A new season of winery events coming soon at Hester Creek
We are welcoming the arrival of spring with a series of exciting new and long time popular winery events. This year we are thrilled to introduce our new Alfresco Dinner series running on five Friday evenings throughout the summer. Guests will enjoy an intimate evening on our Tuscan inspired patio enhanced by the culinary expertise of RauDZ Creative Concepts paired with our award-winning wines (with shuttle service within Oliver and Osoyoos available). Also new, is Happy Hour, though why limit happy to an hour? We are offering $5 glasses of select wines and delicious complimentary house roasted treats to accompany a beautiful Okanagan afternoon Monday to Friday, May to October.
Returning this year are our popular Cooking Classes, which began in January and run to December and are already half sold out, with more being added to our calendar throughout the year. Back as well this summer, are our Barbeque Lunches on select Friday afternoons, Music on the Patio on Saturday afternoons, and Cheese and Wine Pairings (in May on weekends, daily thereafter in the summer). More information is on our events page.
This spring we are thrilled to release new vintages of our refreshing whites and our popular Rosé.
Crafted with fruit from two local growers, Chahal just north of Oliver and Star in Osoyoos, this Rosé is bright and refreshingly unoaked. This vintage has delightful scents of wild strawberry, raspberry, and currants, along with a hint of white pepper. A juicy palate of ripe strawberry and rhubarb flavours, includes a light touch of vanilla bean. Enjoy this attractive wine well chilled with your favourite Mediterranean inspired dishes. Widely available in B.C.: at the winery, online, select restaurants, VQA and private retail stores, the LDB, and select Alberta locations.
Made with fruit from our property and nearby Oliver vineyards, this unoaked Pinot Gris has bright and exuberant notes of ripe pear, apricot and apple greeting the nose. A refreshingly juicy, yet crisp palate follows of Asian pear and Ambrosia apple, with a streak of underlying minerality on the finish. Widely available in B.C.: at the winery, online, select restaurants, VQA and private retail stores, the LDB, and select Alberta locations.
Bench Club Members Exclusive
Our bright and aromatic, single vineyard Sémillon leads with fragrant aromas of lemon zest, mint, and dried apricot. A crisp, lip-smacking palate follows, full of tangerine, Meyer lemon and crunchy green apple on a balanced finish. Deliciously dry with brilliant lemon acidity, makes this Golden Mile Bench wine a lovely pairing with fresh mussels and clams in a saffron cream. Just 167 cases produced!
Singular and gorgeous, the Okanagan’s only Trebbiano is crafted from our historic 50-year-old vines, brought directly over from Italy in 1968. Beautifully fragrant aromas of lime zest, grapefruit, and lemon meringue greet the nose. Ripe tropical fruit flavours including passion fruit, mango, papaya, and grapefruit with just a hint of sweetness that balances out the fresh acidity on the palate. A rare and rich white, that is unoaked and delightfully juicy. Available in B.C.: at the winery, online, select restaurants, and fine wine shops.
Crafted with local Oliver grapes from our estate and our vineyard manager’s property, this fragrant white blend is approximately ⅔ Pinot Gris and ⅓ Gewürztraminer. On the nose are sweet peach, lychee and tropical fruit aromas. Softly textured, this vintage has delicate white peach and ripe apricot flavours on a juicy palate. Unoaked and just slightly off-dry makes this crowd pleasing wine ever so delightful for enjoying on a sunny patio. Available in B.C.: at the winery, online, select restaurants, private liquor stores, and the LDB.
At Hester Creek Estate Winery, our roots run deep. As one of the oldest wine properties in the South Okanagan, we are graced with historic vineyards and a modern winery. A pioneer on the Golden Mile Bench, our vineyard was first planted with classic varietals in 1968. Blending traditional, sustainable vineyard practices and innovative winemaking with a state of the art cellar, our wines reflect our celebrated terroir. A destination winery, Hester Creek offers a gracious wine country welcome to guests, with premium old vines wines, and unique True Wine Experiences. Our Mediterranean influenced setting offers customized tastings, scenic patios, summer barbeques, live music, farm-to-table cooking classes, luxury Tuscany styled villas, and Italian inspired dining at Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ.
History of Hester Creek
In 1968, when Italian immigrant and would-be grape grower Joe Busnardo was seeking a site to plant the grapevine cuttings he’d brought from Europe, there were only a few other vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. He could have planted anywhere, but he chose this spot — a sun-drenched, east-facing bench south of Oliver — for good reason: it’s the perfect place to grow grapes.
Well-draining alluvial soil, sunny days and cool evenings encourage the development of complex and intense flavours; while the warmer temperatures and slope of the bench help the vines avoid the damaging frost that can settle on the valley floor in early spring and late fall. No wonder it became known as the Golden Mile Bench.
Busnardo was one of the first in the South Okanagan to plant European Vitis Vinifera; he’d brought dozens of varieties to try, including some from his native Italy, like the Trebbiano still used to make Hester Creek’s popular single-varietal white wine released each spring. He built Divino Estate Winery on the site in the early ’80s, which he later sold in 1996. Ever the entrepreneur, he relocated Divino to Vancouver Island under the same name, where it remains today.
New owners renamed the winery Hester Creek, after the creek that borders the south side of the property. The vineyards were improved and a wine shop built next to the old cellar building.
Charmed by the scenic location and convinced of its potential, Prince George business- man Curt Garland bought Hester Creek in 2004 — the dry grasslands, natural vegeta- tion, orchards and vineyards of the Golden Mile reminded him of the Mediterranean. New to the industry, he assembled an accomplished team, which included veteran Niagara winemaker Rob Summers, who quickly set about developing the Hester Creek style, which places an emphasis on fresh fruit flavours and the gentle use of oak.
Significant investments made in the vineyards include new plantings and a drip irriga- tion system; a new 23,000-square-foot winery building with state-of-the-art equipment and a new hospitality centre; and excellent Italian cuisine at Terrafina restaurant and luxurious accommodations at the Hester Creek Villa. At last, Hester Creek is realizing the potential of its incredible site, and it ranks among the best in the Okanagan Valley.
Media release, history and images provided by Lori Pike, Hester Creek Estate Winery. Feature image courtesy of Hester Creek Estate Winery.