John Weber

October 3rd, 2020-Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8

hello

Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8

(A Chef, Winemaker,  Master of Wine and me)

 

THE SHOW

For 8  years now, Master of Wine Rhys Pender, Winemaker/Owner at Orofino John Weber,  Award winning  Chef at Waterfront Bistro Kelowna Mark Filatow and yours truly have gathered once a year to reconnect through fishing. On oceans, lakes, streams, rivers and sharing campfires, food, wines and stories.

 

2020 has been such a crazy mess on so many levels,  that getting away – just for two days – was so the right thing to do.

It was Mark who suggested drift fishing the Kettle River, one large valley East of the Okanagan. There’s no pristine chain of blue lakes down this valley but the river is gorgeous and home to beautiful trout.

Day one we drifted the Kettle River. Fished the rapids and pools for about 5-6 hours..had a spectacular dinner thanks to Mark. It featured the annual Tomahawk Chops cooked on an open fire (this year the fire was a charcoal fueled Weber BBQ)

Dinner cooked all on the charcoal fueled Weber. Dry Aged Beef Tomahawk Steaks.Organic Corn.

Potatoes and Chive sour cream. Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Homemade BBQ Sauce

The wines we poured were like a liquid gift… better and better.

I headed for bed while the other three played campfire dj. I happily slept through the noise.

I put on a master class in campfire coffee- for an audience of one. Me!

When the guys woke up Mark put on his usual healing breakfast – Kale eggs with Rhys’s great bread (photos included) and then off we went.

Day two, we drove Highway 33 East and identified 3 dark pools that looked promising and accessible. So, instead of drifting, we spent the day fishing those pools and walking the river.

Mark had two great fishing days, so did John. Rhys had his moments and I came up completely skunked. But I still spent two days with these friends, on a river and shared fishing, food and fluids.

It’s hard to put into words how wonderful it all felt.

The last dinner was spring salmon I had caught in Ucluelet and we BBQ’d on the fire with a wild variety of wines for pairing.

Dinner

Terry’s salmon with the potato, corn, shishitos and vegetable succotash

Wines in no particular order

Mark

Burge Family Barossa Valley Olive Hill Vineyard Semillon 2006

Clai, Ottocento 2014, Istria Croatia

Jean Bourdy, Cotes du Jura Blanc 2008

Eric Texier, St. Julien St. Alban, 2014, Rhône, France

Stephenson Cellars, Syrah 2008, Columbia Valley, Washington

 

John

 From Orofino:

Gamay bubble 2019

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 21B 2018

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 239 2018

Gamay 2019

Plus..

Pozza Vineyard cab franc rosé 2019

SA Natte Valley Cinsault 2017

Domaine de Pothiers “Reference” Loire Gamay

 

Rhys

Pesquera Ribera del Duero 2011,

St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling 2011

 

Terry

Mission Hill  2007 Point Noir

Desert Hills 2006 Mirage

Inniskillin Dark Horse 1996 Riesling Ice Wine

 

We talked of Covid19, the state of wineries and restaurants this year and what 2021 may bring, wines we brought, about each of their careers and of course,  fishing.

www.orofinovineyards.com

www.Waterfrontrestaurant.ca

www.littlefarmwinery.ca

 

Next year?  Let’s just say “It’s under discussion.”

Thank you gentlemen..it was an honour and a dream.

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Angus An – Maenam Cookbook

Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Vanessa

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Dining at Row 14 in Cawston

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine

Tightrope

Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 19th, 2019 – Fishing. Food. Friends. Fluids  The Four F’s Year Seven

hello

Fishing. Food. Friends. Fluids  The Four F’s Year Seven

 The SHOW

 For 7 years I have had the pleasure of gathering once a year with 3 food and wine friends to fish, eat a great meal and pour tastes of interesting wines.
What’s not to like about that.

Along for the fun again are:

John Weber – Our host this year as we all gathered at John’s Orofino Winery in the Similkameen Valley in the South Okanagan. John’s wife Virginia was kind enough to let us stay overnight in her outstanding  Orofino Winery Suites, right beside the crush pad.

beautiful suites at Orofino!

 

John is the real true fisherman here. He arranged a pontoon boat drift down a stretch of the Similkameen River, from just outside Hedley and almost to Keremeos.  6 hours in total.

John Weber

Our second day was spent just outside Cawston on a farming lake that can be seen from the highway. Its stocked,  locked and loaded.

Executive Chef Mark Filatow from  came along again with his spinning rod..the one with no tip.

Didn’t stop him in the least.  Caught more fish than me, that’s for sure.

TDM and fish!

Mark also prepared a sensational breakfast and a dinner that I’m still telling people about.

Oh, and then he created pizza’s from all the leftovers. Pies that could win awards.

Mark Filatow

It’s the kind of cooking you come to expect from his Waterfront Bistro and his Catering café in Kelowna.

One other thing, because he’s a certified Somm, his wine choices for all of us are  from all over the Planet!

And finally Rhys Pender – Master of Wine and co-partner in Cawston’s Little Farm Winery, just around the corner from Orofino.

Rhys Pender

In the two days that we’re together it’s Rhys that starts most group laughs. Plus he  comments about the wines we’ve brought to no one one in particular..I think he just shouts out tasting comments to the ceiling.

 

Occasionally I feel like I’m in one of his Wine Plus Classes.

Enjoy the food, the wines, the fishing and what friends do when they gather.

The Four F’s Gang

(all fish were catch and release.)

Just a heads up – to all those many people who drive through Keremeos ,  Cawston and The Similkameen Valley on their way to “wine country”,   STOP and check out The Similkameen, Its where many of the other wineries wish they had vineyards. This IS wine country!!

And the fishing is outstanding!!

 

Special thanks to:

Virginia Weber

Similkameen Ernie

Row 14 Restaurant

www.similkameenvalley.com

www.orofinovineyards.com

www.littlefarmwinery.ca

www.waterfrontrestaurant.ca

www.waterfrontcafe.ca

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Lft Governors Awards

Harvest 2019

June 27th 2015- Four guys fishing!

hello

Tasting Room Radio B_BANNER2

Four guys..doing our 5th annual fishing trip!!!

Friends. Food, Fluids and  Fishing…

At the 7 ½ Diamond Ranch. North of Princeton BC  


 

THE SHOW

 

Rhys. John and tdm

Rhys. John and tdm

 

Its a pretty basic show this week.. get together with my wine pals..always include a chef..and FISH YER BRAINS OUT!! 

We return to the site of last year’s 4F..The fabulous 7 ½ Diamond Ranch North of Princeton BC.   www.guestranchbc.com 

(do yourself a favour – and watch the short video. Be prepared to be wowed!)

Last year the  new bunkhouse wasn’t  quite ready, so we used that as a lame excuse to return –“ for the full experience.”

Yes, they have their own private lake..stocked with trophy  Kamloops trout, which can only be caught and released with barbless hooks.

Electric motors make sure the water quality is preserved.

It’s a small lake so you can stay in touch with those around you..watch the eagles do their foraging..ducks and their families, horses in the corrals and around the Ranch.

The Lake

The Lake

And we finally got to stay in the new bunkhouse..which is fact is a tricked out ocean going container..now covered inside and out in barn wood and really fine kitchens, stacked beds..with – wait for it – Flannel Sheets.

During the Summer  even though its hot during the day..at night it gets down to 10 degrees.

Showers and a really nice BIG front porch for just sitting and remembering the day.


 

Our guests are:

Justin O’Connor.

Our host and the son of owners Jim and Heather O’Connor!!

Justin is also the Vice President of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association in the Okanagan.   Justin  and his spouse and partner Christy Hughes also publish the award-winning Okanagan HOME Magazine.

He also represents Sotheby’s in the Okanagan

It was Justin who liked the idea of Tasting Room Radio spending a couple of days soaking up  ranch life , the fishing, the food and the wines.

Executive Chef Jeff van Geest –  Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek  The  Golden Mile – South of Oliver BC

the singing chef

the singing chef

 

Chef Jeff Van Geest is one of British Columbia’s most celebrated chefs, focusing on locally procured foods from sustainable producer partners.

Jeff was born in St. Catharines, the heart of the Niagara region. His grandparents were farmers and taught him to respect what farm-fresh meant – which might explain Jeff’s desire to have a small garden on site at Miradoro, even if he doesn’t have time to tend it every day.

With his culinary training at the Vancouver Community College, Jeff landed an apprenticeship at Bishop’s restaurant in Vancouver – one of the earliest pioneers in sustainable cuisine. He worked his way through the ranks to Sous Chef before leaving to start his own restaurant: the Aurora Bistro. Highlighting field-to-table and honouring the farmer/chef relationship earned Jeff a reputation in the restaurant industry as someone who walked (or cooked) the talk.

After closing Aurora, Jeff accepted a position of Executive Sous Chef at Diva at the Met – another name on the who’s who list of British Columbia restaurants. Yet at every move in the culinary chain, thoughts of Jeff’s grandparent farmers stayed on his mind and the allure of rural living grew stronger. When Miradoro called in 2010, Jeff answered by moving his family to the Okanagan and the heart of British Columbia’s agricultural country.

Jeff cooked two great meals with meats supplied by Jason Pleym at Two Rivers Specialty Meats I North Vancouver.  Two Rivers is the go-to meat source in Western Canada.

Dinner

Dinner

Jason also included lots of their handmade specialty sausages, which were truly appreciated at breakfast, out on the water and as an appetizer for dinner.

Jeff is in the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.  Plus, he’s an OK fisherman.  Not Hall of Fame material but maybe someday!!

www.tworiversmeats.com

www.tinhorn.com

 

John Weber – co-owner and winemaker at Orofino.  Similkameen Valley

 JOHN AND VIRGINIA WEBER both grew up in Southern Saskatchewan far away from anything to do with grapes and the wine industry. The closest they ever got to wine production was the jugs of chokecherry wine John’s parents made in their basement. Virginia studied nursing and became a registered nurse and John received a Bachelor of Arts in English and then went on to finish an Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

The Orofino winery, Canada’s only straw bale winery was constructed in 2004/2005. The eco friendly design consists of two buildings adjoined by a breezeway.

Showtime

 

Six Similkameen vineyards currently supply Orofino, which made 5,200 cases in 2012. The winery’s own 5.5-acre vineyard includes blocks of five varietals planted in 1989, along with replacement blocks planted at various times since 1999. The latest addition, in 2010, was 0.6 acre of Petit Verdot.

John and Virginia are making exceptional wines in the Similkameen outside of Cawston, including Four Rieslings.

Love these guys!!

http://johnschreiner.blogspot.ca/2013/08/orofino-raises-profile-of-single.html

http://www.orofinovineyards.com/

 Rhys Pender – Master of Wine. Co-Owner and winemaker at Little Farm. Cawston!!

John’s next door neighbour. Fishing partner  and wine fan.

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

Rhys and Alishan moved to the Okanagan in 1999 to pursue the food and wine culture. 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 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.

Rhys

Rhys

 

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.

 

Rhys looks after the vineyard, farming it organically and sustainably, to produce intensely flavoured grapes from the calcium carbonate rich soils. Having studied the world of wine he brings a global perspective to the project and an understanding of the world’s wine regions and wine styles. He continues to run his Wine Plus+ business including a wine school, consultancy, writing for a number of publications and judging wine competitions around the world.

There is no category for master of fishing.

Little Farm Winery is the small hands-on operation of Rhys Pender MW and Alishan Driediger. It started with a passion for wine and developed into growing and producing Chardonnay and Riesling from their Mulberry Tree Vineyard at their home in Cawston, BC in the beautiful Similkameen Valley. The goal was always to make wines with minimal manipulation and intervention that really captured the vineyard site and the growing season. The vines were planted in 2009 on the calcium carbonate rich soil and braving the unforgiving Similkameen sun and wind. The first wines were made in 2011. In 2012 a dry Rosé was added to the lineup. Little Farm Winery will never be big and will always focus on making small batches of single-vineyard wine that reflect each site’s unique characteristics. The goal is to make interesting, character natural wines and look after their  little farm.

http://littlefarmwinery.ca/

www.wineplus.ca

Kamloops Wine Trail – Opens this weekend

Officially opening today, the Kamloops Wine Trail showcases BC’s newest wine experience with four unique and diverse wineries pioneering a new wine region in the Kamloops Thompson Valley area of British Columbia. Situated along the picturesque banks of the North and South Thompson Rivers, the Kamloops Wine Trail connects Harper’s Trail, Monte Creek Ranch, Privato, and Sagewood wineries.

On Saturday, June 27th, from 11:00am to 5:00pm, the Kamloops Wine Trail will celebrate our launch with an open house at each of the wineries. Complimentary wine tastings, tours, wine inspired appetizers, music and more will be offered! More information on the Kamloops wine Trail and the open house can be found at www.kamloopswinetrail.com

… our guests are:

Debbie Woodward at Privado     http://www.privato.ca

Vicki Collette at Harper’s Trail  www.harperstrail.com

 


 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

  • Garagiste NorthGARAGISTE – (gar-uh-jist-uh) noun, Fr. : The garagiste originally refers to a group of winemakers in the Bordeaux region of France, producing “vins de garage” or “garage wine”. They were renegade small-lot winemakers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow industry laws and protocol. synonyms: Rebels, pioneers, renegades, individualists, mavericks, driven by passion.
  • The small guys wine festival!! 
  • The Similkameen wineries pour in Vancouver
  • The Wine Diva Returns 
  • Kilikanoon Wines – Clare Valley Australia