It’s a new year with a new look at Monte Creek Winery near Kamloops.
Since its inception eight years ago, Monte Creek labels have featured historic photos of early 1900s farmland, locomotives and notorious train robber Billy Miner, who was arrested after a robbery on the tracks just outside outside of Monte Creek, which was a ranch at the time.
Now, all new releases feature labels with a modern, abstract aesthetic featuring a logo consisting of overlapping letters M, C, and V, representing Monte, Creek, and the Thompson Valley, respectively.
The flowing lines on the label symbolize the ancient lake that covered the land and helped create the terroir, the rows of vines and a fingerprint to reflect the winery’s artisanal approach.
“We felt that our brand needed an update to better align with our vision,” said general manager Erik Fisher.
“Over the past eight years, we have invested our time and resources in creating a driven, innovative and sustainable operation, and the look we had no longer reflected that. We’re ready for wine lovers to understand who we are both in the bottle and on the shelf – a delicious, long-lasting premium product.
The rebranding goes even further, creating three new series of wines.
First, Ancient Waters refers to the giant lake that once covered the area and has since receded to reveal an ideal landscape for viticulture and winemaking.
In the Ancient Waters series are Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Rose and Cabernet Franc.
My wife, Kerry, and I tried the 2019 Ancient Waters Chardonnay ($24) and loved its lemon-tropical-mineral profile — the result of aging in a combination of
textured concrete tanks and traditional oak barrels.
Second, Living Land is a tribute to regeneratively and organically cultivated soils.
In this series, you will find a Rosé, a sparkling Rosé, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, a Foch and a Cabernet Merlot.
And, third, Pioneers is a nod to the history of the area, from frontiersmen and prospectors to farmers and even train robber Billy Miner.
The Pioneer Series includes Hands Up red and white mixes, named after the “hands up” request Billy Miner invented while robbing trains.
“We’re on the edge of cool-climate viticulture,” said winemaker Galen Barnhardt.
“And it’s when wineries push the envelope that exciting, unique and delicious wines are made.”
Sixty-three restaurants and 17 hotels across the Okanagan are participating in this year’s Dine Around.
The promotion, which runs from Wednesday through February 10, allows restaurants to offer specially priced three-course meals with suggested wine or beer pairings.
For example, the Match Eateries at the Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna, and Kamloops casinos all serve three-course meals for $20 per person with a choice of salad or onion soup entrée; fish and chips, bacon and cheddar burger, pizza or hot chicken sandwich; and sticky caramel pudding for dessert.
Complimentary drinks are Sumac Ridge Unoaked Chardonnay from Summerland for $9.50, See Ya Later Ranch Pinot Noir from Okanagan Falls for $13.50, and Okanagan Springs 1516 Lager from Vernon for $7.50.
Hotels offer special rates in conjunction with Dine Around offers at their restaurants.
They include Hotel Eldorado, Delta Grand, Prestige Beach House and Hyatt Place in Kelowna, Spirit Ridge Resort in Osoyoos and The Cove in West Kelowna.
Wineries with restaurants are of course affected. They include Home Block at CedarCreek in Kelowna, Liquidity Winery in Okanagan Falls, Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna,
Old Vines at Quails’ Gate in West Kelowna, Sonetta at Play Winery in Penticton, Organic Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid in Kelowna, The Modest Butcher at Mount Boucherie in West Kelowna, and Time Kitchen at Time Family of Wines in Penticton.
See the full list of participating restaurants, hotels and wineries and menus at DineAround.ca.
Steve MacNaull is an Okanagan wine lover and Canadian wine researcher. Contact him at [email protected]