December 23rd, 2023 The Wine Diva: Top 100 Wines – Under $25 – 88pts or better


The Wine Diva: Top 100 Wines

($25 or under – 88 points or better)



Best wines for Christmas dinners and New Year's Eve toasts | Vancouver Sun

The end of any year always brings “best of” lists:

Films, Music, Books, Food and many artistic events!

This year end list from Daenna van Mulligen/The Wine Diva  brings the very best budget wines of 2023. All $25.00 or under and 88 Points or better!!

Daena Van Mulligen

Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva

For all those wine fans who ask the yearly question – Where are the $25.00 wines that taste like $35 dollar wines?”

Those wines are right here. Budget bottles good enough to be happily offered as gift bottles.

Daenna van Mulligen/The Wine Diva tastes a staggering amount of wines over the weeks and months of a wine year and these are the ones that stood out. Affordable all stars.

The complete printable list can be found at


Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukah – Best of the Season – Happy New year



HIgh Note Estate Winery ‘Capriccio’ Riesling, Naramata Bench, BC N/A

Hester Creek ‘Selected Barrels’ Merlot, Okanagan Valley, BC $21.99

Gerard Bertrand ‘An 806’, Corbieres, Sud de France $21.99

Nicosia Grillo, Sicily, Italy $21.99

LaFleur Chevalier Bordeaux, France $22.00

Araldica Barbera, Piedmont, Italy $22.00

Wild Goose Winery Riesling, Okanagan BC $25.00

Oops ‘Spicy Splendor’ Carmenere, Central Valley Chile $14.99

Falernia Carmenere Gran Reserva, Elqui Valley Chile $19.99

El Petit Bonhomme Blanco, Rueda Spain $17.99

Meyer Family Vineyards ‘Meyer’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC $21.00

HIgh Note Estate Winery ‘Soubrette’ Pinot Grigio, Naramata Bench, BC N/A

HIgh Note Estate Winery ‘Continuo’ Rosado, Naramata Bench, BC N/A

Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Provenance Series’ Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley,

El Petit Bonhomme, Jumilla Spain $17. N/A

Terra Ventoux ‘Les 5 Terroirs’ Vieilles Vignes, Ventoux, Rhone Valley $18.50

Selbach Riesling ‘Fish Label’, Germany $22.. Mayhem Wines Sauvignon Blanc Okanagan Valley N/A

Mayhem Wines Cabernet~Merlot, Okanagan Valley N/A

Mayhem Wines Rose, Okanagan Valley N/A

Meyer Family Vineyards ‘Meyer’ Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Falls, BC N/A

Castello di Gabbiano ‘Cavaliere d’Oro’ Chianti Classico, Tuscany Italy $20.00

Da Vero Nero d’Avola Vino Rosso, Sicily, Italy $15.00

Familia Zingarelli ‘Rocca della Macie’ Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $20.99

Araldica ‘Il Meridone’ Catarratto, Sicily, Italy $15.00

Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Gris, British Columbia $25.00

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Rose, Okanagan Valley, BC N/

Clos du Soleil ‘Winemaker’s Series’ Whispered Secret Vineyard Pinot Gris, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A

Clos du Soleil Fume Blanc, Okanagan Valley $25.00

Bartier Bros. Rose, Okanagan Valley, BC $18.99

Spearhead Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley BC $22.00

Wild Goose Winery Gewurztraminer, Okanagan BC $25.00

Covert Farms Family Estate Semillon~Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, BC $26.00

CedarCreek Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley $25.00

CedarCreek Estate Winery Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley BC $25.00

La Bonhomme Monastrell Rose, Valencia Spain $20.00




Canadian Whisky Awards

Fort Berens – New Wines

Remembering Mike Grgich and the

shot heard round the World.

Highlights of 2023






December 16th, 2023-Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva & her TOP scoring wines of 2023. (93 pts or better)


Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva & her TOP scoring wines of 2023. (93 pts or better)


A dear friend returns.

For many years now wine reviewer, educator, speaker and writer Daenna van Mulligen, known to the wine world as The Wine Diva, has graced Tasting Room Radio. We have  co-hosted many shows.  The Vancouver Wine Festival, Cornucopia in Whistler and countless specials.

The Wine Diva  has two exceptional websites www.winediva ca and 

On those sites Daenna reviews perhaps a 1000 wines a year. At years end she always  publishes her much anticipated  wine lists.

Daenna van Mulligen

The lists can be found on  and includes a link for printing that list.

This TRR is the first of several.  It features the top scoring wines of 2023. All 93 points or better. As Daenna says “ wines that are complete, balanced and worth the expense!

All wines that come up for discussion on this weeks TRR also include Daenna’s  tasting notes and reflections.

NEXT WEEKTop 100 of 2023. $25 or less and all 88 points or better. (The last segment of this weeks show is a brisk preview)

Heads up – Daenna mentions an event she’ll be hosting during the upcoming VanWineFest.

Wine Diva’s Annual TOP Lists


As I do every year, for longer than I can actually recall, I send out my annual TOP lists.

The parameters have changed a bit over the years (especially this year), more than 15 years ago my TOP 100 wines were $16 or less. That number steadily grew and this year, thanks to inflation these wines are now $25 or less and scoring 88+ points.


My annual TOP 50 $20 or more has become my TOP Scoring Wines of 2023.

These are wines that have scored 93+ points


Finally my sparkling wines list remains the same, bubbles of all styles and shades, from all over the world


Thank you all as ever for supporting WineDiva and WineScores over the years and as ever I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and the best for 2024!


These are the wines reviewed:

 Taittinger ‘Prelude Grands Crus’ Champagne, France $115.00

Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs’ Champagne, France $350.99

One Faith Vineyards ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC $25.99

Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Sirius’, British Columbia N/A

Gerard Bertrand ‘Cigales’, Sud de France $60.00

One Faith Vineyards ‘Grand Vin’, Okanagan Valley, BC $142.00

Gerard Bertrand ‘Cuvee 100 Les Arbousiers’, Corbieres, Sud de France $75.99

Gerard Bertrand ‘Chateau de Soujeole Grand Vin’, Malepere, Sud de France N/A

Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Aurora’, Okanagan Valley N/A

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

Frescobaldi ‘Perano’, Chianti Classico, Tuscany Italy $35.00

Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico, Tuscany Italy $45.00

Castelvecchi ‘Madonnino Della Piave’ Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy N/A

. Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Polaris’, Okanagan Valley N/A

Covert Farms Family Estate ‘Grand Reserve’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

Dona Paula Estate ‘Seleccion de Bodega’ Malbec, Gualtallary, Mendoza Argentina $60.00

Uko Old Vines Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina $40.00

Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Syrah ‘The Boswell’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A

Citation Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon $90.00

Laughing Stock Vineyards ‘Portfolio’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Benchmark Series’ Pinot Noir, Okanagan Falls, BC N/A

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley Sonoma California $51.99

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery ‘Contessa’, British Columbia N/A



Next Week:

Wine Diva Top 100  $25.00 or less/88 Points or better

Wine Diva – The Bubble List

Harry Hertscheg Vancouver Wine Festival  – Preview

Fort Berens – Releases






December 9th, 2023- Winter Wine Getaways in The Okanagan!


Winter Wine Getaways  in  The Okanagan!





A December in BC wine country is like no other month.

Harvest is done . The wine cellar becomes the centre of attention.

Focus shifts to “the next growing season”.

For the rest of us, it’s the brisk days of December and the Holiday season leading to New Years Eve.

This episode of Tasting Room Radio invites the segment sponsors of 2023 and others to let all of us know about their events heading into Christmas.


We start with Kimberly Hundertmark. She’s the GM and leader of the Okanagan Wine Festivals.

Kimberley Hundertmark

Kimberly has changed the thinking in the Okanagan.

Winter presented  a serious downturn in consumer spending. Kimberly introduced her belief that Winter and Wine can be a “thing’.

She takes us through the weekend’s events at Big White and New Years Eve at Spirit Ridge.

The events are engaging and fun. Grape talks on Malbec. The Keremeos Light up. Pet Santa.

Also, info on Okanagan Winter Wine Festival Jan 20.  Same day, its TASTE Passport – at The District Wine Village in Oliver.

Wards Wine Country Kitchen will be  rocking!

Heads up – Spring Wine Fest June 7 and June 16.  Fall Festival October 18 and 27.

Things to Do in Oliver BC - Must Do Canada

(Wards Wine Country Kitchen at District Wine Village)


Next, Hillside Estate Winery one of the originals,  on the Naramata Bench.

The brilliant winemaker Kathy Malone takes us through the wines that shone  from her portfolio.

Kathy Malone Hillside

Then the events at Hillside leading into the years end and exciting Hillside Holiday Gift Guide.


John Weber, the winemaker and co-founder of Orofino Wines in the Similkameen Valley joins us to talk about their harvest, fires and seriously low crop tonnage. On the bright side, smaller but amazing wines from 2023.

John Weber

John mentions how tough its been for regional wineries, their vineyards and accommodations.

When  summer kicked off,  accommodation was seriously booked. The roadblock was launched and rooms/suites were empty.

Now?  We can help. Buy local. Gift local. Support local.


Steven Lane from  Mt Boucherie joins us to talk about the busy days and nights ahead at Mt Boucherie. Also the Winter Wines  being showcased. They have a stellar lineup of events and fun. Like a Winter adventure.

Steven Lane

Find your winter fun at your local wineries.





The Annual Wine Diva Winter and Year End Wine Lists.


December 2nd, 2023 Mary McDermott Winemaker Township 7 and Project X Mark Hopley Winemaker at Hester Creek  


This Week : 




Mary McDermott –  New releases and awards won at Township 7 (Naramata Bench/South Langley)

Mary McDermott in London

Mary was in London to receive the Best Sparkling Wine in Canada award from the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championship!

For their Riesling driven  7 Stars Rigel. It was the runner up to the World Champion Aromatic Sparkling Wine from Italy.

Mary and T7 also won this award in 2021 with their Polaris.

Declared the best Canadian  sparkling wine in the World.

Before Mary and I talked about her new releases,  we discussed about what everyone else in the BC wine world is talking about – crop loss due to a deep freeze in December of last year.  A 54% reduction in crop and long term damage to vineyards.

Strangely, while the crop was reduced, the colder weather led to fewer clusters on the vines which in turn led to rapid ripening when Summer and Fall returned. Great flavours in the whites and complex concentrated reds followed.

Mary and I tasted:

Benchmark Series 2021 Viogner.

From one of the best vineyards in Canada – Fools Gold Vineyard in North Oliver. Owner is vineyard manager Mark Antonello. Planted over two decades ago by his Father-law the legendary Richard Cleave.  Fermented in stain steel tank and just two barrels.

Grapefruit and rounded lime/citrus  on the nose.  Passionfruit awaits in the mouth…with a beautiful soft mouthfeel. $30.97


2021 Seven Stars Vega

 A single vineyard wine. Also made with Viognier from the same Fools Gold Vineyard. Picked early for high acidity . En tirage for one full year. Beautifully aromatic. Crafted in an off-dry style. Inhale notes of pink grapefruit. Both nose and mouth get treated to mandarin orange notes and flavours. $36.97

2016 Seven Stars Sirius

Gold medal winner recently at Great Northwestern Invitational Wine Competition 2023.

Crafted from south Langley fruit planted two decades ago.

Cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes harvested, pressed and fermented together. Only the free run juice  was used to make the crown jewel of Township 7’s sparkling wine collection.

En tirage was 60 months. Crafted in the traditional Methode Champenoise style, don’t be surprised to discover Brioche on the nose with a palate of oven baked apple and raw honey. Gorgeous mousse and acidity .


Congratulations for Mary and staff at  Township 7


Mark Hopley – Winemaker at Hester Creek (Golden Mile)

Mark Hopley

Hester Creek was named BC Winery of the year from Great Northwest Wine Awards.

Timing is everything. If that cold freeze had hit the Okanagan just 3 weeks later, many of the vines could have achieved Winter dormancy and survived.

Timing is also important when requesting interviews and tasting wines. Mark Hopley and I were prepped to talk about his/their new releases –

Brooke Jesus and Mark Hopley

2020 Old Vine Brut – traditional method Brut. 24 months en tirage. Lemon and line on the nose. Minerality and brioche notes. $34.99

2022 Merlot  100% Merlot . Sage nose & red berries on the nose. Raspberries and chocolate/herbs on palate. $19.99

2022 Cabernet Merlot – 5 south Okanagan vineyards. 7 months in American and French oak.  $19.99

2022 Character Red –  Italian Merlot clone, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec. Blueberry, blackberry and peppery. $22.99


Speaking of timing ….

it just so happens that a  whole new thinking and planning in winemaking is being released to the wine world Friday Dec 1 –

It’s  called Project X  – Winemakers Trilogy (thus XYZ labels)

Mark will explain – 3 very different wines. Only 200 bottles left.  “$110 dollars of Okanagan goodness”



Fort Berens – New Releases

Canadian Whisky Awards  Victoria

Best of  2023 lists




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