Tasting Room Radio

January 16th, 2016- Wine expert Christine Coletta

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Our feature interview is with Christine Coletta..from helping to launch the BC wine industry to actually making and releasing her own wines at Okanagan Crush Pad. It’s  been quite a journey for Christine.

And the story behind Argentine winery Chayee Bourras and it’s Canadian owners.

THE SHOW

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Wine expert Christine Coletta began her career working at some of Vancouver’s most notable fine dining restaurants.

Christine Colletta

Christine Colletta

When Christine began working with the Society of Wine Educators and the Vancouver Wine Festival, she knew she had found her calling. With her opinion and expertise often being sought out, she was quickly regarded as one of the most respected authorities on wine marketing. As the word quickly spread, she was promptly introduced to founders in the BC wine industry – including the late Tom Capozzi of Calona Wines, George Heiss of Gray Monk Cellars, and Harry Mcwatters the founder of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.  She soon became executive director of the newly formed BC Wine Institute in 1990, and asked her to help develop and launch the new VQA program.

Christine  was instrumental in defining Okanagan wine country, putting VQA wines on the map and convincing BC restaurateurs to carry BC wines.

Christine also created marketing and branding programs that built awareness for BC wines across Canada and in international markets. As a result of her numerous contributions to the industry, Christine was recognized at the 30th annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival where she was awarded the “Spirited Industry Professional” award.

Christine Coletta then  reinvented herself as co-owner of Summerland’s Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, a custom winemaking facility that is home to the Haywire and Narrative labels as well as wines made for other vintners. Since opening the facility in 2011, Coletta and husband Steve Lornie have already received numerous accolades and recognition for their unique business model and phenomenal wines. They were  named Innovator of the Year for 2013 from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and were also celebrated by BC Business Magazine as one of the Top Innovative Companies in BC for 2013.

She was inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Haywire

But what CC is REALLY doing is stretching the boundaries of BC winemaking.

Working with concrete tanks, natural wines that are unlike anything being made in BC.

The new tanks

The new tanks

We’ll also talk about the Garnet Valley Pinot Noir plantings above the Crush Pad that will be the talk of the valley in the near future.

If you’re at all interested in the direction BC wines are headed, then look no further than Christine Coletta and those working with her at Okanagan Crush Pad.

 

www.haywirewinery.com

https://okanagancrushpad.com

 

 

Chayee Bourras – Argentina

Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan and  winemaker Jose Gomez

 

Chayee Bourras - The Portfolio

Gordon Ryan believes that the next popular star in red wines from Argentina, where Malbec dominates now, will be wines from a grape called Bonarda.

In fact, Gordon is so convinced that he and Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan, his wife, have invested in an Argentine winery called Bodega Chayee Bourras.

The Ryans, who now live in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, tell a remarkable story about the development of their love of Bonarda.

Gord and Katrina O

Gord and Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan

Both were born in Newfoundland in the mid-1960s.

Gordon grew up a beer drinker. The first of his wine epiphanies came when he was best man at a wedding for a friend of Italian heritage. The Valpolicella flowed freely and the flavours were a revelation to his palate.

The second epiphany came in 1999 when the couple took a sabbatical to Australia and New Zealand, volunteering as vineyard workers in McLaren Vale in return for room and board. After doing the harvest in Australia, Gordon decided that he wanted a vineyard. “That’s where the wine ideas came,” Gordon says. “We tasted some good red wines down there.”

“We worked on a couple of vineyards,” Katrina recalls. “It was in your face, right from the growing to harvesting to watching the wine being made.”

After several years of looking, Gordon found a vineyard in the Cuadro Benegas district near the city of San Rafael, about two hours south of Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital.

Much of Gordon’s vineyard consisted of 40-plus year old Bonarda vines. “We ended up with one of the best Bonarda vineyards in Argentina,” he believes. “The Malbec is what I thought I would be producing but we happened on the Bonarda. It is going to be the next niche wine from this area.”

Jose Gomez Winermaker

It’s our pleasure to welcome to TRR Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan and winemaker Jose Gomez.

 

http://www.bodegabourras.com.ar/english/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Uwe Boll – film director and restaurant owner

Tony Stewart – Quails Gate partners with Benziger in Sonoma

The Late Alan Rickman on Hollywood and Vines

Vancouver Wine festival kick-off

 

 

 

January 2nd, 2016 – Similkameen Valley

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THE SHOW 

 

Here’s what I know…

 

Similkameen Valley

Similkameen Valley

 

The Similkameen is that spectacular valley in and around Keremeos and Cawston in Southern BC.

 

Many MANY wine fans drive right through on their way to Osoyoos and the rest of the Okanagan.

Albertans also do the same heading for the Coast.

The Point I’m trying to make is ..the wines out of this valley are some of the best anywhere in Canada.

Red Bridge

Red Bridge

 

The next time you’re driving through Manning Park and then the Similkameen, take a half day and check out the wineries, cideries and fruit crafters below.

 

 

 

 

The Hood

The Hood

How good is the region?

There are a lot of BC wineries that would LOVE to get their hands on the fruit from the Similkameen.  It’s that good.

 Guests include:

Rustic Roots

Orofino  www.orofinovineyards.com

Orofino

Orofino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Stones  www.sevenstones.ca

Corcelettes Estate  www.corceletteswine.ca

Eau Vivre  eauvivrewinery.ca

Hugging Tree   https://www.facebook.com/huggingtreewinery

Hugging Tree

Clos Du Soleil  https://www.closdusoleil.ca

Robin Ridge   www.robinridgewinery.com

Twisted Hills Craft Cider  www.twistedhills.ca

Forbidden Fruit  forbiddenfruitwines.com

Kurtis Kolt – organizer  www.kurtiskolt.com

 

….and an update on July 11th BBQ King weekend

www.similkameenwine.com      

 

 STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Garagiste – The Small Guys Wine Festival

8 wineries all making under 2000 cases and changing the wine landscape.

Texas BBQ in Parksville

Salmon Fishing at King Pacific Lodge

Wines paired with Music at Interstellar Rodeo

Ocean wise gathering at The River Cafe in Calgary

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 5th, 2015 – Jim Cuddy

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Now an Officer of the Order of Canada along with his co-founding partner Greg Keelor, Jim Cuddy checks in from the road.

Blue Rodeo has released their Live at Massey Hall LP and Jim is on the CP Holiday train from Calgary to Vancouver – all the while on crutches.

Lots to talk about including what wine he’s travelling with.

John Clerides (Marquis Wine Cellars) knows his wines and speaks his mind. If he recommends a wine, you know it’s good.

And we re-visit a great Texas BBQ  truck on Vancouver island near  Parksville!!

 THE SHOW

Jim Cuddy

 

Jim Cuddy

Jim Cuddy

 

It’s been quite a year for Jim Cuddy.

First Blue Rodeo released Live from Massey Hall, a landmark recording for one of Canada’s best loved bands.

Then Jim and his partner Greg Keelor were made Officers of the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada

The Order of Canada

There’s no higher award.  Jim talks about how he felt on the night.

He also reveals that the Massey Hall recording wasn’t going to be used until it was compared to the one what was to be used and everyone agreed that Massey Hall was the best.

And right now the 17th year of the CP Holiday Train is on its way across the USA and Canada.

It sees two trains travel across Canada and the U.S. bringing entertainment and helping local food banks along the way.

This year, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo will be on board, along with his musician son Devon and the CP Holiday Train band which is made uo on members of The Odds.

Also travelling along for the Western leg of the Canadian tour will be Kelly Prescott.

The Local Food Banks  will be on hand to collect donations and to pass out hot chocolate etc.

Believe  or not Blue Rodeo then tours Canada in January

We welcome back Jim Cuddy.

www.cpr.ca/en/community/holidaytrain 

 

John Clerides  – Marquis Wine Cellars

 

John Clerides

John Clerides

There’s a certain pattern to my week..somewhere near mid-day Wednesday I start to get stopped by someone wanting  a recommendation on a wine and wine store then it gets crazier  as the weekend approaches.

The wine recommendations change from week to week but as far as the STORE is concerned that’s a no-brainer..Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie in Vancouver.

Great staff, remarkable selection and a solid leader in  John Clerides.

Some of the regulars simply walk in, the staff know their tastes so well they just put certain bottles together with the customer and they’re  out the door.

John has the singular ability to not only know what he’s talking about when it comes to all things wine,  he shares that view to anyone standing in front of him. Sometimes it’s the actual winemaker.

This conversation covers the odious liquor laws in BC and the manipulation by the BC Government.  John gets on a  classic rant then calms down to talk about BC wines and how the industry must up their game.

We welcome back John Clerides..first class troublemaker.  First Class  Guy!

www.marquiswines.com

 

Lynn and Rick Allen  Texas BBQ Parksville

 

The Texas BBQ  Oven

The Texas BBQ Oven

If you take the island Highway North of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island ..one of the first off ramps takes you to Parksville..beautiful town right on the Beach.

If you’re lucky, there’s a truck doing BBQ off to the right…and you have to drive through a cloud of BBQ smoke.  If you turn follow the smoke , this story is  for you.

If you just see it as smoke – keep driving.

The sign on top says Traditional  Texas BBQ and its owned by Lynn and Rick Allen.

Not only is the BBQ bang on but Lynn makes and sells fabulous sauces..available only at the truck.

Where the smoke comes from

Loved talking to these guys..my kind of people.

Their twitter handle is BBQ_Texas

FB is Texas-BBQ

 

Heading to Vancouver Island?   …don’t miss this experience.

 

https://www.facebook.com/TexasBBQ-394654067257013

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Gift wines/Party wines from Kurtis Kolt, Rhys Pender and DJ Kearney

Haywire Wines

 

 

November 14th, 2014 – Villa Maria, New Zealand

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We visit the winemaker of  Villa Maria NZ, Harry/Christa-Lee McWatters and their winemaker and two wine loving music friends Colin Linden and Royal Wood.

Music and Wine friends for your weekend.

 

THE SHOW

 Josh Hammond – Villa Maria

Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s highest profile wineries and certainly the most awarded.

 

Their sustainable practices are exemplary and consistent.

So…how are the wines?

Given their commitment to the land and the vineyards it’s not surprising how good they are. What may surprise is that their wines – white, red and bubble – are consistent. From one year to the next which all  wine fans  want from their winery.

Production winemaker Josh Hammond passed through Vancouver and most of Canada,  pouring his latest portfolio.

Josh Hammond - Villa Maria

Josh Hammond – Villa Maria

Josh was born and raised in Marlborough, becoming the 5th generation to grow up on the family sheep farm situated next door to where the Villa Maria Marlborough winery now stands. The land, which was considered too fertile for growing grapes by his grandfather, now produces Sauvignon Blanc for Villa Maria.

An early interest in law led Josh to the University of Otago to study a double degree in Law and Chemistry. During this time he also spent six months in Europe on a law exchange studying at Charles University in the Czech Republic.

Then  to California and Burgundy where he gained valuable experience working with a range of grape varieties.

Returning back to his roots Josh joined the Villa Maria Marlborough team as Assistant Winemaker in 2013 and was promoted to Production Winemaker in December of that year.

With the Marlborough Sounds on his door step he enjoys spending time in the outdoors, diving, water skiing and sailing. He also enjoys recreating local dishes from the countries he has visited and matching these with New Zealand wines, for friends and family.

 

Yours truly had the pleasure of joining others at a tasting in Gastown that was a pleasure from beginning to end.

I had to wait until Josh got back to Marlborough before he had time to talk and give us the full background on the wines below.

Some you can find now..the others marked as “spec” hopefully in the new year.  Just thought you might like to know what’s possible from this fine company down the road.

http://www.villamaria.co.nz/

  •  Private Bin Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, spec, $16.99 plus tax+dep
  • Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, listed, $16.99 plus tax+dep
  • Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc, spec, $21.49  plus tax+dep
  • Private Bin Pinot Gris, listed, $17.79 plus tax+dep
  • Private Bin Pinot Noir, spec, $18.79 plus tax+dep
  • Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, spec, $30.49 plus tax+dep
  • Private Bin Merlot Cab Sauv Hawke’s Bay, spec, $13.99 plus tax+dep

 

 

 Harry McWatters – Time/McWatters Wineries

Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond –      Encore Vineyards and Local Lounge and Grill.  Vintage Consulting Group

Lawrence Buhler, Director of Winemaking

 

Harry McWatters

Harry McWatters

 

Harry McWatters is a leader in the British Columbia wine industry, and has been involved in it for more than 40 years. In 1980, he founded BC’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, and later started See Ya Later Ranch Estate Winery in 1995. By spring of 2000, the Sumac Ridge Estate Wine Group was sold to Vincor Canada and Harry continued as the winery president as well as Vice-President of Vincor Canada. Harry “retired” in April 2008, and on May 1 established Vintage Consulting Group Inc. and the Okanagan Wine Academy.

Harry is the founding chair of the British Columbia Wine Institute. In addition, he is the founding chair of the British Columbia Wine Information Society. He is also a Director of the Canadian Vintners Association, founding Chairman of VQA Canada and is the founding Chairman of the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation.

Harry was also instrumental in founding VQA Canada, a trade association that spearheaded the development of national wine standards for Canadian vintners and served as the first Chairman.

 

In his role as director of winemaking for the ENCORE Vineyards wine brands, Lawrence Buhler  is responsible for setting the winemaking direction of TIME Estate Winery as well as for McWatters Collection and Evolve Cellars. He brings with him more than 15 years experience in the wine industry, most recently from Ontario where he worked in wineries large and small.

 

Lawrence Buhler - Winemaker

Lawrence Buhler – Winemaker

Christa- Lee McWatters-Bond  been in the BC wine industry ever since she was born.

Christa Lee McWatters-Bond

Christa Lee McWatters-Bond

 

After growing up in her family’s winery, Sumac Ridge  Christa-Lee went on to open a restaurant with her husband Cameron Bond which is now one of the most popular restaurants in the Okanagan Valley, Local Lounge and Grill.

And if that isn’t enough, her hands are very full of these days as she is the marketing manager for Encore Vineyards, which is the parent company to TIME Estate Winery under construction in Oliver BC, her family’s legacy label the McWatters Collection, and the brand-new Evolve Cellars in Summerland BC.

We welcome on of the first families of Okanagan winemaking The McWatters and a guy named BUHLER!!!

 

Colin Linden

Colin Linden

Colin Linden

 He doesn’t own any wineries, or vineyards or cellars. He does own two 56 bottle capacity wine coolers that are always be filled with wines from his travels.

And because he IS Colin Linden, solo artist, record producer, guitar for hire, one of the driving forces behind Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and the music director of the Nashville Television series his travels take him everywhere.

Even The White House. Even as part of Bob Dylan’s road band.

Colin has just relwased his best solo LP (my opinion) It’s called Rich in Love.

Anyone who has listened to Mulligan Stew, my weekly music show on CKUA Radio in Alberta knows Colin and I always talk music and then switch at some point to wines and what he’s been drinking.

Here’s the latest chat session, which includes his answer to my question..what DID they pour for you at The White House?

 

http://www.colinlinden.com/

 

Royal Wood

Love his music. He’s not like everyone else..that’s one of the reasons I like him.

Royal’s latest release is

 

Royal Wood

Royal Wood

“Playing to a full house at the National Arts Centre was so special, so energizing. It was an honour.” Royal’s fan base continues to grow at home and abroad.

“I’m now performing around the world, in part because of the respect there is internationally for the NAC. If you’ve headlined there, you can stand tall.”

Growing up in Peterborough, Ontario, Royal Wood realized early on that music and art and literature weren’t his career choices—they were his calling. “It’s what I wake with every morning and what I think about when I go to bed.” Perhaps that’s the secret to his success.

Royal explains on today’s TRR that he mentioned during an interview that he loved his wines and was taking a sommelier course.

Listening in was Steve Latchford from Therapy wines on the Naramata bench.

It took several years for the project to come together but there are now atiny selection of large format bottles of

The Players are Therapy Winemaker Steve Latchford and the fine  singer/songwriter Royal Wood.

Royal Wood

 Steve has always wanted to do a “special project”. He wanted to pair music and wine and when he heard Royal say on CBC radio that he was taking a sommelier course that he knew he had his musician.

 

It took two years to design and create that special project. Magnums of Marselan. A cross of Cab and Grenache.

They called the project Vanguard Wines 2013. Old Wounds New Scars. (title of a Royal Wood song)

Only 200 bottles made. Every bottle comes with a special CD of Royals Songs. Songs that relate to the wine and the artists involved, along with a number of photos on the label from Dave Moorman. Available only at the winery..on the Naramata Bench.

www.therapyvineyards.com

www.royalwood.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Randy Ullom – Kendall – Jackson

The battle of the Somms

Jim Cuddy

 

 

October 31st, 2015 … Top Drop!

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TOP DROP Vancouver..Year 2.

THE SHOW

It’s the return of Top Drop Vancouver, a unique, two-day event bringing together international, terroir-focused wineries, craft breweries, cideries, gastronomy & more.

Top Drop 2

Top Drop Vancouver continues its focus on sustainably-farmed, handcrafted wines offering a distinct sense of place, without heavy-handed winemaking trickery to get in the way.

Now in its second year, Top Drop Vancouver is a two day trade and consumer event being held at the Roundhouse in Yaletown and various Vancouver restaurants  bringing together a collection of small, hands on wineries, craft breweries, cideries and food purveyors who are passionate about their craft.

We quote Our Host Kurtis Kolt:   (from his column in the Georgia Straight)
“Our focus is terroir-influenced, handcrafted wines, and the people behind them.

 

Kurtis Kolt

Kurtis Kolt

“We believe in the importance in farming one’s own fruit and/or being constantly engaged with grape-growers to ensure sustainability and a high standard of viticultural practices.

We believe in wines that reflect their vintage, and wines that aren’t suffocated by vinicultural trickery.

We believe in winemaking decisions that are made by a winemaker, and not by a board of directors or marketing team.

We believe in those who take chances.

We believe these kinds of wines, honest wines of integrity, need a time and place to have their story told.
We also believe craft beer, cider, along with authentic and sustainable produce, dairy, meat and seafood are part of the same conversation, which is why we’re proud to showcase some of our best in those areas.”

 

The event took place at the Roundhouse in downtown Vancouver.

In the limited time and resources we had at hand..I was able to talk to and get stories from the following guests:

 

Kurtis Kolt – Organizer,  fearless leader and Wine Expert  http://www.kurtiskolt.com/

Kate Durisek – Co-Owner Howling Moon Cider House   Oliver BC www.howlingmoon.ca

David Lancelot – Wine Buyer Cask and Barrel  Kelowna BC   www.thecaskandbarrel.ca

Shawn Bachynski – Red Truck Beer – Vancouver, B.C.  www.redtruckbeer.com

Mark Davidson – Global Education Director  Wine Australia  www.wineaustralia.com

Tyler Harlton – Owner/Winemaker TH Wines  – Okanagan Valley, B.C.   www.thwines.com

José Lovaglio Balbo    Winemaker   Vaglio Wines – Salta Argentina   http://www.joselovaglio.com/

Anthony Truchard – Truchard Vineyard – Carneros, California  www.truchardvineyards.com

Jean Benoit DesLauriers – Wine Maker Benjamin Bridge   Gaspereau Valley Nova Scotia   https://www.benjaminbridge.com

Shirley Brooks – Elk Cove  Willamette Valley Oregon  www.elkcove.com

Paul  M  Brunner   Owner Blue Grouse Estate Winery  Duncan BC  www.bluegrouse.ca

 

 

http://www.topdropvancouver.com/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

The wines of the Cowichan Valley

Harry McWatters – What Next?

Garth Eichel  – A new book on the Naramata Bench

Colin Linden

Royal Wood

Jim Cuddy

Garagiste Wines in BC

October 24th, 2015 – ROUNDHOUSE RADIO!

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Tasting Room Radio has found a new home. It’s Roundhouse Radio 98.3  Vancouver’s brand new FM Station.

RoundhouseRadio_logo_A-Van_prim_800x400 (1)

Welcome to the first show!!

Guests include Rhys Pender, Kurtis Kolt, Sandra Oldfield (Tinhorn Creek) and Wine Lawyer Mark Hicken.

THE SHOW

Our first two guests  are two of the best known and most respected wine educators in Canada.

Kurtis Kolt and Rhys Pender.  This week they kick off TRR talking about their favourite wines of the summer and what wines to watch for this Fall. Plus a bunch of other cool stuff.

The third member of this group,  they don’t have a name yet, is The Queen of the Vines DJ Kearney.

Here’s some background on Rhys and Kurtis and the list of wines they’re talking about.

Enjoy!!

Rhys Pender –  Master of Wine

 

Rhys

Rhys

A passionate educator, wine lover, judge, writer, and grape grower/farmer, Rhys has worked in the wine industry since he was a teenager, back in Australia. His interest in food and wine really peaked by travelling through Europe and then a summer spent immersed in food, wine and language in the South of France with Alishan.

After following his wife-to-be back to Canada, Rhys pursued his food and wine passion by completing a Professional Culinary Diploma and working in a top Vancouver restaurant. At the same time he took his first wine course, something that gave him an insatiable appetite for learning about wine. Rhys and Alishan moved to the Okanagan in 1999 to pursue the food and wine culture. Rhys spent time working in the vineyard, the cellar, wine shops and catering events before moving back to Vancouver for a two-year stint to manage a specialty retail wine store. Back in the Okanagan in 2003 Rhys and Alishan started a catering company and Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads, and Rhys started his Wine Plus+ business doing wine education, consulting, writing and judging. Rhys then took on the grueling Master of Wine program of study all while running Okanagan Grocery and Wine Plus+ and with two baby daughters and one sleep deprived mother-baker in the house. Yes, they thought he was crazy.

This culminated in Rhys becoming Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (the wine world’s highest level of achievement) in 2010, one of only 300 in the world. Through his studies, Rhys knew every reason why they shouldn’t jump into the vineyard and winemaking dream but couldn’t help doing it anyway. Instead he used his training to design and plant the 4 acre Mulberry Tree Vineyard at the property Rhys and Alishan purchased in Cawston in 2008.

His wines are called Little Farm and they’re outstanding.

www.wineplus.ca

www.littlefarmwinery.ca

 

Kurtis Kolt – Master of Everything

 

Kurtis Kolt

Kurtis Kolt

KK is a Vancouver-based wine consultant who writes about wine, presents seminars, hosts events, judges wine competitions, works with restaurants on their wine programs and so on.
His  background is in running restaurants around Vancouver, including  managing Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room until 2010 when he received the Sommelier of the Year’ award at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

He’s  been profiled by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, run the wine program for an evening at James Beard House in New York and been a tasting panel participant at Wine & Spirits Magazine. I have various certifications and credits through London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Court of Master Sommeliers & the Winemaking Program at UC Davis.

He’s the  co-founder of  Top Drop Vancouver Year Two  a dynamic, new wine event in Vancouver.   We’ll feature Top Drop Year 2 Next Week

He also writes a weekly wine column in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight called The Bottle

http://www.kurtiskolt.com/

https://twitter.com/KurtisKolt

 

Summer – Rosé 

Rose
L’Ostal Cazes 2014 Rosé Pays d’Oc IGP, France
Angove 2014 Nine Vines Grenache Shiraz Rosé South Australia, Australia
Domaine du Grand Cros 2014 Côtes de Provence Provence, France
Summer – Riesling
Jim Barry 2013 The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia

St. Urbans-Hof 2011 Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling Mosel, Germany

Summer – Other
Ch. De la Gravelle 2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Muscadet, Loire, France
Hidalgo N/V La Gitana Manzanilla Jerez, Spain

L’Ormarine Picpoul 2013?

Fall Wines

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Muga 2010 Rioja Reserva Rioja, Spain

Chapoutier 2013 Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages

Stags’ Leap 2011 Petite Sirah Napa Valley, California, USA
Fall – Interesting Whites & Reds
Okanagan Crush Pad 2013 Narrative White Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada

Okanagan Crush Pad 2013 Narrative Red Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
Orofino 2014 Pinot Gris Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada
Stag’s Hollow 2013 Grenache Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
Best of the rest
CedarCreek  2012 Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noir Okanagan Valley

Domaine Weinbach 2012 Cuvée Laurence Gewurztraminer  Alsace, France
Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco 2001
Château de Nages 2012 Vieilles Vignes Blanc, ~$30, Costières de Nîmes, France – Private Stores

Maverick Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Gris, $19+, Okanagan Valley – Winery Driect, Private Stores

Tantalus Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay, $26+, Okanagan Valley, BC – Winery Direct/Private Stores

Haywire 2014 Wild Ferment, ~25, Okanagan Valley, BC – Winery Direct/Private Stores

Yering Station 2013 Little Yering Pinot Noir, $14.49, Yarra Valley, Australia – BC Liquor Stores

Planeta 2013 Cerasuolo di Vittoria, ~$30, Sicily, Italy – Private Stores

Foradori 2012 Teroldego, $33.99, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy – BC Liquor Stores

 

Mark  Hicken  and Sandra Oldfield (Tinhorn Creek)

 We start out talking about Canada’s odious wine laws and then head in three different directions on living under laws made for prohibition in 1928.

Mark is a lawyer who specializes in wine law and keeping them honest in the Canadian bureaucratic  back rooms .

Sandra Oldfield is a force, pure and simple.

Sandra Oldfield

Sandra Oldfield

In 1995 she experienced her  first “crush” at Tinhorn Creek. That was the year she  moved to Oliver from Santa Rosa, California,  packed her  ‘66 Mustang and drove across the border to a new life, full of excitement and hope – including the hope that her  car wouldn’t break down somewhere in Washington.

The facts: Studied winemaking and Canadian history at the University of California at Davis (affectionately known as UC Davis);  worked at Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma; She is  part owner at Tinhorn Creek; she also has a vintage purse addiction.

http://www.tinhorn.com/

Mark Hicken – Lawyer and Wine Fan

Mark Hicken

Mark Hicken

Mark has a B.A. (Honours) from UBC and a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He has also completed the Wine Executive Program at the University of California. Davis  Mark is a member of the Board of Directors of the BC Hospitality Foundation and is the President of the Modernize Wine Association of B.C., a non-profit society that advocates for a modern food and wine culture. In April 2012, Mark appeared before the House of Commons Finance Committee as a witness in favour of Bill C-311 (the inter-provincial shipping law reform bill which became law in June 2012).  Mark believes that effective legal advice must be provided in the context of a client’s business objectives. This is critical in the Canadian wine industry where regulatory structures affect every aspect of the business from conception to consumption..

http://www.winelaw.ca/

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

The annual Savour Cowichan  gathering

BC’s Garagiste

Royal Wood makes wine with Therapy

The Judgment of BC

October 17th, 2015 – Australia’s First Families of Wine-(repeat)

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It’s the return of Australia’s First Families of Wine!!

10 iconic wineries who shaped Australian wines. Yalumba / Henschke / d’Arenberg / Tahbilk / McWilliams / De Bortoli / Tyrrel’s / Brown Brothers / Howard Park / Wakefield


 

THE SHOW

 Australia’s First Families of Wine

Wakefield Wines

Wakefield Wines

10 multi-generational wine families unlocked rare and revered wines from their private cellars to showcase Australia’s rich wine heritage, modern diversity, and the celebrated wine stories that have become the foundation for future generations. Get a sneak preview of a limited number of wines that are being released from each winery at BC Liquor Stores.

Through these exclusive interviews, you will have the rare chance to meet the people behind the wines. Family members from each winery will share wines that provide a glimpse into the past, present and future of Australia’s most iconic winemaking families.

 

And they are all great storytellers..with outstanding stories to tell.

De Bortoli Wines

De Bortoli Wines

 

Their message is all about the farms and rich soils that they work, the quality of the wines they craft and the pride they have in their  history and how it has shaped who they are and what they  stand for.

 

 

McWilliams

 

 

Together, they are the custodians of over 5000 hectares of land that includes some of Australia’s most iconic vineyards, creating premium quality wines that proudly bear their  names.

 

 

Australia’s First Families:

(and the years they first planted)  

Australia

Australia’s First Families of Wine

 

 

www.australiasfirstfamiliesofwine.com.au 

  


STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Tasting Room Radio will return to the airwaves Saturday October 17th at 10am

On Vancouver’s Newest FM station Roundhouse Radio 98.3

www.roundhouseradio.com

 Guests include:

 Kurtis Kolt – Wine Consultant – Sommelier of the Year 2010

Rhys Pender  Master of Wine. Winemaker Little Farm (Similkameen)

DJ Kearney – Wine Expert

Colin Linden

  


In the coming weeks:

DJ Kearney

Savour Cowichan

Singer/Songwriter Royal Wood partners  with Therapy Vineyards

The Garagiste Wineries of BC

John Clerides – Marquis Wine Cellars

DK Kearney, Kurtis Kolt

Judgement of BC

Top Drop Vancouver Terroir and Craft

 

 

October 3rd, 2015 – Garagiste!

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Garagiste North  – The small guys wine festival

The Show

GAR-aH-Jeest NOrTH…

the coolest wine festival ever

Garagiste-poster-2015

Garagiste-poster-2015

 

What is a garagiste? (gar-ah-jeest).  It started out in France (of course) where it was a derogatory phrase for those avante garde and crazy mavericks making wine in their garage and outside the highly regulated system. Gradually and grudgingly came the acknowledgement that something really interesting was happening with these small case lot artisan wines, and a movement was born.

 

Anarchist. River Stone. SEVEN DIRECTIONS. NAGGING DOUBT. CoRCeleTTes. Roche. SynCHROmesh. Kraze Legz/Skaha  ROCHE. Niche.

 

Couldn’t fit everyone in but we are committed to bringing you all these stories over the course of the year.

They are all driven, passionate winemakers who qualify by producing under 2000 cases a year and use only BC Fruit.

Small they may be but these wineries have an effect on the future of BC wines.

They take the time and commitment to grow different varietals, use experimental methods and take chances in the cellar that few others would or could. When you find one you like it’s best to buy and hold because all productions are small.

 

Our guests are:

Terry Lynn Meyer – Organizer and pouring Anarchist Mountain

One of the smallest wineries with the biggest view.  Anarchist is owned by Andrew Stone and Terry Meyer Stone and sits overlooking Lake Osoyoos on Anarchist Mountain.  At an elevation of 1700 ft, their micro terroir brings cool evening temperatures and some of the longest degree days in the valley to their small case lot production of old vine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

www.anarchistvineyard.com

 

Ted Kane  – River Stone

River Stone is a small, family owned and operated vineyard and winery near Oliver. Winemaker, owner and garagiste Ted Kane started making wine when he was 18. He and his wife Lorraine moved to Oliver to fulfill his long held dream to grow Bordeaux red varietals and one day own their own winery. Check out their two Bordeaux blends: Stones Throw and Corner Stone and for the white lovers don’t miss out on Splash!

www.riverstoneestatewinery.ca

 

Rob Westbury – Winemaker Nagging Doubt

Nagging Doubt is a small artisan winery located in South East Kelowna on a 5.8 acre vineyard. Winemakers Rob Westbury and Mark Simpson create the wines by hand using a combination of modern and centuries old techniques to produce unique small case lot wines. Not to miss is their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and red blend–The Pull.

www.naggingdoubt.com

working the room

working the room

 

 

Gerry Thygesen – Co-Owner and winemaker of Skaha/KrazyLegz

 

Gerry and Sue Thygessen are the Proprietors of a beautiful vineyard above Skaha Lake in Kaleden. Steep slopes of shale and fossilized sandstone with lake influences encourage the vines to concentrate flavours in the ripening fruit resulting in elegant, well-balanced fruit forward wines.  For this pour Gerry is talking about his Skaha Wines.

 www.krazelegz.com

 

Daniel Bontorin – Seven Directions. Rose` Specialist

 

Daniel was the winemaker at Le Vieux Pin before be departed to consult and make his own rose.

With a total case production of 375 cases, this Small Guy virtual winery has a big heart.

There’s no winery to visit, which makes the opportunity to sample in person rare.  Daniel remarks that you can buy his Rose at Volcanic Hills, West Kelowna .  Specializing in single vineyard, single variety Rose wines, Daniel Bontorin and Kritine Witkowski use 100% BC grapes, are 100% VQA and 100% cool.  They  have made  their 2013 Zweigelt Rosé and 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé with two more new roses coming.

www.sevendirectionswine.ca

 

Dylan Roche – co-winemaker/co-owner  Roche

Dylan and Penelope Roche relocated from Bordeaux in 2011. Penelope was Director and Winemaker at her family’s Grand Cru Chateau in Bordeaux before coming to Canada. Dylan studied in Burgundy and apprenticed in Burgundy and New Zealand before Bordeaux and the Okanagan. With this prestigious background they still say farming is their priority, they make the wine from the fruit they farm. They make exceptional Pinot Gris, Rose and Pinot Noir. All I can say is “wow” – Find them. Buy them! Want to taste where Canadian wine may be headed? Start right here!!

www.Rterroir.ca

Roche Wines

Roche Wines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Schlosser – co-owner and winemaker  Niche

 

James Schlosser of Niche Wine Co of West Kelowna poured at the Small Guys Wine Fest. James and Joanna Schlosser call themselves ‘ farmers who love making (and drinking) wine’. They harvest grapes from small batch crops and their wines benefit from gravity, smarts and a few strong hands. They are passionate about Pinot Noir but also big fans of Gewürztraminer, Rose and Marechal Foch.

www.nichewinecompany.com 

 

Alan Dickinson – Winemaker  Synchromesh Wines  

 Synchromesh

A small family run operation in Okanagan Falls focused on terroir driven, world class Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Alan and Amy Dickenson have quickly been carving a name for themselves. They approach their whole business with a holistic philosophy and minimal intervention to produce fabulous wines.

www.synchromeshwines.ca

 

 

www.garagistenorth.com 

 

 

Stories we’re working on:

 

Texas BBQ in Parksville

Salmon Fishing at King Pacific Lodge

Wines paired with Music at Interstellar Rodeo

Ocean wise gathering at The River Cafe in Calgary

The Wine Diva Returns

The Wine Diva at 2015 Vancouver Wine Festival

 

September 26th, 2015 … Top Drop!

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TOP DROP Vancouver..Year 2.

THE SHOW

 

It’s the return of Top Drop Vancouver, a unique, two-day event bringing together international, terroir-focused wineries, craft breweries, cideries, gastronomy & more.

Top Drop 2

Top Drop Vancouver continues its focus on sustainably-farmed, handcrafted wines offering a distinct sense of place, without heavy-handed winemaking trickery to get in the way.

Now in its second year, Top Drop Vancouver is a two day trade and consumer event being held at the Roundhouse in Yaletown and various Vancouver restaurants  bringing together a collection of small, hands on wineries, craft breweries, cideries and food purveyors who are passionate about their craft.

We quote Our Host Kurtis Kolt:   (from his column in the Georgia Straight)
“Our focus is terroir-influenced, handcrafted wines, and the people behind them.

 

Kurtis Kolt

Kurtis Kolt

“We believe in the importance in farming one’s own fruit and/or being constantly engaged with grape-growers to ensure sustainability and a high standard of viticultural practices.

We believe in wines that reflect their vintage, and wines that aren’t suffocated by vinicultural trickery.

We believe in winemaking decisions that are made by a winemaker, and not by a board of directors or marketing team.

We believe in those who take chances.

We believe these kinds of wines, honest wines of integrity, need a time and place to have their story told.
We also believe craft beer, cider, along with authentic and sustainable produce, dairy, meat and seafood are part of the same conversation, which is why we’re proud to showcase some of our best in those areas.”

 

The event took place at the Roundhouse in downtown Vancouver.

In the limited time and resources we had at hand..I was able to talk to and get stories from the following guests:

 

Kurtis Kolt – Organizer,  fearless leader and Wine Expert  http://www.kurtiskolt.com/

Kate Durisek – Co-Owner Howling Moon Cider House   Oliver BC www.howlingmoon.ca

David Lancelot – Wine Buyer Cask and Barrel  Kelowna BC   www.thecaskandbarrel.ca

Shawn Bachynski – Red Truck Beer – Vancouver, B.C.  www.redtruckbeer.com

Mark Davidson – Global Education Director  Wine Australia  www.wineaustralia.com

Tyler Harlton – Owner/Winemaker TH Wines  – Okanagan Valley, B.C.   www.thwines.com

José Lovaglio Balbo    Winemaker   Vaglio Wines – Salta Argentina   http://www.joselovaglio.com/

Anthony Truchard – Truchard Vineyard – Carneros, California  www.truchardvineyards.com

Jean Benoit DesLauriers – Wine Maker Benjamin Bridge   Gaspereau Valley Nova Scotia   https://www.benjaminbridge.com

Shirley Brooks – Elk Cove  Willamette Valley Oregon  www.elkcove.com

Paul  M  Brunner   Owner Blue Grouse Estate Winery  Duncan BC  www.bluegrouse.ca

 

 

http://www.topdropvancouver.com/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Finding a new Vancouver radio Home at Roundhouse Radio

Harry McWatters – What Next?

Garth Eichel  – A new book on the Naramata Bench

Wine Laws in Canada – Mark Hicken (Lawyer)  & Sandra Oldfield  (Tinhorn Creek)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 19th, 2015 – Judgement of BC ! Chef Michael Smith Interview

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The Winner of the Judgement of BC – Reds.   CC Jentsch, Amber Jones and their Syrah

It’s a Sommelier Showdown..with Chef Ned Bell and the Wines of Chile.

The Wines of Chile’s Santa Carolina  Takes a Mulligan

Chef Michael Smith – The Latest Book – Family Meals!!

 

THE SHOW

 Battle of the Sommeliers

 It’s a great line up  in the Vancouver studios of Roundhouse Radio.

Chef Ned Bell from Yew at the Four Seasons.

 

Ned-Bell

Ned-Bell

 

Three of the best Sommeliers in Vancouver all compete to pair Ned’s food with Chile’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Carmenere.

This is a fabulous roundtable discussion about the very subject that most wine fans wants to know about..

Pairing food and wine to make a sensational blend.

 Our Sommeliers are:

First Course – Lisa Haley – Boulevard/Sutton Place Hotel / Chardonnay

Second Course –  Steven Lane – Yew at Four Seasons – Pinot Noir

Third Course – Sean Nelson – Vij’s Vancouver –  Carmenere

 

Sean Nelson  Vij

Sean Nelson Vij’s

Everyone who attended was considered a judge.

Looking for three elements – creativity, flavour harmony and complexity.

The Winner was – Sean Nelson, who wins a trip to Chile.  Congrats!!

If you’re looking for food and wine pairing tips..this is your segment.

www.winesofchile.org

 

CC Jentsch – Syrah wins The Judgment of BC

 

Chris Jentsch

Chris Jentsch

 

 The spelling of Judgement aside..it truly was a momentous event.

Steven Spurrier..from London’s Decanter magazine and the man who set in motion The Judgment of Paris in 1976.

“The shot heard round the World”

That event became the basis of the film Bottle Shock.

Now comes BC’s turn.

12 Chardonnays and 12 Syrah were tasted head-to-head and judged by some of the very best experts available.

6 of those Chards and Syrah were from BC.

The highest ranking BC wine – white or red – was the 2013 Syrah from CC Jentsch Cellars on the Golden Mile south Okanagan.

It beat out syrah from Barossa, France, Santa Barbara, Hunter Valley, Walla Walla.

“For me wine is the three ‘P’s’: the place, the people and the product. British Columbia ticks all these boxes with exuberance, elegance and conviction.” noted Steven Spurrier.

Steven Spurrier & Amber Jones

Steven Spurrier & Amber Jones

 

“It was a courageous tasting. The point was about discovery and learning, not about winning or losing. It’s about pushing ourselves in our wine regions” noted DJ Kearney, curator of the event. “The global benchmark wines were of a very high caliber. It was important to be challenged by high quality international wines, and we were. And we will do it again. We must do it again.”

 

I tracked down co-owner  Chris Jentsch (yench) and his winemaker Amber Jones and we had great fun reliving the event, the results and what it all means for them, the BC wine industry and for us..the consumer.

This just in – the Syrah 13 won a Decanter Gold as well as the North American Regional trophy winner for the Best Red.

 

Keep a close eye on these guys..pssst..they have a wine club..

 

www.ccjentschcellars.com

www.winediva.ca

 

Santa Carolina – Takes  A Mulligan…

 

Santa Carolina in Santiago

Santa Carolina in Santiago

Santa Carolina is an integral part of Chile’s wine history, with a tradition of 140 years. It was established in 1875 by Luis Pereira Cotapos, who named it after his wife Carolina Iñiguez. Today, more than a century later, Santa Carolina is owned by the Larraín family and has become one of the country’s most important and recognized wineries. Among its facilities located in the heart of the city of Santiago, the colonial-style house and underground cellar stand out.  Built by the French architect Emile Doyère using bricks and a mixture of lime and egg whites known as ‘cal y canto’, they were declared a national monument in 1973.

With over 2,000 hectares located in Chile’s main winegrowing valleys, Santa Carolina produces wines of great personality and complexity that seek to achieve the greatest terroir and fruit expression.  Its extensive portfolio offers excellent-quality wines in all price segments.

 Chile-wine-cork

Santa Carolina is one of the national sponsors of the 2015 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open (http://www.cpwomensopen.com/)

The Western leg was held on  August 17-23, 2015 at the prestigious Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam. The tournament attracts the most talented athletes of the LPGA who  compete for the prize purse of $2.25 million USD.

Of course my first question was “what’s a Chilean winery doing on a Canadian women’s golf tour?  And off we went.

Guests are Joaquin Pettinelli (Export manager for Canada, Africa & Middle East) and Paola Korach (marketing manager)

 

Joaquin  Pettinelli  Santa Carolina

Joaquin Pettinelli Santa Carolina

While the golfers golfed we three sat off to the side and tasted our way through a number of Santa Carolina wines.  It was a good day all round.

Santa Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc   $12.29  Leyda Valley – Stainless Steel Tanks

Santa Carolina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon  $12.29  8 months on Oak

Santa Carolina Reserva Pinot Noir  $12.29  6 months on Oak

B Blend  $14.29  Carmenere, Grenache, Merlot  2/3 use barrels. 6-8 months.

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After you taste these wines..you catch yourself re-checking the prices and asking  the same question I asked

Paola Korach  Santa Carolina

Paola Korach Santa Carolina

“How do you make such solid wines for that price?”

 Looking for whites and reds that stand up to tasting expectations and still keep money in your pocket??  Santa Carolina is a great place to start.

 Twitter: @carolinawines, Facebook and Instagram @carolinawines

www.carolinawinebrands.com

 

Chef Michael Smith – Talking about Family meals. The book and the Fact!!

 Chef Michael Smith.  Family Meals

Love this conversation.

Michael talks about his family and how they gather and dine..what it means to them.

And then follows up with yet another book about – Family Meals. 100 easy everyday recipes

It appears to be a tradition that’s being lost by many families too busy to stop and dine together.

My thanks again to Michael Smith. For his smarts and his kindness.

 

Spicy Kale Chips

Country Stew. City Stew

Spaghetti meatballs and Sausage

Meatless Mondays

Sweet Potato Chick pea stew

Chili glazed sweet potatoes

Garden Hodgepodge

A Freezer filled with local Maritime Gins

http://chefmichaelsmith.com/cookbook/family-meals/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 The Biggest story is the fact that Tasting Room Radio has a new home in Vancouver.

Early in October Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM   will launch itself on-air and TRR will re-launch with it Saturday Mornings at 10am Pacific.

 

Top Drop Year Two. Great wines.

Harry McWatters – What is he up to?

Update on Wine Laws with Mark Hicken and Sandra Oldfield (Tinhorn Creek)

NZ in an Hour

Argentina in an Hour

 

Twitter:  @tdmulligan