When visiting the stunning Road 13 winery, it’s impossible to mistake who’s boss. A businessman his whole life, Mick Luckhurst is always dressed in work clothes, the mark of the farmer. A charismatic, intelligent man with piercing green eyes and a friendly, yet fiercely professional demeanor, it’s apparent he’s not here to impress anyone – he’s here to get things done.
“People buy into my intensity, my personality, because it’s real. They can tell I’m not a schmoozer or a bs’er,” says Luckhurst.
Along with his savvy wife Pam, the Luckhursts purchased the mature Oliver vineyards and winery in 2003 (formerly Golden Mile Cellars). Several years ago, they built more, planted more, and re-branded as Road 13. To put it mildly, things have skyrocketed.
Luckhurst says he “insisted on the name Road 13 from the beginning. It’s our location. It’s our vineyard. The only thing that can differentiate you from other wineries is your location of your vineyards… and your people.”
The iconic image of a tractor and dog “really appeals to human nature…. that label was an absolute home-run.”
When asked about their “it’s all about the dirt” philosophy, Luckhurst laughs.
“It was almost a crude remark… it really means that it’s all about me, about this farm… when you’ve got great grapes…. the right rootstock, the right varietal, in the right place, and you farm it the right way – the grapes are just elixir.“
The awards are proof. At the recent Vancouver Magazine Awards, Road 13’s Jackpot Chardonnay won Best of Category. Two other Road 13 wines made the Top 100, 4 Golds at the BC Wine Awards, and 3 Golds at the Canadian Wine Awards (CWA’s)
“Guess what? Every single one of those wines came off our own vineyards.”
The other key ingredient is Road 13’s people. JM Bouchard took over winemaking in 2011, bringing vast experience, an innovative spirit, and dedication.
“In the CWA’s, we’ve been ranked #6, same as we have been the previous two years. I’d like to be number one, and J-M can take us there. He’s just over the top. If I’m an intense person, and passionate, (well, passion is such an overworked word in this industry, it drives me nuts), but JM, he’s passionate. He is…his ability to work is phenomenal. He’s a kind man, very soft spoken. And physically tougher than nails to handle the work load he does.”
Road 13’s dinners held on the 13th of each month (May through Oct) are memorable experiences: amazing wines and terrific food by the folks at Joy Road Catering.
For guests unable to experience the dinners or their ‘Sparkling Breakfasts’, the new Tasting Lounge offers a premium tasting. For details, visit: www.road13vineyards.com
~ Sarah Willard