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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Monday, November 6 2017

Blockbuster Okanagan vineyard deal

By: Anthony Gismondi
Phantom Creek acquires 63-acres on the Golden Mile Bench

More big news out the Okanagan Valley with word that Phantom Creek has acquired 63-acres (25.49 hectares) of vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench in British Columbia’s south Okanagan Valley.

The vineyard, established in 2004 by Chris and Betty Jentsch, is planted to cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and malbec with a bit of viognier and a block of syrah.

In speaking with Ingo Grady, the President of Phantom Creek he said, “It is a privilege for us to take stewardship of this special site on the Golden Mile Bench,” and the property will join the winery’s estate vineyards on the Black Sage Bench in transitioning to organic and biodynamic certification.

The team couldn't be happier at Phantom Creek as their long-term plans to be sizable landowners and high-quality wine producers in both Okanagan and the Similkameen Valley fall into place. To date, by my count, Phantom Creek is approaching some 175 acres, or 70 hectares. Some will be replanted but all will go organic as soon as possible. Winemaker & Viticulturist Ross Wise says “Biodynamic farming requires meticulous attention to detail, which in turn makes us more attuned to our vineyards. It is a sustainable and gentle approach, which we also think yields exceptional wines.”

As for Chris Jentsch and family and his stellar team at C.C. Jentsch Cellars they will remain in the wine business at their dedicated facility at Testalinda Creek. The family-owned winery will continue to farm three estate vineyards stretching from Testalinda Creek to the Black Sage Bench to Summerland.

“We are delighted to find a buyer that is committed to continuing the tradition of excellence and the pursuit of enhancing this world-class vineyard,” said viticulturist and owner Chris Jentsch.

The new Phantom Creek property has some heady neighbours surrounded by Road 13, Checkmate and Culmina wineries on The Golden Mile Bench, British Columbia’s first official sub-appellation. It’s been said the sub-region benefits from early morning sunshine, while being shaded from the warm, late afternoon sun by Mount Kobau. This, combined with complex, gravelly soils, results in exceptional wines that balance ripeness with fresh acidity. More than anything it would also seem that the sub appellation is beginning to reap the benefits of focus and a place name that is propelling it on the world wine map.

The vineyard sale closed on November 1, 2017. No prices were revealed but my sources have estimated the that an acre of vineyard land in the south Okanagan is now somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000 and rising.

Take a first look at a new winery literally emerging from the historic Black Sage Bench in the South Okanagan. 

For more on Phantom Creek Estates visit: https://phantomcreekestates.com/

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. He is currently in his 29th year as the wine columnist at the Vancouver Sun and a Partner and Principal Critic at www.winealign.comAnthony is also the co-host of the longest running, weekly, wine and food show in Canadian radio: The Best of Food and Wine. You can listen to the show across the Best of Food and Wine Radio Network multiple times per week. For air times in your city, or to listen live on the internet, check here.