Hester Creek Estate Winery is the only Okanagan producer of wine made from Trebbiano, crafted from vines dating back to plantings by Joe Busnardo, an Italian immigrant who first cultivated the variety in 1968. To celebrate this unique wine, the winery will release the 2011 vintage with a new look; a re-designed label with the bottle under screw cap. Expected in late March to early April, the wine will be released alongside Hester Creek Estate Winery’s other youthful whites including Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, which are now also under screw cap, and their second vintage of the Character White, a blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Trebbiano. Tank samples of the Character White show a similar taste profile to the 2010 version, with the juice being full of tropical and orchard fruits.

Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek Estate Winery will open for its second season in mid-March with a fresh menu of great local ingredients for 2012. In the winery guest centre, the demo kitchen is once again gearing up for cooking classes. This year, Jeremy Luypen, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Terrafina will teach 6 classes throughout the year and there will be appearances from other well-known guest chefs as the season progresses. The cooking class series begins with a unique package combining cooking classes and accommodation. For this event (held on April 14) Chef Eric Pateman from Edible Canada in Granville Island will teach how to expertly prepare a 4-course dinner, which you will then enjoy with the wines of Hester Creek. After dinner, retire to the Villa and in the morning enjoy a gourmet breakfast. The cost is $600 per couple and reservations for this and other classes can be made by calling the winery at 250-498-4435.

The concert series returns to Hester Creek Estate Winey in June with a complimentary concert by Little Mountain Brass Band on June 17th. Enjoy the concert along with wine on the patio. On July 6th the classic rock band Trama is back to perform old favourites as well as some of the newest songs on the charts. Tickets for the concert are $50 for the patio and $35 for the lawn.

Through the efforts of their sales reps and the fabulous winery team, Hester Creek has grown and flourished throughout the year. Part of the wineries success is surely due to the expanded social media presence, through Facebook (HesterCreek), Twitter (@HesterCreek), Google + and Foursquare. Don’t worry if you aren’t internet savvy, the tasting room is staffed with knowledgeable wine enthusiasts who can convey information to you through conventional means.

~ Cassandra Anderton