Fifty years ago, Hester Creek’s grapevines were first planted on the property by Italian immigrant Joe Busnardo with varietals that he had grown up with in northern Italy. The perfect location for European vinifera grapes, the site just south of Oliver was on a sun drenched, bench with sloping hills that facilitate a longer growing season. Virtually unheard of at the time for British Columbia, over 80 classic European vinfera grapes were planted on the then 76 acre property. Several of those original varietals planted by Joe have thrived over the past half century with the Pinot Blanc, Trebbiano, “Italian Merlot” and Cabernet Franc flourishing on Hester Creek’s estate. These old vines have an intensity and certain elegance about them, that cannot be reproduced and bring a sense of old world Italy to our vineyard.
Over the years we have added to the classic mix of varietals with additional plantings in the early 1970s of Merlot in Block 2 and Pinot Blanc in Blocks 4 and 9 of the vineyard. This has since been followed by plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Sémillon, and Syrah.
Our estate now comprises of 115 acres. A distinctive terroir, our well draining, alluvial fan soil is on a unique west to east sloping bench that also breaks north to south, which enables the grapes to benefit from an extended frost free season in both the spring and fall.