DAENNA VAN MULLIGEN Daenna Van Mulligen is a Vancouver-based wine journalist, but is typically found in the world’s vineyards. She is also a wine judge, accredited sommelier and international speaker. Daenna is publisher of the long-running websites WineDiva.ca and Winescores.ca. She has been published in numerous local and internationally distributed publications and is a regular contributor to Vines Magazine and, more recently, Montecristo Magazine . Follow her @thewinediva.
We’re trying to express the Okanagan as best we can, with better balance, less extraction—more elegant and delicate. We’d also like to get global brand recognition; it creates a lot of prestige.
and Cabernet varieties in his nearby Phantom Creek vineyard, regarded as one of the best sites in Canada. Bai also acquired the Kobau Vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench sub-GI, another property in the Similkameen Valley, and recently an additional 52 acres on the Skaha Bench sub-GI, which is yet to be planted. They currently have 200-acres under vine. The completed 45,000-square- foot Phantom Creek winery houses a restaurant and guest centre where you can experience seated tastings or book private tours. Stars Align Beringer spent four weeks at the winery working and getting to know the team before returning home to
As his home base remains in Alsace, he relies on the talented winemaking skills of Karin Grosstessner-Hain to guide the estate’s world-class whites day-to-day. Part of Humbrecht’s decision to work in the Okanagan was to be involved in a New World region—a very young winemaking environment that doesn’t come with millennia of wine culture, as France does. To leave his stamp on a developing region such as ours was compelling. Beringer agrees, to be part of something with so much possibility is alluring but he emphasises, “Yes, there is investment coming in—however it’s
always going to be finite in what we can produce because it’s a very small region, and it’s always going to be expensive.” What’s Next Beringer is working on finessing the wines of Phantom Creek. “You’ll continue to see an evolution in style. We’re trying to express the Okanagan as best we can, with better balance, less extraction—more elegant and delicate. We’d also like to get global brand recognition; it creates a lot of prestige.” It certainly looks as if they are well on their way towards achieving this goal.
PHANTOM CREEK PINOT GRIS BC VQA $27.99 58485 Expect foraged mushrooms, wet stone, charred honey, yellow pear and lemon aromas. An intense, slick and precise palate is followed by a lengthy mouth- watering finish.
PHANTOM CREEK ESTATE PETITE CUVÉE BC VQA $37.99 457116 Earth, salted licorice, grilled plums and blackcurrant aromas lead to a powerful palate dominated by charred spice and espresso flavours.
Napa. He and his wife packed up and moved north in July of 2021.
Beringer isn’t the only wine royalty to have been lured to the Okanagan Valley through Phantom Creek. Master of Wine Olivier Humbrecht’s family has been making wine for centuries; his winery was established in 1620. Humbrecht was also fascinated by the potential of making wine outside his homeland of Alsace. He joined Phantom Creek in 2018 to consult on the white wine program and to spearhead the estate’s move to organic farming—they are now fully organic and in transition to biodynamic agriculture.
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