November 28th, 2020 – Sandra Oldfield, Kurtis Kolt , Rhys Pender. Helping Local Restaurants and Wineries in the year ahead.

Sandra Oldfield, Kurtis Kolt , Rhys Pender. Helping Restaurants and Wineries in the year ahead



2020… a year like no other.

We all have hunkered down and completely changed our lives in order to survive the Covid19 virus.

Perhaps lost in all this is the fact that restaurants and wineries are struggling to stay open and stay alive.

We have gathered three of the voices that need to be heard.  They speak on behalf of families struggling to keep their businesses open.

Struggling to pay staff and suppliers.

We try to answer the basic question  –  HOW CAN WE HELP?

I’ve asked Sandra and Kurtis and Rhys to give us the lay of the land.  Where are the needs, who’s adapting well and what the year ahead looks like.

I also took the time to ask them to recommend wines they’ve tasted recently that people should know about.


Kurtis Kolt 


Kurtis is  a Vancouver-based wine consultant who writes about wine, presents seminars, hosts events, judges wine competitions, works with restaurants on their wine programs, and so on.
Kurtis’ background is in running restaurants around Vancouver, eventually managing Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room until 2010 when he received the ‘Sommelier of the Year’ award at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

Kurtis has various certifications and credits through London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Court of Master Sommeliers & the Winemaking Program at UC Davis. He is  also the co-founder of Top Drop, dubbed “the nerdiest, most awesome wine festival in Canada.”.


Wines Kurtis would like to  recommend:

2018 Cerasuolo Dabruzzo Tiberio

2018 Morgon – Mathieu & Camille Lapierre

2018 – Road 13  Chenin Blanc Chip off the Old Block



Sandra Oldfield

Sandra Oldfield

Sandra and Kenn Oldfield established Elysian Projects to give a hand up to BC wineries and tourism businesses.  They work in a wide range of areas including organizational effectiveness, business analysis and planning, recruitment, mentoring and innovative sales and marketing ideas.  At the heart of every project they accept is the belief that people come first and from there success will follow.


Many of you know Sandra from her over 30 years in the wine business. She made 20 vintages as winemaker at Tinhorn Creek and became the  CEO.

She lead the way for BC’s first sub appellation – The Golden Mile Bench. She currently suits on the Ministers Council for Tourism BC,  has agreed to be on the  board for Thompson Valley Tourism and  just wrapped up the 2020 edition of Fortify, a business conference for the beverage industry.

Check out her weekly #bcwinechat  – It’s a Hoot.. Two actually.


When asked to recommend a wine she suggested  Bill Eggert’s Fairview Cellars Two Hoots a Cab/Merlot blended specifically for daily consumption. True.



Rhys Pender

Rhys Pender MW is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Working in the wine trade since age 14, Rhys’ career has included experience in the vineyard, cellar, wine retail, education and hospitality – providing knowledge in all facets of the business.

In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW) and was awarded the Taransaud Award for best Production of Wine paper.

Rhys consults to the industry on marketing, new winery development, wine evaluations, viticulture, business planning, food and wine pairing and staff training.

Rhys  runs a WSET wine school and consultancy through his business Wine Plus+, and when he’s not travelling around the world he can be found with his boots in the dirt at his small four acre vineyard and winery in the Similkameen Valley – Little Farm Winery.

 He has attempted to explain wines plus  play the ukulele and sing at the same time.  Some have said  “it didn’t go well”  and  many others  have said  “rock on Rhys”

Rhys Pender recommends

A Tempranillo, A Barbaresco, a beautiful old bottle of bubble from Summerhill and because he was calling from Tofino, he chose a Vancouver Island wine Unsworth Pinot Noir.



 The Hatch Wines

‘Black Swift

Fort Berens

Sperling Wines

Winemakers Cut


Moon  Curser


Pags in Victoria