Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Monday, April 30 2018

Olivier Humbrecht signs on in BC

By: Anthony Gismondi
The giant of Alsace to work with Phantom Creek in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.

The British Columbia wine industry just hit a major home run on the international wine stage and it has nothing to do with gold medals.

It’s much bigger than that. Phantom Creek Estates, yet to release a single bottle of wine, has signed a long-term collaboration with Olivier Humbrecht MW of Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, one of the most respected names in the world of wine. Phantom Creek is Humbrecht’s first and only winery consulting project, and it couldn’t be a better thing for BC wineries, dreadfully slow in engaging global expertise and exposure. It’s a stunning announcement and clever partnership, and we are all the better for it. Phantom Creek, and BC, is welcoming a master of pinot gris and riesling, as well as one of the world’s leading biodynamic specialists. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Humbrecht connection works out long term. It should be a big boost for him in Canada, and a bigger boost for BC wine in Europe, and around the world. 


Olivier Humbrecht MW joins Phantom Creek Estates as Consultant

Oliver, British Columbia: Phantom Creek Estates is pleased to announce a long-term collaboration with Olivier Humbrecht MW of Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht. Phantom Creek is Humbrecht’s first and only winery consulting project.

Olivier Humbrecht, France’s first Master of Wine, is the owner and winemaker of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht. The renowned estate has been in his family since 1620, and today is one of the world’s leading Pinot Gris and Riesling producers. Humbrecht initiated the winery’s transition to organic and biodynamic practices in 1997. He is now the President of Biodyvin, a prestigious biodynamic certifying body based in Europe.

As Phantom Creek expands its portfolio to include Pinot Gris and Riesling, two of British Columbia’s signature grape varieties, Humbrecht will be instrumental in helping to select and develop vineyard sites that have the potential for excellence.

“Having visited three times already, I know the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys are capable of producing exceptional Pinot Gris and Riesling with great vineyard character,” said Humbrecht. "With the ambition of ownership and the skilled team at Phantom Creek, I am enthusiastic about what we can achieve.”  

Working closely with Winemaker Ross Wise, Humbrecht will have an integral role in Phantom Creek’s white winemaking program. The state of the art winery, including an Alsatian inspired foudre room, was designed with Humbrecht’s input.

Humbrecht will also guide Phantom Creek’s transition to organic and biodynamic farming practices. The winery’s 67 acres of estate vineyards on the Black Sage Bench, including the historic Phantom Creek and Sundial Vineyards, have been farmed according to organic practices since 2017.

“We believe organic and biodynamic farming will result in the highest quality fruit from our estate vineyards,” said Ross Wise. “As the authority on biodynamic farming, Olivier is an indispensable source of knowledge.”

Phantom Creek’s inaugural wines will be released in Spring 2019, coinciding with the opening of the winery. Since 2016, the winery has farmed heat-seeking varieties ideally suited to the South Okanagan, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.

About Phantom Creek Estates

On the sunbathed Black Sage Bench in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, Phantom Creek Estates farms exceptional wines from historic vineyards. The winery’s estate vineyards, including the acclaimed Phantom Creek Vineyard, are in transition to organic and biodynamic practices. By farming historic vineyards with care and precision, Phantom Creek produces wines that celebrate and speak to where they are grown. Today, Winemaker Ross Wise continues the tradition of producing single vineyard wines from these sites. The winery is projected to open in Spring 2019. To follow the progress, visit phantomcreekestates.com.

About Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Winegrowing is a passion that has been passed down from father to son in the Humbrecht family since the 17th century. Domaine Zind-Humbrecht was created in 1959 by Léonard Humbrecht, and is now led by his son Olivier Humbrecht. Olivier became the first French Master of Wine in 1989. Today, the domaine comprises of 40 hectares of vines, spread out over an array of different terroirs in the geological patchwork which is the Alsatian wine region. The expression of terroir is reinforced by cultivating the vines organically and according to biodynamic principles.


Geoffrey Moss, Marketing Manager


(250) 689-2706

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. For over 30 years, he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. The twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to millions of readers. In addition, Anthony co-hosts the BC Food & Wine Radio Show, broadcast in 18 markets across B.C. and available as a podcast on Spotify, Apple and iHeart Radio and more. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.