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Best of Monte Creek Ranch

winery-front-4-800x533Launched in 2015, history-rich Monte Creek Ranch is a beacon for wine enthusiasts on the Trans-Canada only 10 km east of Kamloops and just east of the Highway 97 junction. The recently-completed, “mission-style” winery features a spacious, light-filled cellar door and the locally-inspired Terrace Restaurant.

Looking for cheaper land to grow blueberries, Gurjit Sidhu of Sidhu and Sons Nursery in Mission acquired the 1,200 acre property in 2009. It consists of 900 acre Monte Creek Ranch and the winery on the south side of the Thompson and 300 acre Lion’s Head Ranch on the north shore. 40 acres of grapes at the Monte Creek Ranch site includes such early-ripening grape varieties as Maréchal Foch and five cold hardy U. of Minnesota hybrids, recommended by retired provincial government grape expert John Vielvoye, such as Marquette and La Crescent. A cooler site on the valley floor, windmills are used for air movement to reduce the risk of frost. The land is also use to grow Haskap berries, house beehives and produce honey, and raise grass-fed cattle. The On a 300 acre property on the north side of the valley, 20 acre Lion’s Head vineyard is more favourable to vinifera varieties such as Riesling and a trial plot for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as Minnesota hybrids.

Erik Fisher, General Manager and Galen Bernhardt, winemaker, Monte Creek Ranch winery, view  home vineyard

Erik Fisher, General Manager and Galen Bernhardt, winemaker,
Monte Creek Ranch winery, view home vineyard

Tasting notes for recently released Monte Creek Ranch wines:




**** 2015 Hands Up Red, British Columbia $16.49

In this easy-drinking blend, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are sourced from the Okanagan Valley and Marquette and Frontenac Noir from Monte Creek Ranch. It delivers gobs of fresh, ripe fruit. It features candied-like cherry and blackberry nectar infused with a splash of cranberry, notes of pepper and licorice, and a soft, even succulent, texture. Pair with hearty beef stew.




**** 2015 Foch, British Columbia $18.49

Adding 14% Okanagan-grown Merlot imparts roundness and richness to this bold Monte Creek Ranch Foch. It exhibits resounding varietal flavours of smoke, pepper, dark plum and cherry, with a vein of hot lemon juice cushioned by a subtle, silky texture and notes of vanilla and toast. Cellar for six months or serve now with barbecued ribs or spicy Indian cuisine.






***1/2 2015 Chardonnay, British Columbia $16.99

This is a perfectly decent Chardonnay but it lacks panache. The flavours suggest honey-lemon, apricot, celery and wet wool. Try with chicken pot pie or chicken à la king.








****1/2 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon,  Okanagan Valley $29.99

Addition of small doses of Merlot and Cabernet Franc impart roundness and spiciness to elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark and dense with an enticing chocolate-raspberry nose, the palate shows nuances of cassis, blackcurrants, leather, cedar and vanilla with spicy oak and fat, ripe, peppery tannins. Accompanies rich red meat and game feasts.








**** NV Blueberry Wine, British Columbia $15.99

Simply delightful, this thirst quenching fruit wine is like a breath of fresh air.  Light and fruity, it features a slightly herbaceous, bright, blueberry taste with well-tuned balance of lively acidity and a hint of sweetness on the finish. Enjoy with salty snacks or spicy Asian food.


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