John Taft of Backen & Gillam Architects in California was the lead designer behind the Phantom Creek Estates Winery, a premier destination for wine, food and music in the Southern Okanagan. John’s one word to describe Phantom Creek is ‘ephemeral’, in reference to the creeks that ran through the valley during the glacial age and inspired many of the design elements.
It was essential that the winery felt grounded in its environment. The materials used in the exterior are imported Egyptian limestone, mirroring the grasses and warm colours of the desert landscape. The bronze and natural components on the Estate complement and blend seamlessly into the surrounding countryside.
Upon arrival, you’ll discover the Phantom Creek feature that runs through the centre axis of the Estate, and represents the transition of the rough mountainous terrain through to the smooth sands of the Black Sage Bench and valley floor.
Our tasting room is the centre of the winery, and the guest experience itself. Framed by two towers of limestone, it forms a stunning frame for both our vineyards and the South Okanagan Valley. The interior features warm bronze and golden wood tones, Italian plaster, limestone, rich leather, and Calcutta marble. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls slide open, bringing the outside in, and allowing guests to enjoy the view on our terrace.
Phantom Creek guests will experience our winemaking philosophy and methods brought to life on one of our winery tours. The story starts in our History Room, which demonstrates the unique geography and terroir of our estate vineyards on display through custom soil monoliths.
The journey continues outside, with a walkthrough of our biodynamic garden and art installations before proceeding to the crush pad. Here, all the fruit is received and sorted before it continues through the winemaking process.
The guided tour descends underground into the white wine fermentation area, where our white wine ages in neutral oak, Austrian casks. You’ll immediately feel the change in temperature as the brick cladded walls work to regulate temperature and humidity naturally.
Next on tour is the spectacular red wine fermentation area, where our red wines begin the fermentation process, followed by the barrel fermentation area to view our most prized parcels of grapes start their transformation into the wines you love. From here, guests travel the grand staircase to the lower cellar, featuring the crown jewel of the Phantom Creek winery—the Founders Cellar, where our premium red wines are aged. In the centre of this stunning rotunda is our most treasured space reserved for the most exclusive of experiences.
Are you ready to see everything for yourself? Welcome to Phantom Creek Estates!
Watch Chapter 7: Discovery