Tasting Room Radio

September 18th, 2021- The 5th and final week of Okanagan Reconnect

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The 5th and final week of Okanagan Reconnect

Presented by The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

 

THE SHOW

We come to the last show in a series that started August 21st (you remember August, right?)

The master plan was to reconnect with the people,  wineries and food of the Okanagan after a two-year hiatus.

So many changes, many Covid related.

 

Thankfully we found an excellent  supporting partner in TOTA The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. They sure know their territory. Top shelf management.

To my delight, I also got to re-connect with long-time friend  CEO Ellen Walker-Mathews and discovered the invaluable assistance of Rob Grifone. My thanks to both.

 

For week five we find ourselves back at our home base at Moon Curser Vineyards in Osoyoos. Got to stay and do the interviews at their fabulous Hideaway.

The whole thing is on Corey Wood’s video. (see below)

 

 

 Our final guests are:

 Beata and Chris Tolley – Our hosts at their gorgeous winery and the co-founders of Moon Curser Vineyards  www.mooncurser.com

Beata & Chris Tolley

 

Moon Curser

Pouring  2020 Arneis (the little rascal of Piedmont. A flinty white)  and 2019  Dead of Night

(a spectacular blend of Tannat and Syrah. Spicy/Opulent)

 

Paula Cooper – It was Paula’s  last day as winemaker at CC Jentsch (Golden Mile). Now she’s at  Lakeside.  (Osoyoos)  www.lakesidecellars.ca   www.CCJentschcellars.com

 

Paula Cooper

Just a note that Paula came by at my request,  as I wanted to salute her work at CC Jentsch and to honor her mentor Chris Jentsch who passed away recently.

The vineyards are up for sale now and likely the new owners will rebrand. This week’s Tasting Room Radio is dedicated to Chris and CC Jentsch.

Things got  emotional on both sides of the microphone.  We thank Paula for hanging in. Thanks also to Michael J McCoy for keeping CC Jentsch open until the end.

Chris and Betty Jentsch

Dan and Carol Scott – Co-founders of Lariana Cellars (Osoyoos)  www.larianacellars.com

At first taste, I knew these were special wines. When I discovered their mentors were Richard Cleave and Senka Tennant, that explained everything.

Dan and Carol listened and learned well. They brought and poured 2020 Viognier (one of the very best expressions in all of Canada) and 2018 Carmenere (glorious pepper heaven. 70% French Oak 27% new)

Dan and Carol Scott. Lariana

 

And that’s it –  25 interviews captured in one week and spread out over five weeks of shows. Now it’s time for you to do your own reconnect.

When it’s safe to do so please consider making plans to do your own week in the Okanagan Valley.

Senka Tennant Lariana

Remember to check out www.totabc.org  All the safety and planning info is there.

 

Lariana vineyards

Thank you TOTA.  Thank you, guests, Corey Wood and Meg.

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

A visit to Four Shadows

Dwight Sick at Moraine

Nathan Todd at  Foxtrot

No/Lo

September 11th, 2021- Week Four of our Okanagan Reconnect (OK Falls)

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Week Four of our Okanagan Reconnect (OK Falls)

Presented by The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

The SHOW

 

Because…

Tasting Room Radio started its audio life in a studio in a barn on the Naramata Bench and…

Hadn’t been in the Okanagan since  Fall 2019 and

The pandemic kept us from returning.  I felt it was time to Reconnect to the Okanagan.

(The Vista in OK Falls)

Week Four finds us with a  home base at the very popular Noble Ridge in Okanagan Falls.

What a line-up!  Plus all the interviews are on video. On our website and our YouTube Channel.

Our guests this week include:

John Skinner – co-founder of Painted Rock www.paintedrock.ca (OK Falls)

John Skinner. Painted Rock Winery   (Jon Adrian  Photo)

John poured the aptly named 2018 Red Icon and truly wonderful 2020 Chardonnay. Both are world-class.

Terry Meyer Stone – co-founder of Mayhem Wines and family member of Meyer Family Wines. (OK Falls)

www.mayhemwines.com

www.mfvwines.com

For Meyer Family Terry pours:

2019 Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay (again World Class) and 2019  McClain Creek Pinot Noir (simply marvelous)

For Mayhem Wines Terry pours

2019 Pinot Gris (better? – you bet)  and 2019 Anarchy (Wow. Huge Merlot with a touch of Cab Franc. Oak heaven)

John, Terry, and TDM

Leslie D’Andrea – co-owner of Noble Ridge (OK Falls)

Benoit Gauthier – Winemaker Noble Ridge

Terry. Leslie D’Andrea Benoit Gauthier. Noble Ridge

www.nobleridge.com

Leslie/Benoit pour

2016 The One Sparkling (sublime)   and 2017 Kings Ransom Pinot Noir (what a beauty)

The One

Thank you Noble Ridge for hosting and putting on A SHOW. Thank you, Okanagan Falls!

And Thank you to Ellen, Rob, and all at The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

www.TOTABC.org

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Okanagan Reconnect Week Five

Beata and Chris Tolley  – Moon Curser

Paula Cooper – CC Jentsch

Dan and Carol Scott – Lariana Cellars

 

 

 

September 4th, 2021-The Okanagan Reconnect Week Three. South Okanagan

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The Okanagan Reconnect Week Three. South Okanagan

(Presented by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association)

THE SHOW

What an adventure. Talking, traveling, and tasting our way through the Okanagan.

Moon Curser is our home base this week. Spectacular place! What a great winery Beata and Chris Tolley have created.

They’ll join us for a sit-down interview in Week Five

www.mooncurser.com

 

We Re-Connect with –

John Weber –  Co-owner and winemaker at Orofino Vineyards  (Similkameen Valley)

John Weber

John brings two of his best wines. The  2019 Chardonnay (Fantastic) and his 2020 Gamay (Sublime)

(check out the interview on video. On our website or our YouTube channel)

www.orofinovineyards.com    

 

Bill Eggert – Owner & winemaker at Fairview Cellars. (Golden Mile)

Fairview Cellars

Wild Bill brings two nice surprises. 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (Sauv/Sem) “my oyster wine”

And the engaging  2019 Crooked Post Pinot Noir. (Interview also on video)

Bill Eggert

www.fairviewcellars.com

 

Justin Hall – Estate Winemaker at Nk’Mip (Osoyoos)

With many fine wines to choose from, Justin poured the beautiful 2019 QQ Pinot Noir and the delightful 2020 White Merriym.  (Interview also on video) 

www.nkmipcellars.com

Justin Hall  Estate Winemaker

Executive Chef Jeff van GeestMiradoro at Tinhorn Creek (Golden Mile)

Jeff talks about the staffing problems that all restaurants have been having. It’s prime time in the Okanagan and some restaurants are cutting down hours and days in order to stay open. Jeff is revealing,  enlightening, and a damn fine chef.

www.tinhorn.com

Jeff Van Geest

 

Thank You TOTA – www.totabc.org

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Next Week – Okanagan Reconnect Week Four

At Noble Ridge (OK Falls)

John Skinner – Painted Rock (OK Falls)

Terry Meyer Stone – Meyer Family & Mayhem Wines (OK Falls)

Leslie D’Andrea and Bernard Gauthier – Noble Ridge Wines (OK Falls)

 

 

 

August 28th, 2021 – The Okanagan Reconnect Week Two – Naramata Bench

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The Okanagan Reconnect Week Two – Naramata Bench

(Presented by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association)

THE SHOW

It’s week two of our Okanagan Reconnect!

This week we are gathering at Hillside Winery and Bistro  on the Naramata Bench

Tasting Room Radio was conceived in a studio in a barn on The Bench in 2007.

So we’ve come full circle.

Our winery and food guests were asked to bring two wines to profile.

 

Rickard and Jill Richardson Branby – Sperling Vineyards ( final week 1 guest)

Rickard & Jill Richardson Branby-Sperling

Sperlingvineyards.com  Sperling Organic 2018 Pinot Noir & Sperling Pet Nat


Jay Drysdale –  co-founder and winemaker Bella Wines

Jay Drysdale and Josie

Bellawines.ca Estate Chardonnay made ancestral method and 2016 Reserve Eastside Trad Method


Master of Wine Marcus Ansems – co-founder and winemaker Daydreamer Wines

Master of Wine Marcus Ansems (Daydreamer)

Daydreamerwines.ca 2019 Amelia (Syrah/Viognier) & 2019 Orange Wine (100% Viognier)


Exec Chef Ned Bell and Sommelier Emily Walker – Naramatainn.ca

Chef Ned Bell

Emily brought L-ST Projects Ambient Chardonnay (Alyssa Hubert) & 2020 jocko a light Cab Franc (Kelsey Rufiange Echo Bay) BRAVO to both.  Thanks Emily.

Emily Walker


Penelope and Dylan Roche –  co-founders/winemakers of Roche Wines

Penelope and Dylan Roche – Roche Wines

www.rterroir.ca    2020 Pinot Gris Texture & Nuances (Bordeaux Blend) (such promise)


Kathy Malone – Chief Winemaker Hillside Winery  hillsidewinery.ca

Chef Evan Robertson. Kathy Malone Winemaker & Shelann Sleegers Wine Club Hillside Winery and Bistro

2020 Muscat Ottonel & 2015 Mosaic (Bordeaux Blend) History in a bottle

Evan Robertson – Exec Chef  Hillside Bistro/Shelann Sleegers – Wine Club Manager 

 

 Associate Producer Corey Wood has edited video versions of the interviews with Jay Drysdale, Marcus Ansems, Ned Bell, and Emily Walker. They can be found on YouTube https://youtu.be/uralP29wDOE

THANK YOU TOTA!

https://www.totabc.org

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

NEXT WEEK

At Moon Curser…(Osoyoos)

John Weber – Orofino (Similkameen)

Wild Bill Eggert – Fairview Cellars (Golden Mile)

Justin Hall – Estate Winemaker   Nk’Mip (Osoyoos)

Chef Jeff Van Geest – Miradoro. Tinhorn Creek (Golden Mile)

 

 

August 21st, 2021 -The Okanagan Reconnect – Week One!

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The Okanagan Reconnect – Week One

(A 5-week series presented by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association)

 See Full Video below!

The SHOW

 It’s been close to two years since Tasting Room Radio toured the vineyards and restaurants of the Okanagan.

TRR started its 14-year existence on the Naramata Bench in 2007.  Since leaving the valley we’ve stayed in touch through Zoom, Phone, Text, What’s app, Skype, email, and in person. The in-person was usually in Vancouver or Victoria when wineries poured for the media and public.

I truly missed traveling through the Okanagan, walking the vineyards, seeing and smelling the cellars, and listening to the winemakers and winery principals tell great stories of bud break, harvest, and release days. The past year and a half also included a heat dome, wildfires, and Covid19.

With the assistance and support of TOTA –  The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association – On Aug 3 we headed back to the Okanagan.

Rather than drive around to 20 plus wineries and losing valuable interview time to the driving, we decided to try and base ourselves at our sponsor locations.

The Hatch in West Kelowna, Hillside Winery and Bistro on Naramata Bench, Moon Curser in Osoyoos, and Noble Ridge in OK Falls.


This first week we called The Hatch our home.

Winery Guests were asked to bring a red and white to feature.  They included:

 

Mark Filatow – Executive chef and Sommelier Waterfront Wines Restaurant (Kelowna) waterfrontrestaurant.ca

Mark Filatow

David Patterson – GM and Winemaker at Tantalus Vineyards (East Kelowna) Tantalus.ca

David Patterson Tantalus

2018 Chardonnay and 2019 Pinot Noir

Jason Parkes – Founder of The Hatch Wines  (West Kelowna) (also Black Swift/Crown and Thieves/Screaming Frenzy) The HatchWines.com

Jason Parkes The Hatch

Grayson Riordan, Mikayla Jones, Graham Dell – (Manager Black Swift/Manager The Hatch/CFO) blackswiftvineyards.com

Grayson Mikayla and Graham. The Hatch

2017  Crown and Thieves Arch Doxy Cab Franc   2020  Black Swift Pinot Blanc

Ellen Walker-Mathews – new CEO of TOTA (Kelowna)

Ellen Walker-Mathews

Jeff Hundertmark – Chef Winemaker of Mt Boucherie and Rust Wine Co mtboucherie.com/rustwine.com

Jeff Hundertmark

 

Rust Wine 2020 Chardonnay  &  2019 Solus

Christine Coletta, Matt Dumayne and (standing) Duncan Billing  – Founder of Okanagan Crush Pad and Haywire Wines/OCP Winemaker and Director of Viticulture

Duncan, Matt and Christine… OCP and Haywire

2019 Narrative Chenin Blanc  Haywire 2019 Gamay Rose  okanagancrushpad.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Okanagan Reconnect Week Two ( at Hillside Naramata Bench)

Rickard & Jill Branby – Sperling Vineyards

Jay Drysdale – Bella Wines (Naramata)

Marcus Ansems – co-founder/winemaker/master of wine  Daydreamer Wines (Naramata)

Chef Ned Bell and Sommelier Emily Walker – Naramata Inn

Penelope and Dylan Roche – Roche Wines (Naramata)

Kathy Malone and Evan Robertson – Winemaker Hillside Winery and Bistro Executive Chef

 

Okanagan Reconnect  5 weeks series  presented by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

 

August 14th, 2021-SUMMER SPIRITS with Davin De Kergommeaux

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SUMMER SPIRITS with Davin De Kergommeaux

THE SHOW

 My spirits education began and ended with the same bottle of  Lemon Gin.

My brother Denis and I were the youngest members of the Kamloops Rube Band.

All the other band members were college-age or dads.

Denis and I tried to keep up with “the boys” when we did parades or road trips.

As much as we liked the first taste of lemon gin, we HATED ourselves the morning after.

 

For me, it only took one bottle and I never went back to spirits. That is until I met Davin de Kergommeaux at the Canadian Whisky Championships in Victoria.

Davin has been an author and whisky reviewer/judge for over two decades.

Davin De Kergommeaux

His books Canadian Whisky The Portable Expert, The New Portable Expert, and The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries are invaluable to those of you seeking support and deep information on whisky and spirits.

www.canadianwhisky.org

So.  When I decided to do a Summer Spirits special – Davin was a natural co-host.

I asked two things of him:

Please recommend spirit makers who are also storytellers

and…   stop me when I get stupid.

He was great on the first ask and on the second request,  Davin almost gave up on me.

 

Davin’s recommendations were

Caitlin Quinn – Head Distiller at Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley, Alberta.

Negroni. Old Fashion. Rupert’s Whisky Sassafras.

www.eauclairedistillery.ca

Caitlin Quinn – Eau Claire

 

Jake Clark –  Consumer Engagement Manager  Strait and Narrow – Custom Handcrafted Gins/Pacific Coast Cocktails

Grapefruit Rosemary/Pear Rhubarb/Peach Elderflower/Lemon Lavender  (Makers of 1908 Gin)

www.straitandnarrow.com

 

Bob Baxter – President & Co-founder Yukon Brewing Company

Spiked Seltzers –  Cherry and Lime/Pineapple Ginger/Raspberry/Basil/Mango Hibiscus and a great Lemon Lavender Radler (German Shandy)

www.yukonbeer.com

Bryce Parsons – Master Distiller  Last Best Brewing. Calgary.

The man who created 52 different gins in one year.

Last Best Afterglow Gin & Soda – Savage Love  Tom Collins – Fortunella Citrus Iced Tea

 

www.lastbestbrewing.com

 

Colin McDougall – Corby’s Spirits Portfolio Consultant.

JP Wiser’s 18-year-old Whisky and Lot 40 Dark Oak 100% Rye Whisky

The man is a storyteller. Enjoy the tales.

www.corby.ca

 

Thank you Davin De Kergommeaux, Letittia King, Rob Roycroft and Heather Gillespie at Yukon Brewing.

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

The Okanagan Re-Connect

A food and wine tour of The Okanagan.  At Least 20 winery interviews over 3-4 weeks

Next week

Chef Mark Filatow – Waterfront Wines

David Patterson – Tantalus

Jason Parkes – The Hatch

Sperling Vineyards

Ellen Walker Mathews – TOTA

Christine Coletta/Matt Dumayne – Haywire/OCP

 

Mixology at Duncan Firehall

 

August 7th, 2021 -Michael Allemeier (SAIT) & Singular Winemaker:  Anthony Buchanan  

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“I need a miracle” –   Michael Allemeier (SAIT) and the singular wines of  Anthony Buchanan.

 

THE SHOW

In June  Exec Chef Jeff van Geest  at Miradoro Restaurant /Tinhorn Creek posted an Instagram message that started with

“I need a Miracle”. 

He simply couldn’t find enough kitchen staff to begin serving those amazing meals. He wasn’t alone in his search.

We talked to Chef Jeff and The Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem in San Francisco to see if the same thing was happening there. (Yes, it was)

The Kitchen

The second story within this situation was a shout out about the “toxic” nature of some better restaurants. Head chefs screaming at staff. An attitude that’s disappearing but not nearly fast enough.

I wanted to seek one more voice to make sense to this crisis.  Michael Allemeier is an instructor in Calgary  at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).  He spent many years in this culinary world.  His last Exec Chef position was The Terrance at Mission Hill Winery. The Terrace was named one of the Top 10 winery restaurants in the World.

Michael Allemeier (SAIT)

Now Michael is instructing students who will become the new kitchen staff in many of our lives.

I thought it was important  to know what he was telling them in their classes about these two situations.  Lack of staff and toxic environments.

His comments are telling in this two part interview.

www.sait.ca

Anthony Buchanan – Winemaker and co-founder of Anthony Buchanan Wines

 

“a slightly different approach to winemaking” quote from Anthony.

To anyone looking for wines that speak to you in  a different “language”,  the winemaker/artist to seek out is Anthony Buchanan.

Anthony Buchanan

I think it started with a Garagiste event several years ago.  I had been tasting, spitting and talking  most of the afternoon and in the last tent were Anthony Buchanan and his wines. It took me a long time to walk away from that tent.

Not only did I instantly like the man, I was completely won over by his wines.

His Pinot Gris tasted like none of the others that day. Same with his reds. I was gobsmacked.

Anthony Buchanan and family

Then some time later I tasted his Pinot Blanc. It was my favourite BC White of the Year. I don’t mean it as a knock on any other whites but to have a first taste lift your soul is just remarkable. AND he’s just announced that the 2020 Pinot Blanc has just been released. As good as the 2019 was, Anthony is on record as saying the 2020 is more “dynamic and complex.” 100% barrel fermented using low house toasts. Heads up – only 120 cases.  And-GO!

 

 

So, its time to get caught up with one of the  most interesting and independent winemakers in Canada.

Check out the wines we taste and talk about – I think you’ll see a pattern.

2020 GAD – Grape, Apple and Dandelion. The grape is an outstanding Viognier. The dandelion is your inhale. Has the jam to be a game changer

2020 Semi carbonic Malbec Rose. Unfined. Unfiltered. 2 months neutral oak. Self described “funky”

2020 Viognier. 2019 was sold out Not surprising as Anthony says its one of his best. New one coming.

Snafu – Skin fermented white blend. Clean biodynamic wine. (Chard-S Blanc-Muscat-Viognier)

Trois – Orange and Amber wine (Gew. Chardonnay Musque. Sauvignon Blanc)

Fubar – Red Blend (Zwei-Gamay-Pinot Noir-Syrah-Muscat)  Beaujolais influenced

Gamay – best yet

Ancestrale Method Sparkling. (wild ferment brut) (whole cluster Chard-Pinot Gris-Gamay)

Pinot Noir (rich black fruit – sage -floral notes- spice)

Whole Cluster Syrah.  Featuring foot treading by daughter Ashlyn

Gruner – (coming next year perhaps)

And two named for  his children

Ashlyn – wild ferment Pinot Noir 115/667. (Black Sage Gravel Bar) Old World style – New World climate.  Some foot crushing.

Some 20%  new oak. Lots of neutral.

Lawson – the is the one that got my attention. Pinot Blanc. 70% Neutral French. 30% concrete. Barb Phillip was right!

 

www.anthonybuchananwines.ca

www.storiedwinesandspirits.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

The Okanagan Re-Connect

Some 15-20 wineries from North to South

Summer Spirits Special

A return to Tightrope

Maverick!!

 

 

July 31st, 2021- BC Women in Wine with Sandra Oldfield and Rathjen Cellars

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More BC Women in Wine with Sandra Oldfield and Rathjen Cellars

 

THE SHOW

 

 

Sandra Oldfield – Elysian Projects

 

Sandra Oldfield

Sandra Oldfield is one of the founders of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in Oliver, BC.  She was its winemaker for 20 years and CEO and President for 8 years until its sale in the fall of 2017.  Sandra now runs her own consultant company with her husband Kenn.

Elysian Projects helps BC wineries with a wide variety of issues including business and finance, marketing, human resources, social media, sustainability, and health and safety.  She is a member of the  BC Tourism Engagement Council for the Minister of Tourism and was named one of Canada’s Top 100 powerful women in 2016. You can find her most Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. PT on Twitter hosting the hashtag #BCWineChat, which she founded in 2010.

She drives a 1957 DeSoto.

Her blog is SandraOldfield.com.

Sandra Oldfields Desoto

This is the second feature special we’ve done called BC Women in Wine.

Keeping in mind that the wine business has always been a male-dominated industry, Sandra shines a light on three women who rise above the fray and stand out as leaders.

 

Sandra has lots of choices but seems to intuitively know which ones belong together.  This time they are

Christine Coletta – Okanagan Crush Pad/Haywire. Narrative etc.

Christine-Coletta-OCP

Christine Coletta is one of the founding members of the BC Wine Institute and the BC VQA program, and she has helped to mentor a number of professionals in the food and wine industries over the last 30 years.

Through her crush work at Okanagan Crush Pad, she has also been involved in the start of a number of new wineries in BC. Her guidance, support, and mentorship have landed her the nickname, “Godmother of BC Wine.”

https://okanagancrushpad.com/

  

Keira LaFranc  – Winemaker at Stags Hollow

 

Keira LeFranc’s young winemaking career was made possible through being at the right place at the right time.  BUT she came prepared with education, talent, passion & skill!

LeFranc earned a biology degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and then headed to New Zealand to earn a post-graduate diploma in viticulture and enology.

Back home, she landed a job as a cellar hand at Stag’s Hollow in 2017 She was promoted to assistant winemaker under winemaker Dwight Sick.

When Dwight moved on to Moraine Winery on the Naramata Bench in  2018,  Keira was finally promoted to winemaker.

www.stagshollowwinery.com

 

Paula Cooper  – winemaker at CC Jentsch

Paula worked by the side of Sandra Oldfield as winemaker at Tinhorn Creek for 10 years. She took that experience to CC Jentsch on the Golden Mile Bench.  When Chris Jentsch passed away Paula became the link between winemakers.

Paula considers herself a cellar master as well.  Taking care of Chris’s craft.

(a future guest on Tasting Room Radio)

www.ccjentschcellars.com

 

 

Michael Rathjen  –   Rathjen Cellars (Saanich. Vancouver Island)

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.

Bunker Red from Rathjen Cellars

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/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

The Okanagan Re-Connect

15-20 wineries from North to South

Summer Spirits with Davin de Kergomeaux

 

 

July 24th, 2021 – Unsworth Vineyards – New Owners & New Vineyards = Impressive!-

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Unsworth Vineyards – New Owners & New Vineyards = Impressive!   

THE SHOW

 A feature on Unsworth Vineyards – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island.

At the beginning Tim and Colleen Turyk were a fishing family until Tim “retired”.

They dreamed about reinventing themselves. In 2009  they heard about a small winery and vineyard for sale in the Cowichan Valley. It all had a Mediterranean feel about it .

 

Colleen and Tim Turyk

 

The beautiful farmhouse eventually  became a restaurant, the vineyards became healthy and vibrant. A pond was dug, the tasting room came to life and a sustainable dream became reality.

Winemaker Dan Wright and his team farmed almost 15 acres of vineyards. Marechal Foch,  Blattner varietals, Petti Milo, Sauvignette, Auxerrois. Then came Pinot Gris,  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  A very popular Sparking portfolio followed.

Unsworth-2020_Rose_Sunnydale

 

They were so successful that they attracted the attention of other winery leaders.

After a one year courtship,  the Turyk Family sold Unsworth to Barbara Banke and her business partner,  daughter Julia Jackson. The Unsworth team will stay on as they always have.

Barbara was the wife and very strong partner of the late  Jess Jackson – founder of wine  giant Kendall-Jackson. Julia has the very same smarts and drive as her Mother. The are a formidable team.

So. Keep in mind.  Barbara and Julia  have select wineries in their portfolio and they decided to buy a winery in Canada. On Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley.  Surely others will follow.

“the game has truly changed”

 

I’ve tried to follow the Unsworth story as best I could,  hoping to see what elements of the winery would change with the new ownership and was delighted to learn that they have purchased an additional 60 acres of land outside Duncan and intend to double their production from 10,000 cases to 20,000.

“the game has really changed”

So..in this hour we’re off to Duncan and hanging with the  Unsworth team.

Dan and Chris

Tim Turyk – Co-Founder

Chris Turyk – Sommelier and Experience Manager (I made the last part up)

Dan Wright – Winemaker

Andrew Watt – Viticulturalist

Andrew Watt

Chef Maartyn Hoogeveen – The Restaurant at Unsworth.

Chef Maartyn Hoogeveen Unsworth

We start in the restaurant and end with Tim and I standing on the hill top that will be their new vineyard.

We’re tasting wines and pairing food with chef.

We also talk about the upcoming Cowichan Wine Festival Aug 1-31

 

www.unsworthvineyards.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

The Judge – Hester Creek

The Okanagan Re-Connect

15 wineries from all over the Okanagan Valley.

Summer Spirits with Davin de Kergommeaux

Sandra Oldfield – 3 Women of Wine

 

 

July 18th, 2021- Remembering pioneer George Heiss, Paired releases from Cedar Creek, Jim Cuddy talks Wines!

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THE SHOW

George Heiss – Gray Monk Estate Winery (Co-founder. Winemaker/Lake Country)

George and Trudy. It was always George and Trudy Heiss.

www.briansprout.com

He was a really good hairdresser. She was a model. They met,  fell in love, planned a family, and headed for the Okanagan to become winery owners and winemakers.

There were only 6 other wineries in BC then. They were the 7th.

Gray Monk became one of the true iconic vineyards in Canada.

Gray Monk

 

Their flagship wines were Pinot Auxerrois, Kerner, Pinot Gris and Gew!

The very favourite blend was Latitude 50 – Bacchus and Riesling.

What I liked most about George and Trudy was their sense of humour and  their very affordable prices.

“We’ve paid for our land,  so we decided to thank the customers by keeping the prices as low as possible”

We all lost a true pioneer June 29 when George died. He was 81.

Our sincere thoughts and love go out to Trudy and  to his family.

I found this interview I did with George and Trudy from 2012. They were celebrating their 30-40-50 tour.

30 years since they opened,  40 years since they first planted vines and 50 years since they met & married.

The legend – George Heiss!!

www.graymonk.com

Taylor Whelan – Winemaker – Cedar Creek (Lakeshore. East Kelowna)

Executive Chef Neil Taylor – Home Block – Cedar Creek

Taylor Whelan Cedar Creek

Under normal circumstances, presenting new releases from Cedar Creek might seem routine.

However, when you combine the quick mind of Chef Neil Taylor  (Home Block) and the passion of winemaker Taylor Whelan, those wines are anything but routine.

Chef Neil Taylor

We’re tasting…

2019 Riesling (brilliant minerality, lemon/lime, petrol, apple)

2020  Sauvignon Blanc (pear, granny smith, citrus, lemon, cats pee)

2020 Pinot Noir Rose (strawberry, lime, tangerine, plum)

2019  Pinot Noir (cherry, strawberry, oak, cedar, minerality, and smoke)

 

And Chef is pairing in order…

Beets and Borani. Walnuts, goats cheese, dill, and fennel.

Burrata 6 Shishido’s, Prosciutto, pesto focaccia.

Spring salmon, clams and bacon,  charcuterie

Thinly slice cold roast pork loin, tuna mayonnaise, capers, and rocket (Arugula)

 

www.cedarcreek.bc.ca

 

Jim Cuddy – Blue Rodeo. Jim Cuddy Band   –   Cuddy Wine by Tawse, Niagara

Jim Cuddy at Tawse

 

He is one of the very biggest stars in Canada’s music world.

I’m not talking about the World World – The Drakes, Biebers,  Weekend, Shawn Mendes, etc

I’m talking about CANADA’S music. Our music. For our country. If others get it – bonus.

Think The Hip, Feist, Colin James. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Alan Doyle etc.

Blue Rodeo is such a band. They can tour coast to coast, head south into the USA, and be welcomed.

Jim Cuddy is the co-founder and co-writer/co-singer of Blue Rodeo.

And then there’s his own solo career featuring The Jim Cuddy Band.

One of his other talents is – wine. The man knows his wines. The bus heading home from a tour across Canada is much heavier than when it left. It’s loaded with Canadian and World wines.

When not on the road, Jim spends time at the highly regarded vineyards at  Tawse Winery in Niagara.

The Cuddy by Tawse,  created by winemaker Paul Pender are

2016 Chardonnay

2018  Cab Merlot (Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon, Merlot)

2016 Spark Traditional  Method Sparkling Riesling

 

Despite years of heckling, I’ve never TASTED his wines. But Tawse doesn’t fool around with interlopers.

So, when we do get together to talk music..right after the music chat is finished, we wait 2-3 seconds. Then the wine conversation begins.

Here’s the latest chat.

FYI

Blue Rodeo play The Calgary Stampede – Saturday, July 17

And

The Jim Cuddy Band returns to Calgary’s Prince’s Island Park to headline the Folk Festival Summer Serenade on July 23

 

www.bluerodeo.com

www.jimcuddy.com

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

The  return to Unsworth  (Cowichan)

The Okanagan  Re-Connect  (Okanagan Valley)

Summer Spirits with Davin de Kergommeaux

Jeff Downie – The Old Firehall mixologist