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August 8th, 2020 – ZOOM  visits to HILLSIDE and HESTER CREEK  

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ZOOM  visits to HILLSIDE and HESTER CREEK   

THE SHOW

 

THIS WEEK two of the leading wineries in BC.

One of the originals on the Naramata Bench and one of the leaders on The Golden Mile and  home of “The Judge.”

This week we spotlight Hillside Winery and Hester Creek Estate Winery!

 

Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside Winery (Naramata Bench)

Kathy Malone

In the early 1900s, this site was an apricot orchard.

In 1979, the property was purchased by Bohumir and Vera Klokocka who had recently immigrated to the Okanagan Valley from Czechoslovakia. In 1984 she and Bohumir pulled out the apricot trees and planted 3.5 acres of vineyards. The grapevines thrived in the gravelly soil and warm Okanagan sunshine and Vera’s dream took shape.

In 1989 Hillside, together with Lang Vineyards and Wild Goose, lobbied the Provincial Government to bring about the Farmgate Winery Policy that was instrumental in changing the B.C. Wine Industry.

 

Since  Kathy moved from Mission Hill to Hillside she has lead the winery to walls of awards and became the voice and face of the Naramata Bench Wineries.

The Hillside portfolio is a testament to Kathy’s skill and passion.

100% of Hillside wines are Naramata raised and grown.

Alert – some wines are marked either above or below the road or below the road. The road being the shoreline of the lake 1000’s of years ago.

2019 Unoaked Pinot Gris (Hillside series. Heritage PG) Splendid!

2018 Viognier (Heritage series)  White Texture

2017 Reserve Malbec.  (A first – the label says Naramata Bench Sub-GI)

Then comes three merlots which are part of their single vineyard program (also includes Cab and Gamay Noir)

2013 Gjoa’s Vineyard Merlot   (Joe-ah) A true beauty.  Below the road.

2014 Hidden Valley Merlot. Bowl-shaped vineyard behind the winery.

Elegant Balance. Above the road

2015 Dickinson Vineyard Merlot. On a bluff overlooking the lake. Below the road.  It’s a classic.

www.hillsidewinery.ca

https://www.hillsidewinery.ca/Bistro

Hester Creek Estate Winery

Chef Adair Scott – Terrafina Restaurant

Winemaker Mark Hopley

 

Hester Creek on The Golden Mile. Kind of rolls off the tongue, right?

Hester Creek Estate has been growing and releasing wines for 50 years.

In 2018, they marked the 50th anniversary of their estate vineyards. As one of the oldest wine properties in the South Okanagan, they are graced with historic vineyards and a modern winery.

None of it would have been possible without the stubborn farming passion of original owner/winemaker Joe Busnardo. His original planting of Trebbiano is still bringing smiles to wine fans.

Joe sold and moved on to  Divino in the Cowichan Valley.

Hester Creek went on to become one of the finest wineries in Canada.

Our Zoom guests are Winemaker Marl Hopley and for the food pairings Terrafina chef Adair Scott.

We talk about two new releases.

2019 Character White – The Pinot Gris has stone fruit on the nose. The palate is treated to honey, melons, papaya, and pear. $16.00

2017 Judge. 

Equal parts Cab Franc, Cab, and Merlot. Also equal parts DeLish.$43.99

Your nose will love the anise, black fruit, and cherry.

Followed by tastes of plum, fig, and dark chocolate.

What a great wine.

Every year it surprises and seduces.

This, my friends is an icon wine..let this beauty rest for a couple of years..like 5-8-10 years. The wait is well worth it.

Given that we’re only talking about two wines and because I had the winemaker and the chef handy I decided to pair foods with wine.  And then wines with food. This includes a speed round. Like a game show.

Great fun.

www.hestercreek.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Sandra Oldfield presents  The Women of Wine.

Jeff Hundertmark  – Winemaker @ Mount Boucherie, Modern Wines. Rust Wine Co

A Zoom gathering with Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Creek and Gully Cider

 

 

 

August 1st, 2020 – Celebrate Food Day Canada 

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CELEBRATE FOOD DAY IN CANADA   AUGUST 1

 

Saturday, August 1st  is  Food Day Canada – a chance to salute Canada’s   favourite foods, farmers and all the people involved in our culinary experiences!  Hail to the farmers, those who harvest fish and shell fish, those who get our foods to us fresh and safe,  to the chefs and restaurateurs, the grocery stores and everyone in the food chain.

Buy Local. Eat Local. Shop sustainably. Let’s all get out of this year alive, well and still in business.

 

ANITA STEWART – Founder of Food Day Canada. Food Laureate,  University of  Guelph

Anita Stewart

Anita Stewart was a  little girl selling beans on the side of the road.  Who knew she  would become the author of 14 cookbooks and founder of one of Canada’s most talked about culinary events.

Anita’s  farming roots and farming smarts earned her a membership into the Order of Canada and the first interview on today’s Tasting Room Radio.  Thank You Anita!

Remember to

Shop Local

Eat Local

Cook Local

 

#fooddaycanada

www.fooddaycanada.ca

CHEF ABUL ADAMEThe Kitchen at da Silva Winery (Naramata Bench)

“Mexican born, never cooked back home, moved to Canada 20 years ago. “Throughout my first years as a newcomer, the thought of a restaurant job was an “easy thought” for a start up. but, it seemingly became a life style long term commitment and a true addictive passionate affair to me.”

Abul writing on his main page  www.thekitchen-dasilvavineyards.com

Abul Adame

I’ve known Abul since 2007 when we moved to the Naramata Bench.

My first question to the locals was – most interesting chef?

When the third neighbor said Abul Adame..that did it.

At the time he was cooking up a storm at Amante Bistro in downtown Penticton.

Loved the room and ecstatic about the kitchen. The experience was head and shoulders above 90% of the bistros in the Okanagan.

Thankfully, Abul and The Kitchen are still one of the best Okanagan dining experiences.

The da Silva family is a Portuguese family who has been farming in the Okanagan for many years.

So it’s no surprise that Abul is cooking Portuguese tapas with Mexican Flair.

 

When was the last time you saw a chef come out of the kitchen, take 2-3 minutes to get to know you..go back to the kitchen and cook to your personalities and tastes. Every table. Every night.

 

 

When I told Adul I was still recommending his dining room he actually said

“please. No more. I can’t keep up. The place is very busy.”

Its old school here.

Don’t write..don’t text. Just phone and make a reservation.

If you get Abul..he’ll say they’re too busy. If you get staff,  make a date.

 

One more quote from Abul

“you may like my food, you may not like my food – either way,  I Thank You.

because I no longer cook to impress.”

https://www.thekitchen-dasilvavineyards.com/

JENNIFER SCHELL  – The BC Wine Lovers Cookbook

(Recipes and stories from Wineries across BC)

Jennifer Schell

 

Jennifer Schell (@JenniferSchell8) | Twitter

Jennifer Schell is a highly acclaimed food and wine writer, columnist, and former editor of BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine. Her three cookbooks, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker (In the Okanagan & ‘By The Sea’) are Canadian bestsellers and have won numerous international awards.

 

She is also the co-founder/producer of Garagiste North Wine Festivals, an event celebrating BC’s small lot wine producers chosen as one of the Top Wine Festivals in the Word in 2015 by the London Financial Times.

 

Jennifer was also the founder of Soup Sisters (Kelowna), a charity organization that focuses on feeding the Women and children at the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and the youth on the streets.

Above all, she is a food, wine & culture leader.

Plus she is part of the Schell Family Winery with her two brothers.

 

 

This is not just a book filled with recipes.  Each farming family has its own story.

And when you open their wines, the stories come spilling out. Generations of wines, harvests, long table dining, and every conceivable weather story.

Jenn knows it’s the stories, the people and the food that make wine a great experience.

What a book.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/599901/the-bc-wine-lovers-cookbook-by-jennifer-schell-foreword-by-john-schreiner/9780525610366

CHEF NED BELL – Naramata Inn

Chef Ned Bell

Ned Bell and his wife Kate Colley have come full circle.

Ned grew up 20 minutes from Naramata Village. Kate met Ned on our veranda on The Bench

in 2008.

They married and had two sons.

They have both had outstanding careers. Ned through bigger and bigger kitchens. Kate through her own successful marketing and media company.

They last worked together at The Four Seasons in Vancouver.

Then over two years ago Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s beaten it back with an amazing team of professionals.

(even as I write, she’s going through more treatment in Vancouver)

They decided to come full circle and return to the Naramata Bench. Specifically,  the tiny hamlet of Naramata.

With their partners Maria Wiesner and Paul Hollands, they bought the Naramata Heritage Inn at the end of the main street.   Over the years the Inn has represented a beloved base of community and become a destination for visitors.   With 12 vintage rooms above and a dining room and bar below, the inn is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Trust me. The rooms are a memory you’ll treasure always.

Ned, Kate, and the new owners bring world-class culinary experience to the kitchen, which is all about sourcing and celebrating local.

The Inn will deliver a proudly “Naramatian” experience. From produce to proteins, the menus will be built around the best local growers and artisans in Naramata and the Valley. It will showcase the true depth and breadth of award-winning wines produced by British Columbia’s winemakers.

Keep in mind, you’re surrounded by 20-30 wineries and a lake that goes on forever.

www.naramatainn.com

https://www.nedbell.com/bio

 

stories we’re working on:

 

Kathy Malone – New releases from Hillside

Hester Creek checks in

Noble Ridge – a revisit

Sandra Oldfield – What’s on her mind?

Birch Block Take Two

Maenam (The Book)  – Angus An

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 25th, 2020 -The 2020 Cowichan Valley Wine Festival  Aug 1-31  

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The 2020 Cowichan Valley Wine Festival  Aug 1-31

In a normal year, just about now,  I’d get in the car and drive south on Vancouver Island to Cobble Hill and meet the Cowichan Winemakers on a Crush Pad.

As we all know 2020 is not a normal year. A historic pandemic has a way of shutting everything down and threatening everyone’s health and life.

How then to organize and pull off a wine festival?

With the assistance and guidance of Tourism Cowichan, the 13 wineries of the Cowichan Valley invite you to Discover Cowichan Wine.

This year the wine festival is taking place for the entire month of August.

Due to Covid19, there will be no opening party however participants can purchase a ticket for $20 which gives them a festival glass to bring to each winery. Tasting fees are waived and if you get a stamp at each tasting on your passport you then qualify for a draw at the end of August for a case of Cowichan Wine.


The wineries have been preparing to receive guests in a safe and healthy environment. Physical distancing, sanitized tastings plus safety for the guests and employees.

There is so much to celebrate in The Cowichan.  A new Sub GI designation. Cowichan now can appear on all wine labels made with Valley fruit.

And the recent purchase of Unsworth by Barbara Banke and Julia Jackson (Napa/Sonoma).

 

This is our first Zoom interview with the Cowichan Wineries. The audio and zoom video can be streamed on our website.

I asked our winemaking guests to highlight two wines they’re pouring…

Jill Nessel – Tourism Cowichan.GM

Mike Nierychlo – Emandare Vineyard  (Rose and Pinot Noir)

Brent Rowland – Averill Creek/Joue  (Joue White and Red)

Paul Bruner – Blue Grouse.  The owner (Estate Pinot Gris and Quill Rose)

Blue Grouse

Dan Wright – Unsworth Vineyards (Allegro and Rose)

Paul Busnardo – Divino (Trebbiano and Everything red blend)

Lorin Inglis – Enrico.GM  (Charme De Lile Sparkling and Tempest Ortega)

Xavier Bonilla – Cherry Point (Pinot Noir and Siegerrebe)

Chef and Author  Bill Jones – Deerholme Farm in The Cowichan.

 

A Question.  What goes best with Cowichan Wine?  Cowichan Food!

And who better to add a food component to this special than Chef Bill Jones at Deerholme Farm.

You know Bill from his dozen or so books..The Deerholme Foraging Book. The Deerholme Mushroom Book.

Bill Jones is a passionate supporter of local food communities, a founding member of FarmFolk/CityFolk, SlowFood Vancouver Island, and was a key organizer of the BC Canadian Chefs Congress.

If you’re heading to the festival, check out Bills  Thursday small dinners and special dinner Aug 15th (Mediterranean) & 22nd (Korean BBQ)

Or sign up for the always sold out foraging classes in The Fall.

 

www.deerholme.com

Cowichan Visitor Information

visitorinfo@duncancc.bc.ca

info@tourismcowichan.com

 

Tasting Room Radio Cowichan Wine Guests –

www.emandarevineyard.com

www.averillcreek.ca/

www.bluegrouse.ca

www.unsworthvineyards.com

www.DivinoWine.ca

www.enricowinery.com

www.cherrypointestatewines.com

 

 STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Kathy Malone – New releases from Hillside

Hester Creek checks in

The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook – Jenn Schell

Chef Ned Bell – Naramata Inn

Food Day Canada.

Noble Ridge – a revisit

Sandra Oldfield – What’s on her mind?

Birch Block Take Two

Maenam (The Book)  – Angus An

 

 

 

 

 

July 18th, 2020 Rathjen Cellars. Jim Cuddy Wines. Moon Curser, The  Best Small Winery on Canada

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Rathjen Cellars. Jim Cuddy Wines. Moon Curser, The  Best Small Winery in Canada

 

THE SHOW

In addition to planting their own vineyard in 2016, Mike Rathjen leases five other established vineyards on the Saanich Peninsula, all of which provided grapes to former wineries in the area. Mike is honoured to work with some of the oldest vineyards on Vancouver Island and he’s  excited with the quality of wine coming from these vines.

Mike Rathjen moved to Vancouver Island in 2011 with a passion for wine, farming and food culture. Over the next five years he honed his winemaking skills in his basement (AKA the ‘Wine Bunker’) while building relationships in the local farming community.

Together with his friend and business partner Colin Mann, Mike founded Rathjen Cellars in 2016 with a business model based off leased farmland and a focus on supporting the local food system.

Mike prefers the title ‘winegrower’—seeking to diminish the variable of winemaking to allow further exploration and expression of Vancouver Island as an emerging wine region.

Rathjen Cellars source all of their fruit from six vineyards on the Saanich Peninsula and two vineyards in the Cowichan Valley.

 

I’ve always been impressed with the wines I’ve tasted from Mike and I think you will be too!  Tasting and talking about their Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir.  Yum.

https://rathjencellars.com/

Jim Cuddy – Cuddy Wines by Tawse

Paul Pender – Tawse Winemaker

Jim Cuddy does not like Rosé !

Jim Cuddy

But he basically likes everything else.

As you know, Jim is the co-writer and co-singer with Blue Rodeo, The leader of the Jim Cuddy Band and recipient of The Order of Canada.

When he decided to put his name on a wine bottle he was smart enough to partner with one of the very best names in Canadian wine. Tawse Wines.

Jim Cuddy at Tawse

They’ve release a Chardonnay, Cab/Merlot and Sparkling Riesling. No Rosé .

We talk about that and other wines. AND we also talk to his winemaker Paul Pender.

 

https://www.tawsewinery.ca/cuddy-by-tawse/

www.bluerodeo.com

www.jimcuddy.com

Chris Tolley – Co-Owner/Co-Winemaker Moon Curser Wines.

Moon Curser won the 2019 Wine Align Best Small performing Winery in Canada.

Chris TOLLEY

Moon Curser – Best Small Winery in Canada

At the end of the competition, the winery walked away with several medals led by a Platinum for its remarkable ode to the Douro Valley, the 2017 Touriga Nacional. They followed that up with six gold medals for a 2015 Tannat, think Uruguay; 2018 Dolcetto, that’s Italy; a 2017 Malbec, that’s Argentina; a 2017 Tempranillo, a nod to Spain; a 2017 Petit Verdot a classic from Bordeaux; and one final gold for a 2017 Dead of Night, a blend of Syrah and Tannat.

 

“Well, you get the picture, this is one very different producer, and in many ways, a poster child for what we always hoped would be the kind of innovative, family estate winery that would grab the title of the Best Performing Small Winery in Canada.

All that is left for you to do is try the wine and eventually visit the winery to experience what the Tolleys did when they first got into the business, something new and intriguing and most of all different.”

Anthony Gismondi – Co-Head Judge

 

Moon Curser’s Medal Winning Wines

Platinum: 

Moon Curser 2017 Touriga Nacional, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Gold:

Moon Curser 2015 Tannat, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2018 Dolcetto, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Malbec, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Dead of Night, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Tempranillo, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Petit Verdot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Silver:

Moon Curser 2017 Carmenere, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2018 Arneis, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Bronze:

Moon Curser 2017 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2018 Afraid of the Dark, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

 

In 2006 they opened the doors to Moon Curser..except, at the time it was called Twisted Tree.

Rebranding brought the name Moon Curser.

The location has always been the same..very close to being the last winery in BC..right at the USA  border.

I had already done an interview with Chris when the awards were handed out..so here’s the update from Chris and the whole interview before they won the award.

Congratulations to Chris and Beata Tolley

Moon Curser Wines

https://www.mooncurser.com

https://www.winealign.com/awards/2019/07/31/2019-nwac-results

STORIES WERE WORKING ON:

Jay Drysdale – Bella Bubble

The Cowichan Wine Festival 2020

Kathy Malone – Hillside

Lock and Worth

Chef Ned Bell – Naramata Inn

Hester Creek.

Vanessa

Winemakers Cut

Abul Adame – The Kitchen

 

 

 

July 11th, 2020 – Randy Ullom Master Winemaker (Kendall Jackson) & Graham Pierce  Winemaker. GM

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Randy Ullom Winemaker (Kendall Jackson) & Graham Pierce  Winemaker(Kitsch)

 

THE SHOW

 Randy Ullom – Master Winemaker and Senior VP

                              Jackson Family Estates and Kendall-Jackson Wines.

 

Randy Ullom

I cannot think of another winemaker who has stayed with the same winery for 28 years.
Randy oversees 12,800 acres of estate vineyards in cooler coastal California wine growing regions. One third each in North Coast, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties.

“I look at all of the vineyards we own, and all of the individual lots of wines that we make, and the thousands of barrels we have sitting in our cellar and sometimes I think, you gotta be kidding me! After I’ve sufficiently recovered from my daily panic attack, I take off my coat, dig in my heels and take it one barrel at a time. It’s a rewarding job that I love.”

  Hired by Jess Jackson in 1992 as Winemaker for some of their smaller and international vineyards, Randy was handed his most prestigious assignment in 1997 – Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery.

A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Randy became interested in wine during a three-year stay in Chile, while on sabbatical from college in the early 1970s. His stay inspired a cross-country trek through Chile’s vast wine-growing regions. On his return to the United States, he entered Ohio State University to study crop production with a specialty in Viticulture and Enology and received his degree in 1975.

After six years as a vineyard manager and Winemaker in Ohio and upstate New York, Randy moved to California to become associate Winemaker at De Loach Vineyards in Sonoma County. He was promoted to Winemaker and Vice President in 1991. The wines produced during his tenure were consistent gold medal winners at wine competitions.

Randy   looks like a Sheriff from Dodge City..Oversees the growing and creating of 5 Million cases of wine from 35 labels. (check their website below)

His job includes  working with wines grown in Sonoma, Chile, Bordeaux, Australia and Italy.

 

TASTING TODAY:

 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnayhttps://www.kj.com/wine/vintners-reserve/chardonnay

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanchttps://www.kj.com/wine/vintners-reserve/sauvignon-blanc

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Grishttps://www.kj.com/wine/vintners-reserve/pinot-gris

(Featured at Liquor Plus in July)

Kendall-Jackson, Jackson Estate Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignonhttps://www.kj.com/wine/jackson-estate/hawkeye-mountain-cabernet-sauvignon

(Will be featured at Everything Wine in July.)

www.kj.com

 

 

Graham Pierce – GM and Winemaker at Kitsch

Graham Pierce

If the name is familiar it’s because he has worked with and made wines at  Mt Boucherie, Time and for 10 years at Black Hills.

Graham had the toughest job in the Okanagan. Following in the footsteps of winemaker Senka Tennant, the creator of one of Canada’s greatest blends Note Bene.

Graham carried the torch for 10 years and created a brilliant blend in his own distinctive style.  He’s a pro.

Now he’s going through much the same process at  Kitsch  #okanaganinaglass.  Winemaker Grant Biggs has moved on and Graham once again has the ability and talent to walk into the cellar and begin shaping his versions of Kitsch wines.

 

Kitsch Tasting Room

Graham walks us through:

2019  Pinot Gris

2019 Block Party (Riesling, P. Gris. Chard)

2019 Pinot Noir Rose (100% PN)

2018 Chardonnay (In partnership with tentree)

Congratulations to Trent and Ria Kitsch for having the smarts to survive the loss of their signature winemaker and then hire another outstanding creator who has shown himself to be capable of greatness, much like the wines he will make going forward.

Trent and Ria Kitsch

www.kitschwines.ca

#okanaganinaglass

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Bella Wines

Rathjen Cellars

Cowichan Valley Wine Fest 2020

Hillside

Bartier Bros

Lock and Worth

Creek and Gully Cider

Hester Creek

Noble Ridge

Vanessa

The Grand Crew

Nichol

Cedar Creek

Ned Bell – Naramata Inn

July 4th, 2020 – Sandra Oldfield/Anthony Buchanan and the legend behind Orto – Brigitte Raye!

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Sandra Oldfield, Anthony Buchanan and the local  legend behind Orto Brigitte Raye!

THE SHOW

Sandra Oldfield joins the community of voices and talents who are regularly welcomed to Tasting Room Radio.

I’ve missed talking to her and exchanging “shots over the bow”!

Since Tinhorn Creek was sold she’s been busy as one winery after another was looking for her services.

She and her husband Ken opened Elysian Projects to consult and mentor  new wineries and start ups looking for advice.

We don’t have enough space for the awards she’s been presented with, however, include

Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100. BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.

She has always been a strong advocate for the wine and tourism industries from founding Oliver’s Festival of the Grape in 1997 to joining the board of the Tourism Industry Association of BC.

She helped  lead the movement to create the sub-appellation  The Golden Mile.

A Founder of the very popular #BCWineChat..  20 plus years  at Tinhorn Creek and organizer of the yearly Fortify Conference.

And what I like most about Sandra is – when needed, she’s a gifted troublemaker.

I’m hoping this is the first of many chats we’ll have.

She’ll cover the state of BC wine right now, missed opportunities during COVID-19, what changes are coming in the future.

For wine fans you’ll find this essential and for wineries – imperative!

www.Elysianprojects.com

#bcwinechat

Anthony Buchanan – (Anthony Buchanan Wines and Desert Hills Winery)

Anthony Buchannan (Western Living)

 When I’m asked to recommend winemakers to keep an eye on, one of my answers in the last couple of years has been Anthony Buchanan.

The wines he poured at last year’s garagiste were some of  the very  best I tasted that day.

Anthony Buchanan wines

His first classroom was at  Church And State in Saanich.

Then the Okanagan with Professor Mike Bartier.

Anthony Buchanan has dedicated his entire life to revealing beauty, first with people and now with wine. With two decades in hairdressing, his story appeared set in stone. However, on becoming an Opimian Society member, he fell hard for an extraordinary Pinot Noir, and a new path emerged. Now, Anthony Buchanan’s  winery offers focused low intervention Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Orange and sparkling wine from the Okanagan Valley.

Highly recommended.

Start with the fantastic Pinot Blanc Lawson (The best I’ve tasted in Canada)

2018  Trios Orange and 2018 Semillon

2018 Pinot Noir Ashlyn  Clone 777. Similkameen Valley.

2018 Syrah Whole Cluster Ferment  Black Sage Road.  Syrah Clone 99 and Viognier clone 642.

Unfined. Unfiltered. Amazing bacon and spice flavours.

2918 Syrah “William Dean”

FUBAR – crazy blend . Zweigelt, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Muscat.

SNAFU –  Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc, Muscat, Viognier

Rose – If you see it,  BUY IT!  The 2019 was made with Malbec and sold out like it was Christmas!

The Viognier by itself is a keeper.

The Wild Ferment Brut “Méthode Ancestrale” is like no other.

FYI  Ashlyn and Lawson are the Buchanan kids. The next generation!!

https://anthonybuchananwines.ca/

ORTO Artisan Pasta – Brigitte Raye,  Owner.

Orto is now open – please check website below for times and conditions.

Brigitte Raye

If the name  Brigitte Raye doesn’t immediately connect with your memory bank please let me make an deposit.

For me it starts at La Regalade in West Vancouver.  A Wonderful French Bistro with Brigitte front of house and Ex-Husband Alain in kitchen.

After a shut down and a divorce,  the parents worked with their sons in various bistros.

Son Kevin has been cooking at Langara Fishing Lodge in Haida Gwaii; and son Steve  joined his mom at  Orto Artisan Pasta in North Vancouver.  Brigitte as usual,   charms  everyone who walks through the door.

Orto means Garden in Italian. After all the French cooking, why Italy?  Well, partly because Brigitte married an Italian.  That helps.

It’s an old building just off Marine Drive in North Vancouver.

It used to be called Ethical Kitchen.

Everything Wine is half a block away. Its well worth the search.

What a find.

Orto shares space with Vadim Mugerman’s Bad Dog Bread. A very good bakery. Exceptional really.  Bad Dog Bread  offers breakfast until 11am.  Next door, the former Ethical Kitchen operator makes kombucha.

You can get the bread and Kombucha all while dining at Orto as well.

The pasta is everything you could want.

There’s a very popular share dish of Burrata & Prosciutto with Bad Dog Bread. Fresh and delish!

What a great room.

As Brigitte explains, all the plates are from thrift stores… only adds to the cool.

Looking for a great personal space to just hang and love the food –   here it is.

Orto Artisan Pasta

1600 MacKay  North Vancouver.

http://ortoartisanpasta.com/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Randy Ullom – Kendall Jackson/Jackson Family Wines

Kitsch – Graham Pierce Winemaker

Rathjen Cellars – Mike Rathjen

Hillside

Creek and Gully Cider

Winemakers Cut

 

 

 

 

June 27th, 2020 – BC Field Blend Special.

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This is our first ever BC Field Blend Special.

What is a field blend, who makes it and why don’t they put the words on the label?

Over thirty different opinions in this one hour.

 

THE SHOW

Breaking News:

One week after our feature interview on Unsworth Vineyards in The Cowichan Valley it has been announced that the winery has been purchased by California wine royalty.

Involved were The Turyk Family at Unsworth, Barbara Banke,  the widow of Jackson Family Wines founder Jess Jackson who is Chairman and Proprietor.  The Flagship winery is Kendall-Jackson. She has been involved in winery purchases in Oregon, France, Italy, Chile, Australia, South Africa and now Vancouver Island.

And her daughter Julia,  who is very much involved in the Jackson Family team.

This is a very important moment for The Cowichan and BC Wines. We have been studied and found to be worthy of high profile  investment.

We start the show with a quick chat with last week’s guest Chris Turyk.

 

www.unsworthvineyards.com

https://www.jacksonfamilywines.com/

 

A couple of years ago a gaggle of winemakers from Portugal came through Vancouver.

Our interviews always ended up in the same place..their famous field blends.

In the Duoro Valley they plant, grow, harvest and bottle 20-30-40 different varietals. All Together! It’s a true field blend. What’s in the field IS the blend.

I was fascinated by the process and the final results.

These wines were complex, elegant and surprisingly balanced.

True Field Blends are still made in Germany and Australia.

Over the course of a year, the questions I asked over 30 winemakers were..

What is your concept of a field blend?

Do you make a field blend and what’s in it?

If you do make a field blend..do you put the words on your label?

If not, why not?

The answers were passionate, surprising and highly opinionated.

Most wines we drink today are made of grapes harvested from various vineyards throughout a province , state, or even country, fermented in separate lots, and then blended together into a finished wine. Field blends are single-vineyard wines whose grapes are grown, harvested, and vinified together—the blending is done in the vineyard, not in the winery.

Field-blended vineyards are interplanted with multiple grape varieties—sometimes all red or all white, and sometimes both red and white—without apparent rhyme or reason. A zinfandel vine might be growing with carignan on one side and petite sirah on the other. The whole field is then picked at once. Timing is crucial and calls into play the winemaker’s skill and artistry. All of the grapes are fermented together.

Some old World winemakers or growers may have no idea what the exact blend is.

I don’t expect everyone is going to have the same interest as I do but the winemakers here all have a very strong opinion (all except my pal Dell Halliday who’s answer was “Meh”).

The responses were really good and just kept getting better and better.

Especially about the question Why do you not put the words Field Blend on your bottles? Are we, the consumer not trusting of the term?

(Several winemakers here actually believe in field blends and some years have put the words on their labels

Michael Schindler from A Sunday in August

Grant Biggs from Kitsch (Block Party)

Brent Rowland from Joue at Averill Creek

Mike Nierychlo from Emandare)

 

Here’s the Guest List for the Field Blend Special

(Yes, some were asked twice over the course of a Year)

 

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine

Kurtis Kolt – Wine Writer and Judge. Co-Organizer of Top Drop in the West.

Val Tait (Bench 1775) and Senka Tennant (TerraVista)

Brent Rowland – (Joue and Averill Creek)

Mike Nierychlo – (Emandare)

Stephen Arnason – (Poplar Grove and Monster Wines)

Richard da Silva (Da Silva and Misconduct)

Rhys Pender – (Little Farm Wines)

Ann Sperling – (Sperling Vineyards)

Larry Gerelus (Stags Hollow)

Paul Gardner – (Pentage)

Andrea Sartori – (Sartori Family Vineyards. Verona Italy)

Jeff Hundertmark – (Rust and Mt Boucherie)

Michael Schindler – (A Sunday in August)

Ann Sperling (Sperling Vineyards .many months later)

David Gouge – (Sea Star)

Ike Seaman – (Wine Director at The Wickaninnish Inn)

Grant Biggs – (Kitsch Wines. Makes Block Party as a field blend)

Kelsey Rufiange – (Echo Bay)

Senka Tennant – (TerraVista)

Joe Luckhurst – (Road 13)

Galen Barnhardt – (Monte Creek)

Kathy Malone – (Hillside)

Lindsay O’Rourke – (Tightrope)

Gustav Allander – (Foxtrot)

Garron Elmes – (Lake Breeze)

Jeff Martin (La Frenz)

Nikki Calloway – (Laughing Stock)

Riley Hollenback – (Red Rooster)

Bob Ferguson – (Kettle Valley)

Dell Halliday – (Elephant Island)

Gavin Miller – (Upper Bench Winery)

Gordon Fitzpatrick – (Fitzpatrick Family Wines)

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Kitsch – Winemaker Graham Pierce

Kendall-Jackson/Jackson Family Wines – Wine Master Randy Ullom

Anthony Buchannan Wines – Winemaker Anthony Buchannan

Sandra Oldfield  – Trouble with a Capitol T

Bella

Lock and Worth

Naramata Hotel

Winemakers Cut

Hillside

Mt Boucherie

Vanessa

 

June 20th, 2020 – CELEBRATING OUR WINE PARTNERS –  PART TWO

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CELEBRATING OUR WINE PARTNERS –  PART TWO

(Row 14 at Klippers and Unsworth)

  

THE SHOW

 The Tour de 2020 was an idea that came as 2019 turned into 2020.

“let’s go visit all the sponsors, taste and do interviews

I loved the idea. You can only do so much over the phone or Zoom.

Nothing beats sitting down with your partners and friends to talk wine, foods and plans for the year.

Then Corona Virus struck and everything changed. It’s still changed. However, the wine business kept on going..from shut down to drive through.

Free delivery to on line tastings.

So back to the phones we went. (except for Unsworth)

It’s almost impossible to explain how much we appreciate those who support us. They have a lot of choices and we’re just happy they chose us.

Last week we featured

Jason Parkes and Grayson Riordan from The Hatch

John Weber from Orofino

Joseph Luckhurst  from Road 13

In the spotlight this week it’s

Anne- Marie and Kevin Klippenstein  from Row 14 at Klippers Organic Acres and Untangled Cider  (Cawston, Similkameen Valley)

Anne-Marie and Kevin Klippenstein

And Derek Grey – co-partner and chef at Row 14 at Klippers (from Savio Volpe)

 

We’ve all heard the phrase “farm to table”.  Row 14 is the Real Deal.

They  take produce that surrounds  Row 14  at Klippers Organics and cook it simply. The wood fire is the heart of the room. Diners waiting for their food  can watch it cooking on the open hearth.

 

As Kevin explains they use  olive oil from Salt Spring Island and balsamic vinegar from Verturi Schulze in the Cowichan, for example. They also gets their eggs and meats from local farmers in the Similkameen Valley.

The region has some of the best produce in B.C.  Most of it organic .

Its the perfect pairing. Similkameen wine and Similkameen produce all grown in the same soils.

In the coming weeks we’ll tell you more about their untangled cider and The Suites at Klippers.

The fine people  and everything they’re committed to are well worth your time to follow.

Chef takes us through the absolute delight of having almost everything he needs right outside the kitchen doors.  Fresh. Organic. Cooked on an open fire. Perfect!!!

The Similkameen Valley has officially run up the ”follow us” flag.

http://www.klippersorganics.com/

Chris Turyk – Family Member, Marketing Director, Sommelier.  Unsworth Vineyards (Cowichan)

Long time partners and one of the best success stories in BC Wine.

They proudly showcase their Pinot Noir, Rose and bubble programs in addition to an ever expanding portfolio.

Sweet tasting room and patio… throw in a lake just for fun and a restaurant that makes the best meals and  pizza for miles.

Chris and I sat 6 feet apart and talked about “the new normal” and what the rest of the year may look like.

Chris Turyk – Unsworth

They continue to release new wines and blends including

Rose Charme

Cuvee De L’ile

Gamay Noir

Symphony Red Blend

Pinot Noir

And that glorious Rose.

And best of all we talk about the new Sub GI for the Cowichan.  Labels can now be site specific and its one more step for  this region in its quest to  become  of major interest to wine fans and investors.

Just watch.

www.unsworthvineyards.com

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Hillside

The story behind Winemakers Cut

Mt Boucherie

Vanessa and Howard Soon

Anthony Buchanan

Noble Ridge

Lock and Worth

Nichol Vineyards

Bartier Bros.

Cedar Creek

And much more

 

 

June 13th, 2020 Celebrating National Rosé Day and our wine partners 

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Celebrating National Rosé Day and our wine partners 

 

THE SHOW. 

 

June 13 is National Rosé Day.  Celebrating all that’s  great about drinking Pink. 

Who better to lead the celebration than Master of Wine  Elizabeth Gabay?

Wine Master  and author Elizabeth Gabay joins us.

She’s written a book called Rose!  Understanding The Pink Wine Revolution.

Terry and Elizabeth  discuss her book and all that went into it. For example,  Elizabeth  tasted 10 Rosé a day. A total of 1500 over 6 months from across the globe. Hear everything you need to know about one of the world’s oldest known types of wine.

June 13 is National  Rose Day –Rose was always considered the Ugly Duckling..Now  THE SWAN Emerges!!

She knows what she talks about.

Elizabeth is a Master of Wine who lives North of Nice!

Provence is right around the corner. And in France, 30% of all wine consumed is Rose.

One thing we do understand – there is no hotter wine right now than Rose.

In Canada for example, Imported Rose sales grew by 116% between 2012-2016.

Canadian production grew 9%.

Rose winemaking has become complex, making it perfect for food pairing.

Yes, you can find lots of light Summer Sippers..somebody is even making a stronger Rose..for all you fans who want ice in the glass.

There are natural Rose in cement tanks, eggs and even terracotta amphorae.

and it’s NOT just a Summer drink anymore.

Even though stores and restaurants back off after Thanksgiving..many wine fans (me included) carry on through the Winter..finding new ways to pair Rose and hearty winter meals.

There’s Rose in Oak. Aged Rose.

What colour Rose you choose is totally open for discussion.

Many fully grown men (if there is such a thing) will not be caught with a “pink drink”

I still find that bizarre.

Elizabeth joins us  from her house in a small French village Saint- Martin- Vesubie “just North of Nice”

Elizabeth Gabay

You can find her at www.pink.wine

Liquid Partnerships

Tasting Room Radio has always been made up of Four Segments. In the beginning we decided to partner with four sponsors, one for each segment. We’ve made some great friends along the way. Okanagan Crush Pad, New District, Okanagan Falls Winery Association, Naramata Bench Wineries, CC Jentsch, Marquee Wine Cellars, Four Seasons Vancouver, Bench 1775, Cowboy Coffee and many more.

We had planned to do a driving tour of our current sponsors..starting at Unsworth on Vancouver Island then taking the Crowsnest Pass to Cawston in the Similkameen Valley and visit Orofino and the new Row 14 Restaurant at Klippers organics. On to Road 13 on the Golden Mile and finally ending up at

The Hatch on Mount Boucherie.

As you well know, all plans were put on hold as the Pandemic swept the World.

So, we’ve done our  best Plan B.

A socially distanced one-on-one at Unsworth and then phone/zoom interviews with the rest of the sponsors.  Talking about the headlines, surviving the loss of customers, growing on line sales and free shipping. Drive through windows and on line tastings. New releases and future plans.

We’re going to talk to all the sponsors –  alphabetically

This week we start with:

The Hatch –  Grayson Riordan (Prince of Tides)  and Jason Parkes. (Founder. Winemaker)

Orofino – John Weber (Co-owner. Winemaker)

Road 13 – Joseph Luckhurst. General Manager

 

www.thehatchwines.com

www.orofinovineyards.com

www.road13.com

 

NEXT WEEK:

Row 14 and Unsworth

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Jennifer Schell – BC Wine lovers Cookbook

Twin Island Cider

Lock and Worth

Nichol Vineyards

Anthony Buchanan

BC Wineries and Restaurants – The New Normal

Hillside Wines – New Releases

Kitsch

Vanessa

Winemakers Cut

Mt Boucherie and Modest Wines

Lots more

 

June 6th, 2020- Winemaking Couples  –   Birch Block and 2House  

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Winemaking Couples  –   Birch Block and 2House

 

THE SHOW

 Block Party with Sarah and Murray Bancroft  (a series)

This whole show is about new school and old school winemaking.

Ian Sutherland and Valeria Tait have been a couple for years in the Okanagan but now have decided to make wine together. Finally.  After all those years. That’s the second half of TRR.

We start with one of the newest, coolest couples to ever become winemakers and farmers.

Just a couple of years ago Sarah and Murray Bancroft were living the life in Paris.

 

Murray is a trained chef but works in food and menu design/styling.

Sarah is an editor and is skilled at crafting digital sites and campaigns.

Now they’re farmers in Kaleden, just south of Penticton. Their winery is called Birch Block

www.birchblockvineyard.com

What we have in common is a love for a documentary called The Biggest Little Farm

“The Biggest Little Farm is about a young couple who decide to leave their old lives behind and buy a farm. The movie especially points out how hard it is to keep a farm running and all of the hardships, sadness and anger they face, but also the happy, beautiful moments and the relationships they build.”

https://www.biggestlittlefarmmovie.com/

I like these two and their story so much, we’re going to do a series of interviews..chronicling their growing season and the up and downs of being a new school winemaking team.

Sarah says the series is called Block Party.

Birch Block has released a Rose and a small lot chardonnay. The future sounds like Pinot Noir is in the plans. They have a guest house with French linen, Moroccan plates and Spanish hats.

If the wines are as stylish as these two..you’ll want to get your hands on some.

Valeria Tait and Ian Sutherland – Old School

When Meg and I first moved to the Naramata Bench in 2007, the very first winemaking locals we became friends with were Ian Sutherland and Val Tait.

Ian had founded Poplar Grove. A small vineyard with huge potential. Ian was a really good winemaker and always fun to be around.

Val was a viticulturist. Basically hired to design vineyards and consult in the planting and growing.  Painted Rock, Poplar Grove, Bench 1775.

Years went by.

Ian sold Poplar Grove and headed for Panama. Valeria became GM and winemaker at Bench 1775 and joined Ian in the off season. They built a beautiful home in Panama.

Now. FINALLY. They have decided to make wines together but not the same wine.

For example, they’ll both make a Cab Franc but one will be Ian’s take and the other Val’s.

Love that.

The wines will be called 2House..with a second label called Charisma.

They have a Tempranillo coming. Plus Bubble and  Semillon/Sauvignon.

Val has agreed to become the winemaker at Gold Hill, the label that the farming Gill family has built. Her partner is those wines is the not yet 30 year old Navi Gill. Definitely new school.

Navi joins us in the last  segment.

Instagram: @2housewine

https://www.goldhillwinery.com/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

 

NEXT

The Hatch

Unsworth

Row 14 at Klippers Organics

Orofino

Road 13