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November 24, 2010
BC's Newest Winery is From Creston
William Adolf Baillie-Grohman lived the sort of life at the turn of the last century that Hollywood Western movies are made of. The adventurous Brit, a gentleman farmer and big game hunter, was also an author, chronicling his adventures "out West" in a 300+ page book entitled Fifteen Years' Sport and Life in the Hunting Grounds of Western America and British Columbia. It made him not only one of the Kootenay region's most legendary and colourful pioneers, but an important documentarian of early BC history.
So it's no wonder why Bob Johnson and Petra Flaa, ex-residents of Alberta and the new owners of Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery, decided to name their fledgling enterprise after W.A.'s tenacious pioneering spirit. Like Baillie-Grohman, Johnson and Flaa are themselves a kind of modern day pioneers by choosing to situate a winery on the edge of an emerging wine-growing area, in the unique microclimate surrounding Creston, BC.
To quote Johnson and Flaa, they and their team, headed by the celebrated New Zealand winemaker Dan Barker (of Moana Park Winery), are "uncovering characteristics that yield wines with new fingerprints not seen before in the world of wine".
The approach at Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery is to produce small lots of super premium wine in the 5,000-case boutique winery. Everything is done by hand and according to sustainable practices, from the farming to picking and sorting at harvest. Grape production is maintained at a low yield, with the aspiration of quality and concentrated flavours.
The 15.5 acres of Baillie-Grohman vineyards are all located within one kilometre of the winery, and are currently planted to Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Schoenburger, Chardonnay and Kerner. Wines in the first bottling include:
2009 Pinot Gris
2009 Blanc De Noirs Rosé
2009 Pinot Noir Estate
2009 Pinot Noir Reserve
The wines will be debut in liquor stores and restaurants throughout BC and Alberta this week. You should give them a try. And if you happen to be dining on Rocky Mountain big horn sheep or filet of bear, the wines will be a match in sentiment, if maybe not in temperament.
For more details, bios, tasting notes and tasting room hours, see the winery website at www.bailliegrohman.com.
Visit the winery at
1140 - 27th Avenue South
Sales Agency: Vintage West Wine Marketers.