April was BC Wine Month.

Wine Master Rhys Pender (Little Farm Wines) set out to remind all wine fans why BC has such great wines and celebrate all of the choices we have.

Part one took us from April 1 -15..with musical interludes via his ukulele.

Now we present almost all of part two , including the Ukulele jam

(We had TRR  edited and done, when his  last rant and his wrap up was released…a tad too late for this)

Rhys rants us through cellaring BC wines, 2019 Vintages, bottle aged BC wines, Riesling, single vineyards, organics and Syrah ( a tricky wine to sell but maybe the best wine we grow)

Rhys Pender MW is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Working in the wine trade since age 14, Rhys’ career has included experience in the vineyard, cellar, wine retail, education and hospitality – providing knowledge in all facets of the business. In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW)

Rhys Pender

Rhys instructs the Okanagan WSET® and educational programs for Wine Plus+.

Enjoy the rants..Rhys knows what he’s talking about.

Breaking Bread and Doing The Hospitality Hustle

 All of us are going through these “strange days indeed”!

Nobody more so than the men and women of the culinary, wine and hospitality industries. Tasting Room Radio knows a lot of these fine people having done interviews with them for over 12 years.

Thing is, there are 1000’s who we haven’t met and they’re all out of a job and having to pay rent, feed themselves,  take care of families and of course,

That’s why we’re doing feature stories and interview on events and social movements that have the potential to help.

Shelley McArthur

The first press release for Breaking Bread came in from at SMC Communications  March 13th

VANCOUVER, BC (March 13, 2020) — Members of Vancouver’s hospitality community are uniting in solidarity to urge the public’s support of the local independent restaurant and service industry as well as those whose livelihoods rely on them, by offering myriad ways to show support during this unprecedented time of COVID-19.

Comprising 23 local restaurants and counting, this newly formed collective wants to reassure the public that they remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health, safety and well being of their guests and staff.

They will continue to implement all guidelines set out by such regulatory bodies as Vancouver Coastal Health, the World Health Organization and Centres for Disease Control.


You’ll happy to know that it was such a hit that Breaking Bread has gone National.

THIS Press Release came in April 28th

Founded on March 13, 2020 by hospitality communications agency SMC Communications, Breaking Bread was born out of a collective of 23 restaurants in the Greater Vancouver area that came together to urge public support in response to COVID-19. Since then, the website has expanded to more than 1,500 listings nationwide and is growing in new features and businesses by the day.

For more information or to stay up to date on all the latest news, visit, follow @breakingbreadnow on Instagram and become a fan of /breakingbreadnow on Facebook.  #breakingbreadnow

Way to go Shelley (and teams)

Hospitality Hustle  Dana Lee Harris (Exec. Dir. BC Hospitality Foundation)

Dana Lee Harris

…. and then there’s the powerhouse Dana Lee Harris. Also in the communications business but recently has become the voice and face of BC Hospitality Foundation.

This was her press release.  May 31 @ 6:00 am – 7:00 pm

#HospitalityHustle (a virtual event)

 The original plan for the Hospitality Hustle was for the event to be an in-person 5km walk/run around Burnaby’s Deer Lake, followed by Sunday brunch at Hart House Restaurant. The event was intended to raise funds, as well as raising awareness of the importance of mental and physical health.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the initiative has expanded into a province-wide virtual event:  hospitality workers, as well as foodies who have missed getting out and dining, can get moving by training for a province-wide #HospitalityHustle that will take place on May 31, 2020 anytime from sunrise to sunset.

Keeping SOCIAL DISTANCING front of mind, we encourage participants to join this FREE event.

Pick your activity – walk or run 5km, dance for an hour, skip, prance, skateboard or take a 10km bike ride – and start your training today!!  Then on Sunday, May 31st our entire community will virtually get their ‘Socially Distant Hustle’ on for hospitality.

Dana Lee Consulting



Davin de Kergommeaux

Jason Priestley – Hunkering down in Hollywood

Fort Berens – New Releases

Nude Beverages – on a roll






 Stay safe and well.  Please watch over each other and Be Kind.

 We start with the headlines.

During this pandemic restaurants and wineries have been shuttered. The hospitality business has been struck a dark blow.  Staff and employees of every description are now sheltered  at home, unable to work and watching their saving disappear. There’s bills to pay and families to feed.

This week we spotlight the first of  two support movements.

The HOPE Fund has been organized by the 44 wineries of  Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country!

Following the closure of tasting rooms, Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country launches the HOPE Fund (Helping Our People Eat), which will support up to 200 family meals per week for members of the region’s hurting hospitality industry, who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

In partnership with Oliver-based deli Oliver Eats Ltd., the fund will help them to produce fresh and frozen family meals that will help support those that are usually employed by wineries,  restaurants and other hospitality businesses in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country (McIntyre Bluff to the Border) but are out of work due to the pandemic.

Oliver Eats

The organization’s 44 member wineries range from some of the largest winemaking brands in the Okanogan Valley to small, independent family run estates. All are donating to this cause in a unified offering of support to the people that help make this area so special.

One of our guests Derek Uhlemann, founder of Oliver Eats said:

“From farm hands to dishwashers, cellar hands to servers, these people are the backbone of our region and it would be shockingly different if they weren’t around.  The pandemic is a shared hardship and we wanted to support our workers with nutritious, delicious family meals.”

Derek Uhlemann

Guests are:

Jennifer Busmann – Executive Director of Oliver/Osoyoos Wine Country

Derek Uhlemann – Founder of Oliver Eats

Jeff van Geest – Executive Chef Miradoro Bistro at Tinhorn Creek


Sosima Olivera – Mezcal Master (Oaxaca)

photo by :Kate Siobhan Mulligan

Sosima Olivera                                                 photo  credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan

Mezcal FaneKantsini (@fanekantsini) 

Mezcal FaneKantsini – Home | Facebook

Our featured guest is Sosima Olivera. A Mescal Master in Oaxaca.

mezcal  tasting                                               photo credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan,

Mezcal is the distant cousin of Tequila. For fans, the search for real mescal starts in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico  (wa-hawka)

The tasting session with Sosima in Oaxaca was a Christmas present from our daughter Kate.

Kates husband Pete was along for the tasting, to take some photos and make sure I found my way  home!

Sosima is a  third generation mezcal master from San Miguel Suchixtepec, Olivera’s grandfather and her father brought Sosima and her six brothers into the world of making mezcal from a young age. She was taught the art  by  her Grandmother and Aunt.

She’s proud of her chontal ancestry—the indigenous people of Oaxaca—and explains that her people are a peaceful and united group that continues to make mezcal in the traditional approach: not only for drinking, but to sustainably cultivate the plant for future generations to come.

Beautiful Oaxaca!                                        photo credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan


I wanted to know about the nuances of mezcal.. much of what we see is industrially made by large distilleries.

How do we know what’s in the bottle?

Sosima takes us through the test you can do with any bottle of mezcal right in the store.

Watch the bubbles, not the label. The bubbles tell you the quality.

There’s a saying in Mexico about Mescal:

“When something is bad..the answer is mezcal

When something is good..the answer is mezcal”

FYI – In Mexico if you are about to go into labour ..the nurses pour you a ½ glass of mezcal to INDUCE LABOUR!!

The mezcals that Sosima poured for us were up to 8 years old. Glorious nose and taste.

                                                                              photo credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan

Forget that sense of pepper hitting you between the eyes…

Deep flavours of caramel and spice. Vanilla and citrus. Wonderful texture.

No ice..just Mezcal very neat!

Her primary label is:

Sosima and tdm


Sosima Olivera  works with a collective in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca and sells to bars, restaurants, and mezcalerias in Oaxaca.

colours of Oaxaca!

Our interpreter is Jennifer Furlong from the company Tlayudona.  She specializes in “cultural experiences”

“Tlayudona provides unique and authentic experiences in Oaxaca based upon intercultural learning and mutual respect. The idea is that our hosts design the experiences that they offer, and our visitors are their guests.

Pete and Jennifer

We thank her for the support and knowledge.

Please enjoy this..because we sure did.


Jason and Naomi Priestley – at home LA on Zoom

Hospitality Hustle with Dana Lee Harris

Exec Director of BC Hospitality Foundation

Checking in with Fort Berens. (Lillooet)

Winemakers Cut – someone to watch.






 April is BC Wine Month!

Rhys Pender, Master of Wine, Wine Plus Education  and co-founder of Little Farm Winery in the Similkameen Valley decided to celebrate the wines of BC by starting an on line video series called Rhys Pender MW-Drink Local. Found at IGTV at Instagram. One feature a day for the whole month.

Rhys Pender Little Farm

Basically he sets up a camera in his kitchen and talks to wine fans  about “everything”

Sperling Foch, Haywire Rose, Figaro, Little Farm Riesling, aging of BC wines, Niche Pinot Noir, wine regions and sub GI’s, Fort Berens, Tantalus Chardonnay, all The Benches, the price of BC wine, Culmina Rose, Joie Gamay,  and he also finds time to pick up his Ukulele and sing a called drinking and cooking.

I asked Rhys for permission to take the audio from his videos and make a special out of it.

And that’s what starts this week’s TRR.

These are the first dozen shows but Rhys is still doing a show every day..which means there’s more than a dozen more  to go.

He usually gets around to posting them after dinner..around 7PM

Instagram IGTV Drink Local –  Rhys Pender MW

The Ukulele moments  are  the highlight of the year and my Life.


Swirl and UnTapped.  Uncorked in Parksville

Parksville sea walk

It’s the annual  gathering of wine, cider makers, craft beer brewers and distillery artisans on Vancouver Island.

This year it was craft beer etc at Beach Club Resort and the Wineries at Tigh-na-Mara.

Obviously these interviews were done before the entire World shut down and stayed home.

Because you can tell by the noise exactly when they opened the doors.

Very popular events these.

Love Shack Libations

Pouring  guests this week are:

 Terence Fitzgerald – COO and partner in Sheringham Distilling and his new venture Lumette Distilled non-alcoholic spirits.    Shirley, BC

Dave Paul – Co-Owner. Brew master of Love Shack Libations Qualicum, BC

Michael Abbott – Raisin Rancher & Vineyard Manager Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard  Cowichan Valley

Lorin Inglis – Manager of Enrico Winery  Mill Bay, BC

Mark and Linda Holford – Owners of Rocky Creek Winery Cowichan Valley

Jack Eubank  – Co-Founder of Cliffside Brewing  Nanaimo.

Chef Eric Edwards – Executive Chef Tigh-na-Mara   Seaside Resort. Parksville

Dave Woodward – Mt Arrowsmith Brewing Parksville



Tasting with a Mescal Master in Oaxaca Mexico (Next)

Ann Sperling – Sperling Vineyards

Davin De Kergommeaux – The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distillers

BC Spring Releases

How to support  Artisans and Culinary Teams.





 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:






Mescal Master in Oaxaca

swirl and untapped in Parksville

Unsworth. The Hatch. Orofino. Row Fourteen Restaurant at Klipper’s.

Road 13 Winery

Ned Bell –  back on The Bench

catching up with Ann Sperling





April 4th, 2020-The 9th annual Okanagan Falls Spring Releases


The 9th annual Okanagan Falls Spring Releases  in Vancouver

(Over a dozen  winery interviews and lots of new releases)


For 9 Years the Okanagan Falls Winery Assn has gathered in Vancouver to pour their Spring Releases

NOT THIS YEAR  – Because of the Pandemic,  2020 has become  a dark period in our World

We wanted to support our friends in the wine world so this is a repeat of last years pour with two new Wineries’s added Black Market and Echo Bay.

The group is now called The Okanagan Falls/Skaha Lake Winery Association. THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY.

Last year we found them at The Terminal City Club on Hastings. A grand heritage building. Funds raised go to BC Hospitality Foundation.

The whole Group

From the northern tip of Skaha Lake to the hills above Vaseux Lake the Okanagan Falls wine region in the South Okanagan was blessed with the land that the  ice age left behind.

When  the huge glacier came through and formed the valley, it managed to created  pools and hollows. Each one today has become its own growing terroir. A combination of silt and rock. Each vineyard can have a completely different expression of wine.

Best of all, the days are hot and bright and the nights are cool. Possibly the best growing combination that nature can provide.

In 2018, the B.C. Wine Authority gave Okanagan Falls their own sub-region designation.  Followed by The Skaha Bench.


We welcome back –

Leslie D’Andrea – Owner of Noble Ridge & Chair of Assn (

Blasted Church – John Bayley Vineyard Manager (

Crescent Hill – Tysha  Pope – Family member (

Liquidity –  Ruth Hanbury President (

Wild Goose – Leslie Matheson  marketing manager (

Pentage – Julie Rennie  co-owner  (

Bonamici Cellars – Mario Rodi  owner/partner (

Noble Ridge – Jim D’Andrea Owner/Chair  (

Stag’s Hollow – Linda Pruegger  Owner (

BC Hospitality Foundation – Dana Lee Harris Exec Director


Meyer Family – Chris Carson  winemaker/viticulturist (

Nighthawk – Christy Bibby  co-owner  (

Black Market  – Rob Hammersley   Owner (

Echo Bay – Kelsey Rufiange. Winemaker. (





Mescal Master in Oaxaca

swirl and untapped in Parksville

TopDrop Vancouver & Victoria

Unsworth. The Hatch. Orofino. Row Fourteen Restaurant at Klipper’s.

Road 13 Winery

Ned Bell –  back on The Bench

catching up with Ann Sperling





March 28th, 2020-Locals Only 3.0


LOCALS ONLY – 13 Artisans from Vancouver Island and The Gulf Islands.


We live in CRAZY times. 

The COVID19 Virus has shut all wine events down, including The Locals Only gathering which was hoping to take place March 23.

 In order to support these wineries in this demanding time, over the next couple of weeks we’ll be replaying last year’s coverage of Top Drop, Locals Only and OK Falls Spring pour in Vancouver.

We also ask you to consider ordering wines, cider &  spirits from the businesses  below and also please consider supporting your local markets, food trucks  and restaurants.  Tough times my friends. Lets help each other out.

 13 guests for The Annual “Locals Only 3.0″The Artisans of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands.





It was an afternoon exploring the diversity & creativity of our coastal producers.

Through the interviews below we get to meet the farmers, fermenters and distillers that define our cool climate coastal appellation.


Event photos by @socialtyvr


This is Locals Only 3.0 

No fancy marketing campaigns or graphic trickery.  Just an opportunity to taste clean honest products from the producers who are defining our cool climate coastal appellation. 

  • Speak with the producers who were natural before it was fashionable
  • Learn more about distilling while speaking with a Master
  • Meet and taste with the people who planted the vines and then made the wine

Locals Only is about keeping it real, real honest and really local.


Organic estate farming , clean winemaking , neutral barrels & vessels, amphora, orange wines, concrete, spontaneous ferments, dry farming + way more. Discover the next destination you just have to check out.

Off Shore craft makers.


Guests include:

 Massey Wines –  Louise Fedyk.  Co-Organizer of event

 Mike Rathjen – Rathjen Cellars

Mike Nierychlo –  Emandare Vineyards    

Dave Brimacombe – Wayward Distillery (Unruly Gin/Vodka)

Jason MacIsaac – Sheringham Distillery

Andy Johnson  – Averill Creek

Loretta Zanatta – Zanatta Vineyards

Chris Turyk – Unsworth

Bailey Williamson – Blue Grouse

Dan Dragert – Kutatas Vineyards ( Koo Tah Tass) You’re on your own. Well worth The Search.

Brenda Hetman-Layne – 40 Knots   

Marilyn Venturi –   Venturi-Schulze Vineyards

Julia Powell – Alderlea Vineyards






Okanagan Falls Spring pour 2019

Top Drop 2019

Mescal Master – Oaxaca

Swirl and untapped in Parksville

Ann Sperling – Spring tastes

Where the Hell is Ned Bell?







March 21st, 2020 – Impact of COVID19 on the Food and Wine Industry


Impact of COVID19 on the Food and Wine Industry

Welcome. We hope this finds  you  all well and safe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives.

Imagine what effect its had on the food and wine businesses we know and love.

I reached out to as many owners and winemakers as I could find in a single day in the hope that their answers could become your answers.

The basic questions were:

How are you doing and how is your business handling this crisis?

How can we, the consumer help sustain your business?

Suggestions?  Ideas? Are you open and if so, under what restrictions?

 This will be the first of several specials  I hope to do over the next couple of weeks.

 I would like to thank the guests below for stepping forward to offer insight, suggestions and support!

One thought stood out from this collective thinking.  They are talking to the food and wine fan yes BUT they’re also strongly talking to the businesses involved.

If you have a restaurant or winery please have a listen to these guests..perhaps some of their ideas will start to become a new direction for you.

 Please check out the links at the bottom of the page –

 Today’s guests are:

 Chef Robert Belcham – President of the Chef’s Table Society of BC  (Vancouver)

Exec Chef Mark Filatow – Waterfront Wines and Wine Bar (Kelowna)

Sandra Oldfield – Founder Elysian Projects  (South Okanagan)

Sandra Oldfield

Miles Prodan – President and CEO of BC Wine Institute (Kelowna)

John Skinner – Founder of Painted Rock Winery and member of Okanagan Wine Imitative (OK Falls)

John Skinner

James Iranzad – Partner in Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, Bells & Whistles) (Vancouver)

Tim Meeks – Food and Wine Fan and  Senior Nurse   (Seattle)

Tim Meeks

Jean-Benoit Deslauriers – Head Winemaker Benjamin Bridge – (Gaspereau Valley Nova Scotia)

Michael Bartier – Founder/Winemaker Bartier Brothers Wines (South Okanagan)

Michael Bartier


Virus Crisis – Part Two

Revisiting projects that have been cancelled because of Virus.

OK Falls pours in Vancouver

Locals Only in Vancouver

Top Drop – Victoria


Swirl and untapped in Parksville

Mexico’s  Senior Mescal Master Sosima Olivera

Stay well

March 14th, 2020- The 42nd VanWineFest: A look back!





The 42nd Vancouver International Wine Festival has come and gone. I’m told it was a huge success.

It was the first festival I had missed in 12 years of TRR.

Thing is,  I was in Oaxaca Mexico visiting family and getting closer to the story of Mescal.

Several weeks from now we’ll bring you the conversation we had with one of Mexico’s  very best Female Mescal Masters

Sosima Olivera…

Instead of doing 30-40 interviews at VanWineFest,  I ended up doing just one. But what a one.

Sosima and Terry in Oaxaca

This week’s edition of Tasting Room Radio looks back at some of the highlights and serious talking points from the 42nd VanWineFest.



Our Guests are:

 Christine Coletta – Okanagan Crush Pad.


real Key Wine Influencer. Maker of Freeform. Haywire. Narrative. The Bub.

What started as a Crush Pad has become a true farming leader in the Okanagan.

She was founding executive director of the BC Wine Institute, creator of the VQA and co-founder of Wines of Canada.

Christine’s most  recent honour was being named One of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2020 by Wine Industry Advisor.

Rather than ask CC about what she tasted at VanWineFest, I thought it best to get an overview of where we are as a wine region and where we’re headed.

One place we’re headed is Europe. Christine and friends  have been pouring in Europe for years now and they’re starting to notice.


Harry Hertscheg – Executive Director Vancouver Wine Festival.


It’s Harry’s show.  He spends his entire year leading a great creative team.

If anyone can give us a wrap up of the entire festival is Harry.

If you find yourself looking at sold out signs when you got to get tickets every year..Harry has the key to making sure that doesn’t happen again.

Michelle Bouffard   Sommelier. Educator. Journalist. Founder of Tasting Climate Change

Michelle Bouffard

One of the very busiest and committed participants at VanWineFest was Michelle.

She hosted panels and discussions on Climate Change and Wine.

Packaging, transport, extremes in temperature, water usage, tips for consumers  to buy wine with a lower carbon footprint.

This conversation was so engaging, the complete interview will be a podcast on Mulligan Stew Podcasts in several weeks. Details at

Michelle also has recommendations on Canadian and French wines she tasted.

Bernard Duseigneur – Domaine Duseigneur . Family member  and Manager.

Bernard Duseigneur

Domaine Duseigneur was founded by Jean Duseigneur in 1967.

In those formative years, Domaine Duseigneur was in rough condition and needed extensive work in the cellar and more importantly, in their vineyards. In 1992, his son Frederic along with his brother Bernard took over managing their Southern Rhone property.


They changed their vineyard management techniques starting with the 2004 vintage and became certified biodynamique three years later. They are also a member of Biodyvin, the International Bio-dynamic Vine growing Syndicate. in 2007, they brought in Philippe Cambie to consult on the vineyards and wine making.

They now manage 13 estates in the Languedoc/Roussillon Regions .

I wanted to present Bernard with several of his famous quotes about wine and perhaps see if he’d changed his mind.

Please enjoy the fine French winemaking manager of Domaine Duseigneur  Bernard Duseigneur


Ned Bell – back in Naramata

OK Falls wineries  pour in Vancouver

Locals Only – artisans from Van Island to Vancouver.

Swirl and Untapped in Parksville

Chef Lee Cooper – L’Abattoir

Sosima Olivera – Fanekantsini Mescal Cooperative

March 7th, 2020 – Third Annual BC Cider fest!




The third annual BC Cider Week.

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 10-15
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 Cidermaker 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



February 29th, 2020- Top Drop 2019- Victoria



The press release came in loud and clear.

For the very first time Top Drop was coming to Victoria.

Frankly, that’s all I needed to know.

I’ve been happily covering this small wildly successful wine gathering for
Six Years but Top Drop in Victoria is a whole other event. Why? Because
Victoria is a great wine town.

TOP DROP is Vancouver based so they needed a Victoria Host. Turns out the
Vessel crew have been watching this independent, craft wine festival seed
and grow in Vancouver, and spread to Calgary in 2018. This was their year to
launch it in Victoria for ONE DAY .

Victoria International Marina

Top Drop is an opportunity to celebrate authenticity in farming, terroir
and wine, with winery principals from around the globe.

Mirroring Top Drop Vancouver and Calgary’s flagship experience, the public
event is a walk around, grazing-style tasting where attendees enjoy sips
and stories from the principals of international and local wineries. There
has never before been a wine tasting of this scope and caliber in Victoria.

For me and TRR, the voice and face of Top Drop has always been Kurtis Kolt.
Wine educator and Wine writer for the Georgia Straight.

Kurtis and TD

Because of the foul weather, Kurtis and his partners were delayed in
Vancouver and could not attend while I was there.

Once again Kurtis Kolt and his partner Jeff Curry and a sensational team
have convinced some of the very best winemakers to pour at Top Drop.

What they have in common is craft and care!

In Kurtis’ column in the Georgia Straight he said this:

“Each year, our process begins the same. Our team casts out a wide net to
British Columbia-based importers and wineries, asking for winery
applications to participate in the event. First and foremost, Top Drop
wineries must fit with our general philosophy: that wines, indeed, express
terroir or offer a sense of place.

Whether we’re talking vines grown in mineral-rich soils or under
cool-climate growing conditions bringing bright acidity or in sun-drenched
regions offering generous, opulent fruit and so on, we want those elements
to be notable in the glass and for them to have arrived there authentically,
rather than via heavy-handed additions in the winery.

Sustainable farming is also key. There is a high priority on those who
employ these methods while farming their own fruit or who work with growers
who fit the mold.”

Winemaking Guests in Victoria:

(Check them out – Winners All!!)

Ross Borland Managing Partner/Vessel Liquor Victoria

Mitch Renaud Asst manager Vessel Liquor Victoria

Rhys Pender (MW) Little Farm/Similkameen Valley

Angus Thomson Urlar/ Gladstone NZ

Kelsey Rufiange – Echo Bay/OK Falls

Grant Biggs – Kitsch wines/Kelowna

Tyler Knight = Lightening Rock/Summerland

Larry Gerelus – Stags Hollow/OK Falls

Michael Shindler – A Sunday in August/Similkameen Valley

Dan Wright – Unsworth/Cowichan Valley


Mescal Master in Oaxaca

Orofino. Row Fourteen. Road 13, The Hatch. Unsworth.

Locals Only

Parksville Uncorked and Untapped.

What’s up with Ned Bell

Discovering Sheringham  and Lumette Distilled