Okanagan winery celebrates its 50th anniversary

Hester Creek, commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, is among the must-see spots for any wine trip in British Columbia. The wines cover a broad selection with memorable varietals, with their jewel, the Garland, topping the honors. This exclusive bottle, limited to only 250 cases, is an ultra-premium blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, and Malbec, and is the namesake of Hester Creek’s owner.

However, there are still a dozen alternatives to try. This includes the Selected Barrels Cabernet Merlot and the Pinot Gris Viognier, the latter of which is exclusive to SaveOn Foods. The winery also lists atypical wines like the Trebbiano, crafted from fifty-year-old vines—amongst the oldest in BC—and only found in the region at Hester Creek.

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The winery also features the beautiful restaurant Terrafina, under new leadership with head chef Rod Butters—a member of the Canadian Culinary Foundation, former president of the Okanagan Chefs Association and author of The Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Home Cooking. Rod’s revised menu offers familiar dishes with unique slants: Think wild boar meatballs over pappardelle in butter sauce and Carnaroli risotto with cured apricot and smoked gorgonzola. But the real stars are the boards—artisan cheeses, tapenade, roasted mushrooms, and, of course, charcuterie, the echelon of all wine pairings.

With Rod’s help, along with his independent company RauDZ Creative Concepts, Hester Creek recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, commemorated by a Revival Weekend that ran last August. If attending such an event or if merely visiting on your own, you’d be recommended to stay at the Villa. Hester Creek features six Mediterranean-style suites providing lavish accommodation with unsurpassed views of both the vineyards and orchards as well as the entire valley beyond. Guests can enjoy an authentic wine experience without leaving the estate. 

What’s unique of all, however, is that Hester Creek enjoys a Prince George connection. Its owner, Curt Garland, is a proud resident of Prince George, having been both born and raised here. After having travelled the world, it’s flattering that Curt keeps a home in Prince George.

The vines at Hester Creek run deep and old in the province, and the winery remains one of the top locations to visit near Oliver as well as one of the few that can claim the title “Golden Mile Bench” on their bottles—the first sub geographical indication in British Columbia, separating the region based on the soil, climate, and topography. 

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