Established in 1993, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is no new kid on the block. If you think you know all about Tinhorn Creek and its array of wines, think again. The website states, “We grow grapes and we make wine. There are many steps between the field and the bottle, but at the end of the day it’s about farming the land responsibly, having fun, and making wines to share with family and friends.” Don’t let its simplicity mislead you. From the beginning, Tinhorn embraced continuous improvement. As the vineyards mature so has the business approach. In 2009, Andrew Moon was added as viticulturist/vineyard manager, and in 2014, Andrew Windsor was recruited as winemaker to allow Sandra Oldfield greater focus as president/chief executive officer. In the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards 2016, Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay 2014 was awarded 95 points and a Gold medal. That’s quite the international affirmation for Windsor’s work as winemaker and Moon’s vineyard management. Clearly, it’s time to taste the wines just as the nineties advertisement proclaimed about cereal, “taste them again for the first time”. Spring 2016 saw the release of the new Oldfield Series Chardonnay, the latest reserve tier wine, harvested from the Tinhorn Creek Vineyard in the Golden Mile Bench appellation. Two Golden Mile Bench designated wines were released, the 2014 Oldfield Series Chardonnay and 2015 Gewurztraminer. It’s part of a repositioning of the lines that’ll be fascinating to follow.
Sandra now puts Tinhorn’s passion for sustainability on steroids: “We are stewards of the land and our relationships with them; people rely on us for their livelihoods and trust us to keep them safe; we must reduce our production of carbon; and conserve the use of water, preserving the integrity of our watersheds.” It’s a community approach where seasonal workers are mentored into year-round positions, a rigorous workplace health and safety program earned an Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence certification, and a policy to buy and hire locally facilitates impressive staff retention.
“Having fun” is reflected in Tinhorn’s Canadian Concert Series that attracts about 2,500 guests annually to its stunning outdoor amphitheatre and in Tinhorn’s Crush Club – perhaps Okanagan’s most generous wine club. It is evident daily in the highly lauded Miradoro Restaurant and its special dinners. How about self-guided tours where you see into a working cellar? Or yoga at the winery on Saturdays, June through August? Truly it’s time to revisit. See www.tinhorn.com to plan your return.
(pictured: Winemaker Andrew Windsor)
~ Roslyne Buchanan