Tinhorn Creek Vineyards shares a belief with actor and singer-songwriter Eddie Cantor, who said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” After farming and crafting wines from its estate vineyards on the Golden Mile and Black Sage Benches for over 20 years, Tinhorn Creek is confident the cumulative improvements made over a generation have coaxed out the very best from their vineyards. Accordingly, Tinhorn Creek is proud to announce the birth of its flagship wine – 2014 The Creek, released on September 1, 2017.
The Creek honours the commitment to the land that the founding partner families made in 1993 when forming Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. This mission continues to guide everything the winery does, and The Creek fulfills this promise. It symbolizes Tinhorn Creek’s relentless pursuit of excellence; the winery carves its own path, much as “this waterway (Tinhorn Creek) shapes the landscape.” The Creek is estate grown and handcrafted, an elegant and luscious modern wine that exemplifies both place and time.
Sandra Oldfield, CEO/president explains, “Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is never stagnant–we are always evolving. The Creek is the culmination of many good things coming together—passionate and innovative people, intense grapes, and a vision for the future.”
The Creek 2014 certainly reflects its time; 2016 was a typically hot and dry South Okanagan summer followed by a cool fall. The long, cool autumn allowed viticulturalist Andrew Moon and winemaker Andrew Windsor to pick the five varieties of grapes over a six-week harvest period at perfect ripeness. The blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc from the Diamondback Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, rounded off with Malbec and Petit Verdot from Tinhorn Creek Vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench. The wine was blended in spring 2016 and returned to barrel for a further 9 months for a total 24 months in 40% new French and Hungarian oak barrels. The Creek was then bottle-aged for 9 months prior to release.
2017 also marks the first release of Tinhorn Creek’s micro-lot Innovation Series. The winery developed this series to create a sandbox for Moon and Windsor to play; it is a series of one-off, tiny production, experimental wines featuring innovation both in the vineyard and cellar. Foreshadowed by a secret rosé then-winemaker Sandra Oldfield made back in 2008, the Innovation Series’ started with two barrels of an experimental 2014 skin-fermented Kerner orange wine which then-new winemaker Windsor kept hidden in a corner for a year. Fast forward to 2015, the winery team tasted the wine and loved it! Bottled in the spring of 2016, the 2014 Kerner Orange Wine is the first release in Tinhorn’s Innovation Series, with a 2016 White Pinot Noir to be released in autumn 2017. Together Moon and Windsor are working to make an innovative wine or two each growing season with the goal of improving vineyard management and winemaking techniques.
As micro-lot wines, the Innovation Series will be featured at Miradoro, the onsite restaurant, at winemaker dinners and seminars plus will be available at a few hand-picked, top restaurants western Canada. Tinhorn Creek embraces a process of trying new things and learning through testing assumptions and standard techniques to maintain its high standards and improve its wine. Who knows, a wine developed in this program may result in a fabulous stand-alone wine or may be considered as a future selection in Tinhorn Creek’s core portfolio. For example, the rosé started out as a secret innovation and now is highly popular Oldfield Reserve wine.
The Tinhorn Creek portfolio now includes its flagship wine, The Creek, the Oldfield Reserve tier, Innovation Series, and Varietal Series. The new design introduced on Tinhorn Creek labels in 2017 will be fully released by early 2018. The refreshed look remains true to Tinhorn Creek’s legacy, reflecting the evolution and commitment to improvement that is at the core of this family-owned winery.
Tinhorn Creek represents one generation of winemaking learning about the land, what works well here, and pushing boundaries in the vineyards and cellar. A culmination of that knowledge, The Creek is offered as an ultra-premium reserve.