Spotlight on CedarCreek Estate Winery

In a year of change, CedarCreek doesn’t miss a step.

These are exciting times for CedarCreek Estate Winery. The Okanagan Valley-based winery — located in Kelowna, specifically — picked up a fair bit of hardware at WineAlign’s 2014 National Wine Awards of Canada. This included a gold medal for their Platinum “Block 2” Pinot Noir and silvers for the 2013 Rosé, the 2013 Gewurztraminer, the 2013 Pinot Gris and the 2013 Ehrenfelser. (The winery also nabbed five bronze medals as well, including for their Block 4 Pinot Noir and 2013 Riesling.)

That result was good enough to land them on the list of Top 25 Canadian wineries, a spot they’ve held for many years running.

But the shiny stuff isn’t all that’s making news at the winery. Earlier this year, it was announced that Anthony von Mandl, the man who brought Mission Hill Family Estate to greatness, had acquired CedarCreek Estate Winery from the Fitzpatrick family, the winery’s original proprietors.

The Fitzpatrick family brought CedarCreek’s first vintage to the public in 1987, and have been among B.C.’s most respected and consistent wineries ever since. From the delicacy of their complex Pinot Noirs to their big but balanced Bordeaux blends and Syrah, their reds run the gamut grape-wise, yet manage to retain a “house style” that’s remarkable.

Similarly, they seem to be able to do no wrong when it comes to white wines — from aromatic grapes such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer to richer varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

All this is thanks in large part to the skill of winemaker Daryl Brooker, who honed his chops around the world (including at Ontario’s Flat Rock Cellars) before landing at CedarCreek in 2010.

It also doesn’t hurt that CedarCreek sources from two very different areas of the Okanagan Valley — their vineyards near Kelowna are ideal for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatic whites, while the Desert Ridge and Haynes Creek vineyards in the Osoyoos area get plenty of heat for Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc.) as well as Syrah and Viognier. Try them today!

 

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press, and judges at wine competitions across the country. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson

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