Winter Whites! Tasting Room Radio- October 17th, 2020


Winter White Wines – I’m sorry, Winter What?


It was a comment about a year ago.  A winemaker used the phrase “I’m making Winter Whites”.



“A Winter White – what is that?

Well,  it’s a white wine that has enough texture and mouthfeel to pair with Winter roasts, stews, soups, root vegetables etc.

OK. I needed to know what whites have that ability?”

This hour is dedicated to focusing in on white wines than can carry their weight through the Winter.

I sought out winemakers and wine experts who could explain Winter Whites and then recommend wines that we could get our hands on!

Most of us switch from summer whites to increasingly heavier reds when the Winter cool and wet sets in. Fair enough. They go well with stews, soups, confit, Cassoulet and oven birds.

A Winter White has to have weight, texture and the ability to pair with all those dishes.

Fat Chards come to mind, Chablis, some Pinot Gris and Chenins, specifically Vouvrays

Rieslings from Alsace, Soave from Italy, Mondavi Fume. White blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2 Bench White from Tinhorn Creek. (Semillion,Chard, Sauv Blanc, Viognier and Muscat)

Yalumba Y Series Viognier.   I could go on.

Please don’t forget to include Bubble, Rosé and Roussanne

Our guests include:

Chris Reilly – Head Sommelier at (David Hawksworth’s)  Nightingale Restaurant in Vancouver

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson – Drinks Editor Winnipeg Free Press

Kurtis Kolt – Georgia Straight Wine Writer

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine

Michaela Morris – Wine writer and judge

Jason Parkes – Winemaker The Hatch 

Jason Parkes

Valeria Tait –Gold Hill Winery and 2House

Valeria Tait

Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside

Kathy Malone


Here’s Chris Reilly’s List:

Chris Reilly-Head Sommelier at Nightingale

2016 Clos du Soleil Capella Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Similkameen Valley

2013 Haywire Vintage Bubb Okanagan Valley

2016 Gustave Lorentz Pinot Gris Alsace France

2016 Pietradolce Carricante Etna Bianco Sicily Italy

2017 Yalumba “Y” Series Viognier South Australia Aus

Here’s   Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson’s List


d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne (McLaren Vale, Australia)

$23 Everything Wine

Guigal 2016 Cotes du Rhone white (Cotes du Rhone, France)

$29 Everything Wine

60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 8 % Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc, 2% Grenache blanc.

Torres 2017 Esmerelda (Catalunya, Spain)

$16.99 BCLDB

Moscatel and Gewurztraminer, spice and stone/tropical fruit with a hint of sweetness.

Testalonga Baby Bandito “Keep on Punching” Chenin Blanc (Swartland, South Africa)


The Winemakers have lots of suggestions.  – One name that pops up 3  times is Ava from Le Vieux Pin.


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

A return to Hillside

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

Bartier Brothers



October 10th, 2020 – Maenam. The Book  with Angus An. Vanessa Vineyards with Howard Soon. Amazing Row 14 at Klippers.  


Maenam. The Book  with Angus An. Vanessa Vineyards with Howard Soon & The  Amazing Row 14 at Klippers.



 Chef Angus An has been a cutting edge  fixture in West Coast dining for many years now.

Angus An

His profile in Vancouver started with Gastropod on Fourth Ave in Kitsilano.

It was 2006. Angus was 26.

Even though Gastropod was his  dream restaurant and it won countless awards and rave reviews it couldn’t survive  the downturn in the Worlds economy and closed in  2009.

He rebranded as Maenam. A new approach to Thai food with freshness, innovation, new flavours and balance featuring seasonal local ingredients.  It was a combination of Thai family style dining and street food. Maenam became so popular it was named best Restaurant in Vancouver by Van Mag in 2016. Also best Thai in Vancouver many years running.

Angus and his wife and partner Kate now run a mini empire on the West Coast.

Their brands include

  • Maenam.
  • Longtail Kitchen, South East Asian Street Food Concept.
  • Fat Mao Noodles, Thai-Chinese Noodle Bar in Chinatown Vancouver!
  • Freebird Chicken Shack, in Chinatown Vancouver!
  • Sen Pad Thai, on Granville Island!
  • Popina Canteen – Granville Island

Maenam is a  beautiful the food it celebrates – bright, fresh, colourful.

I went looking for two elements.. What wines to pair with a family style dinner..which may have as many as 5-6 dishes..each with its own spices and flavours. Happily Angus asked Kurtis Kolt to handle that chapter and Kurtis pulled it off.

The other feature I wanted to see was the “how to” suggestion list.

How to prepare a crab or lobster , work with delicate  spot prawns  and oysters.

And the spices..which ones and where do I find them?

Same thing with “ingredients”..its all handled well here.

Angus took me through his seasonal  menus  &  cooking in the you get to hear about Fall and Winter menus.

NOTE*  My trusty field recorder decided to stop working just as we got started. I pulled out my iphone and hit record … Angus picked up right where we had left off and saved the day.  Apologies for the audio.

One last suggestion – Think about birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas down the road.  This book is a perfect gift for chefs and foodies. Or yourself!!

Maenam: A fresh approach to Thai Cooking comes in hardcover and EBook.

Vanessa Vineyards  – Howard Soon Winemaster (Similkameen)

Howard Soon

The combination of Similkameen farmland  that’s  recommended by vineyard developers Richard Cleave and Robert Goltz  is the first hint that you’re on to something very special.

Both of those Okanagan legends are farmers and winegrowers of the highest order.

The second hint is that the winemaker working  the vineyards and fruit is none other than Howard Soon. He’s in the middle of his 41st harvest… the longest such streak in Canada, the man who created Sandhill Wines and was awarded the Order of Canada for his devotion to  and leadership in  Canadian Wine.


Vanessa Vineyards, image Lionel Trudel

With his partnership at Vanessa, Howard has come full circle as over the years he sourced many of his wines from this very vineyard.  Even though its been expanded and new plantings are set in the hard soil, they still will only produce 3,000 cases of wine.

Just what Howard loves. Small lots. Very well made.

This time around we taste

2019 Rose

2016 Syrah

2019 Viognier

And then we had a great discussion about the Vanessa Right Bank. Check out the blend

  • Merlot Clone 181 Bordeaux, France
  • Cabernet Franc Clone 331 Pyrénées-Atlanliques, France
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 169 Bordeaux, France

Lots to like here..from the outstanding wines, the  leadership, the staff and especially Howard Soon.  Bravo!! (Similkameen Valley)

Anna-Maria Klippenstein – Co-Owner and Coordinator Row 14 (At Klippers in  Cawston, Similkameen Valley)

Derek Gray – Executive Chef


The Similkameen is not only a rapidly growing wine region but it’s been the organic farming capitol of Canada for a number of years. Klippers Organics has been part of the farming community since 2001.

Klippers is  also the home of Untangled Cider.

So what could be better than to plan and build a great restaurant right in the middle of the farms and one farm in particular Klippers Organics.

They’re well known for their fruit and vegetables at farmers markets around the province.

Anna-Maria’s husband and partner Kevin began this dream by including partner and Executive chef Derek Gray. That was key to the direction they wanted to take the business.

Derek had spent a great deal of time creating with  the open hearth kitchen at Savio Volpe in Vancouver.

The three of them planned  a restaurant that cooked everything on the open hearth..for all the diners to see and enjoy.

Little did they know they would open just in time for a World Pandemic in 2020.

They closed…made changes to abide by the changing health rules…and re-opened to acclaim and many customers.

They use produce that they are  surrounded by at  Klippers Organics and the hearth and  wood fire creates  flavours and  textures like few others.

The restaurant sources olive oil from Salt Spring Island and balsamic vinegar from the Cowichan Valley.  It also gets its eggs and meats from local farmers in the valley.

It’s fair to say, there has been nothing like this dining experience in the Okanagan and frankly the whole of BC.

The menu is wildly engaging. Trust me on this..very few dining experiences you have tasted recently  will come close to this.

Here’s a menu from September. Expect October to be different as what’s coming from the fields and fishery into the kitchen changes seasonally.

 Best of all, they proudly feature  a wide variety of Similkameen wines.



Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

A return to Hillside

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

October 3rd, 2020-Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8


Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8

(A Chef, Winemaker,  Master of Wine and me)



For 8  years now, Master of Wine Rhys Pender, Winemaker/Owner at Orofino John Weber,  Award winning  Chef at Waterfront Bistro Kelowna Mark Filatow and yours truly have gathered once a year to reconnect through fishing. On oceans, lakes, streams, rivers and sharing campfires, food, wines and stories.


2020 has been such a crazy mess on so many levels,  that getting away – just for two days – was so the right thing to do.

It was Mark who suggested drift fishing the Kettle River, one large valley East of the Okanagan. There’s no pristine chain of blue lakes down this valley but the river is gorgeous and home to beautiful trout.

Day one we drifted the Kettle River. Fished the rapids and pools for about 5-6 hours..had a spectacular dinner thanks to Mark. It featured the annual Tomahawk Chops cooked on an open fire (this year the fire was a charcoal fueled Weber BBQ)

Dinner cooked all on the charcoal fueled Weber. Dry Aged Beef Tomahawk Steaks.Organic Corn.

Potatoes and Chive sour cream. Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Homemade BBQ Sauce

The wines we poured were like a liquid gift… better and better.

I headed for bed while the other three played campfire dj. I happily slept through the noise.

I put on a master class in campfire coffee- for an audience of one. Me!

When the guys woke up Mark put on his usual healing breakfast – Kale eggs with Rhys’s great bread (photos included) and then off we went.

Day two, we drove Highway 33 East and identified 3 dark pools that looked promising and accessible. So, instead of drifting, we spent the day fishing those pools and walking the river.

Mark had two great fishing days, so did John. Rhys had his moments and I came up completely skunked. But I still spent two days with these friends, on a river and shared fishing, food and fluids.

It’s hard to put into words how wonderful it all felt.

The last dinner was spring salmon I had caught in Ucluelet and we BBQ’d on the fire with a wild variety of wines for pairing.


Terry’s salmon with the potato, corn, shishitos and vegetable succotash

Wines in no particular order


Burge Family Barossa Valley Olive Hill Vineyard Semillon 2006

Clai, Ottocento 2014, Istria Croatia

Jean Bourdy, Cotes du Jura Blanc 2008

Eric Texier, St. Julien St. Alban, 2014, Rhône, France

Stephenson Cellars, Syrah 2008, Columbia Valley, Washington



 From Orofino:

Gamay bubble 2019

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 21B 2018

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 239 2018

Gamay 2019


Pozza Vineyard cab franc rosé 2019

SA Natte Valley Cinsault 2017

Domaine de Pothiers “Reference” Loire Gamay



Pesquera Ribera del Duero 2011,

St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling 2011



Mission Hill  2007 Point Noir

Desert Hills 2006 Mirage

Inniskillin Dark Horse 1996 Riesling Ice Wine


We talked of Covid19, the state of wineries and restaurants this year and what 2021 may bring, wines we brought, about each of their careers and of course,  fishing.


Next year?  Let’s just say “It’s under discussion.”

Thank you was an honour and a dream.



Angus An – Maenam Cookbook

Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Dining at Row 14 in Cawston

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal










September 26th, 2020-Tasting & Talking with Michael Clark/Clos du Soleil & John Skinner/Painted Rock



For all you wine fans looking to step up the quality of your weekly wines and then cellaring the same,  this week’s Tasting Room has two of the best wineries and wine leaders in one show.


Michael Clark – Clos Du Soleil


Michael Clark is the GM and Chief Winemaker at Clos du Soleil in the Similkameen Valley.

“we’re borrowing an aesthetic derived from Bordeaux – the art of blending – stamped with the flavors and aromas of Similkameen soil. “

Michael Clark Clos du Soleil

Clos du Soleil takes great pride in creating delicate wines, featuring beautifully ripe fruit and an amazing minerality. The “soil” in the Similkameen Valley is hard and unforgiving. However, if you can get the right vines to exist in that soil..the results are highly rewarding. For them and especially for you.

Michael is proud to taste and talk about these three wines, any one of which has the flavor and texture components to become your next go-to wine.



Chardonnay 2019

Pale Yellow. Scents of apple, lemon, and floral notes. On the palate lemon, pineapple, and a classic Similkameen minerality. No new oak but 8 months in barrels. Gently filtered just prior to bottling. $22.90.  A beauty!

Tasting Room -Clos du Soliel

Semillon 2019

Pale yellow. Aromas of pear, yellow apple, and lemon.

The palate is soft. A wonderful texture of ripe apple, peat, apricot, vanilla, and herbs.  Mostly fermented in stainless steel tanks but also some time in French oak puncheon.  Prior to bottling,  the barrel and tank components were blended and lightly filtered. $21.90.  More evidence that Semillon has a place in BC Wine.


Estate Reserve Red 2016


33% Cab/32% Merlot/20% Cab Franc/12% Petit Verdot/3% Malbec

Aromas of spice, cedar box, ripe black fruit, forest floor.

The palate combines black currant, licorice, and graphite. Tannins lead to a beautiful texture and mouthfeel.

This is just a beautifully structured joy.

Next time you have wine friends over and they’re going on about Bordeaux this and Napa that ..sneak this wine into the tasting and watch the smiles when you tell them who made it and where it’s from. $54.90

Fyi – The Signature 2016 won Gold at the Decanter Awards. Congratulations to the winemaking team.




Jon Adrian. Architectural, winery, and lifestyle photographer.

John Skinner – Proprietor of Painted Rock

Painted Rock Estate Winery was founded with a family legacy in mind by John and Trish Skinner in 2004. Named InterVin International Winery of the Year for 2018/2019, the winery produces primarily Bordeaux red varieties, along with a Chardonnay, Rosé, and Syrah.


The star of the winery is Red Icon – a true Bordeaux blend.  2017  has been nominated for Wine of the Year at the Decanter Awards.  Results in January! That’s a game breaker for any BC wine.

It’s been quite a year for John, his family, and his staff. Surrounded by wildfires, they were protected by the First Responder firefighters this summer. On the ground and especially in the air. The smoke from the fires spared the vineyards plus the smoke was blown south.

John got a great mention in the recent  NY Times article on BC Wines.

If anyone is going to lead BC wine into a World profile it very likely will be John Skinner and his peers.

Here’s what we tasted with Painted Rock.

Jon Adrian.  Adrian Photographers

Painted Rock  2016 Estate Grown Merlot

Clones 181 and 347. Hand-harvested, the wine was aged 18 months in French Oak. 30% was new.

Beautifully structured. There’s nothing flabby about this Merlot.

Is this the key to their award-winning blends?  Don’t bet against this Merlot.  Spectacular. The $34.99


Painted Rock 2016 Estate Grown Syrah.


Clones 99 and 100.

18 months in 30% New Oak.(80% French. 20% American)

And the other 70% was French Oak.

White and Black pepper abounds. Sage and lavender, all in one bottle.

If you can give this Syrah another couple of years in bottle, the reward should be outstanding.

If you can’t’s a really fine pour right now. $39.99


Painted Rock 2017 Estate Grown Red Icon


38% Merlot/21% Cab Franc/20% Petit Verdot/11 Cab/8Malbec/2% Syrah.


I ask John if the Merlot drives this bus.  He says it’s actually the 2% Syrah.

Notes of ripe black fruit, cassis, and whole nutmeg.

The palate reveals more black fruit, chocolate, and blueberry.

The tongue lingers on the smooth full texture and clean acidity.

It will get better and better with each vintage and each year in bottle.

Just like the owner, a true Icon. $59.99


Jon Adrian. Architectural, winery, and lifestyle photographer. Kelowna Photographer / Okanagan Photographer / Painted Rock Winery / Waterfront Restaurant



Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Maenam – The book

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Year 8 – The Four F’s in Kettle Valley

(Food. Fishing. Friends. Fluids)

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Dining at Row 14 in Cawston

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine




September 19th, 2020 – Third Annual BC Cider fest!





This week long craft cider celebration saw many cider events, tastings and
festivities throughout British Columbia with tasting events from Kelowna to
Vancouver Island, including tap takeovers, cider pairing meals, and much
more throughout the week.

The highlight for me and many others is the final event. The gathering of up
to 40 Cideries at The Pipe Shop foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver.

It’s one of the buildings my father Pat worked in during WW2.

The first interview had to be with Shawn Pisio, who co-founded the B.C.
Cider Festival three years ago.

Glenn Ennis, Lynn Colliar and the Geo Team

Just how popular is this event? It sells out within minutes.

Cider is going through the very same revolution that craft beers did 10
years ago.

The opportunity to grow more cider apples in B.C. is unlimited, but BC is
already home to many excellent craft cideries.

One of the cideries we interviewed was Twin Island Cider on Pender Island.
They were voted most popular Cidery at this event.

Finally, for those of you who still think that ciders are not for you
because they’re too sweet or something…FORGET ABOUT IT..

It’s a whole new world out in the orchard.


Our guests are:

Shawn Pisio – Txotx/ Co-Founder

Russ Johnson – Owner/Cidermaker Truck 59 Kelowna

Sydney Bottomley – Asst Cider Maker Broken Ladder Kelowna

Nick Farrer – Founder The Bricker Cider Co Sechelt

Mike Lachelt – Co-owner/Cidermaker Salt Spring Wild SS Island

Mathew Vasilev Co-Owner Twin Island Cider Pender Island

David Schneider – Persephone Brewing Gibson’s BC

Kathleen van der Ree – Northyards Cider – Squamish

Mike Petkau – Nomad Handcrafted Cider – Summerland

Glenn Ennis – Owner Geo Cider Co – Squamish

Lynn Colliar – Geo Cider Squamish

Jeff Nairn – Co-Founder Windfall East Van

Photos by Linda C


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Maenam – The book

Noble Ridge

Painted Rock

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Year 8 – The Four F’s in Kettle Valley

(Food. Fishing. Friends. Fluids)

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Clos du Soleil

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal



September 12th, 2020 – Pinot Clonal Heaven at  CedarCreek and Block Party Part Two  


Pinot Clonal Heaven at  CedarCreek and Block Party Part Two


It was an offer I simply couldn’t refuse.

“would I be interested in tasting CedarCreek’s recent  releases – 3 separate Pinot Noirs,

fermented and bottled separately ”


2018 Clone 115 – See Paired Recipe

2018 Clone 667- See paired Recipe

2018 Clone 777- See Paired Recipe


I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.



Their idea was to showcase each of the clones and along the way discover how unique each is from the other.

They also had a 2018 Block 5 Chardonnay for openers. See Paired Recipes

All four wines would be presented by winemaker Taylor Whelan and paired with special recipes created by Chef Neil Taylor from the sensational Home Block Restaurant at CedarCreek.

Taylor Whelan

AND they would agree to gather for a Zoom interview.

CedarCreek now have six clones of Pinot Noir planted at the Home Block, with several more to be added in the next few years.

In order to better understand the terroir and what each clone can bring to wine, they fermented these wines separately and bottled them separately. They selected fruit from silty loam soils for all three clones, fermented them all naturally, and used similar oak coopers and ages.

Each bottling is only four barrels (90-100 cases) and showcases how each of these clones best expresses the terroir of CedarCreek within the confines of its clonal heritage.

 Just a heads up, there weren’t too many cases made so contact CedarCreek soon if you’d like to purchase the Clonal Three Pack.

This was such fun.

The chef nailed the pairings and the wines were outstanding.

Of course they were, this is CedarCreek after all.

executive chef neil taylor










Block Party (Part Two) Sarah and Murray Bancroft-  Birch Block Wines. Kaleden, BC

Sarah and Murray Bancroft


As we explained in early June, this is a series.

(Like Schitt’s Creek without the laugh track.)

What you do hear is the sound of helicopters fighting a wildfire across from their home in Kaleden. They start flying at first light.

I wanted to follow a small winery from the start of the year to the conclusion.

Hoping to showcase what goes into our wines, how they get made, and the hazards that must be overcome.

Sarah and Murray Bancroft were a natural choice. They are just so damn cool, any wine they made would be likewise.

We’re following their ups and downs in the growing year 2020. Nobody factored in the possibility of a Worldwide Pandemic and raging fires in the Okanagan. And critters, varmints and predators. The whole food chain of nature. Not to mention the kindness of neighbours, the farming community around them and the wines they’re creating.

If you have always dreamed of reinventing yourself into a grower, farmer, winemaker or owner..have a listen to what Sarah and Murray are going through.  It’s a Block Party.

Oh and one more thing. IF you have expertise in harvest crafts please contact Birch Block Vineyards. They’re looking for people with your skills.




Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Maenam – The book

Noble Ridge

Painted Rock

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Year 8 – The Four F’s in Kettle Valley

(Food. Fishing. Friends. Fluids)

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Clos du Soleil

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal






September 5th, 2020 – Zooming with Jason and Naomi Priestley!


Zooming with Jason and Naomi Priestley at Home




Jason Priestley. Naomi Priestley  –  North Hollywood, Ca.

The Priestleys

 I’ve been very happy to call them friends for a long time.

Jason Priestley and I would see each other at auditions for TV and film roles in Vancouver.

Then he headed for LA and the rest you know.

Jason and TDM

Along with Producer Chad Oakes., we created and co hosted Hollywood and Vines TV. 3 years of shows from vineyards and kitchens in Italy, USA (California, Washington and Arizona), Mexico  and across Canada.

He met Naomi while acting in London. Jay didn’t know it yet but he was “done, like dinner”.

Naydog is a force… We had lots to get caught up on.  The kids, the USA and it’s pandemic and political crisis.

Plus three wines. The Rose they were drinking and my two – both with stories attached. Winemakers Cut and “The Mulligan” from Behrens and Hitchcock.

Nay asks about returning to The Guadalupe Valley outside of Ensenada Mexico. It was just waking up to the possibilities of winemaking there when we visited over 10 years ago. Now it’s just exploded.

We talk about the status of his current series Private Eyes, thoughts on shooting film and tv down  the road and how their  family, their  neighbours and fellow Californians are handling 2020.







Its casual but a lot of fun. It gets serious a couple of times because it’s a serious time we’re all living in.  Cheers.  Enjoy!!



Mark Wachtin and Mich Pambrun   (Storied Wines and Spirits)

These two interviews were left over from our coverage of Swirl and Untapped in Parksville earlier this year.

Parksvilles gorgeous beaches!

I really like these guys and their outstanding  portfolio. They represent…


(Vancouver Island)

Rathjen, Unsworth, Wayward Distillation



Anthony Buchanan


Lock and Worth

Desert Hills


Nagging Doubt

Nichol Vineyard


Ursa Major

Skaha Vineyards

Scenic Road Cidery

Tall Tale



That is an impressive list of clients.

You can tell these guys know their wines and winemakers.

Mark Wachtin

Mark Wachtin

Founder – Storied Wines & Spirits

It’s all about the people—conversations, stories and histories. Vancouver Island raised (free range) with a lifetime in hospitality, Mark’s drawn to smaller, family-run operations, sustainable farming and handcrafted production methods.

Motivated by both the traditional and the new wave of producers, Mark has paired wine and food in world-class hotels, restaurants and eateries. Mark’s commitment is best expressed in his strong relationships with sommeliers, chefs, bartenders, servers and retail product consultants.

Mich Pambrun

Mich Pambrun

North Island Sales & Marketing Representative

Michel Pambrun, former DJ and hospitality pro from Manitoba, is an  Internationally accredited sommelier. Michel celebrates natural, sustainable terroir-driven wines and their environments.

His many distinctions include participation in multiple Gold Medal Plates events curating pairings and perhaps his finest harvest, the raising of  two incredible daughters.


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Cedar Creek food and wine pairing

Block Party Two –

Maenam – The book

Noble Ridge

Painted Rock

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Year 8 – The Four F’s in Kettle Valley

(Food. Fishing. Friends. Fluids)

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Clos du Soleil





 Hello all:

We started April by showcasing the wine events that would have happened in early 2020 except for the fact that the Earth was fighting a pandemic.

First was event was  –

 Locals Only.  Vancouver Islands  best showcase of  distillers, winemakers, brewers and cider makers.

Then Okanagan Falls &  Skaha Lake Wine Assn  pour in Vancouver. They were shut down. So we went back to 2019 and talked to the very same wineries. When people could shake hands and stand next to one another.

This week its Top Drop Vancouver/Victoria.

Top Drop is simply one of the best small wine festivals anywhere.

They ask of applicants to be sustainable, honour the fruit, don’t mess with the winemaking and be true to the land.

Unsworth Cowichan Valley

It’s become an astounding collection of “must taste” wineries.

We go back to years 4 and 5 to relive the interviews.

To salute BC Wine Month, we have collected only interviews with BC wineries.

Naramata beauty


Our guests are:




Cedar Creek – The Pinot Bundle

Tasting with Yalumba on Zoom

Birch Block – Volume 2


Four F’s





August 22nd, 2020 – The Grand Crew Collective  and Graham Pierce pours Kitsch in Victoria!


The Grand Crew Collective and Graham Pierce pours Kitsch in Victoria!




The Press Release said it all.

The Grand Crew is a Collective of fiercely committed Okanagan wineries with a passion for sustainable farming and small-lot winemaking.

Unlike other “regional gatherings,” these wineries are from four different Okanagan regions. What they have in common is a “garagiste “ attitude. Smaller batches of wine, a true “hands-on”  approach.

Each winemaker creates something unique, but they meet regularly to share insights, growing and winemaking tips, and resources so that they can each continue to craft some of the best wines in the region.

They have joined with Kelowna’s Public Liquor to offer a sample box of their releases,  curated by the winemakers themselves!  The limited-edition inaugural Grand Crew Collective box is available in-store or online, visit Public Liquor to get yours.

Read the official press release


Black Market Wine Co.  Rob Hammersley Owner/Winemaker (Kaleden)

Black Market Wine Co.

2019 Omerta Syrah Rose $24
A crisp, dry rosé made from 100% Syrah. Aromas of wild strawberries, cherries, and a hint of watermelon. The palate dominated by wild red berries and rhubarb. With crisp acidity, this wine finishes dry.

2017 Syndicate.  $35

50% Merlot. 31% Cab Franc. 19% Petit Verdot.  100% Yummy

21 months French Oak. (40% new) Lots of black fruit, Dark chocolate. Tobacco.


Nagging Doubt Winery – Rob /Westbury  – Winemaker. Owner  (East Kelowna)

Rob and Abby Westbury Nagging Doubt

2018 Sallows Rd Vineyard Chardonnay.  $21

Estate-grown Chardonnay shows yummy citrus, pear, and mineral notes with a subtle touch of vanilla from aging in 25% new French oak puncheons. On the nose and palate, lemon, green apple, and minerality. A true cold-climate Chardonnay, this wine offers beautiful balance, crisp acidity, and hangs a long time in the mouth.

2018 The Leap$23.   Rob says The Leap is the younger brother of The Pull. Plumb, Blackberry, and Cherry.  Oak and Vanilla note. 60%  Merlot. 27% Cab Franc.  13% Malbec.  18 months in new French oak.  Bingo!

The Leap

Niche Wine Co. Joanna and James Schlosser.  Owners/Winemaker (West Kelowna)

Joanna – James Schlosser Niche Wine Co

2019 Small batch bubbles – $26 

Buttery texture. Homegrown. Handmade.  Stirred weekly for 5 months. Limited production. Off-dry.  Only 185 cases. Much sought after.

Pinot Noir Blanc – $24  Strawberries, lots of berries frankly. Made from just two barrels. 95 cases.

Again. $24 bucks. Oysters. Charcuterie. Or by itself. Hide from family and friends.

Tender Hope WineryEfi Perel  Owner. Winemaker   (West Kelowna)

Eli Perel – Rob Westbury

Efi began his winemaking in Israel. Now 25 years later he’s fully Okanagan.


2019  Rose Bubble. VQA. $23

Whole cluster. Combo of Stainless steel and French oak.  Melon. Strawberry.  A light touch of  PNE Candy Floss.

2018 Fire Dance Meritage

This wine is made up of a ripe and balanced blend of 50% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Malbec sourced from the southern limit of Canada’s pocket desert. Rich dark fruit, blueberry, chocolate, wood spice, and smooth mouth feel and a spicy finish.


Winemaker’s Cut  – Michal Mosney co-owner and winemaker. (Oliver)

Michal and his wife moved from winemaking in Croatia directly to the Okanagan.

They have become a force, making us even better.

Michael Mosney Winemakers Cut

2019 Gruner Veltliner $26

Shades of Slovakia!
Peach, pear, and citrus aromas along with beautiful minerality and a touch of white pepper and marzipan.  Hello Gruner!!!

2018 Bohemia Cuvee $26 and $36

Michal makes a Blanc and a Rose.

Blanc is Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier.

Rouge is Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, AND Syrah. (Pepper. Herbs. Dark Fruit)


Winemaker and GM Graham Pierce  –  Kitsch Wine pours in Victoria.

I felt I owed this revisit with Graham Pierce. First, he’s a friend, second he’s one of the best winemakers in Canada (think Black Hills and Note Bene) and lastly, my previous interview placed Graham in the uncomfortable position of having to explain the wines of former gifted winemaker Grant Biggs.

Graham Pierce

When I saw that Graham was pouring for the wine community in Victoria  I headed South from Nanoose Bay and met him on the 6th floor deck at Laurel Point in the inner harbour.

Beauty spot but windy that day. Plus it was the first time I was doing an interview with masks on. So the audio is a tad muffled but that goes with the times. Mask Up!

Here’s what we tasted.


2016 Blanc de Blancs  ($39)– Lime, Granny Smith apples, crème Brulee. In other words delicious. New vintage coming soon.

2018 Ester’s Block Riesling  ($25)– classic Riesling. Nectarines and Apricots..add peach and ginger notes and you’ll love this wine.

2019 Pinot Gris ($22) – clean citrus on the nose. Green apples and minerality.  Beauty.

2019  Block Party ($21) – I’m a Block Party fan. Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir all from the same block. From the 5 blocks on the family vineyard. You just know this is going to be an interesting experience.

2018 Chardonnay ($24)–  (Tentree) Really approachable wine. One bottle bought plants 5 mangrove trees in the Village of Mahabana, Madagascar. Get your bottle soon.

2018 Pinot Noir ($40)– Star anise, forest floor, clean and bright.

2018  Cabernet Franc  ($36)  Oh Hell yes. More, please.  Elderberries, lilacs. Intriguing minerality. Spice and red berries.


Thank You, Graham. Can’t wait for your wines.




Yalumba Zoom Tasting

Birch Block  Vol 2

Charles Smith


Maenam – The Book


August 15th, 2020 – Sandra Oldfield & BC’s Women in Wine and  Jeff Hundertmark from Mt Boo & Modest Wines!


Sandra Oldfield & BC’s Women in Wine and  Jeff Hundertmark from Mt Boo & Modest Wines!


Sandra’s email said it all “let’s feature BC women in wine”.

Sandra Oldfield is currently the President of Elysian Projects Inc., a company that supports BC’s wine industry. Sandra is best known as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tinhorn Creek Vineyard, kick starting Oliver’s Festival of the Grape in 1997 and  has always advised tourism in the province.

Check out #BCWineChat (returns first Wednesday of September)

Her recent tweet says  she’s was born in the same Oakland Hospital as Kamala Harris a year and a half after the VP candidate.

It’s fair to say we took some time organizing  these names.

Sandra describes some of them as unsung heroes and some you’ll recognize instantly.

It appears we will be doing this feature again soon as there were LOTS of winemakers/owners we had to leave off just to make room.  That’s a good thing.

BC is blessed with an abundance of women in wine and there are many more joining them each year.


This week’s guests are:

Part One:

Joanna Schlosser – Niche Wines and Grand Crew Collective

Ria Kitsch – Kitsch Wines

Kathy Malone – Hillside Estate Wines

Jacq Kemp – Therapy Wines


Part Two

Lindsay O’Rourke – Tightrope

Severine Pinte – Le Vieux Pin

Marilyn Venturi – Venturi-Schulze

Valeria Tait – 2House and Gold Vineyards

Penelope Roche – Roche Wines

Cynthia Enns – 1 Mill Road



Jeff Hundertmark – Director of  Winemaking at Mount Boucherie, Modest Wines, Rust Wine Co.


Met Jeff and his wife Kimberly at the Niagara Wine Festival. Several times actually.

Kimberly was one of the lead organizers of a very large team.

Jeff was making wines for Mike Weir, Stoney Ridge, Marynissen, The Hip, etc

Then came the big move to The Okanagan in 2017.

Kimberly continued on nicely,  joining  the Wines of BC  team.

Jeff was originally  hired by Rust Wine Co, then Mount Boucherie and Modest Wines.

3 wineries with more  to come.

The new ownership at Mt Boucherie is not only heading their 200 acres to organic status but has finally completed their spectacular experience centre.

Mt Boucherie

The Modest Butcher restaurant has opened and kicked off their Modest Wines.

200 acres under vines gives this crush pad and cellar many many choices.

It’s a huge portfolio.  Well done Jeff!!

In this two part interview Jeff and I are going to taste and talk about:

From Modest Wines

2019 No 4 Orange – 100% Gewurz

2019 Odd Couple – Riesling and Merlot

2018 Little Green Red – 100%  Petit Verdot (crazy good)

2019 Last Hurrah – Syrah 95%  &  Zin 5%

2019 Green Lightning – 100% Gruner

2019 Elder Vicar – Field Blend (Muscat, Gew, Riesling, PG)

The Rest:

2018  White Label Syrah

2018 PTG – Original Vines. (Pinot Noir, Gamay, PG)

2018  Original Vines Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Malbec Reserve

2017  Summit Reserve (Merlot/Cab Franc/Cab Sauv/Syrah/Malbec)(WoW)



Grand Crew Collective

Kitsch pours in Victoria


Zooming to Yalumba