TOP DROP 2019 / FIRST TIME IN VICTORIA
The press release came in loud and clear.
For the very first time Top Drop was coming to Victoria.
Frankly, that’s all I needed to know.
I’ve been happily covering this small wildly successful wine gathering for
Six Years but Top Drop in Victoria is a whole other event. Why? Because
Victoria is a great wine town.
TOP DROP is Vancouver based so they needed a Victoria Host. Turns out the
Vessel crew have been watching this independent, craft wine festival seed
and grow in Vancouver, and spread to Calgary in 2018. This was their year to
launch it in Victoria for ONE DAY .
Top Drop is an opportunity to celebrate authenticity in farming, terroir
and wine, with winery principals from around the globe.
Mirroring Top Drop Vancouver and Calgary’s flagship experience, the public
event is a walk around, grazing-style tasting where attendees enjoy sips
and stories from the principals of international and local wineries. There
has never before been a wine tasting of this scope and caliber in Victoria.
For me and TRR, the voice and face of Top Drop has always been Kurtis Kolt.
Wine educator and Wine writer for the Georgia Straight.
Because of the foul weather, Kurtis and his partners were delayed in
Vancouver and could not attend while I was there.
Once again Kurtis Kolt and his partner Jeff Curry and a sensational team
have convinced some of the very best winemakers to pour at Top Drop.
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 mold.”
Winemaking Guests in Victoria:
(Check them out – Winners All!!)
Ross Borland Managing Partner/Vessel Liquor Victoria www.vesselliquor.com
Mitch Renaud Asst manager Vessel Liquor Victoria www.vesselliquor.com
Rhys Pender (MW) Little Farm/Similkameen Valley
Angus Thomson Urlar/ Gladstone NZ http://www.urlar.co.nz/
Kelsey Rufiange – Echo Bay/OK Falls www.echobayvineyard.ca
Grant Biggs – Kitsch wines/Kelowna www.kitschwines.ca
Tyler Knight = Lightening Rock/Summerland www.lightningrockwinery.com
Larry Gerelus – Stags Hollow/OK Falls www.stagshollowwinery.com
Michael Shindler – A Sunday in August/Similkameen Valley
Dan Wright – Unsworth/Cowichan Valley www.unsworthvineyards.com
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:
Ann Sperling Making new direction wines at Sperling Vineyards
Tofino Food and Wine
Charles Smith and Rose Gathering/Jet City Seattle
A special feature on “field blends”
Fire Season in The Okanagan
The Wickaninnish Inn opens a spectacular cellar
Tofino mid-week experience. Chefs and more chefs
BC Shellfish Festival / Courtenay-Comox
Cowichan Valley Wine Festival