Hester Creek Estate Winery celebrates 50 years of wine making in BC
Fifty years may only be a fraction of time in the history of the entire wine world, but for the young wine country British Columbia, half a century is a good enough reason to rejoice. Any BC winery to arrive at this benchmark deserves a big round of applause, a solid testament to tell ourselves and the rest of the world what BC can do and has been doing. For that matter, one of the few stalwarts in the BC wine industry Hester Creek Estate Winery’s 50 years in operation is a true accomplishment.
Established in 1968, Hester Creek’s historic vineyard locates in the highly regarded and sought after Golden Mile Bench in the southern Okanagan Valley near Oliver. The hot desert and cool nights condition together with rich soil and perfect aspect of the vineyards, namely the terroir, lends itself to produce award winning wines with structure and intense flavour representing the best of the Okanagan. Rob Summers, head winemaker of Hester Creek, has been with the winery since 1996. With over 20 years at Hester Creek under his helm, he brought consistency and steady improvement in all aspect of the winemaking to enable all tiers of Hester Creek wines to shine both in domestic and international stage. Today, their modern Winery, welcoming tasting room and the studio-style kitchen restaurant is one of the must-stops for locals and visitors.
Let’s take a look at some of their classic wine offers:
The Hester Creek Reserve Cabernet Franc Block 3 2013 is my all-round favourite. Fruits were from oldest vines in the vineyard with fermentation in stainless steel tanks before aging in both American and French oak in 25/75 ratio for 12 to 16 months before blending into final product. Cabernet Franc thrives in the warm climate of the Golden Mile Bench is one of the shining varietals of the Okanagan Valley. The rich full body of this Block 3 2013 opens with aroma of dry herbs, dark berries and roasted prunes. On the palate is subtle spicy notes with a dash of toasty oak and dark fruit acidity, and a well-balanced structure.
But for my special occasions, I would bring out The Judge. The Judge 2013 is Hester Creek’s top tier wine with exceptional quality. This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc selected from the best lots and fermented separately and aged in both American and French oak for 14 months before blending and another 12 months aging before final release. This Bordeaux blend is big and bold with luring aroma laced with luscious berries fruits, dried plum and licorice. The mouth-feel is robust with velvety texture of dark fruits, dried herbs, sage and ending in a round earthy note. A proud iteration of the finesse Hester Creek come to master over the years.
The Character White and Character Red would be the palatable everyday wines from Hester Creek suitable for casual occasions. If you are looking for delicious and reliable wines, these two food-friendly ‘Characters’ from Hester Creek wines would not disappoint.
2017 Pinot BlancMade with grapes from their estate vineyard, this unoaked Pinot Blanc drenched with ripened peach aroma is simply sensational and goes well with Northern-Chinese style Pan-fried fish.