They say that curiosity killed the cat, but it’s the number one prerequisite for any wine drinker interested in expanding his or her palate. After nearly two decades of growing consumption in B.C. mostly dominated by chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, and malbec sales, where do we go from here?
Ross Fitzpatrick, a Canadian senator for the Okanagan-Similkameen, founded CedarCreek Estate Winery in 1986 and saw it to success with a savvy amalgam of business acumen, knowledge of Okanagan agriculture history and confidence that the region could produce, in his words, “pretty good wine”.
The Van Westens first planted vineyards in 1999 to diversify their orchard business. Before making their first wine in 2003, they sold grapes to top wineries such as Poplar Grove, CedarCreek, and Lake Breeze. The transformation from grower to winemaker hasn’t always been easy for him.