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Francis Hutt is New Winemaker for Phantom Creek Estates

Posted on September 12, 2019

Oliver, B.C.—OLIVER, British Columbia – Richter Bai, founder of Phantom Creek Estates, a highly anticipated new winery located on the Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, is pleased to announce the appointment of Santiago Cilley as chief executive officer and Francis Hutt as winemaker. To celebrate the completion of the winery’s first phase of construction ahead of the 2019 harvest, Phantom Creek Estates will offer a preview Estate Tour and Tasting guided experience by appointment beginning September 1. The winery will complete its second and final phase of construction early next year, with a grand opening scheduled for April 2020.

Amenities include a modern, multi-level hospitality center; an onsite, indoor/outdoor restaurant; and a 500-seat amphitheater for outdoor concerts. Guests will have the opportunity to taste the estate’s acclaimed wines, which celebrate and speak their storied vineyard sites.

“We conducted a lengthy, global search for these key positions. I’m confident Santiago and Francis are the right individuals to build Phantom Creek Estates into a world-class, legacy winery,” said Bai.

Francis Hutt has made wine on both the north and south islands of his native New Zealand – in addition to participating in harvests in Oregon, Burgundy and Australia’s Hunter Valley – developing a deep knowledge of organic and biodynamic winegrowing. As general manager and head winemaker at Carrick Winery & Vineyards in New Zealand, he led the transformation of the vineyards to organic certification. He also oversaw winemaking at Kennedy Point Vineyard, Waiheke Island’s only certified organic vineyard and a highly regarded producer of Bordeaux varieties. Hutt holds a bachelor’s degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand. Looking for the micro expressions in every vineyard block, Hutt weaves together the full story of Phantom Creek Estates with a winemaking style that favors balance and identifying the nuances of each vineyard.

“I’m thrilled to join Phantom Creek Estates as it was obvious from the beginning that the team is passionate about creating something special, from back-of-house to winemaking, the energy here is really great,” said Hutt. “I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to steward these distinctive sites, especially as we continue our transition to organic and biodynamic certification.”

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates will be open for preview guided tastings by appointment Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phantom Creek Estate can be reached by visiting

Region: British Columbia
Job Function: Winemaking

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