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There Is an Amazing Wine Empire being Built In The Arizonian Part of Canada

by Andrew Chalk

Where in North America can one find 100 degree days, wild cacti, rattlesnakes, and desert conditions. Arizona, you say? How about somewhere on a latitude similar to that of Champagne or Mosel? That place would be Canada's Okanagan Valley and specifically around Oliver, location of the only arid desert in Canada.

Here is where you will find a wine making operation engineered on a par with a Rolls Royce or a Bugatti. Where red wine making is handled by everyone's favorite consulting winemaker (and student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Bordeaux) Philippe Melka. White wine by Alsatian legend Olivier Humbrecht, MW. Over all is Director of Winemaking Mark Beringer, fifth generation of one of the first families of California wine. That is the situation at Phantom Creek Estates from whom genre defining wine will be expected.

All of this is prelude to publishing the winery's press release announcing Mark Beringer's appointment.


Phantom Creek Estates Appoints Mark Beringer As Director of Winemaking

Legendary Napa Valley Winemaker Joins British Columbia’s

Most Exciting Winemaking Team

OLIVER, British Columbia (July 26, 2021) – Phantom Creek Estates announced today the winery’s appointment of Mark Beringer to Director of Winemaking. Beringer will work closely with the winery’s winemaker for the white wine program Karin Grosstessner-Hain, who has been with the winery since the inaugural 2016 vintage, and internationally renowned winemaking team Philippe Melka and Olivier Humbrecht MW.

Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of Beringer Vineyards' founding brother Jacob Beringer, was immersed in wine from the moment he was born in the heart of the Napa Valley. As the direct descendant to Beringer's first winemaker and steward of one of the most iconic family names in California wine history, he knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his forefathers.

After receiving an Enology degree from California State University in Fresno, Beringer spent a year in the cellars at Benziger Family Winery in Sonoma before joining Duckhorn Vineyards as an enologist in 1992, where he worked his way up to Vice President of Winemaking. In 2009, Mark joined Artesa as Vice President and Winemaker.

In 2015, Mark Beringer returned to his namesake Beringer Vineyards, joining as Chief Winemaker and following in the footsteps of acclaimed Winemaker Emeritus Laurie Hook.

“The Okanagan Valley really excites me as it shows so much potential and there is an incredible opportunity to help this region achieve global recognition,” said Beringer. “Phantom Creek Estates has invested significantly in acquiring some of the region’s most acclaimed and historic vineyards, technology, architecture and talent, so I believe that the winery will be the premier property in the region, if not Canada, and that’s a goal I’m inspired to be a part of.”

As the Director of Winemaking at Phantom Creek Estates, Beringer looks forward to making terroir-driven wines with minimal intervention to ensure the delicate qualities of the unique vineyard sites are thoroughly expressed in each wine. Beringer joins an elite team of wine legends, including Alsace superstar Olivier Humbrecht MW, who he has admired throughout his winemaking career and looks forward to learning from, especially in regards to his unrivaled knowledge of biodynamic and organic farming practices. Philippe Melka, acclaimed for his art of blending and consulting winemaker for the red wine program, brings an interesting perspective on the region that Beringer appreciates and eagerly awaits tasting through the winery’s portfolio with him.

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates is open for guided tastings and winery tours. The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates is open for lunch Thursday through Monday. To make a reservation, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by calling (250) 498-8367, emailing, or visiting

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Mark Beringer, Olivier Humbrecht MW and Philippe Melka – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

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