Founded way back in 1993 by two families who have grown to become more like family than friends, the Shaunnessy’s and the Oldfields, Tinhorn Creek has become synonymous with quality Okanagan wine. The 1998 Merlot, Awarded best red wine in Canada by the now defunct Canadian Wine Awards certainly put them on the map, but my fondest memory was their first vintage of Cabernet Franc, the 1996, a wine that every time I opened a bottle I couldn’t believe how good it was, and that was quite a few times. I have had the great pleasure to visit the winery a number of times, stayed in their beautiful guest suite on three occasions and had several excellent conversations with Sandra Oldfield, now the General Manager and Head Winemaker. Sandra (@SandraOldfield)¬†also happens to be the First Lady of Twitter, if you aren’t following her already, what’s wrong with you? So, this is only a short selection of what’s available, I’m sure I’ll be back to update this after the Bloom event in early June.




2012 Gewurztraminer – Bright gold with a slightly greenish hue and fading to a clear rim, with a luscious sheen and viscous weight in the glass. On the nose, it is full of fragrant floral notes and tropical fruit such as papaya and mango. On the palate, it is dry, with luxurious ripe tropical fruit and surprisingly tart acidity, something you don’t find in Gewurztraminer too often, but a nice surprise. The wine is medium bodied with nice balance, perhaps just a bit short on the finish, but overall a very nice wine for sipping pre-meal or with a bit of cheese and cured meat. Suggested retail $18.50


2012 Pinot Gris – Bright copper/gold with almost an amber hue and pale to the rim, mid weight in the glass. On the nose, there are plenty of aromas of ripe orchard fruits (apple/pear) and complex nutty / toasty notes. On the palate it is dry, with savoury acidity and intense mineral and ripe peach and apricot fruit flavours, and a well balanced and persistent finish. Try with grilled vegetable antipasti and pickled octopus. Suggested retail $18.99


2010 Cabernet Franc – Intense bright ruby with slightly violet colouring towards the rim and medium weight in the glass. On the nose, it is packed full of chocolate and cherries with perfumed floral and mild smoky aromas. On the palate, the wine is dry with moderate acidity and firm yet smooth tannins. A bit chalky, there is plenty of ripe red fruit/berry flavours and excellent balance with a long generous finish. Although not formally announced yet, this wine took home a Double Gold medal at the All Canadian Wine Awards (May 2013). A double gold means that it was the highest scoring wine in the category, so expect that once everyone catches on this wine will sell out quickly. Suggested retail price $21.99


2010 Merlot – Like the Cabernet Franc above, the Merlot is a vibrant bright ruby colour with a slightly violet hue to the rim and moderate viscosity in the glass. On the nose, there is plenty of dark fruit such as cherry and plum with toasty oak, vanilla and a slight herbaceous/capsicum note. On the palate, the wine is dry with mouth watering acidity and firm smooth tannins. Flavours of sour cherry and dark plum mix with smoky oak, bitter chocolate and mild tobacco leading to a long fruit filled finish. Enjoyable on its own, you could also pair this with just about anything you’re likely to cook on the barbecue this summer. Suggested retail price $19.99

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