Tasting Room Radio

November 24th 2018- A Church. A Fort. A Chef and One of NZ’s Best,  Felton Road.

A Church. A Fort. A Chef and One of NZ’s Best,  Felton Road.

OK.  Let’s take them one at a time.

Evan Saunders –  Winemaker at Blasted Church  (Okanagan Falls)

Evan Saunders

Evan grew up on the Canadian prairies.

Became a Micro-Biologist at UVic.

Which led to the wine course at Brock in Ontario and finally his first
winery at Osoyoos La Rose and a 3-year mentorship with their winemaker
Pascal Madevon.

Now Evan’s  talent has been fully recognized at Blasted Church, south of
Penticton, overlooking Skaha Lake and part of the Okanagan Falls Winery
Assn.

Blasted Church is unlike any other winery in Canada.

They make over 30 different wines, even though they keep changing, their
labels are totally one-of-a-kind  and very likely bother some wine fans who
happen to be religious.

Best of all, they make wine fun and funny AND they come through with solid
wines in the bottle.

Evan has created several new wines. The revered series featuring Answered
Prayers AND Nectar of the Gods (in partnership with pal  Pascal Madevon)

Plus Bible Thumper.

Down the road watch for Evan’s influence on the Blasted Church reds  That’s
his specialty.

Heads UP – we didn’t have room for all of Evan’s recommendations for last
week’s Winter Whites.

Here’s his list of Winter Whites  which he talks us through on today’s show
.

2017 Sauvignon blanc – 25% barrel fermentation, about 6% Semillon, estate
Sauvignon blanc

2017 Small Blessings Semillon – about 45 cases, barrel fermentation, 11
months on lees, Semillon from the North shore of Osoyoos Lake

2016 Bible Thumper – barrel fermentation, Viognier, Roussanne blend

2016 Nectar of the Gods – Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot noir blend,
22 months in barrel, about 50% new French oak  ( It’s not White. Evan will
explain)

https://blastedchurch.com

<https://www.ofwa.ca/> https://www.ofwa.ca/

Rolf de Bruin – Fort Berens co-founder. (Lillooet BC)

Rolf de Bruin Fort Berens

Rolf and his wonderful wife/partner Heleen Pannekoek share the management
duties at  Fort Berens  in Lillooet, BC

They were the first winery in the area but  Rolf tells us about the four
growers now operating in the area plus yet another winery   Cliff and Gorge
will open at Texas Creek Ranch,  Spring 2019.  Plus a new GI has been
approved for Lillooet and so beginning with their next vintage they will be
able to use Lillooet VQA on their labels.

Fort Berens Winery

Rolf was also happy to announce the release of their exceptional  Reserve
Wines

Riesling

Cab Franc

Meritage

Plus their Classics

Pinot Noir

Cab Franc

Meritage

In May they planted their new Red Rock Vineyard with 4 acres of Merlot and 5
acres of Cab Franc.

Early in 2019, they plan to plant more Riesling, Cab, Gruner, and Merlot.

Things are looking good in Lillooet.  Have a listen to Rolf and then make
plans to give them a visit in 2019.

http://www.fortberens.ca

Nigel  Greening –  Felton Road  (NZ)

Nigel-Greening-and-his-neighbour-Sam-Neill.jpg

Maker of one of the world’s finest Pinot Noirs. No Question.

This Central Otago icon produces stunning biodynamic wines year after year.
These guys really know their stuff.

In 2010 Felton Road was designated a Grand Cru winery of New Zealand. This
Grand Cru status, currently only held by two other wineries (including Ata
Rangi), recognizes the premier producers of Pinot Noir in New Zealand.

Felton-Road-Vineyard-Central-Otago-Tourism

Winemaker Blair Walter is a master of less is more, Pinots are unfined and
unfiltered and challenge the very best the world has to offer.

Felton Road is situated on warm, north facing slopes of glacial loess soils
in Bannockburn, in the heart of Central Otago. The modern gravity fed winery
receives 100% estate grown fruit from its three vineyards that are all
farmed biodynamically and are fully certified by Demeter. Minimal
intervention in the winemaking with such practices as wild yeast, no fining
or filtration, allow the unique vineyard characters to further express their
considerable personality.

Since the first vintage in 1997, Felton Road has acquired a formidable
worldwide reputation.

Felton Road is one of the legendary names in New Zealand wine. They’re
probably the most famous of the Central Otago wineries, making some highly
regarded Pinot Noirs.

It was my great pleasure  to spend a number of hours talking to Owner, part
time chef and team leader Nigel Greening.

Looking for one of the best wineries anywhere in NZ?

You’ve just found it.  Felton Road.

https://feltonroad.com/

Chef Andrey Durbach – Il Falcone (Courtney, BC)

Andrey and Sian Durbach moved to the Comox  Valley, Vancouver Island over
a year ago from Vancouver. They had been  running multiple  downtown
Vancouver restaurants. High Tempo Rooms.

Sian and Andrey Durbach

Before he became an outstanding graduate of the CIA,  Culinary Institute of
America in NYC, he had first made a name for himself in Vancouver working
with Bishop’s, Il Giardino and Café de Paris.  He launched Etoile in 96.
There he learned the hard lessons of running a restaurant. Sold the place
and hit the road re-learning the trade.

When Sian and Andrey returned to Vancouver 2 years later they partnered with
Chris Stewart and opened Parkside, La Buca and Pied-a-Terre. Cafeteria
followed with its $20 or less menu. My favorite was Sardine Can. A tiny
room in Gastown.

No matter what the location I always noticed and liked his cooking.

Well,  imagine my delight to discover that Sian and Andrey had opened Il
Falcone in downtown Courtney.

Why Courtney?

Andrey explains in the interview that he and Sian finally wanted to work for
themselves and the best place was a former Mexican restaurant in Courtney.
Surrounded by burnt yellow stucco walls enclosing a courtyard filled with
black cherry, fig, and other fruit trees..you swear the restaurant was
somewhere in Italy.  Perfect. We’ve been three times and all three we sat
outside under those trees. Glorious.

And the food?

Italian dishes with no excuses…Nothing but the best. It helps that they’re
surrounded by hundreds of farms, fisheries specialists and foragers working
the land. One of the best cheese makers in Canada is right around the
corner.

Andre says he and Sian pretended to be Italians moving to the Comox Valley
and they did what they’d do back in Italy..source and cook local. Cook like
the Italians would.

The wine menu?  Almost exclusively Italian.

For anyone who’s traveled to Italy..no matter what small town you were in,
there would always be one Italian restaurant as its centerpiece. That’s what
they’ve tried to do here. Just off the beaten path..a discovery waiting to
happen.

Is it worth the flight or ferry? Yes and absolutely yes.

As Andrey told Montecristo magazine..

“My kind of diner is one who loves unctuous, delicious food, and is willing
to chance the unfamiliar. It’s a diner who knows and trusts the kitchen and
the servers, a person who wholeheartedly invests in the visceral experience
of a meal. This is what I’m after.”

I guess the question for you is – are you that diner?

https://www.ilfalcone.ca/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Holiday Wines

Wine Gifting

Best interviews of the Year

November 17th – Winter Whites!

Winter White Wines – If they exist, what are they?

 

 

THE SHOW

It was a comment about a year ago. Almost blew by me.

A winemaker used the phrase “I’m making Winter Whites”.

I’m sorry – what?

 

“A Winter White – what is that?

Well,  it’s a white wine that has enough texture and mouth feel to pair with Winter roasts, stews, soups, root vegetables etc.

OK..what whites have that ability?”

That’s where the whole idea got started.  This hour is dedicated to focusing in on white wines than can carry their weight through the Winter.

I sought out winemakers and wine experts who could explain Winter Whites and then recommend wines we could get our hands on.

Our guests include:

Chris Rielly – Head Sommelier at (David Hawksworth’s)  Nightingale Restaurant in Vancouver

https://hawknightingale.com/

 

Nightingale Restaurant

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson – Drinks Editor Winnipeg Free Press https://www.winealign.com/profile/43820-Ben-MacPhee-Sigurdson

Kurtis Kolt – Georgia Straight Wine Writer http://www.kurtiskolt.com/

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine  https://www.mastersofwine.org/en/meet-the-masters/profile/index.cfm/id/dfb8a043-5e4b-e211-a20600155d6d822c

Michaela Morris – Wine writer and judge  https://michaelamorris.ca/

Jason Parkes – Winemaker The Hatch https://thehatchwines.com/ 

Jason Parkes – Winemaker The Hatch

Valeria Tait – GM and Winemaker at Bench 1775  https://www.bench1775.com/

Val Tait

Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside https://www.hillsidewinery.ca/

Kathy Malone

If you join us for the hour you will indeed find out that Winter Whites do exist and we’ll tell you which wines to look for.

 

Here’s Chris Rielly’s List

Chris Rielly Head Sommelier at Nightingale

2016 Clos du Soleil Capella Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion Similkameen Valley

2013 Haywire Vintage Bubb Okanagan Valley

2016 Gustave Lorentz Pinot Gris Alsace france

2016 Pietradolce Carricante Etna Bianco Sicily Italy

2017 Yalumba “Y” Series Viognier South Australia Aus

 

Here’s Ben’s List:

 

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne (McLaren Vale, Australia)

$23 Everything Wine

Guigal 2016 Cotes du Rhone white (Cotes du Rhone, France)

$29 Everything Wine

60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 8 % Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc, 2% Grenache blanc.

Torres 2017 Esmerelda (Catalunya, Spain)

$16.99 BCLDB

Moscatel and Gewurztraminer, spice and stone/tropical fruit with a hint of sweetness.

Testalonga Baby Bandito “Keep on Punching” Chenin Blanc (Swartland, South Africa)

The Winemakers have lots of suggestions. FYI – One name that pops up three times is Ava from Le Vieux Pin.

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Blasted Church

Fort Berens

Holiday Wine Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 3rd, 2018 – Judgment of B.C.

THE SHOW

Hosted by the BC Wine Institute, and curated by the best in the business,
wine expert DJ Kearney, the Judgment of BC took place in Kelowna several
weeks ago.

 

I was pleased and honoured to be part of thirty nine international/national
wine judges.

We blind tasted and ranked the 24 wines.

12 were traditional method sparkling wines and 12 were Bordeaux-style red
blends.

6 of each were from BC and 6 were international benchmarks.

After ranking the wines, we then had to say whether the wines in question
were from BC or the World.

Some were easy. Many were impossible.

That’s a good sign.

 

 

Final Results at the bottom of the page

“The annual Judgment of B.C. allows us to gain insights and knowledge into
how we compare internationally,” said Kearney. “Introspection is a critical
part of ensuring we continue to make high quality wines, and also allows us
to collectively celebrate as an industry. We have so many reasons to be
proud, and the future is very bright.” Global News.

Our guests include:

DJ Kearney – WineDistrict.ca

Kurtis Kolt – The Georgia Straight

Michaela Morris – Educator and expert

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine

Mark Filatow – Owner/Executive Chef Waterfront Bistro

Ingo Grady – President of Poplar Grove Winery.

SPARKLING WINE RESULTS

1. Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV California | 12% | $46.99

2. Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut NV France | 12% | $69.99

3. Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru Extra Brut XIII
France |12.5% | $67.99

4. Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars Blanc de Blancs R.D. 2010 Okanagan
Valley, BC | 12.5% | $39.90

5. Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery The One 2012 Okanagan Valley | 12.0% |
$47.90

6. Sperling Vineyards Brut Reserve 2011 Okanagan Valley, BC | 11.5% | $50

7. Graham Beck Brut Zero 2011 South Africa | 12% | $29.99

8. Tantalus Vineyards Blanc de Noir 2015 Okanagan Valley, BC | 12.0% | $30

9. Segura Viudas Heredad Brut Reserva Spain | 12% | $33.99

10. The View Winery Pearls Traditional Brut 2016 Okanagan Valley, BC | 11.8%
| $30

11. Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Fitz Brut 2015 Okanagan Valley, BC | 11.6%
| $32.99

12. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige NV California | 13% | $25.99

RED BLEND RESULTS

1. Poplar Grove Winery The Legacy 2014 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.0% | $52

2. Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2015 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.9% | $50

3. Blackbird Arise 2015 Napa Valley, California | 14.5% | $86

4. Dominus Estate Napanook Napa Valley Red 2014 California | 14.5% | $125.99

5. Intersection Estate Winery Axiom 2014 Okanagan Valley, BC | 13.9% | $39

6. Chateau Poujeaux 2015 Moulis-en-Médoc, France | 14% | $65

7. CedarCreek Estate Winery The Last Word 2014 Okanagan Valley, BC | 14.6% |
$84.99

8. Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery Le Grand Vin 2015 Okanagan Valley, BC |
14.0% | $45

9. DeLille Cellars D2 2013 Columbia Valley, Washington State | 14.3% | $85

10. Clos du Soleil Winery Signature 2014 Similkameen Valley, BC | 14.8% |
$45

11. Chateau de La Dauphine 2015 Fronsac, France | 14.5% | $50

12. Chateau d’Armailhac Grand Cru Classé 5th Growth Pauillac, France 2015 |
13.5% | $90

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

  • Winter White Wines?
  • (Do they exist? What are they?)
  • Cornucopia
  • Fort Berens
  • Other stuff

 

October 20th, 2018 – A Merlot Special even Miles would like!

THE SHOW

 

Jack If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot.

Miles Raymond No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f#*king Merlot!

 

Sideways

Somewhere on this website  is the famous Merlot scene from the film  Sideways, spoken with outrage and indignation by the sublime Paul Giamatti as Miles Raymond, failed writer and wine snob.

The film came out in 2004 and the sales of Merlot dropped like a stone. In some markets it has  never really recovered.

(Director and Writer Alexander Payne starts the show)

Alexander Payne – Director of Sideways

 

I had this nagging question hanging over me for a while now.

Is BC Merlot being taken for granted? Has it lost its luster and ranking to the wine fan?

The most planted grape in BC is Merlot  but, except for Vancouver Sun wine writer Tony Gismondi, I’m not seeing a lot articles or headlines on BC Merlot.

merlot-on-the-vine

In the next hour you’ll hear from many of BC’s Best Merlot winemakers. Many of the questions are the same…

Is Merlot being taken for granted?

What was the effect of Sideways?

What makes BC Merlot outstanding?

When did you fall in love with this grape?

Have we all changed our wine tastes?

Many of the questions were the same ..but the answers were  all wildly different.

 

Our 12   Merlot guests include

 

Alexander Payne – Screenwriter and Director of Sideways https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0668247/

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine   http://www.wineplus.ca/

Mary McDermott – Winemaker at Township 7  https://www.township7.com/

Mike Raffan – GM at Township 7   https://www.township7.com/

Phil McGahan – Winemaker at Checkmate Wines. (Winner: 2017  Judgement of BC) https://www.checkmatewinery.com/

Jeff Harder –  Co-Owner Ex Nihilo  https://exnihilovineyards.com/

Peter Lindenlaub –  Wagner Family Wines (Napa)  http://www.wagnerfamilyofwine.com/

Kane Morgan –  Co-Owner Rust Wine https://www.rustwine.com/

Joseph Luckhurst –  Managing Partner  Road 13  http://road13vineyards.com/

Larry Gerelus – Co-Owner  Stags Hollow  (OK Falls) https://stagshollowwinery.com/

Rob Summers – Senior Winemaker at Hester Creek  http://hestercreek.com/

Michael Bartier –  Co-owner  and Winemaker at Bartier Bros  http://www.bartierbros.com/

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlot

FYI – International Merlot Day is Nov 7th

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Dilettante – the new wine from Sommelier of the Year Shane Taylor wine director at Cin Cin.

Not just any wine.  It’s the first from Okanagan Crush Pad’s Garnet Valley Pinot Noir. It also raises funds for BC Hospitality Fund.

Interviews with Christine Coletta Co-Owner of Okanagan Crush Pad and 2018 winner of Founders Award.

Fall Wines

 

 

 

September 8th, 2018-Tantalus. Adorada. Il Falcone & Colin Linden Remembers Aretha

Tantalus. Adorada. Il Falcone & Colin Linden Remembers Aretha

 

Il Falcone –Chef Andrey Durbach  (Courtney BC)

 Andrey and Sian Durbach moved to the Comox  Valley, Vancouver Island almost  a year ago from Vancouver. They had been  running three downtown  Vancouver restaurants. High Tempo Rooms.

Sian and Andrey Durbach

Before he became an outstanding graduate of the CIA,  Culinary Institute of America in NYC, he had first made a name for himself in Vancouver working with Bishop’s, Il Giardino and Café de Paris.  He launched Etoile in 96.  There he learned the hard lessons of running a restaurant. Sold the place and hit the road re-learning the trade.

When Sian and Andrey returned to Vancouver 2 years later they partnered with Chris Stewart and opened Parkside, La Buca and Pied-a-Terre. Cafeteria followed with its $20 or less menu. My favourite was Sardine Can. A tiny room in Gastown.

No matter what the location I always noticed and liked his cooking.

Well,  imagine my delight to discover that Sian and Andrey had opened Il Falcone in downtown Courtney.

Why Courtney?

Andrey explains in the interview that he and Sian finally wanted to work for themselves and the best place was a former Mexican restaurant in Courtney. Surrounded by burnt yellow stucco walls enclosing  a courtyard filled with black cherry, fig and other fruit trees..you swear the restaurant was somewhere in Italy.  Perfect. We’ve been three times and all three we sat outside under those trees. Glorious.

 

And the food?  To die for.

Italian dishes with no excuses..Nothing but the best. It helps that they’re surrounded by hundreds of farms, fisheries specialists and foragers working the land. One of the best cheese makers in Canada is right around the corner.

Andre says he and Sian pretended to be Italians moving to the Comox Valley and they did what they’d do back in Italy..source and cook local. Cook like the Italians would.

The wine menu?  Almost exclusively Italian.

For anyone who’s travelled to Italy..no matter what small town you were in, there would always be one Italian restaurant as its centerpiece. That’s what they’ve tried to do here. Just off the beaten path..a discovery waiting to happen.

Is it worth the flight or ferry. Yes and absolutely yes.

As Andrey told Montecristo magazine..

 “My kind of diner is one who loves unctuous, delicious food, and is willing to chance the unfamiliar. It’s a diner who knows and trusts the kitchen and the servers, a person who wholeheartedly invests in the visceral experience of a meal. This is what I’m after.”

I guess the question for you is – are you that diner?

 https://www.ilfalcone.ca/

 

Margaret Leonardi – Adorada Wines (Mendocino)

 First and foremost, you should know that  Margaret has the expertise and training of a perfume maker. Wouldn’t you want to know what her wines taste like?   

(They are very  affordable)

Margaret Leonardi – Adorada

Margaret  began her winemaking career working with experimental grape varieties at Cottonwood Creek Cellars, where she ran a pilot program and crafted a number of awarded wines. From there, Margaret brought her expertise and adventurous spirit to Fetzer Vineyards, where her passion for exploring the novel characteristics of aromatic grapes, coupled with a desire to push the boundaries of conventional winemaking, translates to the intriguing wines of Adorada.

Adorada wines are crafted from premium California grapes in a sumptuously aromatic style, reminiscent of an ambrosial fragrance. Each bottle is finished with a luxurious draping of wax.

As Margaret notes:

We blended our Pinot Gris with a selection of aromatic white

grape varieties from premier vineyards throughout California.

Our highly aromatic Pinot Gris opens with Gravenstein apple,

Bartlett pear, honeysuckle and orchid on the nose.

 

A palate  of orange blossom, orange zest, lemon and honeydew

melon is underscored by a hint of delicate sweetness.

 For the Rosé blend, we selected a mix of aromatic red and white grape varieties from premier vineyards

throughout California.

Our Rosé opens with spice and ginger on the nose, balanced by fragrant aromas of red fruit and antique red Rose.

The palate is succulent and lightly sweet, with juicy watermelon and honeycomb flavors, framed by a zesty

hint of white pepper.

.http://adoradawines.com/#

 

David Paterson – GM/Winemaker Tantalus (Kelowna)

Tantalus is situated on the eastern slopes of the Okanagan Valley, overlooking the shores of Lake Okanagan and Kelowna.

David Paterson -Tantalus

Originally known as Pioneer Vineyards, the site was first planted to table grapes in 1927 and today is known as the oldest continuously producing vineyard in British Columbia

David Paterson is a Kiwi and a Canadian, having been born in Vancouver. He received his winemaking degree from Lincoln University NZ & following time spent working in the local NZ industry he travelled the wine world gaining experience at premium wineries in Oregon, France & Australia.

He landed at Tantalus in 2009 and with many  successful vintages under his belt with the winery he took on the role of GM as well in 2016. Prior to joining Tantalus, David was working with celebrated South Australian producer Henschke Cellars.

As such he got to work the vineyards at the world famous Hill of Grace.  Riesling has always been the leader at Tantalus however, through  David’s guidance Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Blanc de Noir have caught our attention.

Outstanding wines and  leadership. That’s David Paterson at Tantalus.

www.tantalus.ca

 Colin Linden – speaks of Aretha and his 2018 wines.

 We know Colin as a member of one of Canada’s finest bands, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

We also know him as a solo performer with a history of great albums.

As a producer, writer and player he’s worked with Bob Dylan, Emmy Lou Harris, Robert Plant and Allison Krause, Lucinda Williams and produced many of Bruce Cockburn’s greatest albums.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings

 

When Aretha Franklin passed away I remembered a story Colin had told me about sharing a room and a stage with The Queen of Soul.

The “Room” was a ballroom at The White House and the stage was filled with an amazing collection of artists. Producer  T Bone Burnett asked Colin to play guitar in the “house band” and that’s how he found himself watching Aretha rehearse in the afternoon. (sitting in the chair that would belong to The President Barack Obama later that night. That chair.)

Later that night Colin and Aretha got a chance to talk.

 

I value Colin’s memory of Aretha and her very special place in music.

Then, as always, Colin and I finish off all our conversations with wine talk.

Whaddya drinking?  What’s the house pour?

He never fails to surprise me.

Enjoy!!  (pair some Aretha this weekend with your wine)

www.blackieandtherodeokings.com 

 www.colinlinden.com

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

The Cowichan Wine festival

Heading back to the Okanagan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 1st, 2018 – Canadian Winery of the year- Road 13!

Welcoming The Winners Guests include Road 13, Fitzpatrick and Township7

 Every year in Canada Wine Align, the toughest wine competition in the country, announces its list of winners.
This week We welcome The Winners.

After being  a top 10 winery for many years Road 13 has finally found the #1 position.

Joe Luckhurst Road 13

In 2018, over 1800 wines from 257 wineries were in competition for the National Wine Awards.  Judging were 22 of the very best tasters in the country.
After winning 15 individual awards including a rare Platinum for their Roussanne Road 13 were given the coveted title Canadian Winery of the Year. 
I found  managing partner and son of founders Mick and Pam Luckhurst , Joseph Luckhurst  in the barrel room and cellar recently. Still enjoying the glow of the awards we talked about The Golden Mile, the dirt, what effect this may have on their wines and winery and why they made the decision to make Rhone style wines.
Congratulations to winemaker Jeff Del Nin, his team in the Vineyards and in the q, the tasting room staff, growers, distributors, marketing and media teams,.
Enjoy the ride while we enjoy the wines.
The other segment of the same competition that interests me is Top 10 Small Wineries. (annual production of 10,000 cases or under)
Ontario’s Two Sisters and Hidden Bench were 1&2.

Fitzpatrick Vineyards

Third was BC’s Fitzpatrick Family Wines who won 5 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze to become this years #3 Small Winery in Canada and #1 Small Winery in B.C. 
Gordon Fitzpatrick is well known to  Canadian wine fans.
In 1986 his family started Cedar Creek  Estate Winery and 8 years later they bought Greata Ranch located on the  main highway between Peachland and Summerland.
In 2014 Cedar Creek was sold to the Von Mandl Family and Gordon made serious plans for Greata Ranch, which has been somewhat forgotten over the years.
A mere 4 years later Fitzpatrick Family Wines have become a destination for fresh whites and a serious house of bubble.
I found Gordon on the back deck overlooking the Chardonnay and Pinot Vineyards and Okanagan Lake.
Congratulations again to the complete team that helped to create a rising star in Canadian Wine.
Finally we come to our old neighbour,  when we lived on the Naramata Bench, Township 7. 
Township 7 began their winery in the Fraser  Valley in 2000.
Several years later they bought a property on the  Naramata Bench.
New planting’s of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, wonderful Merlot and Malbec followed.
Mike and Lori Raffan created a wonderful destination known for its wine quality and focus.
Mike  is now the GM working with new owners.  He’s overseeing an expansion of both winery locations, new tanks, barrels, equipment, larger tasting rooms and the recent acquisition of the Blue Terrace Vineyard in Oliver.
Winemaker Mary McDermott joined the team after many years in Ontario. (Trius at Hillebrand, and 30 Bench)
She’s expanding small lot production and a fine wine program.
Watch for  Bordeaux Reds and Bubble.
All in all, you want to keep an eye on Township 7  and watch for their new labels and releases. This is going to be a very interesting story to follow.
Also keep an eye on their Langley location as well.
We met up with Mary and Mike at Ancora Waterfront Dining across  the water from Granville Market.
We tasted the new:
2017 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Viognier
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and NBO 2014 Magnum
2015 Reserve Merlot
Cheers to Township 7

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Cowichan Wine Festival
Tour of the Okanagan
Chef Andrey Durbach
Margaret Leonardi – Winemaker at Adorada in Mendocino

August 25th, 2018-Locals Only 3.0

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

 

THE SHOW

 

 

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

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

 

Event photos by @socialtyvr

 

This is Locals Only 3.0 – 2018

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

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


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

 

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

Off Shore craft makers.

 

Guests include:

 Massey Wines –  Louise Fedyk.  Co-Organizer of event  http://www.masseywines.com/

 Mike Rathjen – Rathjen Cellars  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgo92Vuntu8/

Mike Nierychlo –  Emandare Vineyards  http://www.emandarevineyard.com/    

Dave Brimacombe – Wayward Distillery (Unruly Gin/Vodka) https://www.instagram.com/p/BgpPVn3Hw0U/

Jason MacIsaac – Sheringham Distillery  https://www.sheringhamdistillery.com/

Andy Johnson  – Averill Creek  https://www.averillcreek.ca/

Loretta Zanatta – Zanatta Vineyards https://zanatta.ca/

Chris Turyk – Unsworth  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgr0mocH0rh/

Bailey Williamson – Blue Grouse https://www.bluegrouse.ca/Home

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

Brenda Hetman-Layne – 40 Knots  https://www.instagram.com/p/BgkFfRknXdL/   

Marilyn Venturi –   Venturi-Schulze Vineyards  https://www.instagram.com/p/BgraOj7nK_o/

Julia Powell – Alderlea Vineyards  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgtz5m0HCrX/

 


@averillcreek
@unsworthvineyards
@alderleavineyards
@vswine
@bluegrousewines

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

The Winner Special  (Sept 1)

Road 13 – Winery of the year

Fitzpatrick –  #3 in Canada and Best Small Winery

 

Tour of the Okanagan

Fairview Cellars

Roche

Desert Hills

Township 7

 

Chef Andrey Durbach – Brings Italy to Courtney

Margaret Leonardi – Winemaker at Adorada (Mendocino)

The First Cowichan Wine Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 18th, 2018 – The BC Cider Festival!

The BC Cider Festival Year 2.  The Cider makers pour at The Pipe Shop.

  

THE SHOW

 

Its Official..I’m a Certified Cider Head.

Happily, I don’t appear to be alone.

Lots of us are discovering that the sweet icky cider our parents consumed has disappeared. It’s been replaced by a growing army of cider makers..from around the World and best of all – right here in BC.

I had some catching up to do having missed the first BC Cider Festival.

I was delighted to find out that all of the participating ciders would be pouring at The Pipe Shop, foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver.

 

The Pipe Shop

(The very shop that my Father,  HD “Pat” Mulligan worked in as WW2 was beginning)

I had a hunch that when they opened the main doors at 1:30 it was going to get crazy..and it did.

So, I started early as the tables were being set up and talked to as many Cideries as I could.

You can hear the room get louder and louder as first the staff worked the room, then the cider trade people tasted and finally when the  general public came in..I couldn’t even get near the tables and my work was done.

This was such a great  learning experience for me. My hope is that it’s the same for you.

There are so many great stories here. Ciders made from blends of apples, heritage apples planted and forgotten about over the years and apples discovered, grown and harvested in Vancouver’s East End.

Backyard apples made into first class Ciders.

I hope you  find your new  favourite cider in the next hour.  Cheers!!

Big thanks to Txotx Imports and Massey Wines.

 

Guests on this week’s  Cider festival Special include :

Txotx Imports  –  Sean Pisio    (Organizer)

BC Tree Fruits –  Nadine Harrison (asst. winemaker) Kelowna

Kate Pedersen – Left field Cider  (Logan Lake)

Naramata Cider Co – Miranda Halliday (co-owner)  Naramata

Ward’s Cider – Mike Anderson  (cidermaker)  Kelowna

Raven’s Moon – Quinn Ehrler     (owner and cellar rat)  Courtney

Nomad Cider – Brad Klammer    (Co-owner)  Summerland

Salt Spring Wild Cider   –   Mike Lachelt & Greda Lattey  (co-owners / cidermakers)  Salt Spring

Salt Spring Wild Tasting Room

Howling Moon Cider – Nik & Kate Durisek (owners / cidermakers) Oliver

Twisted Hills Cider – Kaylan Madeira (owner/cidermaker)  Cawston

Cedar Cider – Gabriel Jefferies (co-owner)  Hazelmere

Sea Cider – Kristen Needham  (founder / cidermaker)  Saanichton

Windfall Cider – Jeff Nairn (co-founder)  East Vancouver

Dominion Cider – Robin Cairns  (co-founder)  Summerland

The boys from Dominion Cider – (courtesy of Montecristo magazine)

Second Page   Samantha Chamberland   Courtney/Comox

…and the winners are:

  • Dry
    3rd Cedar Cider – Sprig
    2nd Nomad – Sparkling Sidra
    1st Twisted Hills – Pippens Fate
  • Medium
    3rd Second Page – Apple
    2nd Sea Cider – Bittersweet
    1st Salt Spring – Semi- Dry
  • Specialty
    3rd Salt Spring Wild – Bitter Orange Rosemary
    2nd Merridale – Mo Morrow
    1st Dominion – True at First Light
  • Fruit
    3rd Lonetree – Apple Peach
    2nd Merridale – Merri Berri
    1st Left Field – Joe Shack
  • HSB
    3rd Brickers – Sage, Peppercorn, Thyme
    2nd Lonetree – Ginger
    1st Saltspring Wild – Ginger Root

 

http://bcciderfest.ca/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Margaret Leonardi – Winemaker at Adorada Wines (Mendocino)

Mary McDermott – Winemaker at Township 7

Chef Andrey Durbach – Brings great Italian for Vancouver Island

The first Cowichan Wine Festival

Okanagan Stories from

Bill Eggert Fairview Cellars

Randy Toor  Desert Hills/Rajen Toor  Ursa Major

Dylan/Penelope Roche  Roche Wines

Gordon Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards (#3 in Canada and #1 Small Winery in BC)

And a visit with Joseph Luckhurst from  the Canadian Winery of the Year Road 13

The 7th annual Four friends fishing at Gowlland Resort Campbell River

(with Rhys Pender, Chef Mark Filatow, John Weber and meee)

 

 

 

 

August 4th, 2018 – Road 13 -Winery of the year and Top Drop Part One

Road 13 wins Canadian Winery of the year and Top Drop 2018 Part One

 

 

The SHOW

The phone rang at Road 13 this week. It was Anthony Gismondi from Wine Align looking for Joseph Luckhurst, managing partner and son of founders Mick and Pam Luckhurst.

Joe was delighted to find out that after moving up in the Top Ten wineries of Canada year-after-year..they finally nailed the big prize. Canadian Winery of the Year.

There were  1,850 entries from 257 different wineries from seven provinces however if you look at the total wins they had ..the prize was truly well earned.

 

Platinum  – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Roussanne
Gold – Road 13 Vineyards 2017 Chip off the Old Block Chenin Blanc
Gold – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Syrah
Gold – Road 13 Vineyards 2013 5th Element
Gold – Road 13 Vineyards 2014 Jackpot Petit Verdot
Gold – Blind Creek Collective 2015 Consensus
Gold – Blind Creek Collective 2016 Cabernet Franc
Gold – Blind Creek Collective 2016 Petit Verdot
Gold – Blind Creek Collective 2017 Viognier
Silver –  Road 13 Vineyards 2016 GSM
Silver –  Blind Creek Collective 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bronze – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Seventy-Four K
Bronze – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Jackpot Syrah
Bronze – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Merlot
Bronze – Blind Creek Collective 2016 Chardonnay

 

We’ll visit Road 13 shortly and to a  sit down interview with Joseph.

 

Congratulations to the complete team behind the winery. To growers, hospitality, cellar and tank crews, crush rats, administration and marketing. Best of all Road 13 is one of our sponsors.

 

 

www.road13vineyards.com

 

It’s The Main Event.  Top Drop Vancouver:  Terroir and Craft.

The best small wine festival everrrrrrrr.

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

What they have in common is craft and care!

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

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

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

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

The other major component is a commitment to partner with producers who rarely visit Vancouver or have never been here before, so we can offer local wine enthusiasts a unique experience.

We came up with a roster of 33 international and local producers we’re extremely proud of.

The whole reason I do what I do for a living is to share my enthusiasm for awesome wine with those who may be pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down. It’s one thing to write or Tweet or Instagram about something and hope for the best, but all cards on the table: it’s a whole other thing when I can play a part in actually bringing these fantastic people and their wines right to you, and even be in the room when you try them!  Kurtis Kolt!

 

I went crazy and did enough interviews for Two Shows.. Here’s Part One

 Kurtis Kolt – Organizer and wine educator. Wine writer for The Georgia Straight.

Paul Leary – President Blackbird Vineyards  (Napa)

David Scholefield – Wines of Chile

David Patterson – GM and Winemaker at Tantalus (Kelowna)

Justin Fairweather – Partner. Alpha Box and Dice (Australia)

Jane Ferrari – Winemaker.Ambassador Yalumba (Barossa. Australia)

Jay Drysdale –  Owner/Winemaker Bella (Naramata Bench)

DJ Kearney – NewDistrict.Ca (Vancouver)

Simon Black – Winemaker Montalto (Australia)

Virginie Taupenot –  Taupenot-Merme   (France)

NEXT WEEK Part Two:

 

Stories we’re working on:

Road 13 – Winery of the year – The full story.

Fitz Winery finds a lot of new friends.

Elizabeth Gabay – Master of Wine and author of Rose. Understanding the pink wine revolution

Andrey Durbach – opens IL Falcone in Courtney

Margaret Leonardi pours Adorada

Township 7. New wines. New labels. New Directions.

NEXT /WEEK – Top Drop Two

 

 

Podcast on iTunes

 

 

June 30th, 2018 – BC Shellfish Festival in  Courtney/Comox and Memories of Bourdain.

 

12th  BC Shellfish Festival in  Courtney/Comox and Memories of Bourdain.

THE SHOW

 

Year in &  Year out  The BC Shellfish Festival is one of the very best
gatherings of Chefs in Western Canada.

They come to compete, to showcase, to  meet their suppliers & their
customers. Best of all, the chefs come to hang with each other and take a
break from the daily grind.

Shellfish Grazing

First and foremost the festival celebrates sustainability.  In oceans,
lakes, rivers and farms.

The chefs who guest today not only bring their culinary talents to work
every day, they also let their diners know that where your fish comes from
is as important as where your water &  wine comes from.

This is a wildly successful festival that takes place in and around
Courtney-Comox on Vancouver Island. The Comox Valley produces more than 50%
of BC Shellfish and the most oysters in Canada. If you’re a chef..this is
your Yankee Stadium.

judges and team

The last segment of Tasting Room Radio will be all about remembering the
late Anthony Bourdain.

With comments from his friends Tojo, Pino Posteraro,
Ned Bell, Quang Dang and Nathan Fong. Also comments  from Sabrine Dhaliwal,
Matthias Fong and Sal Howell

Check out this fantastic Guest List:

Chef Hidekazu Tojo – Tojo’s  Restaurant   tojos.com/Splash.html

Chef Ned Bell – Ocean Wise, Vancouver  seafood.ocean.org

Chef Pino Posteraro – Cioppinos  https://www.cioppinosyaletown.com

Chef Nathan Fong – Fong on Food https://www.fongonfood.com

Melissa Craig – Barefoot Bistro, Whistler  bearfootbistro.com

Quang Dang – Araxi Bistro, Whistler  https://www.araxi.com

Lisa Ahier – Sobo  Tofino www.sobo.ca

Sal Howell – Founder-Owner  River Cafe/Deane House  Calgary
www.river-cafe.com

Chef Matthias Fong – River Cafe, Calgary  www.river-cafe.com

Rebecca MacKenzie – President Culinary Tourism & Host of Terroir Symposium
https://ontarioculinary.com

Shawn Hall – Spokesperson for BC Fish Farmers Association
bcsalmonfarmers.ca

Sabrine Dhaliwal – UVA Wine Bar  https://www.uvavancouver.com

https://bcseafoodfestival.com

Tojo and friends

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

None..we’re taking a vacation and will be repeating some of the very best
shows from this year.

Vancouver International Wine Festival

The Naramata Bench Pours in Victoria

Okanagan Falls pours in Vancouver.