Best Winery in Kamloops Monte Creek Ranch Gold

Visit Kamloops’ largest winery featuring seasonal al fresco patio dining, wine inspired shopping, award- winning wines and stunning river valley views. Voted Kamloops’ Best Winery and Wedding Venue in early 2020 and is definitely not one to pass up on.  Forging a new era of exploration for the Thompson Valley, Monte Creek Ranch Winery offers the next frontier in winemaking.

Produced right here in the Thompson Okanagan are: Riesling, Cabernet Merlot, Frontenac Gris, Foch, Red and White Hands Up blends.

While the focus since 2009 has been growing a strong vineyard and raising healthy animals, the winery is open to the public, year round, with our inviting Tasting Room. The Winery itself has been open to the public for 5 years as of June 2020, with expansion plans to continue growth of the brand both locally and nationally. The Monte Creek Winery team welcomes wine lovers and farm fresh food fans to taste our wine, grass fed beef, all natural honey, haskap berry jam and more. We are also Salmon Safe and Biosphere certified! Learn more about our sustainability efforts here. Our ranch has 75 acres of vines planted at two estates vineyards, Monte Creek and Lion’s Head, as well as a herd of cattle, and horses.

With an agricultural background, the family understands how important it is to have healthy permaculture (diversity in offering and land use) for successful and sustainable farming. We practice organic farming methods at every opportunity, an important decision that has everything to do with the livestock we raise and our proximity to the river. Cattle graze on native grasses, and in the winter are fed hay grown on the property. Who wants to eat chemicals? We don’t.

Monte Creek Ranch Winery is owned by a local BC family. While the family’s hands are in every aspect of the business, they also have a trusted team of on-site professionals to manage daily winery and ranch operations.


The Architecture

Monte Creek Ranch Winery building overlooking the South Thompson River

The architecture of Monte Creek Ranch Winery is a simple expression of place and purpose — a way of marking settlement. The rugged site above the South Thompson River and across from Lion’s Head Mountain dictated a pragmatic use of form and materials. The design concept evolved from the site’s rural roots, marking an historic place of shelter, community and work — thus the name of the winery.

The building design was derived using iconic forms of the “Mission style” and regional barn structures. By repurposing authentic elements with the traditional tools and modern technology of winemaking, an Old-School meet New-School approach creates a place of community and celebration.

As a recurring theme throughout, the “River-of-Life” is reflected in the careful setting and building orientation that embraces the natural geography and climate. The Campanile/bell tower is an instantly recognizable beacon for gathering. Parapet gables and simple forms that characterize the region’s best historic buildings convey a sense of permanence and craft.

Weathered zinc, concrete, glass and steel are the primary building materials used in this modern interpretation of “Barn Architectur.” This authentic rural form respects its function and historic roots — the horse stall, the tractor garage, the cowboy dance hall, and a container for the harvest.


The Interiors

Weddings at Monte Creek RanchThe interior design of the Monte Creek Ranch takes a straightforward, rational approach by using a simple but modest palette of materials to carry an aesthetic that befits the architecture of the winery. The main gathering space is organized around an abstract aedicule, sheathed in birch plywood to provide a warm, welcoming cue to visitors. Metal barn doors add an industrial accent, as does the polished concrete floor, aluminum tubing and perforated sheeting used in the retail area.

A large custom chandelier in the main tasting room integrates the design elements of Ranch with Winery: aluminum ‘lassos’ swirl around a set of acrylic ‘spurs’ that hang from acoustic panels made of cork.

All in all, this is about an interior space that provides a quiet, respectful background to the breathtaking views around the winery while elevating the experience of ‘tasting the grape’ in a spectacular setting.

 


The Epic Land History

 

It’s a tale about an epic journey, of scratching a living from the land the best way you know how.


The Thompson Valley is steeped in history. Frontiersmen and prospectors – even infamous train robbers like Billy Miner – sought their fortunes in this area as the West was being built. The site of the Monte Creek Ranch winery echoes with the whispers of the past.

Generations back, the small community of Monte Creek (situated east of Kamloops along the South Thompson River and into the rolling hills) was known as “Ducks”, after the British settler Jacob Ducks, who ranched the area extensively. The town became a hub when Ducks opened a hotel to room railway workers, miners and other ranchers. In 1888 Hewitt Bostock purchased 3,380 acres near Kamloops from Ducks. Many years passed, yet locals continued to call it Ducks Ranch long after Bostock and his wife made it their home. The area achieved fame in 1906 as the site of the last train robbery by the notorious “Gentleman Bandit” Bill Miner.

  • history-image-1
  • history-image-2
  • history-image-3

Today’s Monte Creek is a tiny community where farming and ranching is still the mainstay. While the world has advanced in ways the inhabitants of the area could not have imagined a century ago, Monte Creek Ranch still maintains the ruggedly beautiful rolling plains, and natural surroundings that drew early settlers to the area.

Creating a New Legend

In 2009, the property was purchased by a family who were searching for new viable land. They came across the Monte Creek area and were excited about its potential, but it was the prospect of vineyards that caught their attention as these arid lands with ample sunlight looked promising for grapes. And the prospect of carrying on the tradition of the ranchers and farmers who came before the family was an adventure they could not resist. The family assembled an experienced team to bring their ranch to fruition.

The area achieved fame in 1906 as the site of the last train robbery by the notorious “Gentleman Bandit” Bill Miner.
– ‘Hands Up’ – Billy Miner 1906

Our Unique Diversity

Now, livestock share the ranch with grape vines and wildlife. Within the sweeping 1,200-acre ranch sits 75 acres of planted vineyards on either side of the Thompson River (with plenty of room to expand), a Tasting Room guest centre, horse trails, Black Angus cattle, rippling creeks, hay fields which are share cropped with neighbouring ranches, and views of the South Thompson River.

A particularly interesting non-grape crop on the ranch is 2.8 acres of Haskap berries, a berry in the honeysuckle family that is native to Siberia. These berries are very winter hardy and produce a cylindrical blue berry that is higher in antioxidants than blueberries.

To help pollinate these berries and more, the ranch also hosts several beehives, which produce delicious honey.

A New Kind of Wine Country

The ranch’s surroundings also include parcels of range land leased out to other ranchers and located just above Monte Creek Ranch (Rio Vista Range) and further south at Robbins Range. It is beautiful, wild, unspoiled land that has potential for horseback riding, hiking, fishing and cross-country skiing in winter.

Quite unlike wine country anywhere else, the ranch’s unique beauty and hospitality are a welcome stop where visitors can enjoy a wine tasting and shop for local products.

When it came time to give the land a new name, Monte Creek Ranch came to be; and the winery pays homage to the former frontier home site. This is a new era of exploration for Monte Creek Ranch, as the winery joins the small and emerging new frontier of British Columbia’s wine country.