The Golden Mile is situated along Highway 97, between Road 18 and Fairview, in the South Okanagan. Here, several top-quality wineries are situated on some of the valley’s best viticultural sites. A winery formerly known as Golden Mile Cellars, a name inherited from previous owners Peter and Helga Serwo, is now the venture of Pam and Mick Luckhurst, who have renamed it Road 13 Vineyards. The Luckhursts heard from several of their neighbours that the entire region is gaining recognition as a prime wine-producing area, and realized the old name might be confusing to the world at large. The winery and tow of its three premium vineyards sit on Road 13, hence the new name.
But this was no mere rebranding exercise. Wine writer, taster and judge David Scholefield sat down with the Luckhursts to explore the potential of their land, and the great wines it could possibly yield. Joining the operation in 2004, Winemaker Michael Bartier is a “homegrown” winemaker, who learned his craft at some of the Okanagan’s finest wineries. He is helping Road 13 to continue improving the quality of its wines. There are three vineyard blocks: Castle vineyard (10.4 acres), the Rock Pile (11.5 acres), and Home vineyard (12.7 acres).
Three tiers of wines are produced: Honest John’s, with both a red and a white blend; varietal bottlings; and a premium Jackpot series. In each case, there is good value, and some striking expressions of Okanagan terroir, something that Bartier and the Luckhursts are proud of. Mick spends a great deal of time in the vineyards, and does extensive research new ways of growing better grapes and into sustainable vineyard practices they can adopt. Michael, meanwhile, never forgets that wine is best consumed with food, and his winemaking approach delivers wines that are approachable, but with plenty of character and varietal correctness. As a result, some of British Columbia’s finest restaurants have Road 13 on their lists. Mick Luckhurst brands the wines with his phrase, “It’s all about the dirt.” We might add that, while this is abundantly true, what arrives in your glass is pretty special, too.