by Tim Pawsey

Although Hester Creek may be rooted in the past, its focus is very much on the future.

Looking Ahead Present-day winemaker Mark Hopley is now taking advantage of this ideal site and an expanded barrel program in crafting the future of Hester Creek. He has several new wines planned, including another premium estate wine. Hopley explains that the heritage vineyard “benefits from early light, with the sun setting behind Mount Kobau in the late afternoon. That enables us to hang the fruit a little longer and maintain vibrant acidity, so you hold onto the structure of the wine.” In the cellar, the barrels are almost exclusively French oak. The extra barrels

allow the winery to age its wines longer on the lees. Along with more frequent bâtonnage (stirring the lees back into the wine), this aging helps to create wines with rounded mouthfeel, depth and viscosity. Meanwhile, in the vineyard, the fruit for white wines is picked earlier to both retain that hallmark Okanagan acidity and keep alcohols in check to counter a series of heated, potentially overripening vintages. Hester Creek recently acquired its 35-acre Osoyoos Lake Bench vineyard. In contrast to the home estate, this site is on the east side of the lake. “That means warmer afternoon temperatures, allowing us to grow varieties such as Grenache, Mourvèdre and Sangiovese,” Hopley

says. “The addition of these varietals gives us the opportunity to create new wines for our extensive portfolio.” At the same time, Hopley says he constantly draws inspiration from Busnardo’s legacy and is aware of the choices the Italian newcomer made in establishing the original home vineyard. “In my mind,” says Hopley, “the fruit on this property is truly amazing and we always want to celebrate that.” With its spectacular setting and 55-year history, Hester Creek has emerged as a wine lover’s destination

that artfully blends its place in BC wine lore with sophisticated hospitality—and terrific tastes!

HESTER CREEK SELECT VINEYARDS CABERNET MERLOT BC VQA $21.99 13920 Blackberry, spice and sage notes preview a plush vanilla, damson and cassis-toned palate through a lengthy end. This wine is perfect with braised red meats.

HESTER CREEK PINOT GRIS BC VQA $19.99 560037 Forward orchard and stone fruit notes lead to crisp apple and pear flavours, a streak of minerality and a refreshing finish. Serve with steamed shellfish or fresh prawns.

HESTER CREEK CHARACTER RED BC VQA $22.99 158311 Upfront blue and black fruit with sage and peppery aromas lead to a juicy, ripe, cherry-toned palate with some smoky hints in the close.



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