CedarCreek winery sold to VMF Estates

View of CedarCreek
View of CedarCreek's Home Block Vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake.
— image credit: Contributed

Two of the leading winery proprietors in the Central Okanagan have reached an agreement that will see CedarCreek Estate Winery sold to  Anthony von Mandl, head of  VMF Estates which also owns the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery.

Announcement of the deal was made jointly today by von Mandl and Ross Fitzpatrick, who operated the winery with his son Gordon Fitzpatrick.

“Our family has long admired the pioneering achievements of Ross, Linda, and Gordon Fitzpatrick,” said von Mandl. “The Fitzpatrick family has consistently produced some of the top wines in the Okanagan Valley. Our family would like to pay tribute to the exceptional work of CedarCreek Founder, Senator Ross Fitzpatrick, whose vision has not only built one of the most respected estate wineries in British Columbia, but has been instrumental in making the Okanagan wine industry what it is today.”

CedarCreek Estate Winery has been recognized twice as ‘Canadian Winery of the Year’ and was one of the first eight wineries in the Okanagan Valley. The success of CedarCreek is rooted in the vision of  the elder Fitzpatrick, a retired Canadian senator who was born and raised in the Okanagan who fulfilled his boyhood dreams by returning to the Okanagan Valley to acquire an orchard and small vineyard near Kelowna and naming it CedarCreek.

CedarCreek owns some of the valley’s most desirable vineyards in Kelowna and Osoyoos. While CedarCreek was not up for sale when initially approached by von Mandl, the Fitzpatricks said upon reflection of the offer, they saw another family with a shared vision for the Okanagan Valley who would continue their family legacy for generations to come.

“The CedarCreek philosophy of respect the land, honour tradition and pursue perfection has guided us well over the last 27 years, up to and including this final transaction," said Ross Fitzpatrick.

"I cannot imagine a better place for CedarCreek given Anthony’s commitment to the valley and his goal to place the Okanagan on the international wine map which has been unwavering over the last 20  years. We have placed CedarCreek in very good hands and I look forward to enjoying many more glasses from our Home Block. I am very proud of our accomplishments and would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to my family, staff, colleagues and customers for their support over the years.”

CedarCreek president Gordon Fitzpatrick added: “We say ‘Our Wine is our Word’ and we are confident that CedarCreek will continue to over deliver under the ownership of the von Mandl family and the winemaking guidance of Darryl Brooker. It is not very often that two multiple winners of Canada’s Winery of the Year join the same family.”

The purchase includes CedarCreek winery and the Fitzpatrick family’s vineyard holdings, excluding the Greata Ranch Vineyard and Winery in Peachland which the Fitzpatrick family will continue to own and operate.

The purchase price was not disclosed and the transaction is expected to close in early February 2014.

VMF Estates is the von Mandl family’s newly created family-owned business comprising a collection of vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, including Mission Hill Family Estate and CheckMate Artisanal Winery, a small, gravity-fed winery located on the “Golden Mile," just south of the town of Oliver.

Each winery operates independently, with separate staffing, management, and the common purpose is to produce wines that can stand alongside the best in the world. Rick Bonitati, president of VMF Estates.


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