In 2015, the Golden Mile Bench became the first official wine sub-region of the Okanagan Valley, designated a sub-geographical indication (sub-GI). Situated along the western slope of Highway-97, south of Oliver, the Bench is home to some of Canada’s most prized vineyards. Road 13 high among them.
Pam and Mick Luckhurst purchased the estate (then called Golden Mile Cellars), in 2003. They changed the name to Road 13 Vineyards and rebranded; the crisp white and red label with its black tractor logo quickly becoming synonymous with outstanding wines.
Notably, the jewel of Road 13’s property is a 50-year-old block of chenin blanc. Vintage after vintage, those rare vines continue to bear stunning fruit; the pristine and crackling 2018 Chip off the Old Block Chenin Blanc, with its crunchy orchard fruits, honey, and citrus blossom aromas, is testimony.
But the vines surrounding Road 13’s Golden Mile estate are not the only ones harvested for the winery’s portfolio of wines—thanks to the Luckhurst’s son, Joe. Taking on the roll of general manager in 2014, Joe moved that portfolio toward classic Rhone Valley varietals. The Luckhursts found the quality they wanted from these Southern France varieties in the soils of the Similkameen Valley, specifically in the Blind Creek Vineyard.
Partnering in that vineyard has allowed Road 13 to produce the exceptional Rhone-style wines they were looking for. The 2018 roussanne has golden glints and presents notes of Meyer lemons, juicy peaches, and pine resin. It’s a potent white with a luxurious texture. Likewise, the 2018 VRM (viognier, roussanne, and marsanne) is akin to liquid honey in weight, doling out scents of mango, vanilla, and lanolin. Among the reds, the 2017 GSM (grenache, syrah, and mourvedre) boasts seductive notes of strawberry, licorice, violets, and baking spices, and is supple with generous fleshy fruit.
Road 13 has earned the respect of wine lovers across the country. In 2018, WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada named them Winery of the Year. A few months later, Road 13 and its surrounding vineyards was purchased by Anthony von Mandl, whose group, Iconic Wineries of British Columbia include: Mission Hill Family Estate, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Martin’s Lane Winery, and Checkmate Artisanal Winery.
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