Meg Mulligan

February 16th, 2019 – The Stars of the Vancouver Wine Festival

We have four  stories for you.  A primer of the next VanWineFest, also advance notice on the 3rd BC Cider festival and a check in on the  wildly popular Oyama Sausage at Granville Market.  Joanne Sasvari editor of Vitis will pair wines with Oyama’s legendary offerings.

 

And we finish with Bob Blue, Winemaker at Bonterra plus winemaker of a Bourbon aged Zin called 1000 stories.  He’s one of the stars at this year’s Wine Festival.

 

 The SHOW

 Harry Hertscheg  – (Executive Director of 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival)

 

Harry Hertscheg VanWineFest

 Vancouver International Wine Festival has been described as “the largest wine festival in the Americas” with 25,000+ admissions. It is Canada’s premier wine show and widely considered to be one of the best wine events in the world. At age 41, it is also among the oldest. Its slogan is “The Wine World is Here”. For the past six years, VIWF has been voted the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash.

This is Harry’s second visit in row. It’s because he can now talk about The Stars who will be appearing and pouring.
From Gina Gallo and Jean- Charles Boisset to Joel Peterson (Ravenswood) Genevieve Janssens (Winemaker Mondavi) Randy Ullom (Kendall Jackson) Christine Coletta(Haywire) John Skinner (Painted Rock), the first pouring on Aquilini Red Mountain Wines and many more.
Harry has the goods.

 

By-The-Numbers

 41st annual (founded 1979)

8 days, Feb 23-Mar 3 (Bacchanalia Gala, Feb 23)

25,000+ admissions

16 countries

160 wineries; including 53 from featured region California

54 events (20 are California events)

1,500 wines projected, including an estimated:

42,000 bottles poured and/or purchased.

 

https://vanwinefest.ca

Shawn Pisio – (Organizer/Co-Founder of BC Cider Week)

 

Shawn Pisio

 When he’s not organizing BC Cider Week, Shawn and his team run TXOTX – (pronounced Choech)  which is Basque for “to drink cider from a barrel”

One of the  highlights of 2018 was attending, tasting and doing interviews at The Pipe Shop, foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver.

It’s one of the few shipbuilding rooms still standing.

30 plus cider makers all pouring their very best. So many stories and tales.

Cider has just exploded in popularity.  One of the people responsible is Shawn Pisio (and Rich Massey) who has a passion for cider than knows no bounds.

So, just like the VanWineFest, the BC Cider Week is fast approaching from April 26th to May 5.  The last day,  May 5th,  is the third gathering of cider makers at The Pipe Shop

300 Vancouver early bird tickets sold out in 45 minutes.

Shawn is here to tell you all about it.

http://bcciderfest.ca/

Jerome Dudicourt  (Manager of Oyama Sausage. Granville Market\

jerome dudicourt – oyama

Joanne Sasvari (Editor of Vitis and Vancouver Eats cookbook)

 Most line-ups are a pain but at Oyama you need the wait time to check out every square inch of food displayed in the coolers..glorious cheeses, amazing sausages, pate to-die-for, smoked wild Boar, Porcini Mushroom pate, Toulouse Sausages, sweet ham, game everywhere. The signage is fun and informative.

Our first guest is Jerome Dudicourt, the manager & trained chef who speaks of his store  like it’s priceless, which it is.

And then Joanne Sasvari the editor of Vitis  comes into the picture with her wine choices to go with Jerome’s specials.

Joanne Sasvari, Nuvo magazine

From Vancouver Island to the Okanagan Valley, B.C. wine is rapidly gaining global attention for its quality, diversity and innovation.

Vitis aims to capture the excitement by telling the stories of wineries and the passionate people that own and operate them, as well as offering accessible insights into the finer points of wine and current trends.

Keep a notepad handy..there’s something  here for everyone.

http://oyamasausage.ca

https://vitis.ca/

Bob Blue – Founding Winemaker at Bonterra and 1000 Stories

 

Bob Blue. Bonterra – 1000 StoriesIconic winemaker Bob Blue on the phone from Mendocino.  Bob is showcasing his most recent project – 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-aged Zinfandel 

 A graduate from UC-Davis, Bob is considered a pioneer in the organic wine arena and is the founding winemaker for Bonterra, America’s #1 Organic wine. Bob was mentored by Paul Dolan and Dennis Martin and traveled to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Australia and the Rhone to broaden his sense of style. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Drinks Business Green Awards in 2014, recognizing him for his 25-year commitment to the highest standards of organic viticulture.

Bonterra

Bonterra

1000 stories opens with vanilla and cherries, hints of barnyard.  A sweet attack followed quickly by pepper, cooking spices, vanilla? AND Twizzler. (Liquorice)

By the time you taste that first mouthful you are engaged. Welcome back  to BC Bob!!   http://www.1000storieswines.com/

The second half of the interview is all about Organic wines..their growth and rise in popularity.

Because Bob has been an industry leader in organic wines for almost 30 years he’s the guy to talk to about how organic wines won all of us over.

Winery of the Year in 2014 from Wine Enthusiast.

 

http://www.bonterra.com/

 

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Van Wine Fest

The Californians, the Canadians

A Gaggle of Sommeliers

OK Falls pours

Unplugged and Uncorked

 

 

February 9th, 2019 -The debut of Aquilini Red Mountain Wines

The debut of Aquilini Red Mountain Wines.

THE SHOW

We start with Harry Hertscheg  Executive Director of the 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival.

Harry Hertscheg

Harry brings the first of two updates on this years event. (Feb 23- March 3)

https://vanwinefest.ca/

Barry Olivier – President/Brands Aquilini Wines

Barry Olivier – Aquilini

Backbreaking days laying bricks and hauling mortar up rickety scaffolds; young Luigi Aquilini knew he had to find a better means of supporting his family. In 1957, Luigi left his hometown of Brescia, Italy and travelled to North America seeking a new life.

Through strong relationships, saving his wages, and a legendary work ethic, the bricklayer struggled up the ladder – wooden and corporate – doing whatever it took to provide for his wife and three young sons. As his children came of age Luigi brought Francesco, Roberto, and Paolo into his now-thriving construction company.

For three decades they grew the business as a family; diversifying from building skyscrapers, to farming blueberries, to purchasing NHL Hockey Team, the Vancouver Canucks in 2006.

Francesco and Luigi

For these four entrepreneurs, fine wine was a lifelong passion and a natural unity of the pillars on which they’d built their empire: construction, farming, and entertainment

Francesco Aquilini sought out Barry Olivier, a fine wine importer notorious for scouting up-and-coming producers.

Francesco and his brothers had trusted Olivier to build their own cellars for years, and now they recruited him for the ultimate task: create the World’s Next Great Wine.

The opportunity suddenly emerged in November 2013 with the most high-stakes land auction in Washington Wine History.

670 acres of completely unplanted former Government Land on Red Mountain was on the block, and competition was fierce.

Over 40 wineries from across America came to Washington looking for a piece of the Mountain.

Though this was the last virgin acreage on Red Mountain, to acquire and develop that much vineyard all at once was risky.

Luigi and his sons made the call. The Aquilinis outbid the room for the entire 670 acres.

In just 24 hours, the family had become the largest landowner in the AVA.

An overnight turn that left the Pacific Northwest wine community wondering “Who is Aquilini”?

 Philippe Melka joined as Consulting Winemaker. Heralded as one of the most influential wine consultants in the world. Bordeaux-born, Melka apprenticed at Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Petrus, then crossed the Atlantic to electrify the Napa Valley, working with icons like Quintessa, Bryant, Fairchild and Hundred Acre.

Philippe Melka – Winemaker

Aquilini Wines are  headed to the Vancouver Wine Festival to introduce themselves to Canada.

They’ll be pouring

Aquilini Horse Heaven Hills Syrah Rose 2017

Aquilini Red Mountain’s Grand Vin is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

The Second Wine, Aquilini Red Mountain Family Blend,. The Family Blend is constructed of varying levels of Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot and occasionally Petit Verdot.

 

Here’s a first taste with Barry Olivier.

 www.aquiliniredmountain.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 Vancouver Wine Festival

The Californians

BC showcases at Wine fest

BC Sommeliers speak out

Okanagan Falls wineries pour new releases

Unplugged/Uncorked

 

February 2nd, 2019 – Super Bowl Weekend!

THE SHOW

It’s Super Bowl Weekend!

Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole from Sports Centre at TSN are paying their annual visit to The Tasting Room.

They began as a humble sports pairing at TSN and we heard from them 7 years ago before yet another Super Bowl.

Then they headed for Fox Sports One in LA only to be shown the door several years later but not before guesting on yet another Super Bowl Tasting Room Radio.

 

There are some saying that it was their appearance on TRR that hastened their exit.  Not True.

It was Jan and Dan’s appearance on Hollywood&Vines TV with Jason Priestley and myself that did them in.

Upon returning to TSN, we were told by their “people” that J&D would never again guest  on Tasting Room or H&V.

Several weeks ago I reached out to Onrait and O’Toole in the hopes they would relent.

They didn’t exactly relent but they simply forgot ever having been on either show.  So we’re good.

Jay and Dan will take us through:

The Game

The Food

The Swill

The Odds

Their Podcast

The Jannies

Jay and Dan Direct.

I was going to ask them for some of their favorite music tracks but when Dan said “Play Dean Martin”  I shut that down Right Away.

https://www.tsn.ca/jay-and-dan/podcast

 Mira Tusz and Daniel Dragert–  Co-owners/Winemakers at Kutatas (Salt Spring Island)

 This is the first in a series of features on new wineries around the Province that we think you may want to know about.

(working title The Chase)

Mira and Dan realized a dream when they recently bought Mistaken Identity Vineyards on Salt Spring Island.

Mira and Dan

Dan had been the winemaker at Averill Creek in the Cowichan Valley and Mira had been working in the vineyards at Unsworth, also in the Cowichan.

I discovered their wines at last year’s Locals Only event that Rich Massey throws at Edible Canada, Granville Island.

The wines were outstanding.

I mumbled something like “who ARE these guys and how did they pull this off”?

Currently,  a majority of their small production comes from 3 acres of Pinot Noir and Ortega in  Deep Cove/North Saanich, on Vancouver Island. These blocks are managed sustainably.

Most of the vineyard is dry farmed to limit yields, restrict berry size and express terroir. They personally hand tend the vineyard to ensure they achieve the highest possible quality.

Now they have their own vineyard and we’re the lucky ones who’ll be tasting their wines in years to come.

Mira and Dan are redesigning their new Tasting Room … so we huddled in the cellar and tasted the whites and reds.

Pinot Noir Rose

Ortega

Pinot Gris

Plus 2 different Pinot Noirs  (Clone #114)

(whole cluster and de-stemmed)

Also, a Bubble program is in the works.

Keep an eye and nose on  Kutatas (Koo Tah Tash)

They hope to be open on Valentine’s Day  Feb 14th

https://www.masseywines.com/kutatas-wines/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

The Californians

Vancouver Wine festival

OK Falls pours in Vancouver

Aquilini. Red Mountain Wines