November 25th, 2023-Meet the Makers…


Meet the Makers / Winemakers from Culmina & Laughing Stock


It was just another Friday morning when the happy invitation came in from the delightful  Lindsay Kelm.

Come celebrate the harvest season with Culmina Family Estate and Laughing Stock Vineyards.


Join Winemakers Jean-Marc Enixon and Sandy Leier for an elegant afternoon sampling their latest releases and chatting about the 2022 harvest. We also have a couple of special sneak peeks in store, including the unreleased 2020 vintage of Laughing Stock’s signature Portfolio, and 2017 vintage of Culmina’s flagship Bordeaux blend, Hypothesis


Sandy Leier–Winemaker Laughing Stock (Naramata)

Here’s what I knew. I hadn’t spoken to Sandy Leier for years. At the time she was working with the legend Howard Soon at Sandhill and Calona. In 2018, after 15 years as a great team,  she took over from the departing  Howard.  Then a series of projects with Andrew Peller, Gray Monk and Gretzky Wines.

Then, this year, a major move to Senior Winemaker at Laughing Stock on the Naramata Bench.  It’s the home of seriously great wines including a Syrah that makes hearts flutter and their red blend Portfolio.  Sandy brings six wines to taste and discover.

(List below)


(tdm and Sandy Leier)

Jean-Marc Enixon – Culmina Winemaker – (Oliver)

(tdm and Jean-Marc)


Jean-Marc Enixon’s wine career took flight in Toulouse, France. JM gained international experience in Sonoma County, China, then  back to France at Chateau Puy Guilhem in  Saillans as senior winemaking director.

At the suggestion of his wife saying something to the effect of   “how about making some new world wine”

Jean-Marc joined the Culmina Team  as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker in 2016.  Today he pours 7 wines.

As good as he is, perhaps his greatest accomplishment is welcoming two new children to the family while in the Okanagan.

“they’re taking French and I’m taking English”

 Sandy, Jean-Marc and I  tasted and talked about 

Laughing Stock Vineyards.

2021 Viognier

2020 Chardonnay

2020 Pinot Noir

2019 Syrah (new release)

2019 Portofino (new release)

2020 Portofino (unreleased)


Culmina Family Estate Winery

2019 Decora

2021 Unicus

2018 Dilemma

2019 Malbec

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Hypothesis

2017 Hypothesis (unreleased)



Township 7 new releases

Fort Berens  new releases

Hester Creek new releases

Sipster Two.


November18th, 2023- Swirl Two, at Sutton Place Hotel


Tasting Room Radio Presents; Swirl Two 

(BC Winemakers & Principals. Pouring & telling tales)





We return to Sutton Place Hotel on Burrard in downtown Vancouver.

Wine BC was hosting their 2023 Swirl trade tasting.

Over 65 BC wineries,  proudly pouring and talking about their new wines available for the Holiday Season and beyond.

Almost all  had sent their winemaker or leadership principal.

We thank  Pacific Coastal for flying us from Victoria into Vancouver and back. Interestingly, they’ve just launched flights from Nanaimo to Vancouver and Nanaimo to Kelowna.

The Okanagan is within easy reach and they to the wineries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.


All our guests are winery and community leaders. Honouring the land and its future.  Their wines reflect their talent and commitment.

Because it’s such an  important message, we close with a replay of Lindsay Kelm’s interview that started Swirl off.

Over the past two weeks every one of these guests has asked wine fans to step forward and support the wineries, restaurants and accommodations they offer.

Its been a very tough year for many. Vineyards lost to a big freeze, Summer fires, smoke and road closures.

They need our help to survive this hard road.

Buy BC, order BC wine when dining out, join an wine club, gift BC wine over the Holidays. Visit your favourite wineries.


Check out the  Guest List:

Christine Coletta (Summerland) – Founder.   Garnett Valley Ranch, Free Form, Haywire, Narrative, Okanagan Crush Pad.

Christine Coletta

Charlie Baessler (Similkameen)  – Managing Partner, Viticulturalist & GM. Corcelettes Estate Winery

Charlie Baessler

Leslie D’Andrea and Benoit Gauthier (OK Falls) – Co-Owner and CEO/Director of Winemaking/Viticulture Noble Ridge

Wilbert Borren (Naramata Bench) – Winemaker & Co-owner  Four Shadows Vineyard and Winery

Christa-Lee McWatters  (Okanagan) – GM Time Family of Wines. Chronos, McWatters, evolve, OROLO.

Bailey Williamson – (Cowichan Valley) Winemaker  Blue Grouse Estate Winery.

Bailey Williamson

Bailey Williamson

Ben Woodward (Kamloops Wine Trail)  GM  Privato Vineyard and Winery

Lindsay Kelm  (Kelowna)  Acting Communications Director.  Wine Growers British Columbia




Hester Creek – New Releases

Fort Berens – New Releases

Township 7  – New Releases



November 11th, SWIRL 2023: Over 60 BC wineries pouring in one place


SWIRL 2023:  Over 60 BC wineries pouring in one place.


There was NO WAY I was going to get to talk to 65 wineries in 3 hours.

First, you had to work your way to the front of the tasting line and ask the winemaker to stop pouring and talk to me instead.

Second, each interview would be 45 seconds.

Not going to happen.

So, this is the first of  25 interviews I did on Monday, Nov 6 at Sutton Place right in downtown Vancouver.

I jumped on a Pacific Coastal Beechcraft at Victoria Airport and landed at YVR’s South Terminal 20 minutes later.  Pacific Coastal is the title sponsor of these shows.

( Pacific Coastal now fly from Kelowna  to Nanaimo and Nanaimo to Kelowna)

Pacific Coastal Airlines - Wikipedia

Straight downtown in time for the 1 pm kickoff.

The buzz was electric. We haven’t gathered like this in quite a while.

The wineries all pouring their best for the wine trade. A lot of note-taking from the invited. So much has happened in the past 2 years.

Some good and some bad.

Good (better and better wines)

Bad (Fire, smoke, reduced crops, travel ban, December freeze)


Here’s the guest line-up this week:

Lindsay Kelm – Acting Communications Director Wine Growers BC

DJ Kearney – Senior Wine Educator – Wine Director Terminal City Club

DJ Kearney

Ross Wise – Master of Wine/Winemaker Black Hills (South Okanagan)

Chris Tolley – Co-owner Moon Curser  (Osoyoos)

Cheis Tolley

Ryan DeWhite – Rust Wine Co (Golden Mile)

Steven Lane –    Sales and Marketing Mt Boucherie (Westside Wine Trail)

Lindsay O’Rourke – Co-owner/ Winemaker Tightrope Winery  (Naramata Bench)

Lindsay O’Rourke Tightrope Winery

David Patterson – GM and Winemaker Tantalus (SE Kelowna)

Brent Gushawaty – BC Pinot specialist

Kathy Malone – GM/Winemaker Hillside Winery

Kathy Malone Hillside

Chris Turyk – Unsworth Vineyards (Cowichan Valley)

Chris Turyk – Unsworth

  • @djwines


Swirl Part Two

Swirl Part Three

November 4th, 2023- Sons of Vancouver Whisky and Tomato Wheels Lambrusco


Updates on Sons of Vancouver Whisky and Tomato Wheels Lambrusco


Today’s Podcast is Sponsored by:

Welcome to Tasting Room Radio

James Lester – Co-Founder of Sons of Vancouver Distilling

We thought it was time to revisit two stories that caught our attention. Both are small companies that can get lost in all the posing and shouting of the sales business.  These are clever, talented and passionate friends who banded together to make their dreams come true.


Starting with Sons of Vancouver Distilling.  We first did a feature on SOV in March when they shocked the Canadian Whisky Awards by being the first craft distillery to win the 2023 Canadian Whisky of the Year in Victoria.

They lead with big flavours, high-rye expressions and prefer to bottle their whiskies at barrel-proof.

They release whisky in really really small batch quantity, 2-3 times a year!

Their labels give you an idea of how much fun they’re having….


  • Summer road trip across the Midwest
  • Marshmallows over a campfire
  • Cigarettes on a leather jacket
  • And the trophy winner  –  palm trees and a tropical breeze!

Core Products are:

  • No. 82 Amaretto
  • Chill Vodka
  • Junicopia Gin
  • Quadruple Sec
  • Vodka Vodka Vodka
  • Barrel-aged Amaretto
  • And others.

Our guest is the completely engaged and charming co-founder James Lester. We found him in an airport boarding lounge on his way to pour at the  Prince George market.

He had sent me a taste of their latest and sold-out whisky Desert Grass and Blue Agave

The back label starts with the line:

“The whisky you want your good friends to drink when you’re dead.”

this whisky will make you feel like you’re sipping a glass in a Mexican cantina.


100% rye aged in ex-bourbon barrels,  then finished in 3 separate mezcal barrels  A truly unique expression of rye that might just have you reaching for a slice of lime.

“It’s joyously good”  tdm

Moirae Choquette – Founder of Tomato Wheels

Moirae Choquette.

This original story was also in March of 2023.

It was a feature on outstanding Calgary sommelier Brad Royale and his company Kitten Swish.

Brad mentioned a Tomato Wheels Lambrusco that he had been involved in.

The founder of TW is Moirae Choquette whose specialty was highly creative marketing and communications concepts.

Moirae discovered Lambrusco and immediately started doing research on this sparkling red wine. The first thing she found was – you couldn’t find it.

A large gap in the various markets she was planning on.

She got a hold of Brad and asked him to advise on where she could find top Lambrusco growers in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

Moirae is now working with a fourth-generation family-owned and operated vineyard in the Lambrusco pocket of Italy. They’ve been making Lambrusco since 1925

They are growing and creating an exclusive Lambrusco for her Tomato Wheels label.

Yes, it is worth all the work and time and $.  It’s a glorious adventure to taste this wine and immediately figure out what to pair with it.

I found Moirae in an airport in México. She’s planning to launch her Lambrusco in Mexico soon. She says – her favourite pairing is Mexican food. I say red sauce pasta.

Both winners because you follow with outstanding wine.

Lambrusco is highly recommended by the team at Tasting Room Radio.  Tomato Wheels is perfect for sharing and discovery over a meal. Italy in a glass.




Swirl BC – huge wine pour in Vancouver.

From Wine BC  





October 28th, 2023- Seven Wine Stars – Why it’s time to Buy B.C. We can ALL help!


Seven Wine Stars – Why it’s time to Buy BC. We can ALL help!




Christine Coletta – Co-founder  Haywire Wines (Summerland)

Grant Stanley – Winemaker and GM of Spearhead  – (East Kelowna) 2022 Best Small Winery in Canada.

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine and co-founder Little Farm Wines (Similkameen)

Kimberly Hundertmark – Executive Director Okanagan Wine Festivals (Fall Fest starts today)

Sandra Oldfield – Partner Elysian Projects and Organizer of  Fortify Conference in Penticton Nov 15

Tim Pawsey – Writer and Wine Judge (Hired Belly)

Leslie D’Andrea – Co-founder and CEO Noble Ridge Winery (OK Falls)


If ever the BC Wine industry could use your support, it’s right now .

Discover the Wines, Wineries and Vineyards of British Columbia | Wine BC

Farming and making wine is a long hard road during the growing season. However,  the past farming year was hit with

wild fires, smoke, a December freeze that killed many vines and the MacDougall Creek Fire, one of the largest and most vicious fires overlooking West Kelowna.

Then, at the height of the fires,  the BC government shut down the highways into the Okanagan.  Wine fans and tourists were asked to stay home.

They did stay home and when the roads opened again they either stayed home or went elsewhere.

The wineries, restaurants and accommodation business in the Okanagan lost weeks of prime time sales.

The lost revenue and the reduced fruit crop has put a hurt on many small wineries. Some will be lost. Many are holding on hoping for a better year ahead.


 Have a listen to these BC Wine leaders.  Lots of suggestions and much wise advice.

From buying BC wines for the near future and ordering a BC wine when dining.

Join a wine club. Shop on line. Gift your friends. Rethink new plantings!

Also the Fall Wine festival is on in the Okanagan.  Now’s the perfect time to visit.  Kimberly Hundertmark Executive Director gives us a primer on the events.




Tomato Wheels Lambrusco

Sons of Vancouver –  Desert Grass and Blue Agave Whisky (Tequila Cask)

Swirl Around BC – Over 60 wineries from all over the province.






October 21st, 2023  “Fall for BC Wines”


Wine Growers British Columbia  have a  new urgent initiative called “Fall for BC Wines” and they would love food and wine fan support.

As you all know , it’s a challenging time for wineries in BC  — they’ve had to be extremely resilient and adaptable over the past few years.  Fires, Covid, smoke, drought, cold winter conditions, climate change. The amount of grapes coming off the vineyards has dropped radically.

Here’s what can’t drop – wine fan support. Pick your favourite wineries and join the wine club, buy their latest reds and whites, visit the winery and take home your Winter wine. Share with your friends and neighbours and get them involved. When dining out, buy BC from the wine lists.

There are endless reasons to fall in love with BC during the harvest season. From the bounty of this beautiful place we get to call home to the growers and winemakers working against the elements to create magic in a glass –we raise a glass to all that makes BC wine so special. The Okanagan Wine Festival starts October 27


Now more than ever before, it is important to buy local and support local growers and producers right in your backyard. Whether visiting the winery directly, joining a wine club, or picking up a bottle of BC VQA wine at your favourite wine store, there are endless ways to show your support for BC wine this harvest season.


Explore the wine adventures and activities below to uncover concerts, outdoor movie nights, passport experiences and other enjoyable BC wine events.


Know a BC Community Hero? Nominate them here for their chance to win a VIP Trip for two to BC Wine Country.


Guests this week include:

 John Skinner – Co-founder and wine leader at Painted Rock (OK Falls)

John Skinner

One of the true leaders in BC Wine.  Whenever John pours, he tells the story behind his award wining wine.  Then he does a great sell job on BC Wine.

From Painted Rocks lofty position in Okanagan Falls,  overlooking the valley from Penticton to the hills around Oliver, they can see many of the wineries needing an influx of fans and funds.

Ned Bell – Star Chef  (Naramata Inn)  Spokesperson for Buy BC

@Ned Bell

Ned Bell was born in Penticton. Even though he became a very successful chef, Ned always supported buying local. I keep waiting for someone to create a poster with a photo of Ned saying Local Hero

Ned Bell

He invites everyone back to the Naramata Bench.

When I started thinking about the whole of the BC Wine industry  I caught myself saying “ it’s not just about the wineries, its about the food and restaurant business that they partner with. Many of them are  farmers as well. Then, the thought about accommodations became clear.

When the BC Government shut down the highways to the Okanagan, at the very height of tourist season, they all suffered. Weeks later, when the road ban was lifted, most of the tourists had made other plans. The cash flow that normally would sustain them all through the Winter simply went away.

They need our help and support.  Right now.


If you’re going to buy wine, buy BC, if you gift,  gift BC Wine. Join a wine club, order on-line.   Travel to BC Wine Country and spend a weekend with them.

You will be welcomed with open arms and much appreciation!

Next guest is a great friend John Weber

John Weberco-founder and winemaking leader at Orofino (Similkameen Valley)

John reports fire and smoke this Summer. However, even when they were nowhere near the McDougall Creek Fire, when they closed the Okanagan Valley they closed the highway through Manning Park and the Similkameen as well.

Made a sketchy growing year even sketchier. John had opinions and suggestions for his fellow farmers and asks of the wine buying public.

If anyone can speak about the hardships of farming  its John Weber.

John Weber


Our last guest is Joanna Schlosser – Co-founder and CEO of Niche Wine Company!

Along with her winemaking husband James and son Hugh, they run a very small but much loved winery. Not just in West Kelowna,  where the big fires were. They are actually in McDougall Creek. That was the name given the fire. They were right next door.

Joanna, James and Hugh

Niche winery was evacuated and the fire burned on. It took out some of the vines but also burned down their machine shed AND the fencing.

In the days that it took to put out the fire and  get to go back to the winery, the local bears and deer ate their entire crop of grapes.

The winery was still standing thanks to the first responders and firefighters. We thank them for their commitment.

Remarkably Joanna brings with her the wines ready for the market from Niche. As creative director , Joanna is the designer of the very cool labels  and bottle neck tags.

The farm shop is closed but the on line desk is open. They’re the first to offer growler refills in the cellar.

Niche Wine Co

2021 Near and Far Pinot Noir –  made from estate fruit in West Kelowna and a vineyard in South East Kelowna. A blend of near and far. A beaut!!!

2021  Wild and Free Pinot Noir – Pinot grapes left to press themselves just with the weight of the fruit.  Free Run juice with wild ferment.


2022 Small Batch White  – Riesling and Gewürztraminer.  Hand picked and basket pressed.

(Seafood. Salad)




Fall into BC Wine

Sandra Oldfield

Christine Coletta

Grant Stanley

Leslie D’Andrea









October 14th, 2023 Pinot Heaven in  Garnet Valley and a wild 16 varietal Field Blend from Niagara.


Pinot Heaven in  Garnet Valley and a wild 16 varietal Field Blend from Niagara.



 Allison Moyes – Winemaker and GM Solvero

Alison Moyes

Matt Sartor  – President and Vineyard Manager Solvero

Jon Adrian. Architectural, winery and lifestyle photographer. Okanagan Photographer / Solvero Wines

Solvero is the Latin Translation for “Truth in Soil”

I think Matt put it best – First they wanted to grow and create a world class Pinot Noir. Then they went looking for exactly the right piece of the Okanagan that would support and nurture the 7 premium clones they planned to grow.

The Garnet Valley above Summerland was the place.

7 Pinot Clones planted in 2016  were selected for compatibility with this narrow valley, rocky soils and extreme elevation.

In 2017 they also planted 2 clones of Chardonnay

They are dedicated to the commitment to “la lute raisonee” meaning the reasoned struggle.

Almost a decade in development, they opened their winery doors this Spring.

Highly suggest you keep an eye on their releases. They’ll become collector items and much sought after.


Here are the wines tasted and talked about

2022 Pinot Gris – notes on honey peach and citrus. A nice complex texture..not usually found in PG. 50%Neutral French Oak/50% Stainless Steel.

2022 Rose – 100% Pinot Noir fruit. Dry, delicate, strawberry, raspberry. Floral finish. Flat out yummy.

2020 Pinot Noir – Ripe Cherry, floral notes. Very earthy. Nice minerality. 33% New French Oak. A full year in barrel. Such promise here. Wow. 450 cases.

2021 Chardonnay – complex citrus notes show themselves immediately. 15% New French Oak and 12 months in barrel give this winner a beautiful mouthfeel and vanilla on the palate. Only 50 cases.

Dean Stoyka–Winemaker Stratus Wines (Niagara-on-the- Lake)


This story started with a posting by Jamie Drummond in Good Food Revolution Sept 8.

He was raving about a 16 variety “Field Blend” Ancestral Rose from Stratus.

Jamie followed with naming all 16 varietals.

Cab Franc/Cab Sauv/Chard/Gamay/Gew/Malbec/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Riesling/Sauv Blanc/Semillon/Syrah/Tannat/Tempranillo/Viognier/Sangiovese.

This field blend I had to know about.

I tasted it along with a 2021 Gamay and a 2021 Chardonnay.

Loved the Gamay – Much Impressed with the Chardonnay but the ancestral Rose was one of the best tastings in recent memory and that’s a lot of tasting.

Its part of Stratus’ Trials Series.

The ancestral  method brings with it “the fizz”. Beyond the bubble there lies a complex, wild and totally pleasing blend. Watch for it, wait for it, then pounce..wallet in hand.


Planted together, grown together, harvested and crushed together.

The concept has the ability to fail at every turn BUT this is a wine that will become legendary. If only they can make more – much more.


Loved this interview with the man who made dreamt and made it – Dean Stoyka.

Dean Stoyka

 Thank you Jamie.



OK Wine festivals

Niche –   Small Batch. Big Love

Fall for BC Wines

Swirl around BC



October 7th, 2023- Barnyard Natural Wine Fest Part 2 & Natural Winemaker Ann Sperling


Barnyard Natural Wine Fest Part 2 & Natural Winemaker Ann Sperling



 Last week we happily presented a feature story on the first Barnyard Natural Wine Festival in BC.

As promised here’s the rest of the featured interviews.

Matt Cooke

We decided to start with a shortened version of the interview with Matt Cooke.

matt cooke

Matt conceived and organized  the Festival at his home base of Save-On Arena in Victoria.  Matt has a history of supporting natural winemaking through various restaurants  where he’s lead the wine program.

The Rogue Kitchen and Wet bar in Vancouver, Tableau Bistro, Homer St Café,
Ancora and finally  the wonderful OLO restaurant in Victoria. He featured natural wines all the way.

Completing the natural story are:

 Murray Fontaine and Aaron Goddard from the much admired Scout Vineyard (Similkameen)

Kesley Rufiage   – Winemaker  Else Wines,  Echo Bay and jocko (OK Falls)

Alex ThornleyThorn and Burrow  (Various Locations)

Annelise SimonsenCreek and Gully (Naramata Bench)



Ann Sperling – Winemaker and family member Sperling Vineyards  (East Kelowna)

Ann Sperling

Certified organic in 2017, Ann is the fourth generation of Sperlings tending the vineyards on the East Benches of Kelowna.

Ann created:

Natural organic Amber Pinot Gris

Organic Heritage Rose

Organic Pinot Blanc

Organic Vision Pinot Noir Reserve

Vision Series Brut Natural

Organic Old Vines Foch




Fall for BC Wines

Solvero (Garnett Valley)

Stratus – Niagara on the Lake








September30th, 2023 BARNYARD  (Part One)  –  BC’s First Natural Wine Festival (Victoria)


BARNYARD  (Part One)  –  BC’s First Natural Wine Festival (Victoria)



“Wine unplugged. It’s the unfiltered, untamed, unphotoshopped version of what we know wine to be. Hand picked, no additives, little or no sulphites.

It flies against the status quo. Challenges what people think is good wine”

Madeline Puckette /Wine Folly


This first natural wine festival was organized by Matt Cooke .

In 2016 Matt moved to Victoria and joined the management team at OLO Restaurant, where he quickly took over the bar, and then wine programs. The food at OLO screamed natural – which inspired him to create a largely natural wine list, which over his nearly 5 years there, grew to become arguably the most natural list in Victoria.

Matt’s passion was really in finding new and exciting wines/regions/varietals to pair up with the food and encourage OLO guests to try. Then in fall 2021 he became the Food & Beverage General Manager at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

It was a major career shift, from a 40 seat farm-to-table high end restaurant, to a 7000 person arena, but loved it. Over the course of two hockey seasons now, Matt has become confident in his role – but missed the aspect of educating people on wine, and  missed his connection to the wine world. Which is where the idea for Barnyard came from.


In Fall of 2022 Matt started reaching out to his contacts from his  buying days at OLO, and suggested this gathering. The response was immediate and highly supportive.

Matt Cooke

For BARNYARD they had 35 wineries/agencies attending, including 18 BC wineries and 1 Ontario winery – all with principals, and 16 import agencies. The import agencies presented  a range of products from their portfolio, which allowed the festival  to showcase wines from 17 other countries.


The full list of wineries and agencies is up on their website:


The guest line up for Part One:


Matt Cooke – Founder of Barnyard <>


Rajen Toor –  Winemaker Ursa Major (Black Sage Road) <>


Mathew Vasilev – Co-founder/cidermaker Twin Island Cider (Pender Islands) <>


Jay Drysdale – Bella Vineyards (Naramata Bench)

Bella- Jay Drysdale & Wendy Rose

Louise Fedyk – Massey Wines (Pouring Eastern European Wines) <>


David Eiberg – Therianthropy (Ontario) <>


Anthony Buchanan – Anthony Buchanan Wines (Kaleden) <>

Anthony Buchanan


For a complete rundown of what everyone was pouring please head for





Natural Wine fest Part Two

Stratus – Amazing Field Blend 

Niche – Small Batch/Big Love

Solvero – Welcoming Alison Moyes

New Releases – Everywhere

Okanagan Fall Wine festival 

September 23rd, 2023-CiderFest Part 2. Ones+(No/Low) and Justin (Paso Robles))






Why are you doing a feature on Cider and Non-Alcoholic Wines?

Because that’s what the wind kindly blew my way.  I’m a cider guy, fascinated by well-made low/no alcohol releases and a fan of Justin Wines. (And Paso Robles)

Last week we started featuring our interviews from the 4th annual BC Cider Festival and ran out of time and space to include the last two interviews.

Thus Part Two appears this week.

I felt that both of these guests deserved time to tell their stories. Just a little room to create a flourish or is it a fuss?

I can honestly say that Bruce McKinley is one of the planet’s more interesting people and he brings that character to every cider he makes at Valley Cider in Duncan.

Bruce McKinley – Founder and Ciderist  Valley Cider (Duncan)

The website says “Welcome to Simply Different”

Cider is fermented apple juice. All the flavour and joie de vivre nature can be packed into a fruit, hosting a party for millions of super social yeast. After the sugar is consumed, the curtain comes down and the band packs up. Some extraordinary chemistry happens after this point depending on the care & creativity of the cidermaker, which is what you’re going to miss if the juice quality was low to begin with or if the cider is just being made as a cheap sugar delivery mechanism.

This is an unfortunate consequence of cider’s delayed & fairly recent reinvention as a valued craft product: the rise and domination of huge-scale low-cost commercial products, that unfortunately influence much of cider’s definition and public understanding. This need not be so. Cider can reflect the true heritage and at the same time continue evolving into modern ciders without being mired in unhealthy opportunism, as long as somebody cares enough to do it well. That is a craft.

What’s required is thoughtfulness, a commitment to crafting quality cider, some healthy delicious apples and a place to hang out and put it all together.

Check out the cider names –   

Bloo/Soda Love Potion/Faeriessense/Poiple/Piqabu

Pinko/Love Child /Bon Dry/Gingerella/Wait What?/Noir

After listening to our interview and Bruce’s thoughts on craft, don’t you really want to taste what he makes?


Jennifer Turton-Molgat   President.  Wards Cider (Kelowna)


Great Granddaughter to George Ward who planted the original apple trees in 1918, Jennifer Turton-Molgat carries on the family’s apple-growing legacy. Under Jennifer’s direction, Wards Cider stands out as a fully authentic cidery. Everything from growing and harvesting their  traditional cider apples to pressing, fermenting and bottling the finished ciders is done at their 5th generation, family-owned orchard.

With her outgoing and creative style, Jennifer leads Wards daily operations and teams, including orchards, cellars, sales, marketing and guest services.

Since 2006 Jennifer Turton-Molgat has also proudly led both The View Winery and Wards Cider to success in her role as President. Jennifer’s vision and inspiration for the winery and cidery is drawn from her family’s passion for the land as pioneering Kelowna orchardists and agriculturists since 1922.


(Tyler Harleton.  Ashley Wiles Marketing.  Chris Pagliocchini)

Chris Paliocchini – co-founder of ONES+  No/Low Wines and Bubble  (Summerland)

Chris  Paliocchini and Tyler Harleton grew up on family farms. Chris’ background led him to work in cherry and apple breeding in Summerland, while Tyler found his way back to the land through winemaking in the Okanagan (TH Wines)  Over the years (and glasses of wine) they realized there was a hole in the market for the non-drinker who was interested in a proper bottle of non-alcoholic wine. They landed on ONES+, a 1% wine made with BC Grapes with no added sugars or chemicals. They are proud to be making the Okanagan’s only non-alcoholic wine.

Two great sparkling wines from Ones+.

The 2021 Sparkling Rose, like champagne it arrives in your glass dry and features Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The 2021 Sparkling Red reminds us of a great Lambrusco

I personally recommend seeking out the 2021 Pinot Noir and the sensational 2021 Cab Franc.


It’s a fact – No and Low appears to be the fastest-growing segment in the drinks industry.

A younger generation is seeking healthier choices in social, family and business gatherings.

Also moving well-being up the wish list.

Finally, the right people are making the right wines for the right reasons.

Check out One+   Highly Recommended.

Joe Spellman  – Master Sommelier  speaking for Justin Wines (Paso Robles)

Started this week’s show in the Pipe Shop North Vancouver at the Cider Fest. We finished back in the same room with our last guest.

I met and interviewed Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman who was attending the 2023 VanWineFest on behalf of Justin Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles, California.

Joe has been a head sommelier, wine director and a star in Chicago’s dining scene. Capping it off with a great relationship with Chef Charlie Trotter. They’ve released three books together.

He’s a writer, consultant and educator on the geology, language and history of wine.

Many awards followed including Best Sommelier in the World. (French Wines and Spirits)

Founder Justin Baldwin planted his first vineyard back in 1981 with a mission to make world-class Bordeaux-style blends. Since then, Justin has expanded both their knowledge of viticulture in this unique region as well as their acreage.

They make a sensational Bordeaux Blend and the Cabernet Sauvignon is World Class.

Joe and I talk about Justin Vineyards and Wines of course but also about the state of wine in California, the rising profile of Paso Robles and its wines and his impression of BC wines.

Wonderful man with stories to tell. A total pleasure.




Stratus – stunning field blend from Ontario

Niche – Small Batch Big Love

Solvero –   welcoming Alison Moyes

New Releases – Everywhere

Fall Okanagan Wine Festival