Tasting Room Radio

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

May 30th, 2020- David Farran Pres.  Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley & A Revisit to Tofino Food and Wine

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David Farran Pres.  Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley & A Revisit to Tofino Food and Wine

  

THE SHOW

 For years, a huge percentage of the grains that were grown by farmers in Alberta were shipped to The UK to make Scotch. 80% of all that Scotch was made with Alberta Barley.

The distillers who did make spirits in Alberta , made  whisky in bulk.

Then David Farran  left his management position at Big Rock Brewing and began the dream of starting Alberta’s  first ever craft distillery. Eau Claire was born in Turner Valley South of Calgary.

David Farran

David partnered with brewer and distiller Larry Kerwin in 2014 to launch the first micro distillery in Alberta,  Eau Claire Distillery.

The spirit maker?  Caitlin Quinn, Glaswegian and very talented.

Eau Claire can be found in beautiful Turner Valley..on Sunset Blvd.  Yup.  The old movie theatre and dance hall building built in 1929.

eau claire single malt

I love the fact that they harvest with Percheron horse teams, trained by The Amish. The only people still harvesting by horse.

Does it make for better spirits?  You tell me.

Parlour Gin. Ploughman’s Rye, Cherry Gin, Saskatoon Honey Gin, Dill Pickle Vodka,  Three Point Vodka and Alberta’s first single malt whisky.

Prickly Pear equinOx and many more.

They open their Tasting Room first week in June.

Local farmers. Local grains.

“from farm to glass”

www.eauclairedistillery.ca

 

Remembering The Tofino Food and Wine Festival  (2019)

The Tofino Food and Wine fest was always one of the outstanding events on the calendar.

The Gardens

Sure there were lots of other food and wine gatherings,  in ballrooms, basements and  convention centres. None of them could match holding a wine festival in a beautiful community garden and a RAINFOREST.

Welcome to Tofino

It was organized by Kira Rogers and a wonderful team of volunteers.

We covered the event as part of our Tofino food and craft special.

The Music

Months later a press release arrived from Kira cancelling future events.

“For the past 16 years, our experience in working with the British Columbia LCRB has been positive, constructive, helpful and supportive. In 2019, our 17th year producing this well-loved event, our experience was the opposite: obstructive, hostile, intimidating and rude. We felt like an opponent.”  

Way to go LCRB.

 While we wait for the possible return of this wonderful gathering, I thought I’d offer the interviews we did last year.

Kira Rogers – organizer

Sara Triggs – Culmina Sales and Marketing Manager  Culmina.ca

Rob Hammersley – Owner Black Market Wines  BlackMarketwine.ca

Chris Smith – Island rep for Way West Wines  waywestwines.com

David Gouge – Owner Sea Star Wines. Pender Island  seastarvineyards.ca

Paul Gardner –  Co-Owner Pentage    pentage.com

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Block Party at The Birth Block Vineyard – a series.

Unsworth

Orofino

Row 14 at Klippers

The Hatch

Road 13

Valeria Tait and Ian Sutherland – 2Houses

BC Wine Lovers Cookbook

Ned Bell

May 23rd, 2020- OUR RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN – NOW WHAT?/ NUDE BEVERAGES- THE STORY/FORT BERENS

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OUR RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN – NOW WHAT?/ NUDE BEVERAGES- THE STORY/FORT BERENS

THE SHOW

First things first – we hope this finds you safe and well.

I’m sure you heard that BC’s restaurants are being allowed to re-open.  Be forewarned – they won’t look or feel like what you’re used to.

 

(the BC Governments document here)

Here are  the words that keep popping up under General Considerations:

Consider

Modify

Eliminate

Maintain

Provide

Create

Manage

Support

Ensure

Encourage

…and for the restaurants..directions such as

Remove, used multiple times

Provide

Consider

Limit

Encourage

Here’s a link from Scout Magazine that breaks down the original document and gives you the info you need to know.  https://scoutmagazine.ca/2020/05/15/new-table-service-protocols-for-bc-restaurants/

Tasting Room Radio reached out to three leaders in the Food and Beverage industry to get their opinions and reactions.

Andrew Morrison – Editor in Chief  www.ScoutMagazine.Ca

andrew morrison

Scott Ward – President/COO Brown’s Restaurant Group https://brownssocialhouse.com/

Scott Ward

Ian Tostenson – President and CEO of BC Restaurant & Food

ian-tostenson

Services Assn  https://www.bcrfa.com/about-us

We‘ll keep going back to this story  as it unfolds.

Julius Markarewicz  – Founder of Nude Beverages

julius-makarewicz- in the beginning…

 

The press release was one of many that day. It said something like “ Nude Beverages is shipping more product to Ontario because in their debut they:

“SOLD OUT”

Nude is Canada’s original sugar free Vodka Soda Brand.

It all started in 2013 when Julius thought he saw a gap in the adult beverage market. Right then he  started his plan to launch an RTD (ready to drink) beverage.

But first, he had to convince the BC Liquor Board to sell his discovery in their stores.

Nude was sugar, sweetener, gluten and carb free.

48 hours before the window of opportunity was closed, he sat opposite their headquarters in a Starbucks and drank a lifetime of coffee and let the decision makers across the street know  that he was “right there:” if they had a questions.

At the last minute they called and he/they were in.

Nude sold 1Million cans in 2019 with a 30% market share.

It’s been a blur every since.  They have now sold 44 Million cans across Canada and in a growing number of US States.

Nude comes seven flavours now with more to follow.  Besides the original vodka soda, there’s gin soda, iced tea, tequila soda etc.

Nude feels it’s important to give back to the community and are developing relationships with animal rescue groups as part of their company expansion plans with more charities and movements added every month.

They have also committed to the covid relief efforts.

https://nudebeverages.com/covid-relief-fund/

Julius will bring us up to speed with this two part interview.

www.nudebeverages.com

@nudebeverages

Rolf de Bruin  – co-founder of Fort Berens Wines

Rolf-de-Bruin-Fort-Berens-Lillooetnews

With his wife Heleen, they moved from Holland to BC, eventually choosing Lillooet to plant and grow their own dreams, in the form of a vineyard and winery. On a day-to-day basis, Rolf helps lead the Fort Berens team by example and by inspiration. He also manages the sales and marketing for the business. Eleven owners show great teamwork.

Rolf takes us through tasting notes and price points of their new releases

2019 Pinot Gris – 10% barrel age.  Yummy! Apples, lemon, vanilla

2019 Riesling – blend of 3 vineyards. Classic honey- grass notes. Apple, pear ,citrus

2019 Rose – 5 clones all from estate. floral nose & strawberries in the mouth

                      (828-667-777-115-47)

2018 Pinot Noir – from estate, Similkameen & West Kelowna. French Oak. Cherries. berries. Pepper around the edges. (perfect with salmon)

2017 White Gold Chardonnay. Dry Creek Vineyard, Fort Berens Estate.

Aged in French Oak until blending. Texture, acidity, apples and orange. Pasta/chicken

2017  Red Gold– Dry Creek Vineyard.67% Merlot & 33% Cab Franc.(passimento style)

Aromas of blackberries & plums,  sage & liquorice. Flavours of spice, dark fruit, oak.

Great with game, beef, hard cheese and a hammock.

www.fortberens.ca

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Block Party – a series.

Eau Claire Distillery

Noble Ridge

Unsworth. Orofino. Row 14.The Hatch. Road 13

(a virtual road trip)

Lock and Worth

Anthony Buchanan

Mt Boucherie

Bartier Brothers

May 15th, 2020 – The WHISKY SPECIAL, featuring Davin de Kergommeaux, Eau Claire & Shelter Point

hello

The WHISKY SPECIAL, featuring Davin de Kergommeaux, Eau Claire & Shelter Point

THE SHOW

Davin De Kergommeaux – The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

“There is a movement stirring in Canada’s spirits world”

  “There was a time, in the decades after Prohibition, when Canadian whisky was all the rage in America, when a bottle of Crown Royal sat on the bar cart of any serious imbiber. But by the time the renaissance in whiskey making and drinking began in the early 2000s, the Canadian product had long ago been dismissed as bland and bottom-shelf.”  (NY Times 2018)

 Davin has been featured on Tasting Room Radio a number of times.

He is the voice, face and author who best represents Canadian Whisky.

Check out his bio….

DAVIN DE KERGOMMEAUX is an independent expert who has been writing, talking, and teaching about whisky in all its forms and flavours for two decades. He is the world’s leading authority on Canadian whisky, and has been called “Canada’s unofficial whisky ambassador” as well as being named one of the most influential Canadians in Food and Drink by The Globe and Mail in 2016.

Davin de Kergommeaux

He is a former contributing editor to Whisky Magazine, and has contributed to or co-authored eight other books about whisky, spirits, and cocktails. He now writes full-time, and is regularly featured in many websites and publications, including Whisky Advocate.

De Kergommeaux is the founder and chairperson of the prestigious Canadian Whisky Awards and publishes comprehensive tasting notes on his website, www.canadianwhisky.org.

Penguin Random House has released his landmark book The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries with co-author Blair Phillips.

It begins:

“There is a movement stirring in Canada’s spirits world”

Davin de Kergommeaux is acknowledged as the man leading the movement.

When I first met him I admitted right away that I had no history with his spirits world.  (Lemon gin does not count)

So he became my teacher and I hope  through Tasting Room Radio he became yours as well.

This book is a huge read. There are over 200 distilleries mentioned…  it may take you many months and many sips  to read the whole book but what a journey.

Davin talks about tasting and discovering these fine craft Distilleries

Eau Claire – Turner Valley, Ab

Forty Creek – Grimsby. On

Two Brewers – Whitehorse, Yukon

Shelter Point – Campbell River, BC

Rheault – Hearst,  On

IronWorks – Lunenburg, NS

Black Velvet – Lethbridge, Ab

Dairy – Almonte, On

Crown Royal

And others…

Two distilleries are featured in the last half of this week’s “Room”

 Eau Claire Distillery  –  Turner Valley , Alberta – just south of Calgary.

Caitlin Quinn Eau Claire

They were the first hand crafted whisky in Alberta.  Noted for old school horse farming, a wonderful single malt now in its third batch and their very popular Parlour Gin  . Our guest is Glaswegian  Caitlin Quinn, Master Distiller.

Eau Claire Single Malt

 Shelter Point –  Campbell River, BC

When we first started Tasting Room Radio  years ago  we heard about “this guy on Vancouver Island making whisky”

Shelter Point

That guy turned out to be owner/farmer  Patrick Evans.  He has 155  hectares to work with and a great team that includes Head Distiller Leon Webb and our guest Distillery Manager Jacob Weibe

Shelter Point

 

FYI – when asked by officials,  they quickly turned their spirits into hand sanitizer for all of us to use.  It’s a  safeguard  against the virus. That commitment alone should solidify OUR commitment to tasting their whiskeys, Gin and  Vodka.

www.canadianwhisky.org.

https://eauclairedistillery.ca/

https://shelterpoint.ca/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Fort Berens

Nude Beverages.  On a big time roll

David Farran – Founder of Eau Claire Distillery

Unsworth/Orfofino/Row 14/The Hatch/Road 13  – The virtual Road Trip

May 9th, 2019 – Zooming with Jason and Naomi Priestley!

hello

Zooming with Jason and Naomi Priestley at Home

  

THE SHOW

 

Jason Priestley. Naomi Priestley  – At Home in North Hollywood, Ca.

The Priestleys

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

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

Then he headed for LA and the rest you know.

Jason and TDM

We created and co hosted Hollywood and Vines TV. 3 years of shows from vineyards and kitchens in Italy, USA (California, Washington and Arizona), Mexico  and across Canada.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Mark Wachtin and Mich Pambrun   (Storied Wines and Spirits)

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

Parksvilles gorgeous beaches!

I like these guys and I really like their portfolio. They represent – check this out –

(Vancouver Island)

Rathjen, Unsworth, Wayward Distillation

 (Okanagan)

Anthony Buchanan

Bella

Lock and Worth

Desert Hills

Kitsch

Nagging Doubt

Nichol Vineyard

Synchromesh

Ursa Major

Skaha Vineyards

Scenic Road Cidery

Tall Tale

That is an impressive list of clients.

You can tell these guys know their wines and winemakers.

Mark Wachtin

Mark Wachtin

Founder – Storied Wines & Spirits

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

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

Mich Pambrun

Mich Pambrun

North Island Sales & Marketing Representative

Michel Pambrun, former DJ and hospitality pro from Manitoba, is an

Internationally accredited sommelier. Michel celebrates natural, sustainable terroir-driven wines and their environments.

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

http://www.storiedwinesandspirits.com/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Fort Berens

Davin de Kergommeaux

(The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries)

Nude Beverages.  On a big time roll