I was told the other day that for the past few years, the wines coming out of Hester Creek have been outstanding! I was then asked what it is we’re doing differently?
Answer: Our winemaker, Mark Hopley, takes his inspiration from the terroir and tells the story of our sense of place in the Okanagan Valley. His team in the cellar work together with the shared vision of creating remarkable wines that showcase the terroir of the Golden Mile Bench and the South Okanagan.
It’s not just about the winemaking though – please allow me to elaborate:
We are privileged to have an outstanding property that guests from around the world have been drawn to, but while guests are attracted to the view of the vines, our team at Hester Creek is attracted to the deep roots that sustain those vines and give life to the grapes that produce high-quality wines that our guests can enjoy on our property or at home. Hence, our slogan, “Our roots run deep.”
Our President, Mark Sheridan, carries with him a note of positivity that directs us towards success as a winery. His combined expertise in viticulture and business helps him to shape the current state of our winery as well as the future; and it is from his knowledge that our owner, Curt Garland, has made investments in our vineyard and state-of-the-art winemaking facility.
While the vines go back to 1968, the current winery that you are visiting today takes root in 2004 when Curt Garland purchased the property. It reminded him of Tuscany, and he went forth in creating a full estate experience in which guests can stay at our luxury accommodation, The Villa, dine at our restaurant, Terrafina, and taste wine in our beautiful tasting room at the Wine Shop.
In the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of brilliant reviews from renowned wine writers like Deborah Podurgiel and Anthony Gismondi, as well as articles in industry magazines like TASTE and Great Northwest Wine Magazine who gave us the prestigious title of British Columbia Winery of the Year for 2023. For those from around the world, you may have seen us in a recent edition of Travel + Liesure in which writer, Carrie Honaker gave our estate a fabulous endorsement for places to visit in the Okanagan.
At the time of writing this article, our portfolio consists of 23 wines and during the 2024 season we’ll be releasing new wines like our Rosé Noir – a Provençal-style Rosé – and our first GSM. In 2025, our portfolio will continue to evolve with the addition of new wines like our first Super Tuscan which is currently in barrel.
This past year, we released, X, the first of our Winemaker’s Trilogy. An ultra-premium red wine that came from a conversation between Mark Sheridan and Mark Hopley, where they decided to make the best wine we’ve ever made without the restrictions of money. This wine was produced from the best red varietals of the vintage, brought in more French oak barriques for the aging and required a finesse of winemaking to develop an old-world style of wine that was unfiltered and unfined. In October of 2023, we released X to our club members who had first dibs on signing up for the Winemaker’s Trilogy Club which will be releasing the Y and Z vintages in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
It’s not just the facilities and the wines that have evolved at Hester Creek over the past few years, but also the experiences. Under the leadership of Chef Adair Scott in our kitchen at Terrafina, the menu has become an experience in and of itself. Managers, Robyn Bates and Mariclare Parmenter have taken the fine-dining experience at Terrafina to another level in leading their teams to provide warm hospitality and a knowledge of the food and wines.
In the tasting room, Wine Shop Manager, Rachel Rogers, has built an event program for our guests like we’ve never seen before. From blind tastings to first-sip offerings with the winemakers and After Hour Happy Hour events that allow for guests to enjoy an evening out. And while we’re staying true to our roots in offering complimentary tastings at the bar, daily experiences like our Signature Tastings and Estate Tour & Tastings are always on offer for those who would like to create a schedule for their wine tasting adventures.
Up at The Villa, Melissa is celebrating 12 years as the Manager. Her expertise in curating a top luxury experience for our guests is what gives The Villa a reputation for a must-stay location in the South Okanagan Valley.
We’d like to thank all our guests who have supported us over the years and all the guests who are yet to come and enjoy what Hester Creek has to offer. To answer the original question of what Hester Creek has been doing differently, it is more an answer of what we’ve been doing consistently. And the answer to that is we’ve been making quality hospitality and wine our priority as we continue to take inspiration from the guests and land that we’re so privileged to have.