On the edge of a new wine region: growing superb cool climate wines in the Creston Valley.
Our winery is named after one of our region’s most legendary pioneers, William Baillie-Grohman, as his pioneering, tenacious spirit is one we admire. We are on the edge of an emerging wine-growing area, in a unique microclimate in the Kootenay district of British Columbia, in a community called Creston. It is exciting to explore this region, like Baillie-Grohman did, but in our case we are uncovering characteristics that yield wines with new fingerprints not seen before in the world of wine.
Our approach is to produce small lots of super premium wine in our 5,000 case boutique winery. Everything is done by hand, 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 Proprieters of Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery
In 2006 we were drawn by a parcel of land for sale just outside of Creston. Our great love of wine and food made it impossible not to seize the opportunity to start our own winery in this unique micro climate. Simple…serendipity… Fast forward to 2010 and we released our first vintage (2009) – Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Blanc de Noirs Rosé and Chardonnay. Moving forward to today we continue to learn the land and the vines we farm. We are very young as far as grape growing areas are concerned. And it’s not so simple now; but we still have the love of wine. It’s a challenge to run a company with so many different facets to it. The farming, the wine making, the branding, the distributing and wholesaling, and the tasting room sales each require our ongoing attention. But the rewards of seeing the winery successfully develop over the years has made it easily worth it. As well, it’s been interesting to see the Creston area change over this time. Word is getting out about what a great area this is and we find many customers now coming back year after year.
‘William Baillie-Grohman had a vision that the Creston Valley could be converted into rich farmland. His efforts to do so align with our belief generations later, that this unique region has the capacity to produce premium grapes. As the winery and vineyards continue to evolve, this vision once again is becoming reality. We hope you enjoy our wines and that they inspire you to do something you are passionate about too…’
Along with our neighbors at Skimmerhorn Winery and Creston Valley Vineyard, we are committed to transforming this area into a place that is known for superb grapes and handcrafted top quality wines. We see exciting distinctions in our valley and on our Erickson Bench that yield wines with a unique Kootenay fingerprint. It is exciting to be on the edge of this emerging wine-growing region and even more exciting to put our expertise and passion into creating something that we hope will make a lasting impression.
The Legend of Willian Baillie-Grohman
Our winery proudly honours the name and spirit of one of the region’s most legendary pioneers, William Baillie-Grohman, who had an adventurous nature and love of the wilderness. Relocating to the area in 1890, Baillie-Grohman had a vision that the area along the Creston Valley Flats could be converted into rich farmland.
'Like the Okanagan Valley, ground crops were first planted in the Creston Valley; the evolution of this rich agricultural area led to orchards and tree fruits, and today, in select microclimates, vinifera grapes emerge.'
William Baillie-Grohman was a European aristocrat raised in a wealthy and privileged home. Despite these comforts, he was most at ease in the wilderness exploring new land, bearing little tolerance for society and its constraints. An avid outdoorsman and adventurer, Baillie-Grohman wrote many books on hunting, mountain climbing and wildlife.
Legend has it that during the summer of 1882, Baillie-Grohman first came across the Creston Valley in British Columbia while hunting goats on Mount Thompson with his friend (and future United States president) Teddy Roosevelt. He immediately saw the possibilities that the region held and began investigating ways of reclaiming land from the annual flooding of the Kootenay River. In 1883, he travelled to Victoria to propose a reclamation scheme that involved the removal of a natural dam at the narrow mouth of Kootenay Lake, and the creation of a dike system that would divert water and ultimately expose new land for farming. Baillie-Grohman’s trip to Victoria was fruitful, as he was granted a ten-year lease on 47,500 acres of land in addition to being named Justice of the Peace for the Kootenay district. However, the government placed conditions on the land lease, one in particular requiring Baillie-Grohman to run a steamboat on the navigable sections of the Kootenay River to transport people and goods.
In the summer season we hope you will visit us in our tasting room on the Erickson side of Creston.
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