Who is Tinhorn Creek?
Our winery is the product of friends (the Shaunessys and the Oldfields) deciding to go into business together in 1993 in Oliver, BC. The winery officially opened in 1996. We started from humble beginnings – like having barrels of wine in the basement of a house. And we decided to plant a few more vines, for a total of 150 acres. That’s a lot of vines.
We grow grapes and we make wine. There are many steps between the field and the bottle, but at the end of the day it’s about farming the land responsibly, having fun, and making wines to share with family and friends.
Our first commercial release of wines was in 1994 with Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot.
We have an excellent restaurant, Miradoro Restaurant, which in Vancouver Magazine has won GOLD Best Winery Restaurant 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.
Situated in the south-central interior of British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley lies in a rain shadow between the Coastal and Monashee mountain ranges. The lack of precipitation combined with a warm climate makes it one of the warmest and most arid places in Canada. Imposing mountain ridges and a chain of fresh water lakes play host to orchards and vineyards and spectacular natural sage and grass-covered terrain.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards spans 150 acres of prime agricultural land on two very distinct benches. This land lends to the creation of terroir driven wines that are classic illustrations of the place they are grown. The 100-acre Diamondback Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench is planted with a mix of red and white varieties, primarily Pinot Gris, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The 50-acre Tinhorn Creek Vineyard on the Golden Mile Bench is also planted with a mix of grapes, but primarily features Gewürztraminer. The winery produces wines in two tiers under one dynamic and compelling label. The single-varietal series includes a Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot.
Only worthy wines are selected each year for the winery’s reserve tier, owner Sandra Oldfield’s signature wines, named the Oldfield Series. This tier is a playground for experimentation and is a creative showcase of the best wines from each vintage. The series includes 2Bench White and 2Bench Red, both proprietary blends, as well as a Rosé, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and a Golden Mile designated Chardonnay. The red wines in the Oldfield Series are aged for three to four years prior to release. All Tinhorn Creek wines evoke the unique terroir of the region: the sage-covered desert terrain.
Talking About Sandra
From Tinhorn News “…CEO Sandra Oldfield has been named as a Top 100 award winner in the Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters category of the Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) 2016 Canada’s Most Powerful Women.
Sandra’s award recognizes her trailblazing in the wine industry, having been one of the few BC female winemakers when Tinhorn Creek Vineyards opened over 20 years ago and now one of the few female CEOs in the Canadian wine industry. Sandra spearheaded the establishment of BC’s first wine-growing sub-appellation, the Golden Mile Bench, and has kept Tinhorn at the forefront of the industry by making them the first winery in Canada to move their entire production to screw top closures rather than corks in 2003 and starting the province’s first wine club, shipping wine direct to consumers. In 2009 Sandra tackled sustainability when Tinhorn Creek became Canada’s only carbon neutral winery and perhaps the achievement closest to Sandra’s heart has been the implementation of the most rigorous Health and Safety program of any winery in BC and achieving Canada’s Safest Employers Award, for outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of workers.
Sandra’s advocacy work promoting Canadian wines to Canadians has garnered the attention of national press through her political acts highlighting problems with access to wine (such as when she proved it is easier in Canada to order and ship a 12-gauge shotgun online than a 12 bottle case of Canadian wine) and campaigning for clearer labeling of grape origins for wines as ‘cellared in Canada’ contain Canadian grapes. Since 2011 Sandra has combined her love for wine, the wine industry and social media to being a weekly online discussion on twitter called #BCWineChat to bring together consumers, wineries, retailers and restaurants on specific topics of exploration weekly…”
The Wines We Will Be Pouring at the International Festival Tasting Room
The wines we will be pouring in at the International Festival Tasting Room:
- 2015 Oldfield Series 2Bench White – With the elevated levels of Viognier in this wine the apricot and stone fruit nose is prominent much earlier than in 2014. It shows the heat of the vintage by being more opulent than the 2014 this early on, but it delivers on power and poise very nicely. The weight and texture are the hallmark of this wine, with a viscosity and mouthfeel that is only found in some of the world’s most interesting wines
- 2012 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir – Light ruby colour with a tawny rim; terroir-driven nose of red berries with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, strawberry flavour, firmly structured with great acidity; well-balanced with ripe tannins.(review on Trialto.com)
- 2012 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red – Lovely blueberry and cassis-driven nose typical of Black Sage Bench Cabernet Sauvignon. Follows up with black cherries and a subtle dried herb to finish out a powerful and expressive aroma. Palate carries through with the nose, again blueberries, cherries and herbs, but it’s laced with a beautiful chocolate mocha frame. Fine tannins hint at the cellaring potential of this wine. Great finish with fruit and tannin carrying the finish for what seems like forever.
- 2013 Oldfield Series Merlot – This is 95% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Syrah. The wine aged in French oak (30% new) for 18 months and then another year in bottle before release. Dark in colour, it begins with aromas of black currants, plum, black cherries and spice. That is echoed on the palate, along with flavours of espresso and dark chocolate. Tasted the second day, the wine also revealed flavours of plum jam. Decant the wine for immediate drinking. (Review on trialto.com)