Tasting Room Radio

June 4th, 2022 – The return of the Vancouver Wine Festival: Part One

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The return of  VanWineFest Part One…

THE SHOW

After a year of events far more important than a wine gathering,

we welcome the 43rd annual Vancouver Wine Festival back into our lives.

The pandemic required a different gathering this year.

Smaller crowds masks not mandatory but encouraged.

Fewer wineries and participants made for a calmer and quieter convention center. We liked it.

Many of the participants who were scheduled to attend and pour last year returned with some wines a year older and lots of new fresh wines from 2021.

There was an unmistakable joy in the room.

For having survived the pandemic and come out the other side.  To see friends and exchange stories about the past two years.

It was a beauty.  People shook hands. They hugged! Almost like the life we used to know.

So… let’s celebrate with the first of two specials at this year’s VanWineFest from the floor of the Vancouver Convention Centre..

Many thanks to Harbour Air for getting me there and back. Also Meriha Beaton – Milk Creative.

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

Here’s the line up! We have sit down interviews with

Harry Hertscheg

 

Harry Hertscheg – Executive Director VanWineFest  www.vanwinefest.ca 

Lynzee Schatz – Winemaker at TIME Family Wines (Penticton) www.timewines.ca

Ross Baker – Winemaker at LA FRENZ (Naramata)  www.lafrenzwinery.ca

Dan Irving – Bread and Butter Wine (Napa) www.breadandbutterwines.com

Mike Raffan – General Manager Township 7 (Naramata) www.township7.com

Howard Soon – Chief Winemaker  Vanessa Vineyards (Similkameen) www.vanessavineyard.com

Taylor Whelan – Winemaker Cedar Creek (East Kelowna) www.cedarcreek.bc.ca

Mark Kuspira – Soft Crush Imports (Calgary) www.crushimports.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • VanWineFest Part Two
  • Tony Holler – Poplar Grove
  • Mark De Vere – Robert Mondavi Wine
  • Ray Signorello – Signorello Wine
  • Our Sponsor Special
  • Jason Parkes Customs
  • Hillside Winery
  • Moon Curser Wines
  • Unsworth Wines
  • Clos du Soleil
  • Scorched Earth

 

 

May 28th, 2022- Tasting Cowichan-New Fairview Cellars-Quails Gate Expands

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Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

Tasting Cowichan-New Fairview Cellars-Quails Gate Expands

 

THE SHOW

 Tasting the Cowichan

It’s a two-part interview with several of the wineries of the Cowichan Valley.

Taste Your Way Through The Cowichan Valley runs June 1-30

and:

Wine Festival Month Launch Party – on the Grand Lawn  Brentwood College Aug 4th (7-10 pm)

Ticket info and details are on this Page and  CowichanWineries.com

Bringing the news and pours on Zoom  are:

 Lorin Inglis – GM Enrico Winery  enricowinery.com

Jim Moody – Owner Zanatta Winery   zanatta.ca

Dan Wright – Winemaker Unsworth  unsworthvineyards.com

Bailey Williamson – Winemaker Blue Grouse  bluegrouse.ca

Tony Stewart – CEO Quails Gate Estate Winery (West Kelowna)

The news came as a wonderful surprise to many.

Quails gate Winery

 

Two beloved BC wine families have come together,  with an eye and considerable heart on the future.

The Stewart Family at Quails Gate (N. Okanagan) has leased 30 acres of Black Sage Road vineyards from Julie and Lanny Martiniuk at Stoneboat. (South Okanagan)

Tony Stewart

After replanting and pollination, just think of the wonderful wines that will appear on our shelves in about 4-5 years..

I love the fact that two iconic BC wine families have enough trust and respect to make this partnership work.

Tony Stewart explains the details.  Truly hope there’s more of these kinds of stories.

While I had Tony’s attention,  I asked about new releases from Quails Gate.

 

Fairview Cellars – Danielle and Dermott Hutton  New Co-owners (Golden Mile)

Bill Eggert and the Hutton Family

Fairview Cellars was the home and consuming passion of  Bill Eggert.

Bill Eggert

A legendary winemaker who at one point in his life, was teaching winemaking at the valley college. Fair to say, he kept some of his secrets to himself.

Several years ago Bill let it be known that he was looking for new owners so he could move on to the next chapter of his life..

It took considerable time but he found them in Danielle and Dermott Hutton.

Danielle became the GM and Dermott learned how to get along with a tractor and farm vineyards.

Now the vineyard has changed hands. Good hands.

Bill simply would not sell his beloved vineyards to just anyone.

We’ll talk to Bill Eggert down the road but right now it’s the Hutton Show.

They’ll explain how it all came together and then walk me through the new releases.

 

Sending love to the great tasting room manager – Mindy Ward.

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • 2022 Vancouver Wine Festival (Two-Part)
  • Pinot  Blind Tasting
  • Sponsors Special
  • 2021 Vintage Wine Review

 

 

May 21st, 2021-The Return of Top Drop / 2022

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Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

The Return of Top Drop / 2022

 

THE SHOW

 Like all other events in our day-to-day lives, there was no Top Drop during the pandemic.

However, Top Drop wine fans are a very loyal bunch and I never thought for a minute that there might never be another Top Drop.

Why the loyalty?

“The one wine tasting  of the year you shouldn’t miss”

Western Living Magazine

  

Kurtis Kolt and his partners have dedicated themselves to finding and inviting wineries that display a sense of place and craft.

Kurtis Kolt

A great many are organic and all farm sustainably. Some are large but many are small and finding them is like finding a prize.

The participants are so thoroughly vetted, that it makes the invited list feel like an all-star game.

The two-day event took place May 10 & 11 in the very comfortable surroundings at The Roundhouse in Yaletown. 40 international wineries pouring!

As usual, I couldn’t get to everyone in the room. But I did stalk and talk to :

Bella Wines – Jay Drysdale (Naramata Bench) A stellar sparkling wine house focused on single-vineyard expressions. Especially Gamay.

Creek & Gully Cider – Annelise Simonsen and Alyssa Hubert (Naramata Bench) A family farm, 65 acres of Organic Apples. They use apples deemed “undesirable”

Ciders are proudly unfined, unfiltered, and ambiently fermented in the bottle and can. We also talk about saving Okanagan orchards.

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards – Gordon Fitzpatrick. (Summerland) Focused on traditional method sparkling wine. From 40 acres of vines separated into 12 smaller blocks.

 

Hedges Family Estate –  Christophe Hedges (Red Mountain. Washington)  Farmers first, winemakers second, the Hedges Family were pioneers of the modern Washington Wine Industry. Christophe leads the next generation.

Lightning Rock Winery – Jordan Kubek Winemaker (Summerland) Creating electric, juicy wines. Jordan and Tyler desire to express each vineyard in the glass.

Martin’s Lane Winery – Shane Munn Winemaker (East Kelowna) Pinot and Riesling only. Vineyards are farmed and certified organic. Gravity-fed winery. Outstanding wines and winery.

Okanagan Crush Pad – Darryl Brooker New CEO and Matt Dumayne.  Winemaker. (Summerland) What a success story is Okanagan Crush Pad. Creating their own wines Haywire, Narrative, and Free Form. Concrete tanks, native yeasts, and no messing with the wines.

Orofino – John and Virginia Weber. Winemaker & Co-owners (Similkameen Valley) Minimal intervention in the solar-powered, strawbale winery. Premium wines that John described as “gulp able”. From beautiful Rieslings to knockout Syrah plus  Outstanding vineyards in a spectacular valley. It all adds up to Orofino!

Terravista Vineyards – Nadine Allander Winemaker (Naramata Bench) Producers of small-lot specialty white wines including Spanish varietals: Albarino and Verdejo plus French beauties Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier.  A tribute to the vineyards and those who planted them.

Ursa Major Winery – Rajen Toor Owner/Principal. (South Okanagan. Black Sage Bench) Organically farmed vineyards on prime land. Working with many varietals but especially Bordeaux grapes to see if they can showcase a different side of the grape.  Much buzz about this winery.

Owen Knowlton – Stable House Award-winning Wine Director. Pouring Wines of Bordeaux

 

Kurtis Kolt – Co-Founder of Top Drop Vancouver and Wine Educator

 

www.bellawines.ca

www.creekandgully.com

www.fitzwine.com

www.hedgesfamilyestate.com

www.lightningrockwinery.com

www.martinslanewinery.com

www.okanagancrushpad.com

www.orofinovineyards.com

www.terravistavineyards.com

www.ursamajorwinery.com

www.bordeaux.com

www.tanninmanagement.ca

www.kurtiskolt.com

www.topdrop.ca

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • Cowichan Valley –  June is Wine Month
  • Point Noir  Blind Tasting
  • Two-Part Vancouver Wine Festival
  • Sponsor Special
  • Quails’ Gate partners with Martiniuk Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14th 2022-Your chance to “Meet the Makers” in Victoria

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Tasting Room Radio is Presented by Harbour Air

THE SHOW

Sara Park and  Cam Duke,  the co-founders of Coastal Craft Beverages in Victoria always throw a great pour.

As in previous years, they head for the 8th-floor skyline suites at the top of Parkside Hotel in downtown Victoria.

They work exclusively with producers who are independent and family-owned. Artisans who focus on sustainability and care for the Planet and its people.

Best of all, they partnered with Vintage West Wine and Spirits. Owners of an amazing portfolio.

“I have a real passion for working with local, BC, Craft Producers and helping them grow their businesses. We have some of the most talented Winemakers, Distillers, Craft Brewers & Cidermakers in North America – right here! I’ve met and worked with incredibly knowledgeable and passionate people in this business. I feel very lucky to do what I do, and work on the west coast.”  Sara Park.

“Working with like-minded, passionate people who take such incredible pride in their workmanship and crafts is a privilege to be a part of. I’m excited to continue growing these relationships and contribute to each of their success stories.”  Cameron Duke

Jacqueline Downey Photography

Meet the Makers

 

Provincial Spirits –Jesse Bannister Founder, Owner

Jesse Bannister-Provincial Spirits

Winemaker’s Cut –Michal Mosny, Winemaker and Owner

Mike Mosny – Wine Makers Cut

Sheringham Distillery and Lumette –Jason MacIsaac, Master Distiller, and Owner

Sheringham Distillery and Lumette –Jason MacIsaac, Master Distiller, and Owner

Junction Cider –Cody Brown (Owner),

Junction Cider –Cody Brown (Owner),

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards –Gordon Fitzpatrick, Owner/VP

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards –Gordon Fitzpatrick, Owner/VP

Blue Grouse –Michael Abbott (Vineyard Manager)

Blue Grouse –Michael Abbott (Vineyard Manager)

Tightrope Winery –Lyndsay O’Rourke, Owner/Winemaker

Tightrope Winery –Lyndsay O’Rourke, Owner/Winemaker

Vintage West Wine & Spirits –Matt Thirlwell (Partner)

Vintage West Wine & Spirits –Matt Thirlwell (Partner)

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • Top Drop 2022
  • VanWineFest
  • Cowichan Wine Month
  • Sponsor Love in

May 7th, 2021-“ TOP DROP: THE ONE WINE TASTING OF THE YEAR YOU SHOULDN’T MISS.”

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“ TOP DROP: THE ONE WINE TASTING OF THE YEAR YOU SHOULDN’T MISS.”

– WESTERN LIVING MAGAZINE

THE SHOW

 

 

This weeks guest is Kurtis Kolt co-founder of  Top Drop.

The co-founder of Top Drop,  dubbed “the nerdiest, most awesome wine festival in Canada.”

Received the ‘Sommelier of the Year’ award at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival. Kurtis has run the wine program for a couple evenings at James Beard House, had bylines in local and international publications, such as Decanter and Maclean’s, plus I occasionally sit in on tasting panels at Wine & Spirits Magazine on semi-regular visits New York.

KK has various certifications and credits through London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Court of Master Sommeliers & the Winemaking Program at UC Davis.

On May 10th and 11th, Top Drop Vancouver returns, with a continued focus on sustainably-farmed, handcrafted wines offering a distinct sense of place, without heavy-handed winemaking trickery to get in the way.

Top Drop is now  in its seventh year.


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Over  two days, Top Drop offers Vancouver’s wine professionals and enthusiasts unique events and opportunities. As Top Drop’s flagship experience, The Main Event is a walk-around, grazing-style tasting where attendees can enjoy sips and stories from the principals of 40 participating international wineries.

The Main Event will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 10 and 11, at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). A full list of event participants follows, and can be found at TopDrop.ca.   Tickets are  $125 until they’re sold out, and available online at TopDrop.ca.

Event proceeds go to the BC Hospitality foundation, an organization providing financial support to individuals from the hospitality industry facing a major medical crisis.

Top Drop’s  annual grand tasting features dozens of international, terroir-focused wineries and the people behind the wines.

Kurtis  will  be talking about the wines that are starred ***

 

Aldegheri, Valpolicella, Italy     
w/ Jane Glees, Export Director

Anselmi, Soave, Veneto, Italy   
w/ Lisa Anselmi, Family Proprietor

***Ashes & Diamonds, Napa Valley, California, USA  
w/ Kashy Khaledi, Proprietor + Owner

Averill Creek Vineyard, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada  
w/ Brent Rowland, Winemaker

***Azienda Agricola Bruna Grimaldi , Piedmont, Italy    
w/ Martina Fiorino, Family Proprietor + Sales Manager

***Bella Wines, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada      
w/ Jay Drysdale, Owner + Winemaker

***Benjamin Bridge, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada   
w/ Jean-Benoit Deslauriers, Winemaker

Bisol Desiderio & Figli Societa’ Agricola, Valdobbiadene, Italy         
w/ Stefano Marangon, Export Manager

Bruno Paillard, Champagne, France  
w/ Pierre-Jules Peyrat, Export Manager

Champagne Gardet, Champagne, France
w/ Maude Autran, Export Manager

Chappellet Vineyard, Napa Valley, California, USA   
w/ Mitch Boyd, National Sales Manager

Chateau De Pommard, Pommard, Burgundy, France     
w/ Victor Goichon, Export Manager

Chateau Dereszla, Tokaji, Hungary    
w/ Gábor Weiner, Sales & Export Manager

***Chiorri Perugia, Umbria, Italy
w/ Francesco Strangis, Proprietor + Winemaker

***Creek & Gully Cider, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada  
w/ Annelise Simonsen, Proprietor + Director

Elk Cove, Gaston, Oregon, USA   
w/ Cam Christie, Director Of Distribution & Sales

***Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
w/ Gordon Fitzpatrick, President
 
***Free Form by Okanagan Crush Pad, Okanagan Valley, Canada

w/ Matt Dumayne, Chief Winemaker

***Gekkeikan, Folsom, California, USA   
w/ Koichi Murakami, VP of Sales & Marketing

***Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Washington, USA     
w/ Christophe Hedges, General Manager

***Lightning Rock Winery, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada   
w/ Jordan Kubek, Winegrower

***Long Shadows, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA  
w/ Dane Narbaitz, Director of Sales & Marketing

***Marchesi Di Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
w/ Valentina Abbona, Family Member + Ambassador

***Martin’s Lane Winery, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
w/ Shane Munn, Winemaker

Medici Ermete, Reggio Emilia, Italy    
w/ Ermes Scardova, Export Director

Mirafiore, Piedmont, Italy 
w/ Chiara Destefanis, Export Area Manager

Montes, Colchagua, Chile
w/ Bryan Steinsapir, Export Manager

***Orofino, Similkameen Valley, BC Canada      
w/ John Weber, Proprietor + Winemaker

Pere Ventura, Penedès, Spain 
w/ Hortense Capelle, Export Sales Manager

Salcheto, Tuscany, Italy     
w/ Michele Manelli, Winemaker

Susana Balbo Wines, Mendoza, Argentina
w/ German Pungitore, General Manager
 
***Synchromesh Wines, Okanagan Falls, BC, Canada    

w/ Alan Dickinson, Proprietor + Winemaker + Farmer

Tenuta Di Trinoro + Passopisciaro, Tuscany + Sicily, Italy    
w/ Letizia Patane, Export Manager
 
Tenuta Valdipiatta, Montepulciano, Italy

***Terravista Vineyards, Naramata Bench, BC, Canada  
w/ Nadine Allander, Winemaker

Troupis Winery, Mantinia, Greece

***Ursa Major Winery  Okanagan, Canada      
w/ Rajen Toor, Winemaker + Grower + Proprietor

***Weingut Thörle, Rheinhessen, Germany   
w/ Christoph Thörle, Proprietor

***Xanadu Winery, Margaret River, Australia   
w/ Douglas Elliott, North American Manager
 

For Main Event tickets, along with more information and news, visit TopDrop.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Meet the Makers – Victoria

Michael Bartier – Project B

VanWineFest

Sponsor Fest

Cowichan June Winefest

April 30th, 2022-Chain Reaction Wines (Naramata) & Stillhead Distillery (Duncan)

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Chain Reaction Wines (Naramata)   & Stillhead Distillery (Duncan)

THE SHOW

I “discovered” Chain Reaction Winery through a conversation with DJ Kearney.

When DJ asks the question “have you heard of..?” I am totally locked in.

DJ is a senior wine educator and an opinion you want to pay attention to.

Her recommendation sent me looking for the owners Joel and Linda Chamaschuk.

Joel and Linda Chamaschuk

Originally from BC’s lower mainland, they were both cyclists,  tech workers and big wine fans.

One thing led to another.

Okanagan bike competitions, seeking new wines and a dream to one day own a winery.

Finally they  bought a great small orchard on the Naramata Bench and in 2019 they planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cab Franc.

Riesling followed in 2020.

They now have three vintages to their name. Both 2019 and 2020 were done as “custom crushes” with winemaker Dwight Sick at Moraine Winery.

Their 2021 wines were the first to be made at their new winery facility. Again with the invaluable  leadership of Dwight Sick.

Their 2021 Pinot Gris won a Lt Governor Platinum Award. For a new comer,  a rare victory.

They’ve added a Blanc de Noir and a traditional method sparkling rose – both made from Pinot Noir.

Best of all, they’re finally making wines from their estate vineyard.

Chain Reaction Wines coming this year include 2021 Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sparkling Rose and next Spring their first Cab Franc

Chain Reaction 2019 Pinot Gris[2651] Chain Reaction 2020 Pinot Noir

They’ve opened a tasting room  to the public.

Just know, they’re making everything in small batch productions. As soon as you taste these delicious wines,  this piece of information  becomes important. They will go quickly. Think about joining their wine club.

We welcome Joel and Linda because dreams DO come true.

www.chainreactionwine.com

Stillhead Distillery (Duncan) – Brennan Colebank  Owner Operator & Distiller

New whiskies and spirits from Vancouver Island.

Stillhead Distillery Inc. opened its doors in October of 2017, founded by the Colebank family, husband and wife team Erica and Brennan, along with parents Christal and Ron.

Brennan Colebank graduated from UNBC with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree..

After working almost 15 years in the tech industry, Brennan left his job to pursue his dream career blending the two things he loved most; chemistry and whisky!

Four years later, the Stillhead team has grown from a family of 4 to a team of 9, with each year showing more potential and room to grow.

stillhead distilling

Stillhead’s vision is to reflect  the essence of island living in their  brand and all of their spirits. By adding distinct Vancouver Island ingredients to their products, they’ve provided a way to showcase and express the spirit of this wonderful area they call home, in every bottle.

I tasted my way through 6 small sample bottles of Stillhead

Several “old” releases…

Rye Whisky – Small Cask Finish.  Nose. rye bread and malt Palate. Allspice, toast, coconut and leather.

B-Word – Bourbon Style – Nose. sweet clover, brown sugar  Palate. toasted marshmallow, lemon grass. spice. Cinnamon

And several New Releases…

Rye-tila the Hun Nose. Dried figs, new cowhide, Irish butter Palate. roasted wheat, closer, toasted pine nuts

Smokin Wheat – Nose. Cigar box, fruit preserves, damp embers  Palate. Peat reek, malted milk  incense

Rye Whisky – Maple Syrup Cask  Nose. Fresh cinnamon toast, maple fudge  Palate. candied ginger, toast with butter, apple pie spice

Cask Strength single  malt – Cask 6A  Nose. Freshly torched crème brulee,  beeswax   Palate. toffee, aniseed, black tea poached pears

My thanks for Davin De Kergomeaux, Meagan Haugen-Koechi (Marketing at Stillhead) and Brennan Colebank.

www.stillhead.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Top Drop 2022

Van Wine Fest 2022

Pinot Noir Blind Taste

Cowichan Wine Events

Sponsor Special – The Gathering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 23rd, 2022 -THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY – PART TWO

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THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY – PART TWO

The Show

It was the first wine gathering of 2022 and the first in two years for many in the room.

(The room was the gorgeous Terminal City Club on West Hastings in Vancouver)

This week, its part two of our interviews with winemakers, agents  and principals.

All representing the Okanagan Falls and Skaha Lake Wineries Assn.

Here’s the Line -up:

 Play Estate Winery  (Skaha Hills) – Gianluca Miceli and the one & only Paul Watkin.(Seacove Group)

They brought over the Play Estate 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon.  French Oak Barrel aged for 16 months.

14%. Lean and totally engaging. Well done Stephanie Breyers,  Winemaker.

Noble Ridge (Okanagan Falls)Benoit Gauthier Winemaker

N/V  The Fizzy One (a pre-release). A beautiful blend of 62% Kerner and 38% Pinot Gris. “it’s for Wine Club Members but for you a tease and a treat”  Hey! Join the club.

Stag’s Hollow (Okanagan Falls)  – Erin Korpisto GM. 

2021 Dolcetto – Wild mix of ripe cherry, plums, rose on the nose plus  spice and dark chocolate. Winemaker Keira Le Franc speaks Italian through wine and  I understand what she’s saying.

Pentage (Skaha Lake) – Ian Jamieson (artwine)

2015 Pentage – The Flagship Red.

35% Cab/29 Merlot & 12 Merlot Ripasso/ 10 Cab Franc/10 Petit Verdot/  4 Malbec

Considering the entire process this wine goes through, partially dried skins then more merlot added – for 8 months, it is totally worth your time and dough to find it and enjoy Winemaker/Owner Paul Gardner’s craft.

Bravo!

 Wild Goose (Okanagan Falls)  Leslie Matheson (Marketing Manager)

2021 Autumn Gold – A well crafted blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and little bit of Chardonnay.

Wild Goose

www.wildgoosewinery.ca

www.stagshollowwinery.com

www.pentage.com

www.nobleridge.com

www.playwinery.com

www.theheartofwinecountry.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Our 2022 Sponsor special

Top Drop 2022

VanWine Fest 2022

Coastal Craft – Meet the Makers (Victoria)

Stillhead Distilling – Duncan

Chain Reaction Wines – Naramata Bench.

Davin de Kergomeaux – Spirits in the Dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16th, 2022- First pour of BC Wines In Vancouver –  OK Falls/Skaha Lake (Part One)

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First pour of BC Wines In Vancouver –  OK Falls/Skaha Lake (Part One)

 

 

THE SHOW

 

It was quite a gathering.

For the first time in over two years BC wines were being poured in Vancouver to a roomful of media, trade, and later in the day wine fans. 13 wineries from The Heart of Wine Country – OK Falls and Skaha Lake Winery Association.

The setting was the wonderful Terminal City Club on West Hastings.

People reconnected. They shook hands, hugged, and laughed.

I set up my recorder and microphone off in a corner, arranged some guest chairs, and sought out Dana Lee Harris.

She and her work partner Karen Madsen had extended an invitation to interview all the principals pouring their wines in the room.

When a tasting like this opens the front doors, a guy like me needs a “wrangler”. Someone with the smarts and leadership to find the next interview guest and walk them over to me, with an eye on the clock. That invaluable person was Dana Harris. (Dana Lee Consulting)  Barney Bentall once called an event like that – a goat rodeo.  Everyone talking, tasting, and enjoying a room filled with wine choices.

There was just enough time to talk to all 13 wineries and get back to the Harbour Air Terminal by the Convention Centre for the last flight to Maple Bay. What a day! The wines were handsome and memorable.  So were the guests.

The Heart of Wine Country Part One will feature

 Rob Hammersley –  Black Market Wine Co (co-founder)

2020 Pinot Blanc Barrel Aged

Evan Saunders – Blasted Church Vineyards (winemaker)

2018 Small Blessings Cabernet Sauvignon (100%)

Evan Saunders

Mario Rodi – Bonamici Cellars and President of OKF/Skaha Winery Assn. (co-founder)

Belviagio –  (Cab. Cab Franc. Merlot. Syrah. Sangiovese)

Mario and Vicky Rodi Bonamici

Tysha Pope – Crescent Hill Winery

2018 Chardonnay OAKanagan Girl

Terry Meyer-Stone – Mayhem Wines (co-founder)

2021 small-lot Sauvignon Blanc (6 months French oak/13% New)

Terry Meyer Stone (Western Living Mag)

 

 

JAK Meyer – Meyer Family Vineyards (co-founder)

2020 Pinot Noir (blend of 7 vineyards. Neutral French oak 8 months)

(JAK Meyer – tdm – Janice Stevens)

Dakota Bibby – Nighthawk Wines.  (Winemaker)

2019 Merlot (aged in French oak 18 months)

Dakota Bibby

www.blackmarketwine.ca

www.blastedchurch.com

www.bonamicicellars.com

www.crescenthillwinery.com

www.mayhemwines.com

www.mfvwine.ca

www.nighthawkvineyards.com

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • Okanagan Falls Part Two
  • Top Drop 2022
  • Ned Bell – Naramata Inn
  • Van Wine Fest
  • Cowichan Valley Wine Fests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 9th, 2022 Leslie d’Andrea: OK Falls pours in Vancouver/The Wine Diva: Budget Bottles under $17

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Leslie d’Andrea: OK Falls pour in Vancouver-Wednesday/The Wine Diva: Budget Bottles 2022 (under $17)

THE SHOW

It was the first regular Spring Release notice that I’ve seen in a couple of years. Made my heart jump!

“The Heart of Wine Country Okanagan Falls/Skaha Lake Spring Release 2022.

Terminal City Club Wednesday, April 13   6:30-8:30 PM”

www.theheartofwinecountry.ca

So that it doesn’t go unnoticed in a busy week,  I’ve invited back to TRR   Leslie D’Andrea co-founder of Noble Ridge to go over the final details and a reminder of who’s pouring.

Terry. Leslie D’Andrea Benoit Gauthier. Noble Ridge

Nighthawk

Wild Goose

Liquidity

Stag’s Hollow

Black Market

Blasted Church

Bonamici Cellars

Crescent Hill

Mayhem

Meyer Family

Noble Ridge

Play Estate

 

FYI – On the day,  I’ll be interviewing principals from all 13 wineries for several feature specials in
April.  Considering the past two years of pandemic, this feels like a celebration. Come celebrate!!

Details and tickets at the website above.

Budget Bottles 2022 (under $17)    Daenna van Mulligen/The Wine Diva

Daenna Van Mulligen

The Wine Diva doesn’t just specialize in Wine Lists, Daenna creates a master class in wine tasting!

All year long she tastes hundreds of bottles of wine and makes copious notes about each release.

Every wine on every list has tasting notes and inside info on the wine.

She has either visited many of the wineries/regions or knows the owners/winemakers.

Then come to the lists.

Top 50 over $20

Best Bubbles

Top 100 under $20

 Here’s my favorite – Budget Bottles 2022 (under $17.00)

All tested and found to be delivering wines well beyond the pricing.

As always – if you go to www.winediva.ca – you can follow along on your phone or iPad or computer.

We can’t talk about them all but here’s a large list of what Daenna talked about. (We kept  her original list numbers included to help you find them)

Your new favorite wine is in here..at just the right price. (Thank you Daenna)  

  • Longshot Pinot Grigio, California $14.99
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Runabout White’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Jose Maria da Fonseca ‘Periquita’, Portugal $10.99
  • Oops ‘Bodacious Blonde’ Chardonnay, Central Valley Chile $15.99
  • Monte del Fra Bardolino DOC, Custoza, Verona Italy $16.99
  • Oops ‘Voluptuous Beauty’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley Chile $15.99
  • Sumac Ridge Estate Winery ‘Private Reserve’ Cabernet~Merlot, Okanagan Valley BC $14.99
  • Harper’s Trail ‘Field Blend White’, British Columbia N/A
  • Intrigue Wines ‘I Do’ Sparkling, Okanagan Valley BC $20.00
  • El Petit Bonhomme, Jumilla Spain $15.99
  • El Petit Bonhomme Blanco, Rueda Spain $15.99
  • Mayhem Wines Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Hester Creek Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley BC $16.00
  • Scattered Earth Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa $14.99
  • Hester Creek Pinot Gris~Viognier, Okanagan Valley BC $17.00
  • Corcelettes Estate Winery ‘Sante’, British Columbia N/A
  • Chateau Dereszla Furmint, Tokaji, Hungary $16.99
  • Chateau Haut Bascla, Bordeaux, France $15.00
  • Parras Wines ‘Ruelas Reserva’, Lisboa, Portugal N/A
  • Boutinot Wines ‘Italia’ Sangiovese, Puglia, Italy $15.00
  • Conte Priuli Pinot Grigio Blush, Venezia, Italy $15.00
  • Villa Wolf Pinot Blanc, Pfalz Germany $16.00
  • The Second Act ‘Piquette’, Canada $14.99
  • Road 13 Honest John’s Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $18.00
  • Intrigue Wines ‘Semper, Sitiens Drought’ Rotberger, Lake Country, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Journey’s End ‘Bees Knees’ Chenin Blanc~Viogner, Mount Rozier, Western Cape South Africa $15.00
  • The Grinder Pinotage, Western Cape South Africa $13.99
  • Spier ‘Signature Collection’ Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch South Africa $13.99
  • Nederburg ‘The Winemasters’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape South Africa $13.99
  • Spier ‘Signature’ Pinotage, Stellenbosch Western Cape, South Africa $16.00
  •  

www.winediva.ca

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

  •  Top Drop 2022
  • Van Wine Fest
  • OK Falls/Skaha Lake  Spring Wine Pour
  • Top Foodies
  • Segment Sponsor Specials
  • Locals Only
  • Portugal Pour
  • Meet the Makers

 

April 2nd, 2022 -Okanagan Crush Pad. Christine Coletta & Darryl Brooker/ Modest Wines releases  with Jeff Hundertmark  

hello

Okanagan Crush Pad. Christine Coletta & Darryl Brooker/ Modest Wines releases  with Jeff Hundertmark

  

THE SHOW

A press release arrived this week:

Seasoned veteran Darryl Brooker returns to the industry he is passionate about to lead dynamic growth plans set in motion by Okanagan Crush Pad founders Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie who view the appointment of Darryl Brooker as an important piece of their succession planning.

In addition to overseeing the senior management team, Brooker’s key focus will be facility expansions and to build out the founders’ vision for Garnet Valley Ranch, a 320-acre organic vineyard and farm.

The players

Christine ColettaCo-founder of Okanagan Crush Pad.

A visionary  leader not only in the Okanagan but the entire BC wine industry,

Christine Coletta

Christine and her husband Steve  started a custom crush pad which included their own labels

Haywire, Narrative, The Bub, etc.

Their wine releases are now so successful,  the labels are key to the future of OCP.

 

Darryl Brooker:  New CEO of OCP

Darryl Brooker

Darryl Brooker is a graduate of  UC Davis. Plus management&  science education in Australia

Brooker also served in various capacities from vice president of winemaking to general manager and then president of Mission Hill from  2015 to March 2021. Darryl was also vice president of winemaking and operations at CedarCreek Estate Winery and senior winemaker at Andrew Peller Limited.

It’s great to have him back. With a little staining and wine spitting, he’ll be as good as new.

Enjoy the conversation. Lots of give and take. Opinions abound.

Audio here. Zoom video on our You Tube Channel. (terrydavidmulligan) Its funny at times.

 

Christine brought with her three really fine Spring releases:

2019 Haywire  Gamay Rose.  High elevation Gamay acidity. Seacrest Vineyards in  Oliver.

80% concrete 20% stainless steel. Fermented dry..pressed to concrete.

On lees for 6 months – 13.5 % – $24.90.

Cellared an extra year this Rose  has found its form.   Not to be gulped…take your time.  It’s well worth waiting for.

If you see it – buy it. Taste the future of BC wine.

2019  Free Form – VinGris. (unfiltered Pinot Noir) 12.6 %.  Garnett Valley Ranch. Grown in Limestone and granite Texture, herbal notes.  Whole bunch pressed. Compelling in the mouth.  Causes you to really think about this wine. I think the word for this wine  is “engaged”

Sipping is to believe. The label is made from stone paper. $29.00

If you can’t find it, there may be some at Cactus Club.

 

2020  Narrative 2 Pinots.  13%

From the North Okanagan,  Pinot Gris. From the South,  Pinot Blanc.

Bone dry. Rich Texture. From concrete eggs. Delightfully  delicious

Seafood, pasta, chicken, soft cheese. Or by itself. $22.90

 

 

www.okanagancrushpad.com

www.haywirewinery.com

 

Jeff Hundertmark – Sommelier and Chief Winemaker Mt Boucherie, Rust Wine Co, Modest Wines.

Jeff Hundertmark

Jeff came to the Okanagan from Niagara several years ago. (That’s where we first met)

Back East Jeff was a well-known sommelier and restaurateur who was convinced to add winemaking to his knowledge.

He worked his way through various wine jobs from cellar rat to winemaker.

The more he tasted the wines of BC the more he knew he had to give the West a shot.

And here he is, once again working his way through cellars in the Okanagan.

However, he has found a home at Mt Boucherie. And Rust Wine Co and Modest Wines.

The family owners hold some  300 acres of prime land all over the valley.  During  bountiful years, the cellars are overrun with juice. Frankly, it’s a great problem to have.

However, Jeff is bringing with him today Spring releases from Modest Wines.

The idea of experimentation, risk-taking and paying homage to classic wine regions of the World came from the Modest Butcher Restaurant at the winery.

They wanted a fresh take on wines to pour with their distinctive menu.

Have a look:

2021 The Elder Vicar.   Lazy River Vineyard. South Cawston. Similkameen Valley

A Noble blend of Riesling. Gew. Muscat. Pinot Gris (apples. peaches. apricots)  $24.99

A number of you will go crazy for this blend. I think it’s you people over there..in the corner.

2021 La Graves Robber.  57% Sauvignon Blanc and 43% Semillon. Grown in OK Falls. This has a future.

Ah, my kind of blend.  It has weight and texture. Grapefruit on the nose and palate. Spice. Ripe Melon. Herbs.

All are contained in stainless steel.  $27.99

 

2021 Eye of the Partridge. Pinot Noir Rose. I’ll leave the color story to Jeff.

Grown in South Cawston. On skins for somewhere between 2 hours and 5 minutes or 8 hours. 5 minutes and 24 seconds.

Clean. Dry. Minerality. Raspberry. Strawberry. Did i mention Minerality.  Herbs!  It’s freaking  Delicious!!  $24.99

 

2021 Steen Down So Long  – Chenin Blanc.  Acidity. Fresh. Inspired by the wines of Cape Good Hope. South Africa.

Aged on lees in Acacia Puncheons for 90 days before blending. Just finished the bottle. Go find this wine. $27.99

 

2020 By Jove.  Sangiovese. (with a touch of Merlot & Cab Franc)

Barreled aged 14 months. French, American, and Hungarian Oak.

Well done Ferreira Vineyards. Ripe black fruit. spice. cassis.

Love this wine.  Love it. Paired with ribs and BBQ chicken.  $29.99

Impressive finish. Seeking more immediately. You should too!

2020 Crimson Crusader – Carmenere from the Black Sage Bench.

Whole clustered. French Neutral Oak. 15% New.  14 months.

There may only be 2-3 Carms in the whole of Canada. This is one of them,.

Love your pepper?  Spice ?  Full expressive finish? This wine has it all.

$29.99  Buy early.  Small batch,.

 

www.mtboucherie.com

www.modestbutcher.com

@modestbutcher

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Moon Curser

Hillside Winery

Unsworth Vineyards

JP Customs/The Hatch

BC Wine Month

Spring Releases

OK Falls Pour Spring Wines In Vancouver.