Tasting Room Radio

May 15th, 2021 – Spring Wine Reviews from Poplar Grove & Tightrope (Naramata Bench)

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2021 Spring Wine Reviews from Poplar Grove & Tightrope (Naramata Bench)

 

THE SHOW

 

Welcome to Tasting Room Radio’s 2021 Spring Wine Release Specials.

This week we welcome Tony Holler co-owner of Poplar Grove plus Graham & Lyndsay O’Rourke from Tightrope Winery. Both on the Naramata Bench.

 

Tony Holler – Co-Owner of Poplar Grove. (Naramata Bench)

When I started Tasting Room Radio we were living on the Naramata Bench and had created a studio in a barn. Outside the windows, I could see the roof of Ian Sutherland’s original Poplar Grove. Then he sold to Tony & Barb Holler and they started to build the new Poplar Grove out my French Doors to the side, up on Munson Mountain. (the one with the PENTICTON sign).

Tony introduces us to the 2021 Spring Releases. They include their flagship Bordeaux blend The Legacy. The 2017 release is coming in September. It won a Gold Medal for Best of Show (by varietal)  at the London Wine Competition and scored 93 points.

Holler team!

The Poplar Grove Spring Releases are:

2020 Rose  Lovely strawberries & Cherries on the nose. melon. citrus. cherries on the palate. Beautiful blend of Merlot/Malbec/Syrah/Pinot Gris/Muscat!

2020 Pinot Gris.  You’re going to love this.  Pear. Peach. Lychee. Citrus. Can be cellared to 2025

2017 The LegacyThis just in. The blend is 40 Merlot/38 Cab/12 Malbec/6 Cab Franc/4 Petit Verdot. It’s pure Gold!! Cellars to 2031.

Leather. Plum. Tobacco on the nose.  Palate has tonnes of ripe berries, dark chocolate, and caramel.  A true Okanagan Bordeaux!

 

The restaurant is up and ready to go. They have a great patio and fabulous lawn overlooking Penticton and the vineyards.

June 1st they start gourmet picnic options. It’s the Munson Munch.

 

www.poplargrove.ca

 

Lyndsay and Graham O’Rourke – Tightrope Winery (Naramata Bench)

Team O’Rourke – Tightrope

They are a great pair. Graham grows the grapes and Lyndsay makes the wines. It’s called Teamwork!

Graham was one of the founding directors of Sustainable Winegrowing BC (SWBC) and that’s exactly what Tightrope wines are all about. Beautiful fruit made without harming the land, the environment, or people.

The Tightrope Spring Releases are:

2020 Rose – Clean. Dry. Strawberries. Spice. A blend of Pinot Noir/Syrah/Barbera.  Cellar to 2022. $22 at winery

2019 Riesling – Sustainably grown. Cellar now through 2025. $22 at winery. Delicious.

2020 – Pinot Gris. Tropical fruit. Lime. Granny Smith Apples. Handpicked and pressed on the same day.$21.50 at winery

2020Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon  80/20. A spectacular White Bordeaux. Achieves a trifecta of clean and dry introduction and then texture. Wait for what? You can’t be both except when the palate also contains ripe mango and peach. Lime and Lemon.

I loved this wine. $22 at winery.

2018Merlot  12 months French Oak. Cellar through 2029.  Your gateway wine back to Merlot Land.  $27 at winery.

2018 – Vertigo. A wonderful blend of Merlot 45/Barbera 30/Cab Franc 25.  10 months 50% New French and American Oak

$36 at winery. Cellar this asap. Then count the days until you reward your clever self.

www.tightropewinery.ca

 

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Cowichan Wine Festival

Zanatta

Blue Grouse

Averill Creek

Enrico

Venturi Schultze

Unsworth

Clos du Soleil

Alderlea

Fort Berens

 

 

May 8th, 2021 – 2021 Spring Wine Releases  – Hillside and Roche (Naramata  Bench)

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2021 Spring Wine Releases  – Hillside and Roche (Naramata  Bench)

 

THE SHOW

 

Hillside Winery and Bistro       Kathy Malone – Chief Winemaker (Naramata Bench)

A dozen interviews.

That’s how many times I’ve talked to Kathy Malone for Tasting Room Radio.

She speaks on behalf of Hillside Winery and Bistro and been the spokesperson for  The Naramata Bench Wineries Assn.

hillside rose

Kathy is also Chairman of the BC Wine Council.

Trust me of this – she absolutely knows how to make memorable wines.

Kathy brings her new Hillside Spring Releases

(Above/Below means position of vineyard in relation to Naramata Road.  Kathy explains the nuances)

2020 Unoaked Pinot Gris.   Amazing mid-palate.  A winner.

2020 Gewürztraminer.  you can smell flowers and ripe fruit. Ginger and Guava on the palate.

2016  Merlot.  (Hidden Valley. Dickinson Vineyard)  (in pre-release)  (Below)

Coffee. Dark Chocolate. Ripe Cherry  $40.00

2018 Heritage Series Syrah 100% Hidden Valley Vineyard (above) $32.00

Coffee notes. Clove and dark fruit. Currents. Splendid.

2018 Howe Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. (above) $48.00

Black fruit and chocolate. The long hang time on vine  highlights beautiful flavours.

2015 Mosaic $54.00   Cab. Merlot. Can Franc. Petit Verdot. Malbec.  “Big Mo”

A fine balance of flavours and  discoveries in the mouth. Flying The Flagship of Naramata Bench.

Cellar up to 10 years.

Chef Evan Robertson Hillside Bistro

FYI – The 2020 Rose and the 2020 unoaked Pinot Gris are released.

Kathy introduces us to their wonderful new Chef Evan Robinson and his new menu.

The May fundraiser #HospitalityHustle campaign.$1 from every bottle of Muscat Ottonel.

Bistro Hours – Wed-Sun 5pm-9:30 pm Take out and meal kit Wed/Sun 1-8 pm

Heated outdoor patio dinner service

Tasting Room

Wed/Sun 10am-5pm

 

And check out Kathy Malone’s Virtual Tasting opportunities online.

www.hillsidewinery.ca

 

Roche Winery – Penelope and Dylan Roche

Had Meg and I stayed on the Naramata Bench, Penelope and Dylan would have been our next-door neighbors.

They bring such wonderful spark to the valley.

Penelope grew up in the very heart of French wine country. Chateau Les Charmes – Haut Brion.  Dylan in North Vancouver.

I laugh every time I type that line. But there’s no shortchanging either one of them.

They trained in classrooms and cellars. Learned winemaking all over the World and then chose to make their stand in – the Okanagan Valley!

“Our strength is a combination of experience in vineyard management and winemaking and a precise appreciation of the link between the two”

Roche Vineyards Naramata Bench

Here are their Spring Releases:

 2019  Texture Pinot Gris. floral notes. Apple then lime in the mouth. Very engaging. $21.90

2018 Traditional Pinot Gris. Vanilla. Apple.. Beautiful mid-palate.  Pear and Lemon.  Loved this front to back. WoW. $28.90

2017 nuances entry level Bordeaux but waaaaay better than many. 58 Cab Franc/25 Merlot/17 Cab.  Herbs. Cassis.Blackberry  $32.90

2016 Chateau 41 Cab Franc/35 Cab/24 Merlot vanilla.black currant .pipe tobacco. tannins & acidity. Think cellar. 14 months. 50% New French of course. $49.99

Penelope and Dylan Roche

FYI – They are now open to “futures” on their wines.

The Black Book Wine Club is very popular. Do you like their wines?  Join the club.

Growing and farming under organic discipline.

Tasting Room open 11 am-5pm

For Pete’s sake- try the Chardonnay!

 

Roche has all the talent and smarts to be one of the wineries leading BC into the future.  For me, where they lead, I follow.

www.rterroir.ca

Stories we’re working on:

Cowichan Wine Festival

Tightrope Spring Releases

Clos du Soleil Spring Releases

Alderlea Spring Releases

 

 

May 1st, 2021- Our First Spring Wine Release Special of 2021!

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Our First Spring Wine Release Special of 2021

 

THE SHOW

  

You can set your clocks by this moment in the year.  Spring shows itself in green “everything”  plus  warmer days and beautiful longer nights.

For the farmers and winegrowers its “Bud Break”. One of  the first signs of life from the wines.

To celebrate, we’ll be presenting a series of these Spring Specials starting with our friends,  the segment sponsors of Tasting Room Radio.

Enrico in the Cowichan Valley, Moon Curser in Osoyoos, The Hatch in West Kelowna.

Next week Hillside, one of the first on the Naramata Bench.

 Celebrate the future with a glass of wine with your family and friends. It’s Spring 2021

 

Develyn Barker –  The ‘Artful Dodger’ of The Hatch (West Kelowna)

 If you’ve never been there, it’s almost impossible to describe the talented community gathered at The Hatch. However, their smarts and passion show in the wines.

The leader is the Fagan of the Okanagan,  winemaker Jason Parkes. JP is the hub of a wine-making wheel called The Hatch.

Please let me give you an example.

Hatch World includes:

Crown and Thieves                                         Spirit and Fizz

Black Swift Vineyards                          Cactus Fruit

Screaming Frenzy                                           The Hatching Post Brewery

Truck 59 Cidery                                     Proper Man – New album 40 Elephants

(Fifty Shades of J and Fifty Beards Old)

This segment is just a small piece of the whole wine picture at The Hatch.

Spring Wine Releases  from Crown and Thieves

2020  Mr. Hickenbothom – Chardonnay

2020 Pinky Blinders – Rose

2020 Little Nipper – Pinot Gris

2020 Winemakers Wench – Blend (Chard. Roussanne. Pinot Gris. Viognier)

 2014 – Scoundrels Punch  $29.00  Amazing blend. 6 years in the barrel. (Hello?  6 years – 29 Bucks?)

2017  Broken Wing – Merlot $38.99

2017 The Arch Doxy – Cab Franc $44.99

And then a tease of two new big reds. (in the photo above)

Fifty Shades of J

Fifty Beards Old.

AND they’re just getting started. Coming up – new wineries, new wines, new ideas.

They will be announcing four new wines every Friday in May

Thanks to our guest Develyn Barker,  The Artful Dodger, and his boss Fagan.

 

www.thehatchwines.com

Beata and Chris Tolley – Founders and leaders at Moon Curser (Osoyoos)

(Best small winery in Canada and the #2 winery of the top 25 in Canada)

 

Winery owners Beata and Chris Tolley.

 

They make a lot of everything at Moon Curser. All with new labels.

Keep an eye out for:

Roussanne Marsanne

Moonlit Viognier Bubble

Dolcetto

Touriga National

Tannat

Syrah. Tempranillo. Petit Verdot.

 

New Spring Releases include:

2020 Arneis. The “little rascal” of Piemonte . Also called Barolo Bianco. They believe it’s the only one grown in Canada. $25.99

2019 Border Vines. 62 Cab/15 Cab Franc/9 Petit Verdot/9 Malbec/5 Carmenere . Big Bold Bordeaux $27.99

2019 Dead of Night. 53 Tannat/47 Syrah. Can be cellared up to 10 years. $39.99

2019 Malbec $31.99. Cellar 7-10 years.

Moon Curser can be contacted online, tastings arranged and wine discovered and purchased.

They open right after May long weekend.

www.mooncurser.com

Lorin Inglis – GM of Enrico Winery (Cowichan Valley)

They’re open for business at Enrico. And weather permitting there’s live music on the patio Saturdays starting May 8.

Here are your 2021 Spring Wine  Releases from Enrico in the Cowichan Valley:

Two bottles of fine bubble.

Celebration (Pinot Gris) $25.50

Revelation (Pinot Noir) $25.50

Coronet  Reserve Petit Milo  $26.50

Tempest Ortega $22.75

Shining Amour (Pinot Gris) $22.75

Red Dragon – a really interesting Pinot Noir Rose $21.25

Lorin and Terry

Lorin teases us with a new field blend that’s coming. And a little info about the annual  Cowichan Wine Festival all August.

www.enricowinery.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Hillside – Spring Releases and a new Chef

Alderlea says Hello

More new Spring Wine Releases from

Clos du Soleil

Tightrope

Roche

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 17th, 2021- Spring Releases!

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Spring Releases from Le Vieux Pin, Noble Ridge and celebrating World Malbec Day

THE SHOW

 

It’s quite a line up today. Founders, owners, winemakers, viticulturalists and three of the best wine minds I know.

Leslie D’Andrea – co-founder/owner of Noble Ridge  Okanagan Falls.

Leslie brings the  next group of  Spring releases from a very busy winery.

Leslie and Jim D’Andrea

 

FYI – Now open daily from 10-5 (May-October)

NV “The Fizzy One”  Frizzante Sparkling 60% Pinot Gris 40% Viognier – a 100% fun. Lush Pink Grapefruit and citrus  on the nose. The palate is clean, brisk and loaded with berry flavours. and here’s the best part. $21.99. How long do you think 300 cases will last?

2020 Rose’

100% Cabernet Sauvignon Provence style. Pear and herbs take you to a lasting finish.There’s no need to hurry through this rose’…linger a while. Salads, seafoods, soft cheese, chicken or the love of your life. $21.65  Only 120 cases.

2019 Meritage

84% Merlot  16% Cabernet Sauvignon 12 months in barrel. 75% French  25% American. 20%  New Oak. Berry and  dark ripe current on the nose. Herb and a solid minerality/graphite straight down the middle.Hints of heated barn wood and chocolate. yes I know, I’m getting carried away.Which is  what a good wine should do for you. And the bonus is – $22.00 and they made 1984 cases.

 

www.nobleridge.com <http://www.nobleridge.com>

#benoble

Severine Pinte – winemaker/viticulturalist/management team  Le Vieux Pin and La Stella

“Wine is complex, but also simple: it’s the transformation of fruit to alcohol. A lot of people are intimidated because of how people talk about wine: experts use big words, but sometimes it goes back to -“do I like this smell, this colour, am I pleased with what I see in my glass, is the taste pleasing, do I want another glass?”

Wine can be just that. If I see a smile on people’s faces when drinking my wine, then I’m happy. And remember, it’s a training process. You can keep practicing”  Severine Pinte in The Femme Vine

We are so lucky to have Severine Pinte making wines in the Okanagan. With her skills and training she could be working anywhere in the wine world, even back home in France,  where she grew up. She leads the growing in the fields and the winemaking in the cellars for Le Vieux Pin and La Stella. The first leans French and the second fully and completely embraces the best of Italy.

Just a hunch but I think the reason why her wines are SO good is because she’s a grower first. As a grower she knows what she wants in the bottle so she works with the vineyard to produce just such a wine.

Her favorite quote is from Jean Hugel: “100% of the quality of a true wine is already in the grapes, not in the cellars where you can only lose quality.”

Severine has been growing and harvesting and winemaking in BC  since 2010 and she is truly one of the reasons why BC wines  are  so much better today.

Severine and Ava

 

Severine brings with her today her new Spring Releases from Le Vieux Pin and La Stella.

 

2020 Le Vieux Pin  Sauvignon Blanc –hints & elements of Marlborough, a little Napa influence and a dash of The Loire.

Think oysters, prawns, salads.  Strikingly fine  $30.99

2019 Le Vieux Pin  “Ava “  – classic Rhone white  50 % Viognier. Balanced with Marsanne and Roussanne. Can cellar for 5-8 years.

Le Vieux Pin 2019 Ava

Full and rich. Notes of herbs and brioche. Ripe fruit and floral delight. Pairs with roast chicken. Game birds.$30.99

2019 Syrah “Cuvee Violette”  . This is a pure essence of Syrah. Pepper, dark fruit and oak.

Feminine, perfumed and elegant.  16 months in concrete. Some new oak.  $32.99

2017 Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Syrah.  18 months in French Oak.  48% New. Everything you want in a Syrah. Spice. Blackberries. Balance from front to back. This wine was made by a lover of Syrah. $89.99

La Stella 2018 Fortissimo  Merlot. Cab. Cab Franc. Sangiovese. It has everything you could ask for in a beautiful dark blend – spice, plum, blackberries and a wonderful fruitiness & tannins but what really pulls it all together is the acidity in the Sangiovese. $31.99

La Stella 2017 Espressivo Old World meets New World. Paying tribute to the arrival in the 60’s of Super Tuscans  This release is 52% Cab Franc,  16% Cab, 16% Merlot and 16% Sangiovesse. 17 months in barrel.  28% new oak.  $49.99

2017 Maestoso “solo” Merlot.  100% Merlot. Powerful and seriously structured.

 

Notes of cassis – plum and vanilla. Wildly  impressive. $89.99

 

https://lastella.ca/

 

https://levieuxpin.ca/

 

Saturday April 17th  is World Malbec Day –  Malbec is the flagship wine of Argentina

Viñedos relevamiento WOFA
Wines of Argentina

 

Talking about and recommending Malbecs are:

DJ Kearney – Educator and judge (note: at Argentine Wine Awards)

Kurtis Kolt – Educator and wine judge.

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine, winery co-owner and wine teacher.

 

Stories we are working on:

Spring Releases

Cowichan Wine Festival

Fort Berens

Hillside

Moon Curser

The Hatch

Enrico

 

 

April 10th, 2021 -A tribute to Chris Jentsch. Laura Kittmer & April Wine Month and a New Documentary : Brewmance

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A tribute to Chris Jentsch, Laura Kittmer & April Wine Month and new Documentary  Brewmance

Chris Jentsch (CC Jentsch)

THE SHOW

 

 

Remembering Chris Jentsch (CC Jentsch)

One of the great benefits of being around the people who call wine their life is finding and making friends along the way.

For Chris Jentsch and I it was two days after his 2013 Syrah beat all comers at the  Judgement of BC gathering in 2015.

(There were 6 BC Syrah and 6 from around the World. His CC Jentsch 2013 Syrah  placed first to the delight of a room full of judges. Me included)

When I read that Chris had died April 2 I was taken with such a sadness. For his loss, for his wonderful partner Betty and their whole family.

The BC wine industry also lost a true leader. Chris was an admitted  farmer first!  When I showed up to congratulate him on winning The Judgement, I had to talk him off the tractor. That machine was his escape from the phone that wouldn’t stop ringing.  It’s ringing still.

I’ve gathered the interview that day and two others. One at Bloom 2016 and one at VanWineFest 2019, sitting in with Val Tait.

We’ll never forget the loss but let’s remember the man. Here’s to Chris Jentsch and CC Jentsch from the Golden Mile Bench.

www.ccjentschcellars.com

 

 

Laura Kittmer – Celebrating BC Wine Month in April

Laura_Kittmer   (Wine Growers of BC)

Laura is the Communication Director of Wine Growers of British Columbia. That’s a big job!   As my pal Barney Bentall says “Like a goat rodeo”

 

In celebration of B.C. Wine Month, Wine Growers British Columbia has launched a campaign titled “A Year in the Life,” aimed at celebrating B.C.’s hard-working, passionate and dedicated winemakers and farmers and their deep sense of respect for the land. The month long event includes a consumer contest inviting British Columbian’s to learn more about B.C. wine, discover new spring releases, and participate in a B.C. wine quiz for a chance to win an exclusive behind-the-scenes trip for two to one of B.C.’s pristine wine regions once it is safe to do so.

Laura walks us through the events above and then we get into a Spring Release speed rap..lots of names and wines.

But first we remember the legacy of one of the finest persons in the farming/wine industry Chris Jentsch.

We try to get a sense of what the year will look like, given the pandemic.

Laura also reminds us that there a new Wine BC Explorer App now available. For all of you wine fans who get your shots and mask up and want to make plans to visit a BC wine region this year,  this app answers all your questions. So you can start making plans or organize your dreams of travel.

Lots of info. Because that’s what Laura brings.  Every time.

www.winebc.com

@WineBCdotcom  #BCWineLife

 

 

 

Christo Brock – Director of new documentary BREWMANCE (April 13)

 

The boys from Liberation-BREWMANCE-

Our brewery, forged from equal parts Mos Eisley cantina and a Tom Waits fever dream, is a mighty 5 barrel production facility with tasting room. A safe haven for workers, story tellers, shamans, down-n-out detectives, street samurai, graffiti artists, revolutionaries, punks, drunks, con artists, and pirates. Sit for a pint and a tale… or three. Cheers!  Liberation!

There are over 7000 breweries in America. How do you find “the story” in that many tales.

Well, if you’re documentary director Christo Brock you stay home in Long Beach and tell the story through the people behind Ten Mile Brewing and Liberation Brewing. 

Why?  “because I promised my wife I wouldn’t disappear again  and wanted to be part of my kids upbringing..so I stayed in Long Beach for this story”   Good Call.

 

The American Craft Beer movement began with a group of restless homebrewers searching for something genuine and flavorful. Today it’s evolved into a redefinition of beer and an international cultural phenomenon. The  American spirit of rebellion and innovation survives in two groups of homebrewers from Long Beach, California who are looking to open their own breweries and bring their beers to the world. These include a Christian father-son team who grew close over making beer and a retired ska band rock star (Dan Regan, Reel Big Fish) looking for the “quiet” existence of a brewery owner. With the insight and commentary of legendary brewers Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing), Charlie Papazian, Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Jim Koch (Boston Brewing) and others, BREWMANCE reveals the soul of craft beer in the heart of America.

 

“Over the three years and 600+ hours of footage I gathered I found some unexpected discoveries. Firstly, craft beer is a uniquely American story. It could only have happened in a land that values independent, out-of-the-box thinking, and anti-authoritarianism. It’s a product made by people used to working hard, not giving up, and persevering through the impossible times. It’s also a story of entrepreneurship, one driven by innovative capitalists who saw a way of giving the people something they didn’t know they wanted. And most of all, it’s a story of people who honored and respected each other, and redefined the laws of competition to include collaboration. Craft beer is a better place to be, and we are all better because of it”  Christo Brock – Filmmaker

 

 

Christo Brock is an American Producer, Director, and Editor best known for directing and producing the iconic swim documentary Touch the Wall, the sports films Spirit of the Marathon and Hood to Coast, and  now the craft beer documentary BREWMANCE.

 

https://www.brewmancemovie.com/

RELEASING ON VOD ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS ON APRIL 13, 2021.
(US, CANADA, UK AND MORE)

CANADA: 
Apple TV (iTunes),
 Google Play, Microsoft Store, Vimeo On Demand

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Spring Releases

The Wine Diva

Le Vieux Pin

Cowichan Wine festival

 

 

April 3rd 2021 – New Releases from Michael Bartier (Bartier Bros) and Mark Hopley (Hester Creek)

hello

THE SHOW

New Releases from Michael Bartier (Bartier Bros) and Mark Hopley (Hester Creek)

 It’s that time of year.

Spring brings new releases from all the wineries.

Michael Bartier  – Winemaker  (and co-founder) at  Bartier Brothers (Black Sage Road)

Bartier-Brothers

2019 Rose –  (Now) $17.99

2019 – Grenache Syrah Mourvedre (April) $41.99

2019  Merlot –  (May) $22.99

2019 – Orchard Row (June) $36.99

 “Less is More“

 That’s Michael Bartier’s winemaking philosophy. No big over oaked glob in the glass.

Lean and sharply defined. Flinty. Minerality.

 

The Rose is a smash hit. A blend of Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer.

Strawberry, melon and floral notes.  A clean beauty in the mouth. And best of all,  affordable.

The GSM  is tough to grow and blend. Thus the price tag. But what a payoff.  It stays with you long after you finish.

The Merlot is one of the very best in Canada. Blueberry, cherry on the nose. Flint, wet stone follows. Very affordable. Highly Recommended.

The Orchard Row is quite a story. Its basically a long row of plantings left over from other vines. Like a hedge you can drink.

It’s a field blend of Cab Franc, Merlot, Gamay and Pinot Noir. All from the same row.

It was the Bartier house wine until friends convinced them to share.

Its fantastic.

Just like the winemaker.

NOTE – Michael takes us through the partnership he’s formed with one of France’s most influential wineries – Boutinot.

The wine Michael makes for them is called Boutinot – Project B.  A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

 

Bartier Bros Tasting Room now open.  Daily 11am to 5PM

 

www.bartierbros.com

 

 

Mark Hopley – Winemaker at Hester Creek (Golden Mile)

 

Hester Creek is celebrating over 50 years of winemaking.  Those years started with the original owner/winemaker Joe Busnardo.

Mark Hopley – Hester Creek

In 1968, BC wine pioneer Joe Busnardo came upon an excellent property sheltered below the rugged desert bluffs of what is now known as the Golden Mile Bench.  Joe recognized the potential for growing superior vinifera grapes on this unique land.

Today, a total of 115 acres comprise the Hester Creek  estate, which is planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Italian Merlot, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sémillon, Syrah, and Trebbiano on 22 vineyard blocks.

 

All that wine history allows  all of to us celebrate the release of the….

2020 Hester Creek Trebbiano.  52 year old gnarly vines that deliver absolutely classic flavours. Do yourself a favour. FIND THIS WINE.

Apple, Melon and topical fruit on the nose and clean citrus, honey and minerality in the mouth. $22.99 plus tax

Thank you Hester Creek.  Thank you Mark. Thank you Joe.

2020_Trebbiano

2020 Hester Creek Pinot Gris-Viognier.  (2/3 Pinot Gris .1/3 Viognier)

Hand picked and pressed. Stainless steel retains the complexity and flavours we’ve come to love.

On the nose,  peach, clover.  In the mouth peach and honey and minerality. $16.99 plus tax.

This is a Save On Foods special. Also available at winery.

2020 P Gris. Viognier

Hester Creek is now welcoming guests at Terrafina Restaurant for patio service and take-out from 12:30-4pm, Wednesday-Sunday.   Check out the Hester Creek Website for special events.

 

Wine release dinners

Rose/Trebbiano April 3  – sold out

Bubble evening  May 13/14. Ti Amo and Old Vine Brut

The Judge – July 8 Summer Dinner.

 

Mark also looks ahead to future releases this Spring and Summer..

Ti Amo,  Old Vine Brut and The Judge.

 

www.hestercreek.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

April is BC Wine Month

Valleys of Wines

New Spring Releases

Eat Local. Checking in with the restaurants

 

 

 

March 27th, 2021 Bubbles & Pinot Noir from Niche (Narrative from Christine Coletta & Wine Diva Bubble List)

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Small Batch Bubbles and Pinot Noir from NICHE.

(Narrative from Christine Coletta/Bubble List  from Wine Diva)

THE SHOW

 

“wine is an expression of the things you can’t control”   Joanna Schlosser Niche Wine Co.

Niche Wine Co (West Kelowna) – Joanna Schlosser (co-partner)

Niche Wine Co

 

Joanna and James Schlosser could be the poster couple for “small batch” winemaking.

Their family-owned and operated winery, high in the hills of West Kelowna, produces complex, aromatic wines that showcase the nuances of the North Okanagan. This combination of high-altitude, homegrown wines paired with a limited, high-quality/hands-on production make their wines both sought after and hard to get your hands on.

They are, however,  well worth the chase.

 

The Small Batch Bubble is just so good. Tight complex bubbles. Just off-dry. Perfect for food pairing. Easter dinner. Crêpes.  They suggest anything buttered or honeyed. Or with nothing but conversation.

Here’s the bottom line 175 cases. $26.00 and right now you can find it at select wine shops and Save – On. (Joanna will explain)

Segment two covers the two new Pinot Noirs now available.

2019 Farmhouse Pinot Noir.  Clones 667/115.  Vineyards planted 23 years ago. $28.00   125 cases.

All of their  Pinot is produced exclusively with grapes grown by the family-owned and operated Hugh & Mary Vineyard. The hot summer days and cool nights make this vineyard prime Pinot growing country, The vines range from 12 to 23 years of age and are a mix of clone 667 and 115. Fruit forward. Really bright. Pepper, raspberry notes on the nose. Spice and Cherry in the mouth. Harvested by hand. Basket pressed.

Niche Vines

2018 Extra Mile Pinot Noir. Clone 115. Vines 23 yrs old. 57 cases. $45.00

Beautiful soft texture in the mouth. Minimum intervention. Violet and truffle on the nose. Dark cherry in the mouth.

25% new oak for 16 months.

Complex and balanced. A special wine.

Joanna will also take us through their Small Batch Boxes.  Partnering with local businesses.

It’s a great idea.

 


Christine Coletta –  Co-Founder of Okanagan Crush Pad  and Narrative Wine (Summerland)

Christine Coletta

Christine Coletta

Everyone in B.C.’s wine industry knows Christine Coletta.

Innovator, community champion, visionary, land steward— She is a force.

Christine, or CC as she is known by many, has earned awards and accolades throughout her illustrious career. She was named  One of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2020 by Wine Industry Advisor.

Christine 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.”

 

Okanagan Crush Pad is the home for

Haywire Wines

Free Form

Bizou and Yukon

And  

Narrative

Today CC brings the new releases from Narrative.

2019 Viognier/Syrah except its 80% Viognier and 20% Syrah

(spice, pepper, raspberries, and strawberries. Lots of rich  texture)

 

Viognier I was very impressed by this release a while back and had to ask CC about it.

Slow fermented in concrete.  Yummy!

 

2018 Syrah Viognier.  It’s quite a process to get this wine just right.  Syrah co-fermented with Viognier in clay amphora. On skins for 90 days. Some of the Syrah is in concrete which brings out the spice and texture. It’s crazy good.

 

2016 Syrah (organic)  Grown in the South Okanagan  Spends lots of time in concreteIt’s soft in the mouth with notes of white pepper.

There’s a surprising lift in the mouth mid-palette. Not the usual dark chocolate.

THIS is a Syrah you want to find and it’s one of Narrative’s Winter Reds. Best of all it’s been in the bottle for 2 extra years.

 

Check out the outstanding Okanagan Crush Pad website.

https://okanagancrushpad.com/


 Daenna Van Mulligen – The Wine Diva and The Bubble Queen.

Daenna van Mulligen

Thinking ahead to the Easter long weekend I was checking out wine pairing with traditional Easter meals. What kept coming up were references to Rose, Riesling, and a lot of talk about bubble.

Daenna van Mulligen specializes in bubble.

Here are three recommendations she’s tasted and made copious notes on.,

 

Blue Mountain Rose Brut $40 (winery/private)

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut $90 BCLS

Segura Viudas Cava $16.99 ($14.99 special until March 6) BCLS

 

www.winediva.ca

www.winescores.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Bartier Brothers – Spring Releases.

Valleys of Wine – Luke Whittall (author)

March 20th, 2021 THE FIFTH AND FINAL JUDGMENT OF BC-

hello

 

THE FIFTH AND FINAL JUDGMENT OF B.C.

THE SHOW

 The Wines of British Columbia were put to the ultimate test at the final Judgment of BC on Tuesday, October 29, where special guest and wine expert Steven Spurrier joined 32 top wine professionals from around the world and across the country to take part in a full-day, blind tasting of 24 of BC’s celebrated grape varieties; Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah against 16 international benchmarks.

 

I was honoured to be one of 32 wine judges in the room on the day.

Trust me, it was/is a humbling experience tasting wines “blind” and have a sheet in front of you that asks you to decide whether the wine is from BC or The World.

Terry and Manual Zuppiger (Arrowleaf)

Your nose, your mouth,  your mind play tricks on you.

For each varietal there were 6 from BC and 4 benchmarks from around the world.

We started with Pinot Noir, then Chardonnay.

The afternoon was spent tasting and spitting Riesling and Syrah.

Paperwork was furiously filled out and collected.  DJ Kearney, the moderator and people wrangler asked for comments about what we had just experienced. Everyone seemed to have a comment, especially those from outside BC.

DJ Kearney

So many faces and memories in the room.  Most of them friends who had watched the BC wine industry grow and  work hard to be better.

Hosted by the BC Wine Institute, and curated by wine expert DJ Kearney, the final Judgment of BC took place in Penticton. Inspired by the legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976, the inaugural Judgment of BC was hosted in 2015 by the BC Wine Institute in honour of Steven Spurrier’s visit to British Columbia.

Steven Spurrier

 

Five years later, the BC wine industry was thrilled to welcome Steven Spurrier back to BC wine country to taste and evaluate world-class wines from the region.

“What I think is really exciting about BC wines is we’re tasting more and more like ourselves, our individual regions and individual sites. Our best examples are fresh on the palate, pure of fruit and really speak to our beautiful, cool, but hot climate.” Judge Barb Phillip, MW.

Tasting Room Radio would like to congratulate all BC wines who made the Judgment list and  the following BC wineries who took home top prizes in their categories.

Arrowleaf Cellars ranked first among the Pinot Noir flight.

Meyer Family Vineyards came in first for the flight of Chardonnay, with 50th Parallel Estate Winery in close second.

For the Riesling flight, CedarCreek Winery came in second with St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery coming in third.

The final flight of Syrah saw BC wines take all three top spots with Tightrope Winery coming in first, Le Vieux Pin Winery in second and Stag’s Hollow Winery and Vineyard in third.

(Complete results at the bottom of page)

Guests on this edition of Tasting Room Radio  include:

  • Gurvinder Bhatia – Edmonton Journal/Quench Magazine
  • Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva
  • DJ Kearney – New District
  • Dr. Jamie Goode – Wine Journalist/Wineanorak.com
  • Laura Kittmer – Wines of BC
  • Steven Spurrier – Decanter
  • Mark Filatow – Waterfront Bistro
  • Kurtis Kolt  – Georgia Straight
  • Rhys Pender – Master of Wine
  • Anthony Gismondi – Vancouver Sun/Best of Food and Wine
  • Sebastien Le Goff – Cactus Club Canada
  • Manual Zuppiger = Arrowleaf Vineyards
  • Larry Gerelus – Stag’s Hollow
  • JAK Meyer – Meyer Family Vineyards
  • Lyndsay O’Rourke –  Tightrope

www.winebc.com

PINOT NOIR RESULTS:

  1. Arrowleaf Cellars Archive Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey 2016 California
  1. Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills 2015 Oregon
  1. Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Meyer Family Vineyards McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Louis Jadot Beaune Grèves Premier Cru 2015 Burgundy
  1. Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills 2016 South Australia
  1. Tightrope Winery Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Quails’ Gate Winery Richard’s Block Pinot Noir 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley

RIESLING RESULTS:

  1. Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben 2014 Mosel, Germany
  1. CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2018 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  2. St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Vineyards Family Reserve Riesling 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Tightrope Winery Riesling 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Culmina Family Estate Winery Riesling Decora 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Upper Bench Estate Winery Riesling 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling 2015 Columbia Valley Washington State
  1. Rieslingfreak No. 3 Reverence of Riesling 2018 Clare Valley, South Australia
  1. Martin’s Lane Winery Fritzi’s Vineyard Riesling 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Nigl Dornleiten Riesling Kremstal 2015 Austria

CHARDONNAY RESULTS:

  1. Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series Donovan Tildesley Old Main Road Vineyard 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. 50th Parallel Estate Winery Chardonnay 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Craggy Range Chardonnay Kidnapper’s Vineyard 2017 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  1. Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Chartron et Trébuchet Pouilly Fuissé 2017 Macon, Burgundy
  1. Laroche Chablis Premier Cru La Chantrerie 2016 Burgundy, France
  1. Tantalus Vineyards Chardonnay 2015 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Monte Creek Ranch Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2016 BC VQA British Columbia
  1. Culmina Family Estate Winery Chardonnay Dilemma 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  2. Bethel Heights Vineyard Chardonnay Estate Eola-Amity Hills 2015 Oregon

SYRAH RESULTS:

  1. Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Le Vieux Pin Winery Cuvée Violette Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Stag’s Hollow Winery & Vineyard Syrah Amalia Vineyard 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage 2016 Northern Rhône, France
  1. Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz Barossa Valley 2017 South Australia
  1. Time Winery Syrah 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Painted Rock Estate Winery Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Domaine Jamet Syrah Collines Rhodaniennes 2015 Northern Rhône, France
  1. C.C. Jentsch Cellars Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. K Vintners MCK Syrah 2015 Washington State, USA

… and the winners below!

JUDGMENT OF BC JUDGES:

  • Gurvinder Bhatia
  • Jenna Briscoe
  • Sid Cross
  • Dr. Janet Dorozynski
  • Mark Filatow
  • Zach Geballe
  • Anthony Gismondi
  • Dr. Jamie Goode
  • Christina Hartigan
  • Lingzi He
  • John Isacs
  • Kelcie Jones
  • Kurtis Kolt
  • Sebastien Le Goff
  • Bryant Mao
  • David McIntyre
  • Sharon McLean
  • Michaela Morris
  • Terry David Mulligan
  • Tim Pawsey
  • Rhys Pender, MW
  • Barbara Philip, MW
  • Iain Philip
  • Rod Phillips
  • Treve Ring
  • Brad Royale
  • John Schreiner
  • Dawn Smith
  • Steven Spurrier
  • Shane Taylor
  • Daenna Van Mulligen
  • Matt Wentzell
  • Jason Yamasaki

    STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

  • Canadian Whisky Awards
  • New pours from  Crown and Thieves
  • Spring Releases

 

March 13th, 2021-Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.

hello

Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.

 

THE SHOW

The news came early this week and the news traveled fast.

The great Steven Spurrier had died.

Steven Spurrier & TDM

“The wine world lost one of its great adventurers last night.”

“It seems extraordinary that the wine world is going to have to survive without someone who has been characterized for his 79 years by the phrase ‘youthful enthusiasm’.

It is likely, however, that Steven will henceforth be recognized as an even greater influence on wine than during his colorful life. For someone who achieved so much, he acted with such extreme modesty and politesse that there was always a danger of his not being accorded his due.

Even though his famous Paris tasting in 1976 was truly ground-breaking, signaling infinite possibilities for wines other than the French classics, and he was valued throughout the world as an educator, taster, and writer, he wore his achievements exceptionally lightly – always more fired up by the next project than by those of the past.

Indeed, when I asked him during our last conversation last Saturday night what he would most like to be remembered for, he rather downplayed the Judgment of Paris in favor of his most recent achievements, the Académie du Vin Library publishing imprint and the relaunched Académie du Vin wine school in Canada.”

 

Jancis Robinson (Thank you)

Complete article https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/steven-spurrier-1941-2021

Our friend Elizabeth Gabay MW said, ‘Can’t believe the news of the eternally young Steven Spurrier’s death. I met him in 1987 when he encouraged me to go into wine and has been so supportive throughout the years.’

 

I reached out to two Canadian wine educators who knew and worked with Steven over the years.

Both stepped forward to do interviews for this show.

 

DJ Kearney – Director of Wine Terminal City Club, Educator. Adjudicator. Organized The Judgement of BC tastings.

@djwines

DJ Kearney & Steven Spurrier

 

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine. Wine Plus. WSET Wine School. Co-Owner of Little Farm Wines.

Rhyspender.com

(Tony Aspler. Barbara Phillip. Steven Spurrier. Janet Dorozynski. Rhys Pender)

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Steven Spurrier twice.

Once at the Argentine Wine Awards in Mendoza in 2016 (with DJ Kearney)

And again in the Okanagan for the final Judgement  of BC (with both Rhys and DJ)

 

I’ve combined both Steven Spurrier interviews into one segment for this week’s show.

 


 

Jason Parkes – Winemaker. Team Leader of Crown &Thieves/The Hatch etc

 

The final segment of this week’s show honors the life of Aimee Parkes. Cousin of Jason Parkes from The Hatch.

Aimee Parkes

We’ve attached Jason’s post that set this interview in motion.;

I was hesitant to ask him to re-live this tragedy but he found a way to tell the story for us.

Even though it’s been four years, Jason has continued to remember Aimee and others like her, who are threatened or died because of domestic violence. Aimee loved Rose and he’s donating a $1 from every bottle of Pinky Blinders Rose to the @kelownawomensshelter for the month of March.

Jason-Parkes-Winemaker-The-Hatch-

The show ends with Jason’s band Properman and the single that he wrote for Aimee, Ink Runs Dry

 

@hatchwines

@blackswiftvineyards

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Canada Whisky Awards

Spring Releases

 

 

 

 

 

March 6th, 2021- Sandra Oldfield with 3 Women of Wine/Evan Saunders presents two new Blasted Church Reds.

hello

Sandra Oldfield with 3 Women of Wine/Evan Saunders presents two new Blasted Church Reds.

 

THE SHOW

Sandra Oldfield

 

Sandra Oldfield is a welcome force. 

Sandra is the co-founder of Elysian Projects. (with her husband and pal Kenn)

I love exchanging info and ideas with her but mostly I ask questions and get OUT of the way.

Several months ago Sandra suggested we spotlight BC’s Women of Wine.

This weeks she returns with stories and features on

Women leading the growing  Wine Club movement and her three favourite Wine Clubs (and why they work for her)

 

Terry Meyer Stone – Mayhem Wines, Meyer Family Wines & The Garagiste Movement.

Terry Meyer Stone

 

Severine Pinte – Winemaker at Le Vieux Pin

Severine Pinte

 

Leslie D’Andrea – Co-founder/Wine Community Leader at Noble Ridge

 

Leslie and Jim D’Andrea

 

At the very end of this two part feature we touch on the  recent loss of her Father and the post that followed.

(Her Post can be found at)

www.sandraoldfield.com

www.elysianprojects.com

#BCWineChat

 

Evan Saunders – Winemaker at Blasted Church

Evan Saunders Winemaker Blasted Chuch

Speaking of women as leaders in the BC Wine Industry – how about Evelyn Campbell at Blasted Church?

Evelyn Campbell

But as Evelyn writes on their website:

I’ve had good fortune of finding highly talented, visionary and highly motivated individuals. I grant them full trust, and support them with the resources required to perform their very best for our winery endeavour. A philosophy that has helped Blasted Church thrive.

 We welcome  one of those high motivated individuals Evan Saunders- Winemaker.

 Trained in micro-biology  at U Vic on Vancouver island, then straight to Ontario and the  well known winemaking courses at Brock.

On site training followed at Osoyoos Larose in Oliver and the ground-breaking Pinot at  Kosta Browne In California.

Even worked his way up from student to cellar rat to assistant and is now a fully developed   human being.

He brings with him two of his latest reds. (I’M RECOMMENDING BOTH. What a great way to celebrate the end of Winter)

2017 – Merlot  (89% Merlot 11% Malbec)

Plums. Dark ripe berries. Dark Chocolate.  Serious texture in the mouth and a long finish. Outstanding tannins.

Think steaks, tomato based pasta, burgers…ribbbbbs.

$27.00  (874 cases)

 

2017 Syrah (94% Syrah. 3% Viognier 3% Roussanne)

 

The Viognier and Roussanne were co-fermented with the Syrah. Bringing the nose alive!

Left on skins for up to 3 weeks. Oak was  also a mix – French, American and Hungarian.

14 months in barrel then racked to tanks, blended and back in barrel for another 4 months.

So!  Was it worth it?   Oh Hell yes.

 

Black berries of all shapes and sizes on the nose with a bacon chaser.

Same in the mouth. Wonderful texture and tannins. Loooong finish.

This is a wine to open and celebrate,  then hide the other bottles for at least a couple of years.

 

$29.50  (2262 cases)

 

Evan also teases us with what’s coming later in the Spring

2018  Killer Cab Franc

2020 Rose – (Blaufränkisch)

Nebbiolo

Others..

www.blastedchurch.com

FYI

Office Hours: 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday
Wine Shop Hours: 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday

NOTE! We are now closed for tastings and open for sales only weekdays 10am – 5pm.
If you are making a pilgrimage from afar, please call us first as Winter hours may vary.

Before your visit, please review our Safety Plan for more information.

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON;

Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine

Canadian Whisky Awards

Wineries  and restaurants opening for Spring.

Spring Releases.