impressive, designed by Napa firm Backen Gillam Kroeger. 78,000 square feet hold a wine cellar, tasting room, restaurant, amphitheater, production area beneath the winery, picnic areas, private rooms, gift shop/retail wine sales, members-only areas, and more. Tours can be booked online. Driving up to the winery is a moment to be savored with landscaping surrounding the buildings and two large angels hovering over as you enter the grounds. If you’re looking for a wine experience that is more than just a tasting and you love ‘fabulous’, Phantom Creek Estates should be on your must-visit list.

4315 Black Sage Rd
Oliver, British Columbia
250-498-8367

phantomcreekestates.com

To read the full article with images: Northwest Food and Drink

Phantom Creek throws the soirée of the summer

Times Chronicle – Staff – July 31, 2022

Phantom Creek Estates uncorked the party vibe on July 9 with its Soirée en Rouge event. The winery’s first big event celebrated not just the reopening after pandemic restrictions but the arrival of summer and the 25th anniversary of the Phantom Creek Vineyard.

“We wanted to create an event with a big theme and the theme we decided on was red,” says Kathy Nichols, Wine Club Manager at Phantom Creek Estates. 

“We had a red carpet entrance, food stations, wine pairing, a band – Rann Berry – from Kelowna, it was just basically about having a fun night at Phantom, opening the doors and having people over,” she says. 

“It was a much-needed party and I think people were pretty stoked about it. It was fun for us as well just to have our members and other people in a different setup other than just hosting them for a tasting or a tour.”

And indeed people came, some 400 in all, mostly made up of wine club members who paid $100 to attend along with about 50 non-members who paid $150 for the event. And also in attendance were the 20 or so seasonal workers who work primarily in the vineyards. 

“We have such a small team and they work very hard and they always show up anytime we need them even if it’s not specifically related to the vineyard. They helped us moving stuff around, setting up and packing up at the end and it was nice to have them as well and I think they enjoyed themselves,” she said.

To alleviate concerns over drinking too much wine and getting behind the wheel, the winery arranged shuttle buses back and forth to Osoyoos, Oliver and also as far as Kelowna. 

As to whether it will be an annual event, Nichols is hopeful but these are less than certain times.

To read the full article with images: Times Chronicle

5 Winery Restaurants to Enjoy in the Okanagan This Summer

Nuvo – John Clegg – July 28, 2022

While the main draw of wine country is self-evident, there are plenty of auxiliary reasons to visit, food chief among them. Now that vineyards are open to the public, and Okanagan Lake is finally warm, NUVO has rounded up five great winery restaurant experiences for visitors to enjoy between bottles of merlot.

The Patio Restaurant at Nk’Mip Cellars

Nk’Mip Cellars, the world’s first Indigenous-owned winery, which is operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band, tends its vineyards and makes its wines in a way that honours the band’s culture. Similarly, the Patio Restaurant at Nk’Mip Cellars, helmed by chef Ian Stilborn, offers an experience that celebrates the Four Food Chiefs (bear, salmon, bitterroot, and Saskatoon berry), key elements of Indigenous cuisine. Enjoy a bison taco alongside one of Nk’Mip’s upper-tier Mer’r’iym meritage blends.

The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates

About 20 minutes north of Nk’Mip Cellars, Phantom Creek Estates is one of the Okanagan’s most exciting new wineries with an equally exciting new restaurant. Led by chef Alessa Valdez, the estate restaurant serves small, seasonal menus that pair perfectly with the wines made just around the corner. Valdez’ cuisine offers simple, staple proteins enlivened by Asian and Middle Eastern flavours. The summer menu features albacore tuna with togarashi, beef tartare with pickled shimeji, duck with a hoisin jus, and pork with Jerusalem artichoke and harissa. Named the 20th best new restaurant in Canada by Canada’s 100 Best, the Restaurant at Phantom Creek is striving for greatness.

Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards’ Miradoro Restaurant is one of the better-established winery dining experiences in the Okanagan. But that’s not to say its culinary program isn’t innovative. Returning to his family’s agricultural roots, executive chef Jeff Van Geest (formerly of Bishop’s and his own Aurora Bistro in Vancouver) packed up and moved from the city to the Okanagan—and ever since, Miradoro has been turning out some fantastic locavore cuisine. Besides his propensity for local ingredients, Geest chooses funky, gamey flavours. Mushroom dusted steak, wild boar ragu, and a salad featuring a balsamic pickled egg are currently on the menu.

The Restaurant at Poplar Grove

Where Penticton meets the Naramata Bench, the Restaurant at Poplar Grove and head chef Rob Ratcliffe are dishing up a menu that pairs nicely with the estate’s bubbles, rosés, and whites—and the reds too. Having grown up just outside of London, Ratcliffe might be expected to lean old world, but in reality, his cuisine is West Coast with Asian and American influences. On Munson Mountain, with views of Penticton’s downtown, Okanagan Lake, and the estate vineyards, there is no better lunch spot for taking in the majesty of the valley.

The Restaurant at the Naramata Inn

While it’s technically not a winery restaurant, the Restaurant at the Naramata Inn is smack dab in the middle of what may be the most densely planted part of the Okanagan, and so it feels like the restaurant for a number of estates. Chef Ned Bell is well known for championing B.C. cuisine, and there is no better way to enjoy it than after checking out a few of the local wineries. You can swing by the aforementioned Poplar Grove for a glass of rosé, head over to Little Engine Wines for a taste of Burgundy in the Okanagan, or farther up the Naramata Bench, pop into Nichol Vineyard & Estate Winery for the iconic pinot gris or syrah. Just remember when visiting that the main event is still to come, and there’ll be wine.

To read the full article with images: Nuvo

Bucket List BC: The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates

Daily Hive – Hanna McLean – July 26, 2022

BC is in no shortage of incredible places to sip and savour local wine and fare, and here’s one to add to your bucket list if you haven’t ticked it off already: The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates.

Located on the Black Sage Bench in the Okanagan Valley, Phantom Creek Estates produces wines from historic vineyards using over 30 different varieties of grapes.

And while this high-profile name might ring a bell because of its award-winning wines, we think you should know about the restaurant on site as well.

The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates offers some of the most stunning, unparalleled views we’ve come across in any BC dining room.

Whether you take a seat inside or outside on the sun-soaked, covered patio, we can confidently guarantee both the views and food will be outstanding.

Now open for lunch service Thursday through Monday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, this dining destination promises patrons a “culinary adventure” and serves up exactly that.

Diners can enjoy either two or three-course lunch spreads from the mind of Chef Alessa.

The seasonal menu will rotate, but during our visit, we tasted many highlights including an outstanding Albacore Tuna starter, as well as an unforgettable 63 Acres Beef Tartare served with the most perfect puffy and crunchy tendon chips.

Mains such as Halibut, Fraser Valley Duck, and a delectable Spring Risotto made with oyster mushrooms, a farm-fresh sous vide egg, and Grana Padano, are all up for order. The latter can be topped with shaved truffle upon request.

For dessert, the seasonal delights keep coming. We opted for the Rum Baba and the Pecan Éclair made with mousseline, praline, candied pecan, and pickled Saskatoon berry.

Naturally, wine pairings are exquisite in the restaurant and we’d highly recommend opting for them when dining here.

If you’re aiming to check out the one-of-a-kind “Founder’s Cellar Experience” at Phantom Creek — you’re in for a treat.

Patrons start with a captivating tour of the underground cellars while getting an explanation of Phantom Creek’s history, sustainable farming practices, and winemaking philosophy.

This tour ends in the stunning Founder’s Cellar where folks will enjoy a special five-course menu paired with exclusive and rare wines.

A minimum of seven days notice is required to book this experience and groups of up to six people can be accommodated.

Phantom Creek offers an array of experiences and tours that vary in length and price.

Options include everything from a $20 seated tasting to a Heli Tour & Tasting, and everything in between.

Be sure to plan ahead and book a time to visit this bucket list winery and restaurant in beautiful Oliver, BC.

To read the full article with images: Daily Hive

THE GOODS FROM PHANTOM CREEK ESTATES

Scout Magazine – Press Release – July 22, 2022

Oliver, BC | Phantom Creek Estates is proud to announce Director of Winemaking Mark Beringer’s first wine release. The 2021 Rosé was harvested in September 2021 from dedicated blocks at Becker and Evernden Spring Vineyards and bottled in March 2022. The wine reflects the complexity that comes from the winery’s organic-certified terroirs in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. The 2021 vintage is dry, finessed, and nuanced, with delicate red berries and layers of spice.

“This Rosé represents the first wine release from me and my team. We are excited to finally be able to share it with all of you as the weather has warmed up, providing the perfect atmosphere to enjoy it,” says Mark Beringer. “This Rosé was made in the traditional method by whole cluster pressing the fruit at the optimal ripeness and fermented in a combination of stainless-steel tanks and large oval oak tanks. The result is a wine with bright red fruits such as strawberry and cherry, with a hint of ruby grapefruit. It has been made in a dry style with crisp acid supported by a rich texture from extended time on the yeast. It’s like summer in a glass!”

The Estate Rosé is $33 CAD per bottle, and is available to purchase here.

To read the full article with images: Scout Magazine

Guide to Dining Out: Chef Alessa Valdez, Phantom Creek Estates

Guide to Dining Out – GTDO – June 29, 2022

Chef Alessa Valdez came dangerously close to losing her passion for cooking.

It was during the Covid 19 pandemic when just about every hospitality venue in Toronto, where she lived and worked, was ordered to shut down. After having cooked in some of the city’s top restaurants, she suddenly found herself out of a job.

“I was laid off for a couple of months, then went back to work doing only take out service,” she says. “I was falling out of love with cooking.”

But then an Instagram post changed her life. It was about a position as the senior sous chef at Phantom Creek Estates in Oliver, B.C. She applied and got it.

Less than a year later, she’s the executive chef of the winery’s restaurant, which was named in May as one of Canada’s best new eateries. As the only Okanagan establishment to make the list, published annually by Canada’s 100 Best Magazine, it’s an astonishing achievement, especially considering the restaurant is still only offering lunch service and private dinners.

But what a service it is. Patrons are greeted with a creative and eclectic choice of starters, entrees and desserts, including what Valdez says are the menu’s current signature dishes: 63 Acres Beef Tartare with pickled shimeji, caperberry and xo yolk caramel; Duck Confit with puffed red quinoa, beets, fava bean, red and green sorel and hoisin; and Basque Cheesecake with brandied cherry.

“Our menu is unique from any other restaurant in the Valley. We are constantly changing the menu as the season changes. We change two items on the menu twice a month so that guests can always expect something different, rather than having the same menu for the whole season,” she says.

The cuisine may seem sophisticated, but Valdez describes her food philosophy as simple.

“Simple but very elevated and flavourful at the same time,” she explains. “I have a French fine dining background, I put a lot of French techniques into the dishes on the menu. I like to let the ingredients speak for themselves instead of hiding them. I have so much appreciation for our farmers who took the time to grow us beautiful produce, so why not let them shine.”

Valdez’s foray into the kitchen is homegrown. She was raised in Toronto, but has Filipino roots, and as a child, she enjoyed helping her mother – whom she describes as her inspiration – prepare her native cuisine. She took a co-op program in high school and decided to pursue a career in the culinary arts, with her mother’s encouragement. 

Though she describes her mom as the better cook, Valdez has an impressive pedigree. She has worked in top tier Toronto eateries such as Alobar and Canoe, both of which made Canada’s Best 100 Restaurants list in 2022.

The winery in the place she now calls home is as grand as any big city establishment. Set on the lower terrace of the Black Sage Bench, it’s a stunning piece of architecture with sweeping vineyard and mountain views. The winemaking team is led by a man who also has a pretty profound pedigree – Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of one of the founders of Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Moving and settling into a tiny, predominately agri-focused community is, no doubt, a big adjustment for her. But she embraces the weather and the abundance of fresh ingredients.

“We have so many local farmers producing beautiful produce, we are also lucky to have a kitchen garden just a minute away from the winery, so we also try to incorporate our own produce on the menu.”

But there are notable disadvantages as well.

“Staffing is probably one of the biggest issues with having a restaurant in the Okanagan. We do offer housing but I’m noticing that a lot of cooks prefer to work in bigger cities rather than moving out to the Okanagan,” she says.

Having Valdez as their culinary leader just might tip the scales in favour of the Valley and Restaurant at Phantom Creek, in particular. 

It’s certainly nabbing the attention of patrons and critics alike.

“I want our guests to have an elevated experience when they visit Phantom Creek, not only on the food side, but the service as well. It’s very rewarding knowing that guests come and eat at Phantom Creek and have a memorable experience. Our goal is to be the best restaurant in the Valley.”

And it’s well on its way to achieving just that.

To read the full article with images: Guide to Dining Out

Phantom Creek Estates: Enjoying an exclusive winery experience in Oliver, BC

Foodology – Diana Chan – July 14, 2022

When we previously visited the Okanagan, we would do several tastings in a day. As we make more trips to the Okanagan, we really find a lot of value in having an immersed experience to really understand the unique wine making methods, the architecture, and of course tasty dishes.

Phantom Creek Estates has 25 years of rich history in Oliver, BC on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single-vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites, and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. The winery was established in 1996 by Richard Cleave, a pioneering viticulturist and found by the Bai family in 2016 to further develop the estate.

Phantom Creek Vineyard is consistently recognized for producing some of the best red wines in Canada, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. They strive to be one of the best in Okanagan and it shows through the wine, restaurant, and amazing staff.

Tour and Wine Tasting

Phantom Creek Estates offer 6 different tour and tasting options from $20 to $475 per person. Good options depending on how much time you have during your trip to learn about Phantom Creek Estates.

A popular option is their Estate Tour & Tasting for $60 per person where a Senior Brand Ambassador will guide you on a 90 minute tour around the estate. It begins in the History Room, where you’ll get an overview of the historic vineyards on the Black Sage Bench. From there, you’ll see the curated art installations and learn about their commitment to natural farming. Then, venture into the winery to see the winemaking process. The tour will end with a one-of-a-kind tasting in an exclusive private tasting room with unobstructed views of the South Okanagan. The tasting features their premium selection of wines.

Their Founder’s Cellar Experience is highly recommended as you get the extended tour and access into the Founder’s Cellar, plus a curated five-course menu paired with library and exclusive wines from their cellar. The underground cellars make for some amazing photos to capture memories with your friends and family. A great way to see it all.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is a must and have 2 and 3 course menu with optional wine pairings. It opened in 2021 and Chef Alessa Valdez brings her skills to elevate the seasonal menu that pairs so well with their exclusive wine selection. Plus, the view from the dining room and patio are stunning.

Lunch service offered from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Do inquire about any features of the day as we were surprised they offered a seafood tower and had the options of substituting our appetizers or main.

Seafood Tower
This seafood tower has shrimp, oysters, mussels, ahi tuna on crisps, and mini crab claws. Paired with the rosé. It was fresh and naturally sweet and delicious. I love how everything is cracked for you so it’s seamless to eat and enjoy.

Duck Confit
The duck confit has puffed red quinoa, beets, fiddlehead, red and green sorel, and hoisin. It is paired with the 2019 Cabernet Franc. Duck was rendered nicely and always a great pairing with red wines.

Prairie Ranchers Pork
This fun plate has pork shoulder croquette, pork tenderloin, jerusalem artichoke, pickled mustard seed, and harissa. It is paired with their 2018 Merlot. The pork shoulder croquette was a joy to eat and bursting with flavour.

Spring Risotto
The morel & oyster mushrooms, asparagus, sous-vide farm fresh egg, and grana padano in the risotto is pure magic. The earthy notes from the mushrooms pairs so well with the 2020 chardonnay

Strawberry Pavlova
The pavlova has house made granola, coconut cream, and basil. It is paired with the exclusive 2016 Riesling Ice Wine only available at The Restaurant. Guests have tried bribing the staff to purchase bottles, but no luck.

Rum Baba
This dessert was surprisingly moist even though it didn’t look like it. It has cardamom diplomat, crepe dentelle, poached rhubarb, rhubarb purée, and nasturtium. It is paired with the 2016 Chardonnay. Very enjoyable.

Pecan Éclair
My favourite dessert was this eclair and it has mousseline, praline, candied pecan, and pickled Saskatoon berry. It is paired with their exclusive 2016 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine only available at The Restaurant. Just a joy to eat.

Reservations is a must and it can be booked up fast. They have inside and patio seating available. The Restaurant was the highlight of our trip at Phantom Creek Estates and even our whole trip to the Okanagan.

Summer events

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Phantom Creek Vineyards, the winery is hosting a series of celebratory events this year and will take place through September, including a monthly Phantom Creek Vineyard-focused dinner series.

Soirée en Rouge
The Soirée en Rouge event happened earlier this month and kicked off the 25th anniversary with more Summer events to come. The estate is gorgeous and is a perfect backdrop for any event. Absolutely STUNNING.

Summer Picnic
The winery is also debuting a new Summer Picnic offering which is available daily and is BYO (bring your own) blanket. Reservations are required for the Summer Picnic, and wine bottles and charcuterie trays are available for purchase to enjoy in the winery’s outdoor lounge and amphitheater. 

Summer Music Series
The winery will also be hosting a Summer Music Series every Friday, through September 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with live music in the amphitheater featuring local musicians.  Tickets can be purchased here.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are a lot of ways to enjoy Phantom Creek Estate through the tours, tastings, restaurant, or special events. Plan accordingly and make reservations as it will get busy through the Summer.

Phantom Creek is a newer brand in the Okanagan, but don’t overlook them as they have 25 years of rich history and continually giving back to the land to make it better. Add Phantom Creek Estate to your next visit to Oliver, BC!

Websitehttps://phantomcreekestates.com/

To read the full article: Foodology

Phantom Creek Estates Announces 25th Anniversary of Prized Phantom Creek Vineyard

Advisor Wine Industry Network – Press Release – June 27, 2022

OLIVER, British Columbia (June 27, 2022) – The winemaking team at Phantom Creek Estates, the Okanagan Valley’s celebrated destination winery, is thrilled to announce the 25th anniversary of their award-winning Phantom Creek Vineyard along with a host of events and exclusive offerings to celebrate the occasion.  Established in 1996 by pioneering viticulturist Richard Cleave, Phantom Creek Vineyard is consistently recognized for producing some of the best red wines in Canada, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Located on the lower terrace of the southwest-facing Black Sage Bench, Phantom Creek Vineyard is perched slightly above the valley floor, ensuring full access to the warm afternoon sun.  The vineyard’s well-draining sandy soils are the result of streams that slowly deposited nutrient-rich sediment over thousands of years.  Wines from this eight-acre site have garnered over 85 awards in recent history.

“Phantom Creek Vineyard has always been planted with the aim to produce the highest quality fruit possible, and we’re proud to continue that tradition today at Phantom Creek Estates,” said Mark Beringer, director of winemaking at Phantom Creek Estates.  “The wines we craft from Phantom Creek Vineyard are our most notable as we take a hands-on approach from time spent caring for the terroir to hand-picking the fruit to barrel fermenting each block.  Phantom Creek Vineyard produces interesting, stand-out wines from its distinctive sandy soil terroir, and we’re excited to celebrate 25 years of its value to the Okanagan Valley winemaking history.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Phantom Creek Vineyards, the winery is hosting a series of celebratory events that launched in May of this year and will take place through September, including a monthly Phantom Creek Vineyard-focused dinner series in the winery’s Red Ferment room held on the last Wednesday and Thursday of each month.  The multi-course gourmet dinners will be paired with Phantom Creek Vineyard wines, and a member of the winemaking team will be present to educate guests.  Additionally, the winery will host special weekly walking tours and tastings in the vineyard and will present guests with the opportunity to elevate any wine tasting experience in the tasting room to include samplings of Phantom Creek Vineyard wines.

Furthering the festivities, the winery will host a special Soirée en Rouge event on Saturday, July 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Guests are requested to wear red while enjoying a unique tasting experience featuring a variety of tasting stations, a pig roast, and live music from local band, the Rann Berry Band.  Tickets are priced at $150 per person or $100 per person for wine club members and can be purchased via this link.

The winery is also debuting a new Summer Picnic offering which is available daily and is BYO (bring your own) blanket.  Reservations are required for the Summer Picnic, and wine bottles and charcuterie trays are available for purchase to enjoy in the winery’s outdoor lounge and amphitheater.  Lastly, the winery will be hosting a Summer Music Series every Friday, beginning May 20 through September 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with live music in the amphitheater featuring local musicians.  Tickets can be purchased via this link.

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by emailing [email protected], or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single-vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites, and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Mark Beringer and Olivier Humbrecht MW – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

To read the full article with photos: Advisor Wine Industry Network

SOUTH #OKANAGAN 2022 IWFS #WINE TOUR (PART 3)

The International Food & Wine Society – Sid Cross – June 20, 2022

Our final winery visit was the “piece de resistance” with an extensive tour, tasting, and outstanding lunch at PHANTOM CREEK ESTATES on the Black Sage Bench. The entrance into a most special place is noted by the welcoming exquisite two angels tall sculpture by Wu Ching Ju on our arrival. The Estate vineyards started in 1977 as the Becker Project are cleverly guided by Olivier Humbrecht MW organic/biodynamic master from Alsace. The winery founded by Richter Bai is a spectacular showpiece including the finest of everything from the 22 Austrian custom-made best Franz Stockinger (built a second plant to fulfill this remarkable order) oak casks to the beautifully crafted Dale Chihuly mouth-blown glass of 270 pieces chandelier in the Level One tasting room. Their amazing capable team also includes Director of Winemaking globally experienced Mark Beringer, and new attentive General Manager Bill Lui (also has One Faith Vineyards).

Reception was in the interesting History Room with framed soil profiles worth studying of their 4 different vineyard terroirs: Kobau, Evernden Spring, Becker, and Phantom Creek sipping 2019 VIOGNIER only 360 cases. It is from Kobau (gravel with cool afternoons) on the Golden Mile Bench using both stainless & oak in a fresh perfumed elegant textured style showing to advantage in the those classy German Stolzle Lausitz perfect glasses. Tasted 5 more wines:

RIESLING Estate 2019  $33 On elevated SW slopes in Okanagan Falls it is a salute to Alsace with the wonderful vibrant balanced mouth feel.

CHARDONNAY Small Lots Similkameen 2020 $48 Hot days cool nights for 16 Barrels fermented full cluster purchased grapes with partial malolactic fermentation shows strong fruit forward flavours at sensible 12.9 abv with some further development expected as it ages.

KOBAU CUVEE 2018 $80 From 2005 plantings on Golden Mile Bench of 45+ Merlot (savoury bramble), 35 Cab Franc (herbal spices + elegance), 19.5 Syrah (darker assertive fruit) co-fermented with Viognier at 14 abv. Spent 21 months in barrels of 45% new oak. Like the open raspberry violets aromas.

BECKER CUVEE 2016 $70 Merlot dominant Bordeaux blend showing success from late ripening of older vines with Cab Franc adding freshness at 14.5 abv with expressive interesting earthy almost mushroomy bouquet developing.

PHANTOM CREEK CUVEE 2018 $150 (Magnums $300) Best expression of their Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) dominant blend with Petite Verdot, Malbec, Cab Franc & Syrah for 21 months in 65% new French oak is powerful 14.5 abv has minty almost eucalyptus notes with bramble herbal blackberries and black pepper (more than bell pepper) and is a promising unique standard of what top Okanagan reds are capable of producing for cellaring.

Lunch was a tour-de-force culinary treat by talented Chef Alessa Valdez and her skilled brigade using local ingedients where possible to match the stellar wines produced. Ambitious lunch menu of excellent inspired choices including as shown artistic presentations of shaved root salad, killer burrata course, Halibut, and Duck Confit. Where are those new Michelin Guide investigators for Toronto when there is a worthy 3 star award Canadian winner right here in the Okanagan BC waiting to be crowned?

To read the full article with photos: The International Food & Wine Society

Wine Guy: Destined for Phantom Creek Estates

The Vancouver Sun – James Nevison – June 22, 2022

As the wine touring season kicks off, this is a definite destination winery in the South Okanagan

It’s good to have anchor points. Both literally and figuratively. Whether the North Star or a stable, go-to friend, these reference markers can provide confidence and direction. In wine, destination wineries are like anchor points. When Mission Hill Family Estate opened its landmark winery in 2002 it became a beacon for the Okanagan Valley. It was a defacto anchor point to base wine touring adventures around. Two decades later, as the wine touring season again kicks off, there is another destination winery in the South Okanagan: Black Sage Road’s Phantom Creek Estates.

Phantom Creek Estates 2019 Pinot Gris, British Columbia ($27.99, #58485)

What makes for a destination winery? Admittedly, it’s subjective. But providing a “wow factor” offers a good start, and there’s no denying the grandiose stature of Phantom Creek Estates. Fortunately, the wines in the bottle live up to the hype — marble sculptures, extravagantly elegant barrel room and VIP tasting room — and see the same level of attention to detail. Their Pinot Gris, for example, is fermented with Indigenous yeasts and rests 16 months in large-scale oak foudres, creating an amazingly layered nose of honeyed orchard fruit, flowers and subtle oak. It’s complex yet balanced and approachable, an elegant fish and seafood partner.

Bottom line: A, Contemplative patio sipper.

Phantom Creek Estates 2019 Petite Cuvée, British Columbia ($37.99, #457116)

After a couple of uncertain, pandemic-fuelled years, Phantom Creek Estates has truly returned to become a destination. This summer the winery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and its restaurant is currently offering lunch service Thursday to Monday. A number of tours and tastings are on offer (ranging from basic to extravagant) along with farmers’ markets and concerts throughout the summer. While there check out the Petite Cuvée, a gutsy red blend bringing together a myriad of grapes (Cabernet Franc is dominant at 42 per cent of the mix) in a bold and ripe, dark-fruited and savoury bottle crying out to be served with grilled ribeye or lamb — whether tonight or ideally in a few years.

Bottom line: B+, Bold, persistent red.

Phantom Creek Estates 2019 Becker Vineyard Cuvée No. 27, British Columbia ($60, available through the winery)

The first two wines are generally available at B.C. Liquor Stores, however Phantom Creek Estates offers a multitude of different bottles (another motivation to sip the wines in situ). Their Becker Vineyard Cuvée references the pioneering Becker Project, a late ’70s exploration led by Dr. Helmut Becker to determine the viability of growing quality wine grapes, vitis vinifera, in the Okanagan Valley. The Becker Vineyard is located on a higher-elevation stretch of the Black Sage Bench and is now planted to red varieties, represented in this cuvée by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carmenere, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s all dark fruit and dark chocolate, punchy yet elegant with some spice and toasty oak on a grippy, tannic finish.

Bottom line: A-, An anchor point red

To read the full article with photos: Vancouver Sun

Chef Alessa’s Signature Spice Rub Recipe

Dish:

Lamb skewers   

Recipe:

  • 16 ounces of Lamb sirloin or boneless lamb shoulder (cut into chunks)
  • 8 grams extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 grams phantom creek spice rub
  • 1 gram kosher salt
  • 1 gram ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Slice lamb into chunks, place in a dish and rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Mix kosher salt, ground black pepper, and phantom creek spice rub together and rub over meat. Cover and set aside for 4 hours in the fridge. Place 12 8-inch bamboo skewers in water.
  • Preheat grill to 350f. Drain the lamb, shaking off the excess marinade. Thread the lamb onto 4 long skewers, leaving a bit of room between the cubes. Brush the lamb with the oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes for medium-rare meat.
  • Serve with your favorite side

Review: Chef Alessa Valdez brings experience and talent to the Restaurant at Phantom Creek

The Vancouver Sun – Mia Stainsby – May 11, 2022

Where: Phantom Creek Estates, 4315 Black Sage Road, Oliver

When: Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday to Monday.

Info: phantomcreekestates.com

Alessa Valdez’s move to the Okanagan was interplanetary.

“I was in culture shock. I’m a city girl from Toronto. The nightlife here … there’s nothing open when I run to a store to get groceries. I’m still trying to adjust to that,” she says.

But then Valdez, the chef at Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estate, met Okanagan tomatoes. And corn. And potatoes. But it was the tomatoes that stole her heart.

“The produce is so beautiful here, so different. I’m slowly falling in love with the Okanagan,” Valdez says. “Now I like the quiet time to myself, the slower pace.”

And the Okanagan had better love this angel of gastronomy right back. She’s most certainly sealed the reputation of Phantom Creek Estates as not only a fine wine destination under winemaker Mark Beringer, the great-great grandson of one of the founders of the notable Napa’s Beringer Vineyards, but for the food as well.

I sure had a lot of love for the lunch and dinner I had there on a recent trip to wine country. Visually, it’s jewelry and her dishes blaze with refined simplicity and beguiling flavours. She’s been blessed with a benevolent muse.

Not that she hasn’t paid her dues. She previously worked at A-listed restaurants in Toronto such as Buca Yorkville, Alobar, Oliver & Bonacini’s Auberge de Pommiere and Canoe, as well as Top Chef Canada judge Janet Zuccarini’s Gusto 101.

There are plenty of mentors in that group of restaurants but perhaps her muse is her mother, whose Filipino cooking inspired her to pursue culinary arts in high school.

“Her cooking is so much better and I don’t want to disappoint her,” Valdez says.

Well, tell her that this critic swooned over lunch and dinner.

For those who haven’t visited Phantom Creek Estates, it’s a beauty. More angels — flowing, towering, winged white sculptures, repping mother earth and nature — welcome you to the property. A marble Helios sculpture, the Greek god of sun, looks towards one of the vineyards and the Egyptian limestone clad building is surrounded by vineyards.

Inside, three wine tasting areas have vineyard views in every direction. Downstairs, the Founder’s Cellar, which can accommodate tastings and private events for up to six people, has all the drama of a tentacled Dale Chihuly glass chandelier which reflects and encircles the glass walls of this circular room.

In summer, they’ll welcome the public to concerts in the outdoor amphitheatre where attendees can enjoy wine and charcuterie picnics.

Currently, the restaurant is only open for lunch and for private events in the Founder’s Cellar, or private rooms and patios for larger groups.

“The goal is to open seven days a week for lunch and dinner but we have high expectations to create a beautiful experience and we’re not just going to hire anyone,” says Valdez. “Staffing has been my biggest problem.”

For lunch, I started with a fresh-tasting root salad with tahini dressing followed by poached ling cod over sweet pea puree with cello radish, fennel, and nori beurre blanc. Flavours were radiant.

“I try to let ingredients speak for themselves and don’t want to mask the beautiful protein and vegetables we get from local farmers,” Valdez says.

For dessert, the Basque cheesecake was topped with mulled wine plum preserves. Those plums were delicious thanks to the royal spa treatment they receive in a lovely 2018 Phantom Creek Becker vineyard Merlot. Valdez sounded a little guilty about the splurge.

The lunch menu is three courses for $55, or $70 with wine matches.

A five-course winemaker private dinner I attended was exquisite.

The first course was swimming scallop crudo with Northern Divine caviar, vegetarian XO oil, and Chardonnay vinegar, with a chive balanced balletically on top.

The second course was mushroom duxelles ravioli with Parmesan foam and Perigord truffles. For the foam, Valdez steeped Parmesan rind in cream with garlic, shallots and herbs then shot it through a siphon gun.

The third course had me bowing in reverence before the chef. Figuratively speaking, but were she right there, it would have been literally. An elegant rectangular sliced terrine revealed layers of honeyed beet gelée, foie gras and duck terrine with preserved pear and vibrant pops of sea buckthorn berries running along the top. The foie gras turned velveteen with a stint in the sous vide before going through a tami for a creamy, light-as-aIr texture. The terrine was served with toasted brioche slices cut to the exact same dimensions.

Next, a Brant Lake wagyu rib-eye with potato pavé, heirloom carrots, charred shallots and Bordelaise sauce. The wagyu was utterly delicious and the potato pavé had a bronzed, caramelized sear, top and bottom.

For dessert, choux pastry with pecan mousseline, pecan praline and pickled Saskatoon berry along with a plate of local cheeses.

Obviously, Valdez hunts for great ingredients which aren’t hard to find in the Okanagan and some of it is grown on the property, thanks to the passionate viticulturist, Amy Richards.

“The garden is a minute away,” says Valdez. “It’s pretty big but I wish it were bigger. The tomatoes, I kid you not, were THE best tomatoes I’ve ever had. I couldn’t believe it, picking it off the vine and popping it in my mouth.”

Last year’s haul yielded zucchini, corn, radishes, herbs, watermelon, edible flowers and those tomatoes.

“I’d go to the garden before a shift and harvest. It’s so relaxing.”

When I mention her beautiful plating, she says, “That’s so funny. I cannot draw for the life of me.”

For food ideas, she checks out what other chefs are doing online.

“Then I ask myself, how can I make it better? I’m about vibrant colours and textures.”

The winery offers many tour and tasting options — wines only, wine and food, winery and vineyard tour and tasting, Founder’s Cellar tasting with Library and exclusive wines, Founder’s Cellar tour and five-course wine-tasting dinner. All require prior booking.

To read the full article with photos: Vancouver Sun

John Schreiner on wine: Phantom Creek Estates raises the bar.

johnschreiner.blogspot.com – John Schreiner – April 16, 2022

If ever a winery has raised the bar for south Okanagan wineries – and the bar is already high – it is Richter Bai’s Phantom Creek Estates. As the following notes indicate, the quality of the wines is impeccable. The scores are comparable to Anthony von Mandl’s CheckMate Artisanal Winery, which just happens to get some of its fruit from vineyards neighbouring Phantom Creek’s vineyards. Obviously, great terroir makes great wine. Phantom Creek, which made its first vintage in 2016, is now producing 5,000 casers a year, with considerable potential to grow. The winery has 81 acres of vineyards in production along with 113 acres under development, both in the Okanagan and the Similkameen Valleys.

Richter Bai, a Chinese-born entrepreneur, also rivals von Mandl in another way. For more than 20 years, the Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna has been the destination winery in the north Okanagan, with its iconic bell tower, its artwork, its fine restaurant, its outdoor concerts and its extensive portfolio of fine wines.

Phantom Creek has emerged as the destination winery in the south. An imposing sculpture of Helios, the sun god to the ancient Greeks, which greets visitors, was created in Italian marble by Emily Young, an artist described as Britain’s “greatest living stone sculptor.” And that is just for starters. The VIP tasting room is dominated by a glorious Dale Chihuly glass sculpture. He is an American artist with a considerable following. The tasting room and the restaurant both have great views over the Okanagan Valley. There are summer markets on the estate. This year, the winery has scheduled 15 concerts.

The wines reviewed here are but a small sample of Phantom Creek’s extensive portfolio. What struck me about the red wines in this sample is that all are anchored on Cabernet Franc. That varietal did not have a significant profile for many years, largely because of the greater acreage of Merlot. CheckMate, as an example, settled on Merlot as its red varietal because far more of that is grown in its vineyards than either Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. Phantom Creek’s vineyards appear to be growing a bigger range of varietals. In any event, it has never been Phantom Creek’s strategy to focus on just two varietals.

Here are notes on the wines.

Phantom Creek Riesling 2019 ($33 for 260 cases). This wine was fermented with indigenous yeast in the winery’s Stockinger (Austrian) oak casks. It is a delicious wine, with aromas of quince and citrus and flavours of citrus and guava. If anything, the exotic tropical fruit has submerged the varietal character of Riesling. But if you can live without the usual racy characters of Riesling, this wine will not disappoint. 91.

Phantom Creek Pinot Gris 2019 ($27.49 for 500 cases). This wine is listed in the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. This wine, which was aged 16 months in an oak foudre, presents in the glass with light golden hue. It begins with aromas of spicy oak mingled with pear and pineapple. On the palate, the wine has a rich honeyed texture with flavours of ripe pear and pineapple and a lingering finish. 93.

Phantom Creek Chardonnay 2020 ($48 for 16 barrels). This is a wine club exclusive. There is a superb balance of fruit and oak so that the fruit remains the star of this elegant wine. It has aromas and spicy flavours of butter, ripe peaches, apricots and tropical fruits. 93.

Phantom Creek Petite Cuvée No. 4 2019 ($37.99). This is listed in the BCLDB. The wine was aged 20 months in oak (43% new). The blend is 42% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Syrah. This wine begins with aromas of cassis and dark cherry. Bold and ripe on the palate, the wine delivers flavours of dark cherry, blackberry and chocolate. The long, ripe tannins give the wine a persistent finish. 94.

Phantom Creek Becker Vineyard Cuvée No. 27 2019 ($60 for 40 barrels). This vineyard is on the Black Sage Bench near the winery. This wine was aged 19 months in oak (50% new). The blend is 55% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot, 9% Carménère, 7% Syrah and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine begins with aromas of cassis and cherry. On the palate, there are flavours of blackberry, black cherry, black currant and dark chocolate. The firm texture suggests this wine is a candidate for cellaring. The finish lingers. 93.

Phantom Creek Kobau Vineyard Cuvée No. 15 2019 ($80 for 40 barrels). This is a wine from the Golden Mile and is a credit to the appellation. It was aged 20 months in oak (36% new). The blend is 69% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot and 4% Syrah. It is ripe and rich, with aromas of black cherry, black currant and spice. There are layers of flavour on the palate: black cherry, black currant, coffee and chocolate. The finish is very long. 95.

To read the full article with photos: John Schreiner on wine

Travel & Leisure: The Best Places to Travel in June 2022

Travel & Leisure – Patricia Doherty, April 5, 2022

Summer arrives in June, and with it, plans for vacations and travel. Festivals are on the schedule again, and favorite summer destinations like Mackinac Island and Alaska are expecting plentiful guests. With many vacationers staying close to home, we’re suggesting domestic destinations that will be sure to see first-time visitors this year.

International travel is on the rise, and we’re offering some places that are lovely during this season, with much to do and see. As spring turns to summer, we hope your thoughts will turn to planning your own holiday travel.

Related: More summer vacation ideas

Nashville, Tennessee

There’s always something happening in Music City, and this June will see the return of CMA Fest from June 9-12 at stages throughout Nashville. Daytime activities and outdoor stages are free and open to the public. Learn about Nashville’s role in the Civil Rights Movement with Tours by Locals and acclaimed historian David Steel E. Be one of the first at the new Conrad Nashville, opening in May 2022, less than five minutes from Music Row. Excellent places to stay also include Holston HouseBobby HotelThe Westin NashvilleThe Joseph, and Bode Nashville. Or choose a rental from Vacasa, like Illume 305 or Cumberland Cool, for a small group. Don’t miss Nashville’s great food, from hot chicken at Party Fowl to a modern American culinary experience at Saint Stephen with James Beard award-winner, Chef R.J. Cooper.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

June’s late spring weather is perfect for getting to know Philadelphia, spending time among historic landmarks, and enjoying special events like the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. The nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event will be held outdoors at FDR Park from June 11-18. For young travelers, there’s the Philadelphia Zoo, the Please Touch Museum, and Franklin Square, with miniature golf, a carousel, and the Franklin Square Fountain. Places to stay include The Rittenhouse Hotel with famed restaurant LacroixLoews Philadelphia Hotel is set in the historic PSFS Bank building. The chic W Philadelphia offers a rooftop pool, spa, and fitness center.

Hvar, Croatia

This island in the Adriatic off the Dalmatian Coast boasts sunny beaches, ancient cobblestone streets, and archaeological remains of the many civilizations that have inhabited the island throughout its history. The surrounding sea offers sailing, kayaking, and gorgeous waterfront views. Hvar has been a source of excellent wine since the first vines were planted there more than two thousand years ago. Summer season attracts celebrities, beach lovers, and visitors to the annual Hvar Summer Festival in June. Riva Marina, a historic waterfront hotel in Hvar Town, is completing a major renovation with plans to reopen on June 1. United Airlines will begin seasonal non-stop flights between Newark Airport and Dubrovnik (a ferry trip from Hvar) on May 27, with four weekly departures from Newark.

Alaska

Warm weather and long days with about 18 hours of sunlight make June a great time for outdoor activities and wildlife sightings — two of many thrills of a trip to Alaska. See Alaska aboard an expedition ship with Hurtigruten Expeditions, and choose from a variety of itineraries departing from Vancouver or Anchorage. In Anchorage, Alyeska Resort offers a luxury experience with spa, pool, fitness center, and world-class dining. If you’re after a fishing experience, head to Ketchikan’s waterfront Salmon Falls Fishing Resort, where you’ll find great food and all the gear you’ll need for reeling in and taking home your catch — conveniently processed, packed, and ready to travel.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

This charming island destination is opening for the summer season, and lilacs are blooming. The festival honoring the fragrant flowers takes place from June 3-12, with a 10K run and a grand parade. There are no cars on the island — a real plus this year — and visitors get around by bike, horse-drawn carriage, or on foot. It’s a romantic destination for couples and fun for families with boating, fishing, exploring, and more. A range of lodging includes hotels, B&Bs, cottages, condos, and classic resorts. Family-owned and operated Mission Point Resort is set on 18 waterfront acres with six restaurants, spa, and a variety of activities. The historic Grand Hotel features guest rooms, suites, and the four-bedroom Masco Cottage, as well as spa, salon, and golf on The Jewel.

Tahiti

Winter in this Southern Hemisphere destination brings little rain and temperatures in the mid-80s. Sounds perfect? Add clear, warm seas, lush vegetation, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and delightful people welcoming you to their beautiful islands — more than 100 in all. Tahiti comes to mind when we think of South Pacific islands. It’s the largest of the Society Islands and usually the starting point for exploring the Tuamotu ArchipelagoGambier Islands, the Marquesas, the Austral Islands, and the other Society Islands that include Bora Bora and Moorea. Places to stay range from luxury overwater bungalows to affordable guest houses, for an authentic island experience. Getting to French Polynesia doesn’t have to break the bank with flights from major U.S. cities on French Bee. As an example, one-way flights from San Francisco to Tahiti start at $329.

London, United Kingdom

Be part of the Platinum Jubilee holiday from June 2-5 celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years as monarch, the longest reign in the nation’s history, with parades, concerts, pageants, and more. June’s festivities also include the annual Trooping the Colour, a display of pageantry with the military, horses, musicians, and Queen Elizabeth in a procession down The Mall from Buckingham Palace. The famed Wimbledon Tennis Championship will take place from June 27-July 10. Come for these special events, but stay to enjoy all Great Britain has to offer — tradition, culture, history, the outdoors, and festivals. The Hampton Court Palace Festival features outdoor concerts throughout June at King Henry VIII’s historic Tudor palace. Lovely places to stay include The Stafford LondonThe Mayfair TownhouseThe Dorchester, and The Beaumont, and you can also choose accommodations from pubs to hostels and campsites.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Located in southeast Tennessee near the Georgia border, Chattanooga is set along the Tennessee River, where the Riverwalk provides restaurants, boat ramps, and natural beauty. The Tennessee Aquarium is celebrating 30 years, and the Chattanooga Zoo will soon reach a milestone with its 85th anniversary. The historic Bluff View Art District, high atop stone cliffs, features galleries, gardens, restaurants, coffee shops, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and stunning views of the river and downtown. Other museums to put on your itinerary include The National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Bessie Smith Cultural CenterSongbirds Center, and the Chattanooga Selfie Museum — for plenty of Instagrammable backgrounds. There’s plenty to do outdoors, too, so don’t miss Lookout Mountain and Raccoon Mountain Caverns. June brings the Riverbend Festival from June 3-5 and weekly Nightfall Concert Series every Friday evening.

Lexington, Kentucky

The Horse Capital of the World, Lexington is home to more than 450 horse farms, famed Keeneland Racecourse, tours, carriage rides, and of course, horseback riding. Bourbon fans know Lexington’s distilleries and its history dating back hundreds of years. No matter which of Lexington’s many attractions are on your list, you’ll want to know about SoulFeast Restaurant Week, June 20-26, celebrating the city’s Black cuisine, and downtown’s Juneteenth Festival on June 18 with music, art, food, and chef demonstrations. Choose your lodging from Lexington’s many options that include the new boutique Elwood Hotel & SuitesThe Origin Hotel21c Museum Hotel, and the Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.

San Luis Obispo, California

This Central Coast town about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco is a great destination itself or an ideal place to stop for a few days on a California road trip along beautiful Highway One. Home of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the town offers museums, restaurants, breweries, a well-preserved mission, beaches, and a variety of outdoor activities. Rich in culture, the town hosts an annual film festival and Museum of Art. In the middle of California’s Central Coast wine country, SLO (as locals call it) features tasting rooms, wine trails, and miles of scenic vineyards. Stay at the Hotel San Luis Obispo, with a spa, restaurants, and convenient location. Hotel Cerro features spacious guest rooms, eight residences, spa, rooftop pool, and casual French brasserie.

Tel Aviv, Israel

This Mediterranean beach destination is set along nine miles of shoreline with a promenade boasting restaurants, cafes, and a popular path for biking and strolling. Known for its lively nightlife, Tel Aviv’s jazz clubs and cocktail lounges are filled with revelers into the late hours. Historic architecture, delicious cuisine, theater, and a world-class Museum of Art are other attractions. In June, Tel Aviv PRIDE celebrations see thousands of visitors from around the world gathering from June 8-12, with a parade planned for June 10, marking the 23rd anniversary of the city’s first pride parade. In the heart of Tel Aviv, The Norman was converted from two historic buildings and features 30 guest rooms, 20 suites, and the restaurant ALENA. Newly opened this spring, The David Kempinski Tel Aviv offers 250 rooms, most with sea views, including 56 suites and a three-floor penthouse.

Luberon, Provence, France

As beautiful as it sounds, the south of France is even more stunning in June as lavender fields scent the air and color the rolling hills with pale purple blooms. Visitors tour lavender farms and come away with souvenirs of products made from the fragrant blossoms. In the heart of Provence, Luberon is also home to vineyards, markets, castles, and charming villages to explore. Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa, set on a 100-acre estate with vineyards and olive groves, offers spacious rooms and suites, restaurants, and Spa Coquillade, with treatments that include lavender oil and products from the vineyards. The Relais & Chateaux property is the ultimate home base for a luxurious visit to Provence in June.

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Coldstream Kalamalka Lake Okanagan Valley British Columbia

CREDIT: NALIDSA SUKPRASERT/GETTY IMAGES

A snow sports destination in winter and popular vacation spot in summer, the Okanagan Valley is known for farms, orchards, vineyards, lakes, and pine forests. Visit in June when the snow has melted and summer vacationers have not yet arrived in full force. The valley is British Columbia’s premier grape growing region as well as home to distilleries, cideries, and breweries. Wines produced there include chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, and many other varietals. At Phantom Creek Estates, the first vines were planted nearly fifty years ago, and the winery now produces Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites, Viognier, and syrah. Stay at pet-friendly Spirit Ridge Lake Resort with a spa, golf, and Nk’Mip Cellars, the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America.

To read the full article with photos: Travel and Leisure

Announcing Western Living’s 2022 Foodies of the Year Finalists

Western Living Magazine – Neil McLennan, March 25, 2022

Well, it was another odd year with more ups and downs than anyone was looking for. But as usual the industry—chefs, owners, educators, activists, farmers and business people—figured out a way to make things work in imperfect circumstances. 

Our top 10 FOTY winners will be announced on May 9 on westernliving.ca (keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for updates). They’ll also be featured with portraits and essays in Western Living’s May/June 2022 issue.

So please join us in raising a glass in honour of our 2022 Foodies of the Year Finalists: these are 40 of the tastemakers, innovators and damn-good cooks who wowed our editorial team.

Congratulations to each and every one of you.

1. Tushar Tondvalkar (The Indian Pantry, Vancouver)
This founder is decolonizing Indian food with his Indian Pantry line as well as through his pop-ups and ghost kitchens, Urban Tadka and Frankie Street Wraps.

2. Mike Bernardo and Carole Morton (Naramata General Store, Naramata)
The former head somm at the Vij’s group joins with Morton to bring us the perfect wine country store—proper cheese, charcuterie, tough-to-find bottles.

3. Ryan and Jen Hawk (Wayne and Freda, Penticton)
Is the West’s most perfect coffee shop—friendly but cool, elevated yet approachable—located in humble Penticton?

4. Kenyon Family (District Wine Village, Osoyoos)
The brains behind the Okanagan’s one-stop destination have created the ability to visit 10 tasting rooms at once—from Nk’Mip to One Faith. Perfect for wine touring in a time crunch.

5. Sarah Goodman (Chiwis, Squamish)
Goodman, a trained nutritionist, launched her healthy chips made from fruit mid-pandemic—and they’re now available across Canada and have legions of devotees.

6. Aki Kaltenbach (Save da Sea, Vancouver)
Kaltenbach’s first product, a plant-based “smoked salmon” made from carrots, uses simple ingredients—including locally sourced bull kelp and Omega-3s from flax oil—to create a smoky, savoury, delicious alternative. Now available in over 150 outlets across the country.

7. Ayissi Nyemba (Emkao Foods, Mission)
The launch of Canada’s only single-source, traceable, sustainable chocolate products made from organic cacao beans has transformed what it means to produce chocolate at every stage of the supply chain. Nyemba uses a direct-trade model and has committed to leading the most sustainable and ethical chocolate maker in Canada.

8. James and Cammy Lockwood (Lockwood Farms, Cowichan Valley)
In the past decade, this pair has gone from newbie farmers to supplying much of Vancouver Island’s restaurants with the freshest, most lovingly grown produce around.

9. Rod Olson (YYC Growers, Calgary)
Through this farmer-owned cooperative, Olson is highlighting the importance of supporting local farmers and is bringing education on topics from improving your diet to improving the soil.

10. Greg Dilabio and Antoine Dumont (Oca Pastificio, Vancouver)
The line between FOH (Dumont) and BOH (Dilabio) is about 12 feet at this jewel-box ode to fresh pasta that snagged Best New at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards last year.

11. Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside (DachiElephant, Vancouver)
There may not be any two people more loved within their industry than this pair. Dachi is the de facto clubhouse for Vancouver restaurant folk while the new Elephant draws the high-end tasting meal crowd.

12. Jennifer Keith and Luke Butterworth (JustCook Kitchens, Edmonton)
This pair of UofA MBAs dreamed of a space where a multitude of the city’s young chefs could operate in a slick food-hall setting.

13. Dustin Dockendorf (Autostrada, Vancouver)
Previous Foodie of the Year award winner Lucais Syme rules the back of house at the juggernaut that is Autostrada, but it’s Dockendorf who keeps the trains running and the smiles big at all three spaces (plus Capo and the Spritz at the Opus Hotel).

14. Jesse Dame (Wind Cries Mary, Victoria)
The casual Bastion Square spot has captured the attention of the local foodie crowd by keeping things simple—“elevated cabin fare”—with housemade sausage, local produce and late hours that see other industry folks stopping by after their shifts.

15. Rudy Tomazic (Friends of Dorothy, Victoria/Kelowna)
Victoria’s hopping LGBTQ2+ spot follows on the heels of the original location in the more right-leaning Kelowna. The hyper-inclusive space has become famous for their drag brunches and dramatic interiors.

16. Garrett Bruce Martin (Concorde Entertainment, Calgary)
The opening of the uber-popular Major Tom marks the 18th room in this conglomerate that seems anything but a conglomerate, thanks to Martin, the group’s Culinary Director, making sure each addition has a distinctive personality.

17. Tommy Pang (Chef’s Choice, Vancouver)
The nondescript name on a nondescript stretch of Broadway belies that this Cantonese spot is the most vibrant and exciting Chinese restaurant to open in Vancouver in years thanks to Pang’s deft handling of the classics.

18. Alessa Valdez (The Restaurant at Phantom Creek, Oliver)
Expectations for the jaw-dropping spectacle that is Phantom Creek are perennially high, but chef Valdez has been wowing them with the most refined, inventive (and, yes, expensive) food in the South Okanagan.

19. Jian Cheng (Nancy Go Yaya, Vancouver)
Cheng’s modern Singaporean cuisine (a heretofore underrepresented genre in the West’s repertoire) has been line-up inducing since day one, launching a new generation of eaters who crave roti john and other regional calling cards.

20. Paul Moran (1909 Kitchen, Tofino)
The Top Chef Canada winner (S7) has been killing it at Moran’s marinaside 1909 Kitchen for the past few years. Last year, he launched Wild Origins, a line of dried wild foods that captures the essence of the wild West Coast.

21. Nutcha Phanthoupheng (Baan Lao, Richmond)
Opening a restaurant during COVID was bold; opening a $190 tasting menu of royal Thai cuisine in sleepy Steveston, B.C., seems even more so. But Chef Phanthoupheng has made this daring spot a destination for Lower Mainland food lovers.

22. Roni Zaide (Roni’s Kitchen, Calgary)
The Calgary culinary educator released her first cookbook on the eve of the pandemic and it, along with her online classes, has brought her passion for vegetarian cooking to a new audience of locked-down fans.

23. Scott Iserhoff (Pei Pei Chei Ow Catering, Edmonton)
The Mushkego Cree chef brings contemporary Indigenous catering to Edmonton and delivers food stories along with a deep dive into local ingredients. In his time off, Iserhoff sells jams and bannock mixes with the Indigenous Artisan Market Collective.

24. Anastasia Kiku and Jason Hawkins (Reusables, Vancouver)
When the pandemic began, Kiku and Hawkins saw the garbage start to pile up—and stepped in by developing a more sustainable solution than wasteful single-use takeout containers.

25. Aart Schuurman Hess (Goodly, Vancouver)
The CEO and former bank director has been tackling food waste through the rapidly growing Goodly, which transforms surplus produce donated by suppliers and farmers into a range of soups that taste great and save the planet at the same time.

26. Jeff Guignard (ABLE BC, Vancouver)
Guignard used his experience as a parliamentary chief of staff to wrest the ability to buy liquor at wholesale prices from the B.C. liquor control board—and in doing so had a significant and ongoing impact on the financial health of every restaurant in the province.

27. Dana Lee Harris (BC Hospitality Foundation, Vancouver)
The wine industry insider spent five years leading the BCHF to become a groundbreaker in supporting the underrepresented hospitality industry, and was a shining example for many once the pandemic hit.

28. Craig McIntosh and Carissa Campeotto (Trendi, Vancouver)
The Vancouver-based startup uses AI-driven robotics to help the farm and food industry rescue and upcycle food waste into nutrient-dense products that can be widely distributed to both Canadians facing food insecurity and the wider consumer market.

29. Don Guthro and Quang Dang (D.I.C.E.D. Culinary, Vancouver)
Chef/activist Guthro has been helping underprivileged candidates enter culinary school since 2011 and adding Dang (West) to his casual but beloved D.I.C.E.D. Café near Vancouver’s Jericho Beach has brought a whole new lens of attention to his great social endeavour.

30. Maude Renaud-Brisson (Apero Mode, Vancouver)
In the suddenly crowded world that is wine subscription boxes, it’s this transplanted Quebecker’s knack for finding wines that are cool (and cool-climate) but also broadly accessible that has set her apart from the competition.

31. Emily Walker (Naramata Inn, Okanagan)
Walker left several high-profile jobs in Vancouver (Four Seasons) to raise her family back in the interior and has now landed perhaps her highest-profile gig yet—curating the superlative list at Naramata Inn, where she is sussing out the most interesting wines in the Valley.

32. Faaiza Ramji and Lindsey Good (Field Notes, Edmonton)
When an entrepreneur curious about what the Prairies hold (Ramji) partners with the owner of a 100-year-old farm in southern Alberta who is passionate about turning our crops into more products the world can enjoy (Good), the result is one of the most unique success stories of the pandemic—a pea-based amaro that’s been flying off the shelves.

33. Gurpreet Ranu (Anohka Distillery, Stony Plain)
South Asians have traditionally been underrepresented in Canada’s craft distilling industry, but that didn’t stop Ranu, who not only launched his strikingly modern distillery just west of Edmonton but also managed to snag Best Canadian Dry Gin at the recent World Gin Awards.

34. John and Cathy Windsor (Devine Distillery, Saanich)
Devine has been at the centre of craft distilling for a decade, but although they said goodbye to industry legend Ken Winchester they have still managed to snag top spot in the Canadian Craft Distilling Awards with their genre-bending Ancient Grains Whisky.

35. James Grant (Little Hong Kong, Edmonton)
The Edmonton barkeep did the impossible—he brought home yet another World Class Global Best Bartender in the World award (a feat previously accomplished by previous Foodie of the Year winner Kaitlyn Stewart in 2017) for his grace under pressure in the industry-leading competition.

36. Dinah Santos, Brock Coutts, Mike Borgford, and Mike McCallum (Patent 5 Distillers, Winnipeg)
The Exchange District distillery has always used cool local ingredients (like saskatoons to make an Old Tom-style gin), but it’s their ready-to-drink cocktails that are bringing their talents to those beyond the bricks-and-mortar location.

37. Taylor Whelan (CedarCreek Estate Winery, Kelowna)
Winemaker Whelan has overseen CedarCreek’s transformation from a well-known winery making reliable bottles to a juggernaut whose Platinum Level releases have risen to the ranks of the most desirable and lauded wines in the country.

38. Omar Mouallem (The Last Baron, Edmonton)
The Edmonton writer (and, full disclosure, former WL contributor) followed up on his award-winning article on the phenomena that is Burger Baron with a full-length documentary on CBC that merged the Lebanese diaspora with rural Alberta and dove deep into the origin myth behind the quirky chain.

39. Kyla Pascal and Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon (Hungry Zine, Edmonton)
This new zine has put its focus on the food justice stories from diverse identities that have been absent from mainstream food media.

40. Mike and Jannah Haas (Angry BBQ, Regina)
This pair of diehard BBQ fans have become a go-to resource for buying guides and recipes for those who love the smoke.

To read the full article with photos: Western Living Magazine

The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates is one of the best places I’ve eaten – anywhere – this year

The Globe and Mail – Alexandra Gill, November 2021

Don’t despair if your plans for an Okanagan wine holiday went up in wildfire flames last summer.

As I recently discovered on a satiating jaunt to the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valley, many wineries will remain open for winter. And the south, which previously offered a dining landscape as arid as the climate, is awash in fantastic new culinary experiences.

No matter when you visit, be sure to include the Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates, where I joyfully devoured one of the best meals I’ve eaten – anywhere – this year.

The estate itself, which opened in the summer of 2019 and is owned by Vancouver businessman Richter Bai, is a stunning spectacle of monumental ambition. The terraced building, designed by noted winery architect John Taft, is subtly clad in pale-sand Egyptian limestone and studded with grand art installations, including two angelic winged sculptures by Taiwan’s Wu Ching Ju.

A dazzling reception area, which boasts three sleek tasting rooms and an outdoor amphitheatre, offers panoramic views of the Black Sage Bench and beyond. Two of the estate’s five vineyards (Becker and Phantom Creek) have historic importance; all are now certified organic and are on their way to becoming biodynamic.

A state-of-art, gravity-fed winery equipped with huge Stockinger foudres and optical sorters, specializes in Bordeaux reds and Alsatian whites. It’s overseen by the new director of winemaking, Mark Beringer, (scion of the Napa Valley dynasty) and several international superstars including Olivier Humbrecht, France’s first Master of Wine.

The first time I visited Phantom Creek, around this time last year, I enjoyed the five-course Founder’s Cellar Experience in a glass-walled private room crowned with a custom Dale Chihuly chandelier. Chef Sarah Fiore had just joined the winery, after a spending a year in New York working at the one-Michelin-starred Estela. Originally from Toronto, she started at Rob Gentile’s Buca Osteria & Enoteca as a high-school co-op student and worked her way up to sous chef at Buca Yorkville. Ms. Fiore, who is currently on leave (hopefully not for long), recruited sous chef Alessa Valdez, who also worked at Buca Yorkville, opened Toronto’s Alobar and was at Gusto 101 before moving to the Okanagan this year. Ms. Fiore’s talent was obvious from my first bites of expertly rendered foie gras torchon and duck ballotine, both beautifully accented with stone-fruit preserves to showcase the big red wines.

But at the new restaurant, which opened in June, the two chefs have blossomed into a tight team, creating culinary works of art that are simply spectacular. The dishes are gorgeously plated. A pear and kohlrabi salad looked like an elegant floral bouquet with wide, green-edged petals folded over charred starkrimson pears tossed in chardonnay vinaigrette. The delicate arrangement was set on a pedestal of creamed nutmeg-scented marcona almonds and dusted in goat cheese.

They highlight fabulous local ingredients, including a gently weeping round of burrata from Tanto Latte in Salmon Arm, which was framed by layers of sugar pumpkin – charred wedges, roasted seeds and more wide petals (thinly shaved on a meat slicer and hot pickled with warm spices).

Exquisitely balanced flavours popped with bright acidity, such as tartly pickled saskatoon berries that lifted a rich red-wine-braised short rib. Or the standout poached albacore tuna, which was buttery, spicy, sweet and just wow with a punch of gingery vegan XO sauce (borrowed from Alobar).

Contrasting textures helped build unexpected flavours into mouth-dancing symphonies: Crispy beef tendon added air-puffy chew and a peppery Espelette whip to paper-thin carpaccio dressed with quail yolk, caper berries and purple radish cress; the crunchy frills of grilled Savoy cabbage rubbed with anchovy butter knocked poached ling cod finished with nori beurre blanc out of the park; velvety semifreddo churned with coconut cream, folded with blitzed nectarines and drizzled with habanero honey crackled to the last bite with crumbled amaretti.

There wasn’t a single dish that didn’t surprise and delight. The wine pairings were exquisite. Service was friendly and flawless.

In contrast to the rest of the art-dappled winery, the 40-seat dining room felt almost plainly understated – except for the view of the valley, which is breathtaking.

But with food this good, the focus on the plate is right where it should be.

To read the full article with photos: The Globe and Mail

Phantom Creek Estates Offers Bespoke Private Air Travel Experiences

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Destination Winery Offers Guests A Unique Opportunity to Experience the Okanagan Valley Like Never Before

OLIVER, British Columbia (October 25, 2021) – On the heels of achieving organic certification for all its vineyard sites and unveiling a new Business Club, Phantom Creek Estates, the Okanagan Valley’s celebrated destination winery, is thrilled to announce a host of new private air travel experiences tailored specifically for its guests.  The winery has partnered with several luxury providers and experts in private aviation to curate unforgettable private trips and experiences to the wine estate, all available upon request.  Departing from anywhere around the world, including surrounding Canadian markets such as Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, and Toronto, these private air travel experiences offer the highest standards of luxury, safety, and comfort.

Available aircrafts are based on departure points and provider, but a sampling can be found below:

  • Challenger, Jet Charter – Passenger Capacity: 10, Cruising Speed: 528 mph, Range: 4692 sm.
  • HondaJet, Jet Charter – Passenger Capacity: 5, Cruising Speed: 485 mph, Range: 1600 sm.
  • Caravan, Float Plane Charter – Passenger Capacity: 5, Cruising Speed: 485 mph, Range: 1600 sm.
  • Bell 407, Helicopter Charter – Passenger Capacity: 5, Cruising Speed: 485 mph, Range: 1600 sm.
  • AW139 Helicopter, Helicopter Charter – Passenger Capacity: 5, Cruising Speed: 485 mph, Range: 1600 sm.
  • Learjet 75, Jet Charter – Passenger Capacity: 5, Cruising Speed: 485 mph, Range: 1600 sm.

To book a specially curated private airfare experience with Phantom Creek Estates, guests should complete this form.  Acting as a concierge, Phantom Creek Estates works with a third-party service to custom-build each experience to meet guests’ requirements. As such, private flights are only available upon request, requiring advance bookings of seven to ten business days.  Pricing will vary depending on the origin, aircraft chosen, and number of guests.

For those seeking an additional aerial adventure upon arrival to Phantom Creek Estates, guests have the option to book the Heli Tour & Tasting – a one hour-long helicopter tour designed to showcase the South Okanagan Valley’s terroir from new heights.  Following the breathtaking excursion, guests will be escorted on a private tour of Phantom Creek Estates by a Senior Brand Ambassador, who will complete the visual story of the region in the History Room with an overview of the historic vineyard sites they just witnessed on the Black Sage Bench, the Golden Mile, and the Similkameen Valley.  From there, guests will experience Phantom Creek Estates’ curated art installations and learn about the winery’s commitment to organic and biodynamic farming practices before venturing into the cellar for an insider’s look at the winemaking process.

The tour will culminate in a full wine tasting in one of Phantom Creek Estates’ VIP tasting suites, overlooking unobstructed views of the South Okanagan.  The Heli Tour & Tasting experience starts at $475 per person.  To book this offering, guests can visit this link.

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Media contacts:  Anahita Pouget, Director of Sales & Marketing, [email protected] or to book: [email protected] .

Nine British Columbia Wines that you need in your collection right now

Nine British Columbia wines that you need in your collection right now – The Globe and Mail

More than 350 wineries spread across British Columbia are actively monitoring their vineyards, looking for signs that it’s time to harvest grapes to make the 2021 vintage. Vintners are keeping tabs on sugar and acidity levels – sugar levels increase and acidity decreases as grape ripen – as well as flavour and seed development in a bid to determine the best moment to bring in their fruit. This year’s harvest got off to its earliest start on record in August, but rain and
cooler temperatures have slowed things somewhat.

With more than 80 different varieties planted in more than 900 vineyards that spill over more than 10,000 acres, there’s a lot of ground to cover – and it’s impossible to make blanket statements regarding B.C.’s wine country. Conditions in the Okanagan change dramatically from Vernon to Osoyoos, which is home to more than 80 per cent of the province’s vineyards, to say nothing of differences between Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley and the Lillooet. That said, an almost-universal theme this year is that wineries are facing a third short crop in a row.

Due to unseasonably hot temperatures when grape vines were flowering, fewer clusters of grapes formed. Winemakers are happy with the quality potential they’re seeing, but they wish grapes were more plentiful. There are also continuing concerns about potential issues with the quality of the wines due to exposure to smoke created by this summer’s wildfires. Last year, the yields in the Okanagan Valley, and the other interior regions, were down by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

Running short at a time when interest in the wines made in B.C. continues to increase – both across Canada and internationally – means that consumers will need to monitor the releases from their favourite wineries almost as closely as the vintners watched their vineyards come to fruition.

This week’s recommendations feature nine wines from B.C., many of which were tasted last week during The Globe and Mail’s Okanagan Valley Wine Tour.

Phantom Creek Estates Merlot 2018 (Canada), $42

This refined and fruity expression of merlot is produced from Phantom Creek’s vineyards on the Black Sage and Golden Mile benches in the southern Okanagan. There’s a charming mix of floral and spice notes that adds interest to the ripe core of dark fruit. A supple texture and nicely balanced structure (thanks to fresh acidity that counters the sweet ripe fruit flavours) make it approachable now, but I suspect this will reward your patience if you choose to cellar some bottles to enjoy later. Drink now to 2030. Available direct through phantomcreekestates.com.

Phantom Creek Estates Launches Exclusive Business Club

Celebrated Okanagan Valley Winery Unveils Unique Wine Club for Businesses; Incentives Designed to Attract New Clients and Thrill Wine-Loving Employees

OLIVER, British Columbia (September 20, 2021) – Phantom Creek Estates, the premier wine destination in the Okanagan Valley, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Business Club, a wine club designed specifically to serve the interests of corporate clients.  Offering a wide variety of transferable benefits, including access to exclusive wines, entry to the winery’s stunning special events spaces, and complimentary experiences for employees and clients, the Business Club at Phantom Creek Estates represents a step up from traditional clubs.  Whether the goal is to incentivize buyers, attract new customers, or simply host colleagues at the winery’s beautiful estate, Phantom Creek’s high touch experience is sure to make a positive impression.

“We are first and foremost stewards of the land.  Our beautiful Okanagan Valley is a special place in Canada, allowing us to grow and make premium Canadian-made wine,” said Anahita Pouget, the winery’s sales and marketing director.  “We are proud of Canada’s great wine region and thriving wine industry. The Business Club is our invitation to other businesses to enjoy this gorgeous region, our beautiful spaces, breath-taking views and award-winning wines here at one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada.”

The Business Club at Phantom Creek Estates has three tiers of membership to accommodate small and single businesses as well as medium and large companies. Designated by the number of bottles included in each twice-yearly shipment, with complimentary shipping, all three tiers have access to Phantom Creek Estates’ small lot and rare wines, including exclusive access to limited releases of the prized Phantom Creek Vineyard wines.  Members also receive complimentary experiences on an annual basis, including estate tours and intimate educational tastings, seated tastings for serious connoisseurs and bar tastings in a more casual atmosphere.  The Phantom Room, the winery’s picturesque special event space that features panoramic views of the Okanagan Valley, is available to Business Club members on a complimentary basis.  Additionally, Business Club members enjoy the opportunity to purchase tickets to all winery events in advance of the public offering and are invited to an annual wine club exclusive appreciation event to mix, mingle, and network with fellow Business Club members.

To learn more about joining the Business Club at Phantom Creek Estates, please contact [email protected] or call 250-498-8367 x 121.  Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by emailing [email protected], or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

 

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Media contacts:  Anahita Pouget, Director of Sales & Marketing, [email protected] or Graham Macdonald, Sales Assistant, at [email protected] or at 250-498-8367. 

More International Acclaim From The Wine Advocate USA

Robert Parker report bestows stellar scores on Phantom Creek Wines

We are thrilled to have captured the attention of Wine Advocate USA. From the very beginning, we have been unwaveringly committed to producing premium B.C. VQA wines and setting a benchmark for Canadian wines, internationally

Today our passion gets rewarded with outstanding recognition from some of the most elite in the field. We are overjoyed to share with you that most of our portfolio scored 90+ points:

AVAILABLE
2018 Kobau Vineyard Cuvée94 Points“Shows great fruit, sensual texture and a big finish with ripe tannins”.
2018 Becker Vineyard Cuvée93+ Points“This is very pretty and very well crafted”.
2018 Pinot Gris90 Points“There is a lovely and fruit-driven finish that lingers nicely with a little tension”.
2018 Riesling90 Points“It’s lively and juicy, quite delicious on the finish”.

WINE CLUB MEMBERS’ FALL RELEASE
2018 Becker Vineyard Merlot – 94 Points “On its own terms, it is a big Merlot”.
2018 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée – 91 Points “This shows some mid-palate finesse, big fruit, and a focused finish”.
2018 Phantom Creek Vineyard Syrah – 91 Points – “It is a sexy beast that is rather delicious”.

SOLD OUT
2017 Kobau Vineyard Merlot – 93 Points 
2016 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée – 92 Points 
2017 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 90 Points
2017 Phantom Creek Vineyard Small Lot Malbec Petit Verdot Co-ferment- 90 Points

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Mark Beringer, Olivier Humbrecht MW and Philippe Melka – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

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Media contacts:  Anahita Pouget, Director of Sales & Marketing, [email protected] or Graham Macdonald, Sales Assistant, at [email protected] or at 250-498-8367. 

Phantom Creek Estates Announces Organic Certification

Renowned Winemaking Team Achieves Organic Milestone and Looks Ahead to Pursue Biodynamic Certification

OLIVER, British Columbia (August 19, 2021) – Phantom Creek Estates, the premier wine destination in the Okanagan Valley, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded organic certification by Ecocert Canada, with 2021 marking Phantom Creek Estates’ first certified organic vintage.  Additionally, the winery is moving forward with biodynamic certification, paving the way for another landmark ecological statement for a Canadian winery of Phantom Creek Estates’ size.

“This is an exciting accomplishment for us,” said Amy Richards, director of farming.  “It has always been extremely important to the Phantom Creek Estates’ production team that we not just farm our estate vineyards using organic practices, but consider the vineyard as a complex eco-system.  We have established habitat in our vineyards to encourage beneficial insects, added chickens, and plan to make our own compost and add livestock in the coming years.  We are fully committed to building a sustainable environment in our vineyard sites that translates into exceptional, terroir-driven wines.”

Phantom Creek Estates is home to estate vineyards across distinct benches in the South Okanagan Valley.  Uniquely influenced by geological forces millennia in the making, the acclaimed, historic estate vineyards are each farmed according to meticulously practiced organic and biodynamic techniques. 

The team at Phantom Creek Estates is a strong proponent of biodynamics and especially of Demeter International’s codification of good farming practices.  The goal of biodynamic farming is not just to forgo chemical pesticides and fertilizers, but also to foster a self-regulating ecosystem by minimizing any and all human interventions in the vineyard. 

The process of converting conventionally farmed vineyard sites to organic certification took three years, beginning in 2017, as the entire vineyard system needed to be free of any residue from non-organic products.  To eliminate the use of herbicides, Phantom Creek Estates uses mechanical and hand hoeing for weed control.  Certain plants, known as “cover crops,” a natural source of nutrients, are allowed to grow between and around vine rows and can be tilled into the soil during growing season.  Rather than eliminating the surrounding vegetation, Phantom Creek Estates wants its vines to co-exist in harmony with the surrounding natural environment.

The team at Phantom Creek is also vigilant that the vines are not overstimulated.  By analyzing vine leaves from each individual block, vineyard-by-vineyard and row-by-row, vineyard managers can precisely determine nutrient requirements.  

International consulting winemaker Olivier Humbrecht MW has been instrumental in guiding the Phantom Creek Estates’ winemaking team through the organic and ongoing biodynamic certification process.  It’s a well-trodden path for the Master of Wine, president of Europe’s Biodyvin, 12th-generation grape grower and proprietor of Alsace’s famed Domaine Zind-Humbrecht – a property that became world famous for its biodynamic practices after Humbrecht implemented them in 1997.

“As one of the world’s leading champions for organic and biodynamic winemaking, Olivier has been an inspiration to us since well before he joined the Phantom Creek Estates team,” Richards said.  “His holistic approach to agriculture has been a remarkable influence on our wines’ articulated expression of place, and we look forward to continuing the careful management of this self-sufficient ecosystem that Olivier has helped to establish.”

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by calling (250) 498-8367, emailing [email protected], or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Mark Beringer, Olivier Humbrecht MW and Philippe Melka – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

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Media contacts:  Anahita Pouget, Director of Sales & Marketing, [email protected] or Graham Macdonald, Sales Assistant, at [email protected] or at 250-498-8367. 

Phantom Creek Estates Appoints Mark Beringer As Director of Winemaking

Legendary Napa Valley Winemaker Joins British Columbia’s Most Exciting Winemaking Team

OLIVER, British Columbia (July 15, 2021) – Phantom Creek Estates announced today the winery’s appointment of Mark Beringer to Director of Winemaking.  Beringer will work closely with the winery’s winemaker for the white wine program Karin Grosstessner-Hain, who has been with the winery since the inaugural 2016 vintage, and internationally renowned winemaking team Philippe Melka and Olivier Humbrecht MW.

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 steward of one of the most iconic family names in California wine history, he knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his forefathers.

After receiving an Enology degree from California State University in Fresno, Beringer spent a year in the cellars at Benziger Family Winery in Sonoma before joining Duckhorn Vineyards as an enologist in 1992, where he worked his way up to Vice President of Winemaking.  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.

“The Okanagan Valley really excites me as it shows so much potential and there is an incredible opportunity to help this region achieve global recognition,” said Beringer.  “Phantom Creek Estates has invested significantly in acquiring some of the region’s most acclaimed and historic vineyards, technology, architecture and talent, so I believe that the winery will be the premier property in the region, if not Canada, and that’s a goal I’m inspired to be a part of.”

As the Director of Winemaking at Phantom Creek Estates, Beringer looks forward to making terroir-driven wines with minimal intervention to ensure the delicate qualities of the unique vineyard sites are thoroughly expressed in each wine.  Beringer joins an elite team of wine legends, including Alsace superstar Olivier Humbrecht MW, who he has admired throughout his winemaking career and looks forward to learning from, especially in regards to his unrivaled knowledge of biodynamic and organic farming practices.  Philippe Melka, acclaimed for his art of blending and consulting winemaker for the red wine program, brings an interesting perspective on the region that Beringer appreciates and eagerly awaits tasting through the winery’s portfolio with him.

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates is open for guided tastings and winery tours.  The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates is open for lunch Thursday through Monday.  To make a reservation, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by calling (250) 498-8367, emailing [email protected], or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Mark Beringer, Olivier Humbrecht MW and Philippe Melka – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

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Media contacts:  Morgan Moore at Glodow Nead Communications, 415.394.6500 or [email protected]d.com.  

Phantom Creek Estates Announces Key Hires

British Columbia’s Premier Destination Winery Appoints Anahita Pouget as Director of Sales and Marketing, Amy Richard as Director of Farming, and Kea Mueller as Wine Club Manager.

OLIVER, British Columbia (July 7, 2021) – Phantom Creek Estates, British Columbia’s premier destination winery announces the appointments of Anahita Pouget as director of sales and marketing, Amy Richards as director of farming, and Kea Mueller as wine club manager.  Following its debut in June 2020, the winery has garnered much acclaim for its iconic design, state-of-the-art cellars and its flagship wines that have been awarded multiple 94+ points by the region’s top critics.  Most recently all the Estate’s vineyards attained organic certification and The Restaurant at Phantom Creek debuted with an elevated food and beverage program.

“We are pleased to announce the expansion of our incredible team, and equally thrilled to have Anahita, Amy, and Kea share their extensive knowledge and industry experience with us,” said Richter Bai, founder and chairman of Phantom Creek Estates.  “It has been my vision not only to create great wines that honour our incredible terroir, but also to offer valuable experiences that connect visitors to the Okanagan Valley and its landscape which makes us one of the most spectacular wine regions in the world.”

Anahita Pouget has cultivated expertise in luxury hospitality and wine since beginning her career in the south of France, where she completed a bilingual master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management before joining the J.W. Marriott group of hotels in Paris.  After a few years working in the high-profile establishments in Paris, she was drawn to the countryside and worked a harvest in Alsace, where she fell in love with winemaking.  Anahita relocated to Canada to join the Relais & Chateaux group of hotels at the Wikaninnish Inn in Tofino.  However, her love of wine drew her to the Okanagan Valley where, for the past decade, she 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.

Amy Richards obtained a Bachelor of Viticultural Science from the University of Adelaide in Australia, after which she traveled to the South Island of New Zealand to pursue her interest in cool climate viticultural 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 relocate to California, USA where she managed the 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.

Kea Mueller has an impressive background in tourism and luxury hospitality which started over five years ago in Germany, working at World Hotels AG, as a loyalty coordinator and then as a marketing specialist.  In 2017, Kea relocated to Dallas, Texas to join the Associated Luxury Hotels International Group as a loyalty marketing manager.  Shortly after her move to Texas, she was promoted within the luxury group to senior project manager of the loyalty program and moved to Boston, Massachusetts.  Currently, as the wine club manager at Phantom Creek Estates, Kea brings her strong customer loyalty background and vision to develop elevated experiences and partnerships that expand well beyond traditional winery offerings. 

Phantom Creek Estates is located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia.  All experiences, including lunch at The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates, are available for online booking through www.phantomcreekestates.com/visit, or by calling (250) 498-8367.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Olivier Humbrecht MW and Philippe Melka – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

Media contacts:  Morgan Moore, Alex Fondren, Danyelle Simpkins and Juliona Miller at Glodow Nead Communications, 415.394.6500 or [email protected]

The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates Opens on June 12

Premier Destination Winery Marks One-Year Anniversary with Debut of its Highly Anticipated Restaurant and Joins South Okanagan’s Esteemed Culinary Scene

Phantom Creek Estates, the Okanagan Valley’s most exciting new wine destination, is pleased to announce the opening of The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates helmed by Canadian-born Chef Sarah Fiore, whose refined talent hails from Michelin-starred Estela in New York City.  Offering expansive views of the stunning Okanagan Valley wine country, this sophisticated restaurant and lounge will be located on the south side of the winery.  The menu is designed to provide guests with a curated, multi-course lunch infused with local and seasonal ingredients accompanied by a thoughtfully curated selection of wines from the Estate alongside other Canadian and International choices.

“The food at Phantom Creek Estates is in perfect harmony with everything that we do at the winery,” said Anahita Pouget, one of the Directors at the Estate.  “Accessing the best and freshest seasonal ingredients, is always a great start, but the ability to transform them into dishes that leave you wondering just how it was all brought together, is the true beauty of an unforgettable meal and a reflection of the talent of a brilliant chef.”  

Chef Fiore’s elevated, table d’hôte-inspired two-and three-course pairing menus are carefully curated to pair with Phantom Creek Estates wines.  Her passion for cooking stems from her childhood when she would watch her grandmother cook.

“I remember she had this big wooden table in her basement where she would make all her fresh pasta and bread,” said Chef Fiore, reminiscing about her youth when her grandmother would babysit her and her sister.  “She had a little stool for me to stand on.  I’d watch and help her roll out pasta. That’s what started my love for cooking. Today, I love creating an experience for guests, putting my passion onto a plate and having people enjoy it.”

The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates’ menus offer exceptional dishes, including beef tartare with 63 Acres Beef, saskatoon berry, quail yolk and crispy beef tendon chips; burrata with charred and pickled Mutsu apples, wildflower honey, toasted marcona almonds and bee pollen; risotto with spring legumes, foraged mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh herbs;, poached sablefish with asparagus, radish and kombu beurre blanc, and aged duck with red cabbage, pickled cherries and mustard greens.  Guests can treat themselves to dessert to end their meal with basque cheesecake with brandied warm cherries or sorbet with strawberry, sesame and tahini tuille.

The restaurant’s two-course menu option includes a choice of a starter and a main, or a main and a dessert, and is priced at $55 per person.  The three-course menu option includes a starter, main and dessert, and is priced at $70 per person.  Guests may elevate their meal with an expertly paired wine menu available for an additional $20 for the two-course menu, or an additional $30 for the three-course menu.  Chef Sarah Fiore will also apply her expertise to accommodate severe allergies and vegetarian preferences for an equally memorable experience.  

The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates will be open Thursday through Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (PST) for lunch service only.  Phantom Creek Estate is located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia and can be reached by calling (250) 498-8367, emailing [email protected], or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. By farming its vineyards with care and precision, Phantom Creek produces wines that celebrate and speak to where they are grown, crafted by an influential international winemaking team – Olivier Humbrecht MW and Philippe Melka. The winery’s estate vineyards are certified organic and in the process of biodynamic certification. Phantom Creek Estates is located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia. 

Media contacts:  Morgan Moore at Glodow Nead Communications, 415.394.6500 or [email protected]

Phantom Creek Estates Featured in Bespoke

Very thrilled Phantom Creek Estates to be deemed the region’s most majestic and ambitious vision by Bespoke, London’s luxury lifestyle publication.

Read the full article here.

In the South Okanagan, a Standing Ovation for Seated Tastings

“Impressive wine is only part of the attraction at Phantom Creek Estates” – Vacay states in their latest review of South Okanagan wineries.

Read the entire article here.

Wine Review with Daenna Van Mulligen

For the past several years, there has been a lot of curiosity about what’s going on on Oliver’s Black Sage Bench.

Nearly 30 years ago, the area unexpectedly became synonymous with Bordeaux varieties and has since given birth to some of the most iconic wines in the Okanagan Valley.

When businessman Richter Bai began purchasing highly regarded vineyards in the area in 2016, people grew even more inquisitive. From images I’ve seen, the finished project looks stunning.
When life starts to return to some form of normal, whatever that is, and I’m travelling again, I hope to get a look for myself.

Until then, the wines have convinced me this is more than just a vanity project, that Bai, and his team on the ground in the Okanagan, have built (are building) something epic.

Read the full article from Daenna Van Mulligen’s

Wine Chat with Valerie van der Gracht from My Van City

“Phantom Creek Vineyard has been consistently recognized for producing some of the best red wines in Canada.” Thank you Valerie for this recognition.

Read the full article here.

Phantom Creek featured in Montecristo Magazine

“There are many great views in the Okanagan, but standing on the terrace of Phantom Creek Estates looking out over a sweeping vista of the Black Sage Bench it seems impossible to imagine one better” – thank you Fiona Morrow and Montecristo we completely agree!

Read the full Montecristo Article.

Phantom Creek Estates Featured in Forbes

Such an honour for Phantom Creek Estates and British Columbia to be recognized by Forbes.

“Anyone who ever questions the potential of British Columbia to produce wines as complex as any in the world should start popping the corks on both the whites and the reds from Phantom Creek: They’ll be convinced by the second sip.” – BrianFreedman Forbes.com

Read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianfreedman/2020/09/29/wines-of-the-week-canadian-riesling-patagonian-pinot-noir-and-a-limited-release-whiskey/#2c67b92335d8

Phantom Creek Estates Achieves Full Allocation of Its Most Iconic Wines

“It’s an auspicious beginning for a new winery” said Santiago Cilley, CEO of Phantom Creek Estates. “This milestone highlights the significant interest among collectors for age-worthy wines from this storied site”. Read the full article here.

Phantom Creek Estates Partners with Stile Brands to Launch Highly Anticipated Portfolio Across British Columbia

Phantom Creek Estates, the Okanagan Valley’s newest destination winery situated on the Black Sage Bench, is excited to announce its partnership with Stile Brands “an importer and marketer of premium wines“ to launch its highly acclaimed portfolio of wines throughout British Columbia.  Phantom Creek Estates has enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive reception since its June 2020 debut and has achieved full allocation of its iconic Phantom Creek Vineyard wines.

“We are excited about partnering with Stile Brands to represent our wines in the region and extend our distribution beyond our early supporters, Hawksworth, Nightingale, Mott 32, and Hy’s Steakhouse”, said Santiago Cilley, CEO of Phantom Creek Estates.

As an immediate result of this partnership, a selection of Phantom Creek Estates wines “including the Becker Vineyard Cuvee, Estate Red Blend, Pinot Gris, Viognier, and Riesling“ will be available to restaurants and select fine wine retailers.  Phantom Creek Estates’ Alsace-influenced 2017 Pinot Gris was awarded the highest score for B.C. white wines by internationally acclaimed wine critic Jancis Robinson, while the winery’s remaining portfolio of wines all received scores above 90 points by Anthony Gismondi, one of  Canada’s most influential wine critics.

“Stile Brands is extremely fortunate to work with Phantom Creek Estates”, said Carmen D’Onofrio Jr., managing partner at Stile Brands. “We represent some of the most iconic vineyards from around the world, and Phantom Creek Estates is a great addition to our portfolio of family-owned wineries”.

Phantom Creek Estates is located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia.  All experiences are available for online booking through www.phantomcreekestates.com/visit, or by calling (250) 498-8367.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a new destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites.  By farming its vineyards with care and precision, Phantom Creek produces wines that celebrate and speak to where they are grown, crafted by an influential international winemaking team Olivier Humbrecht MW, Philippe Melka and Francis Hutt. The winery’s estate vineyards are farmed using organic and biodynamic practices.

About Stile Brands

Stile Brands is an importer and marketer of premium wines, spirits, and beers, representing over 100 suppliers from 19 countries. Established in 1991, Stile Brands has grown into one of western Canada’s top wine agencies, with a solid reputation among its clientele. To this day, Stile is proud to offer one of the very finest portfolios of Italian wine in Canada.

Nuvo Magazine

Phantom Creek Estates designed to be a destination winery from the South Okanagan. Check out this article to discover what our newly opened winery has to offer.

Vancouver Sun

In February 2020 we had the opportunity to participate for the first time at the prestigious Vancouver International Wine Festival. Read the full article here.

Paste Magazine

Amy Glynn’s article about the Okanagan Valley and Phantom Creek Estates brings an interesting insight to the Canadian wine industry and specifically, to our wines and estate. Read the article here.

Montecristo Magazine

An introduction to our history. Read the full article to learn about the inception of Phantom Creek Estates, the behind the scenes, and what you can expect to discover when you visit us.

Phantom Creek In the News: June 2019

A lot has been happening at Phantom Creek Estates lately. Construction of our Hospitality Center continues and nears completion, our freshly planted Evernden Spring Vineyard begins to grow, and our wines continue to generate buzz in the wine world. We have collected some recent articles and publications and are excited to share them.

Jancis Robinson at the Canada House tasting in London

After our visit to London and the Canada House Tasting, wine critic Jancis Robinson awarded our Pinot Gris the highest score for BC white wines, which was 17 out of 20. Here are some of her notes on our wines:

2017 Pinot Gris – 17/20: I’m surprised that there has not been more Pinot Gris shown in this tasting. This one is so recognisably Alsace influenced! A little residual sugar and real toasty breadth on the palate. Yet thoroughly broachable and satisfying already. Food friendly. Brighter fruit than many Alsace examples. Peachy but not fat. 13%. Drink 2019-2022.

2017 Riesling – 15++/20: Olivier Humbrecht is consulting both visiting and distantly. Pretty much all stainless steel whereas Olivier wants to introduce foudres. New winemaker from Carrick, Central Otago is arriving any minute. This is really pretty simple as a Riesling so I’m sure Olivier will beef it up a bit. Good chewiness on the end. But the flavours seem a little too reined in. Austere in the extreme. 12%. Drink 2020-2023.

2016 Syrah – 16.5/20: Really strong sage notes on the nose. Rather more complex nose than some but not that distinctively varietal. Certainly fully ripe but with fresh acidity. A good drink. 14.5%. Drink 2019-2023.

2016 Becker Vineyard Cuvée – 16.5/20: Originally planted to German varieties by Helmut Becker in the 1970s and converted to the three Bordeaux red wine grapes in the 1990s. 39% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky, silky, polished, glamorous red. With a touch of sage. Pretty exciting by any measure. Softer than the Phantom Creek Vineyard. 14.5%. Drink 2019-2023.

2016 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée – 16.5/20: 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Petit Verdot, 15% Malbec, 8% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot. Deep purplish crimson. Six different varieties and a little savoury undertow thanks to the 8% Syrah. Interesting wine. Well made. Very slightly sweet overall. 14.5%. Drink 2020-2025.

Click here to order the 17 point Pinot Gris

John Schreiner on Wine

Esteemed wine critic John Schreiner recently published an article in which he writes of his experience with our wines. He writes that Phantom Creek Owner, Bai Jinping, set out to make outstanding wines in Canada, and that he certainly succeeded. He continues to write about the history and future of Phantom Creek Estates, and provides his notes and scores on fives of our wines:  

2017 Pinot Gris – 92 points: The texture is luscious. The wine beings with aromas of pear and a hint of oak. On the palate, there are flavors of ripe pear and apple with a touch of spice on the lingering finish.

2017 Riesling – 91 points: This wine is crisp and dry, with lime on the nose and palate and with a spine of minerality.

2016 Becker Vineyard Cuvée – 93 points: The wine has aromas of black cherry and cassis that are echoed on the palate. The long ripe tannins give the wine a generous mouthfeel and a lingering finish.

2016 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 95 points: An excellent vintage has produced an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, with aromas of cherry, black currant, blueberry and vanilla; all of that is echoed on the palate. This wine, aged 18 months in French oak, is complex, with a polished texture. 95.

2016 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cuvée – 96 points: This is a bold, rich wine with aromas and flavors of cherry, black current, plum and vanilla. It was aged 18 months in French oak. Long ripe tannins support the opulent texture and the persistent finish of this delicious wine. 96.

Click here to find the full review: https://johnschreiner.blogspot.com/2019/06/phantom-creek-releases-its-first-wines.html

Click here to order the 96 point Phantom Creek Cuvée

Western Living – June, 2019 Issue

In the June, 2019 issue of Western Living published an article on Phantom Creek Estates. Titled ‘Reach for the Top’, the two page spread covers the inception and execution of Phantom Creek Estates.

Click here to find the full article (page 46): https://issuu.com/canadawidemedia/docs/wl_june2019_lr_bc

Chris Boiling at Canopy

Chris Boiling covers the architecture, the team, the winemaking, the vineyards, and wines of Phantom Creek Estates in this article. Labeling it as “one of the most ambitious winery developments in Canada,” Boiling gives an in-depth look at our history, growth, and where we are currently.

As for the wines, he writes that:

“Phantom Creek focuses on single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah. Prices range from $30 to $100 a bottle. Star wines include the 2016 Phantom Creek Vineyards Cuvée ($100) and the 2016 Phantom Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($80), blended from three different clones to achieve complexity and depth. The 2016 Phantom Creek Vineyards Syrah ($75) is sourced from 1.2 acres which helped to establish the Okanagan as a source for Syrah with savoury complexity.”

Click here to find the full article: https://www.internationalwinechallenge.com/Canopy-Articles/phantom-winery-becomes-a-reality.html

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