(photo: Chef Jeremy Tucker)
Since the recent purchase of the iconic CedarCreek Winery in Kelowna by Anthony Von Mandl, the wine world has been abuzz with questions. What would happen to the CedarCreek label? Would there be a merger between Von Mandl’s Mission Hill Winery brand and CedarCreek? I recently sat down with CedarCreek’s marketing manager Anahita Pouget (over a most delicious lunch at the Vineyard Terrace Restaurant) to get the whole story.
The great news for CedarCreek fans is that the brand, along with the wine and essentially the entire team of CedarCreek employees, will remain completely intact. Von Mandl was adamant in expressing his desire to maintain the strong brand of CedarCreek that was built by Senator Ross Fitzpatrick and his son Gordon. The plan was to simply enhance the winery through some tangible upgrades to the winery as well as offer the perks that come through a corporate partnership i.e. access to all of the corporate technology, team of consultants etc.
The only huge addition to the hillside vista of CedarCreek will be the new Martin’s Lane Winery that is being constructed on the estate. Von Mandl is creating the winery for his prized Pinot Noir (won Best Pinot Noir International Trophy, Decanter Magazine) and named after his father Dr. Martin Von Mandl. This boutique winery will not be open to the public and will focus on creating top tier Pinot Noir and Riesling.
Celebrated winemaker Darryl Brooker, remains at the helm of CedarCreek wines and is focused on the growth of his Platinum Series single vineyard block program that he spearheaded creating wines from one small block at a time. In an effort to hone the various expressions of terroir in their vineyards, Brooker’s wish to prove the noticeable character differences in a single varietal vines growing maybe only a 100 metres apart, has been realized. To further demonstrate the range of soil conditions in a single vineyard, Brooker has also made 12-foot deep trenches along side these natural soil changes to show the evidence of the different layers of earth that effect the characteristics of the grapes. Check out their monthly video blog on www.cedarcreek.bc.ca to watch Brooker demonstrate this program.
The theme of “honest elegance” will continue throughout the winery and onto The Vineyard Terrace Restaurant with Executive Chef Jeremy Tucker at the helm. A future kitchen expansion and changes to provide an indoor dining experience allowing them to remain open through cooler weather are in the plans. Tucker’s knowledge and use of local producers is impressive and his menu reflects his philosophy of farm to table, seasonal creations with perfect wine pairings. The Terrace is open for lunch daily from 11-4. If a sit down lunch does not fit your schedule, guests can now linger in the beautiful wine garden below in the pavilion and order wine by the glass and lovely cheese and charcuterie plates. The surrounding vineyard and stunning Okanagan lake views, comfy couches and warm summer air will offer a perfect respite on your wine tour.
~ Jennifer Schell