The Founder’s Dinner at Phantom Creek Estates is the Ultimate Experience

There are some incredible wine tours and experiences available at Phantom Creek Estates in Oliver, BC.

We had been eagerly awaiting the opening of Phantom Creek Estates, located on the famed Black Sage Bench in BC’s Okanagan, for well over a year. Construction took five years to complete this 78,000-square-foot destination winery that looks and feels like it belongs in Napa Valley.

We had visited the winery while it was under construction during one of our stays in the area, as BC’s wine region is one of our favorite locations to escape to for a weekend getaway.

We visited the winery while it was under construction during one of our stays in the area, as BC’s wine region is one of our favorite locations to escape to for a weekend getaway.

When the winery opened its doors to customers for the first time, we were one of the first guests to experience their Estate Tour & Tasting, and it did not disappoint. During our visit, we managed to secure a spot on their sought after (and now sold out) Grand Cru Wine Club Membership.

We toured the Founder’s Cellar during our first visit. We knew that we must return when they started offering their Founder’s Cellar Experience, which includes a curated five-course menu paired with exclusive wines from the vineyard.

Tours & Tastings at Phantom Creek Estates

There are three experiences available by reservation at Phantom Creek Estates. There is a 45-minute seated tasting, a 90-minute guided tour and tasting, and a three-hour guided tour complete with five course dinner and wine pairings.

Related: 34 Family-Friendly California Wineries To Visit

Founder’s Cellar Experience

The Founder’s Cellar Experience at Phantom Creek Estates is hands down the most incredible event at the winery. It begins with one of Phantom Creek’s Brand Ambassadors greeting you at the grand entrance.

As you arrive at the winery, you cannot miss the two six-meter-tall angel sculptures by Chinese artist Wu Ching Ju that flank the entrance walkway.

phantom creek estates angel statues
The impressive entrance to the winery at Phantom Creek Estates.

As you enter the immaculate tasting room you welcomed with a tasting of their Rosé which is one of my favourite Phantom Creek wines. I loved it so much that I bought an entire case of it. The guided tour starts in the History Room which is complete with a 3d model rendering of the elevations of the land and shows where each of their vineyards are in relation to the winery itself.

There are four soil samples on display which showcase the different types of soil that each vineyard has. They are beautifully displayed on the wall behind the 3d model rendering.

After finishing our Rosé, our guide took us outside into the vineyard and explained that Phantom Creek Estates is transitioning to organic and biodynamic certification to forego use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers in its estate vineyards. 

Our walk along the vineyards took us to the Helios Sculpture at the end of the walkway which captures the ever changing light. Owner Richter Bai is a patron of the arts and there are many features throughout the winery that showcase his passion.

We were then taken through the facility, admiring the tanks and barrels and state of the art equipment. Even the stairways and light fixtures are mesmerizing as we weaved our way to the main event.

wine barrels
The beautiful wine barrels at Phantom Creek Estates

There is nothing short of amazement as the doors to the VIP tasting room are opened to reveal a circular room full of barrels that encompass a smaller circular glass room. The centrepiece is the most incredible abstract chandelier by Seattle glass sculptor Dale Chihuly and the glass room has been designed so that the chandelier is reflected in each pane of glass.

glass chandelier
The exquisite chandelier in the Founders Cellar.

The exquisitely set round table was set with 5 wine pairings to complement each of the five course dinner to follow. For our tasting we enjoyed the following exclusive wines:

  • 2017 Small Lots Block 1A Syrah
  • 2017 Kobau Merlot
  • 2017 Becker Vineyard Cuvée
  • 2016 PCV Petite Verdot Malbec Co-Ferment
  • 2016 Phantom Creek Cuvée
red wine tasting flight
Red wine pairing for the Founder’s Cellar Experience

Our dinner was served by Canadian-born chefs Sarah Fiore and Alexandra Sandoval, hailing from Michelin-starred Estela in New York City. As they served each course they would describe the dish and their inspirations for creating them. They clearly have a passion for discovering local ingredients and the food was absolutely delicious and enhanced the wine with each course.

Our five course curated dinner included the following:

  • Turmeric Lomo Pork Tenderloin
  • Beretta Beef Carpaccio with anchovy dressing
  • Fois Gras Torchon and preserved nectarine
  • Pickled, roasted Mushroom Medley
  • Fraser Valley Duck and charred peaches

The cost for the Founder’s Cellar Experience at Phantom Creek Estates is $255 per person and requires a pre-paid advance reservation. It is also important to note that this dinner involves a wine pairing with red wines only.

Estate Tour & Tasting

This 90 minute guided tasting begins in the History Room with one of Phantom Creek Estate’s Brand Ambassadors. There you will have a view of the South Okanagan and will learn about the different soil compositions of each vineyard and learn about Phantom Creek’s transition to organic and biodynamic certification.

From there you will be taken on a tour of the wine-making process, including their state-of-the-art equipment and exquisite attention to detail. Your unforgettable tasting will take place in a private tasting room with views of the southern Okanagan.

wine cellar
One of the vast cellar’s that house the wine barrels.

The tasting will consist of a premium selection of wines available at the winery. The cost is $50 per person and requires a pre-paid advance reservation.

Seated Tasting

This 45-minute seating tasting takes place in their magnificent tasting room overlooking the vineyards and offers a breathtaking view of the South Okanagan.

One of Phantom Creek’s Brand Ambassadors will guide you through a selection of wines, offering a history of the winery and highlighting some intersting facts about the winery.

wine glasses
Selection of wines for the seated tasting at Phantom Creek Estates

There is seating available, both inside and outside, on the patio and both areas offers sweeping views of the valley. There is beautiful patio furniture located on the winery’s expansive patio area, just above the 500-seat outdoor amphitheater.

The Seated Tasting at Phantom Creek Estates offers a wonderful introduction to their wines and will leave you wanting to return to both explore more of the winery but also taste some of their more exclusive wines.

The cost for the Seated Tasting is $20 per person and requires a pre-paid reservation in order to confirm. For a complete wine-tasting experience, add Chef’s selection of seasonal food pairings, each matched perfectly to your flight of wines.

phantom creek estates at night
Leaving the winery was breathtaking in the moonlight.

Related: Okanagan Winery Accommodation: Burrowing Owl Guest House

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a highly anticipated new 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.  

By farming its vineyards with care and precision, Phantom Creek produces wines that celebrate and speak to where they are grown.  The winery’s estate vineyards, including the acclaimed Phantom Creek Vineyard, are in transition to organic and biodynamic certification.  

Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best BC Wineries for more information about this incredible wine region!

Travel Writer at Savoteur | + posts

Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.