Fitzpatricks in the Vineyard
The BC wine industry hit a major milestone in October when Cedar Creek celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Cedar Creek Estate Winery was one of the first eight wineries to operate in BC, releasing its first vintage to the public in 1987. The winery has survived thanks to the owners’ ability to stay ahead of the wave of changes that affected the wine industry over the last quarter-century.
The winery was launched in Kelowna in 1986, and purchased in 1988 by Senator Ross Fitzpatrick, who could see the potential for the Okanagan’s unique terroir.That same year, the wine industry was threatened by the introduction of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) which allowed quality US wines into BC at low prices.
Fitzpatrick saw this as a challenge, as opposed to a threat, and was among the first to replace lower quality hybrid grapes with vinifera vines.
In the years since Cedar Creek established a high standard of quality, twice being named Canadian Winery of the Year.
Now operated by Ross’s son Gordon Fitzpatrick, Cedar Creek is gearing up for the next quarter century with a new winemaker, Darryl Brooker, and a new dedication to producing ultra high quality aromatic whites.