Tasting Room Radio

April 3rd 2021 – New Releases from Michael Bartier (Bartier Bros) and Mark Hopley (Hester Creek)



New Releases from Michael Bartier (Bartier Bros) and Mark Hopley (Hester Creek)

 It’s that time of year.

Spring brings new releases from all the wineries.

Michael Bartier  – Winemaker  (and co-founder) at  Bartier Brothers (Black Sage Road)


2019 Rose –  (Now) $17.99

2019 – Grenache Syrah Mourvedre (April) $41.99

2019  Merlot –  (May) $22.99

2019 – Orchard Row (June) $36.99

 “Less is More“

 That’s Michael Bartier’s winemaking philosophy. No big over oaked glob in the glass.

Lean and sharply defined. Flinty. Minerality.


The Rose is a smash hit. A blend of Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer.

Strawberry, melon and floral notes.  A clean beauty in the mouth. And best of all,  affordable.

The GSM  is tough to grow and blend. Thus the price tag. But what a payoff.  It stays with you long after you finish.

The Merlot is one of the very best in Canada. Blueberry, cherry on the nose. Flint, wet stone follows. Very affordable. Highly Recommended.

The Orchard Row is quite a story. Its basically a long row of plantings left over from other vines. Like a hedge you can drink.

It’s a field blend of Cab Franc, Merlot, Gamay and Pinot Noir. All from the same row.

It was the Bartier house wine until friends convinced them to share.

Its fantastic.

Just like the winemaker.

NOTE – Michael takes us through the partnership he’s formed with one of France’s most influential wineries – Boutinot.

The wine Michael makes for them is called Boutinot – Project B.  A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.


Bartier Bros Tasting Room now open.  Daily 11am to 5PM





Mark Hopley – Winemaker at Hester Creek (Golden Mile)


Hester Creek is celebrating over 50 years of winemaking.  Those years started with the original owner/winemaker Joe Busnardo.

Mark Hopley – Hester Creek

In 1968, BC wine pioneer Joe Busnardo came upon an excellent property sheltered below the rugged desert bluffs of what is now known as the Golden Mile Bench.  Joe recognized the potential for growing superior vinifera grapes on this unique land.

Today, a total of 115 acres comprise the Hester Creek  estate, which is planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Italian Merlot, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sémillon, Syrah, and Trebbiano on 22 vineyard blocks.


All that wine history allows  all of to us celebrate the release of the….

2020 Hester Creek Trebbiano.  52 year old gnarly vines that deliver absolutely classic flavours. Do yourself a favour. FIND THIS WINE.

Apple, Melon and topical fruit on the nose and clean citrus, honey and minerality in the mouth. $22.99 plus tax

Thank you Hester Creek.  Thank you Mark. Thank you Joe.


2020 Hester Creek Pinot Gris-Viognier.  (2/3 Pinot Gris .1/3 Viognier)

Hand picked and pressed. Stainless steel retains the complexity and flavours we’ve come to love.

On the nose,  peach, clover.  In the mouth peach and honey and minerality. $16.99 plus tax.

This is a Save On Foods special. Also available at winery.

2020 P Gris. Viognier

Hester Creek is now welcoming guests at Terrafina Restaurant for patio service and take-out from 12:30-4pm, Wednesday-Sunday.   Check out the Hester Creek Website for special events.


Wine release dinners

Rose/Trebbiano April 3  – sold out

Bubble evening  May 13/14. Ti Amo and Old Vine Brut

The Judge – July 8 Summer Dinner.


Mark also looks ahead to future releases this Spring and Summer..

Ti Amo,  Old Vine Brut and The Judge.






April is BC Wine Month

Valleys of Wines

New Spring Releases

Eat Local. Checking in with the restaurants




March 27th, 2021 Bubbles & Pinot Noir from Niche (Narrative from Christine Coletta & Wine Diva Bubble List)


Small Batch Bubbles and Pinot Noir from NICHE.

(Narrative from Christine Coletta/Bubble List  from Wine Diva)



“wine is an expression of the things you can’t control”   Joanna Schlosser Niche Wine Co.

Niche Wine Co (West Kelowna) – Joanna Schlosser (co-partner)

Niche Wine Co


Joanna and James Schlosser could be the poster couple for “small batch” winemaking.

Their family-owned and operated winery, high in the hills of West Kelowna, produces complex, aromatic wines that showcase the nuances of the North Okanagan. This combination of high-altitude, homegrown wines paired with a limited, high-quality/hands-on production make their wines both sought after and hard to get your hands on.

They are, however,  well worth the chase.


The Small Batch Bubble is just so good. Tight complex bubbles. Just off-dry. Perfect for food pairing. Easter dinner. Crêpes.  They suggest anything buttered or honeyed. Or with nothing but conversation.

Here’s the bottom line 175 cases. $26.00 and right now you can find it at select wine shops and Save – On. (Joanna will explain)

Segment two covers the two new Pinot Noirs now available.

2019 Farmhouse Pinot Noir.  Clones 667/115.  Vineyards planted 23 years ago. $28.00   125 cases.

All of their  Pinot is produced exclusively with grapes grown by the family-owned and operated Hugh & Mary Vineyard. The hot summer days and cool nights make this vineyard prime Pinot growing country, The vines range from 12 to 23 years of age and are a mix of clone 667 and 115. Fruit forward. Really bright. Pepper, raspberry notes on the nose. Spice and Cherry in the mouth. Harvested by hand. Basket pressed.

Niche Vines

2018 Extra Mile Pinot Noir. Clone 115. Vines 23 yrs old. 57 cases. $45.00

Beautiful soft texture in the mouth. Minimum intervention. Violet and truffle on the nose. Dark cherry in the mouth.

25% new oak for 16 months.

Complex and balanced. A special wine.

Joanna will also take us through their Small Batch Boxes.  Partnering with local businesses.

It’s a great idea.


Christine Coletta –  Co-Founder of Okanagan Crush Pad  and Narrative Wine (Summerland)

Christine Coletta

Christine Coletta

Everyone in B.C.’s wine industry knows Christine Coletta.

Innovator, community champion, visionary, land steward— She is a force.

Christine, or CC as she is known by many, has earned awards and accolades throughout her illustrious career. She was named  One of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2020 by Wine Industry Advisor.

Christine is one of the founding members of the BC Wine Institute and the BC VQA program, and she has helped to mentor a number of professionals in the food and wine industries over the last 30 years.

Through her crush work at Okanagan Crush Pad, she has also been involved in the start of a number of new wineries in BC.

Her guidance, support, and mentorship have landed her the nickname, “Godmother of BC Wine.”


Okanagan Crush Pad is the home for

Haywire Wines

Free Form

Bizou and Yukon



Today CC brings the new releases from Narrative.

2019 Viognier/Syrah except its 80% Viognier and 20% Syrah

(spice, pepper, raspberries, and strawberries. Lots of rich  texture)


Viognier I was very impressed by this release a while back and had to ask CC about it.

Slow fermented in concrete.  Yummy!


2018 Syrah Viognier.  It’s quite a process to get this wine just right.  Syrah co-fermented with Viognier in clay amphora. On skins for 90 days. Some of the Syrah is in concrete which brings out the spice and texture. It’s crazy good.


2016 Syrah (organic)  Grown in the South Okanagan  Spends lots of time in concreteIt’s soft in the mouth with notes of white pepper.

There’s a surprising lift in the mouth mid-palette. Not the usual dark chocolate.

THIS is a Syrah you want to find and it’s one of Narrative’s Winter Reds. Best of all it’s been in the bottle for 2 extra years.


Check out the outstanding Okanagan Crush Pad website.


 Daenna Van Mulligen – The Wine Diva and The Bubble Queen.

Daenna van Mulligen

Thinking ahead to the Easter long weekend I was checking out wine pairing with traditional Easter meals. What kept coming up were references to Rose, Riesling, and a lot of talk about bubble.

Daenna van Mulligen specializes in bubble.

Here are three recommendations she’s tasted and made copious notes on.,


Blue Mountain Rose Brut $40 (winery/private)

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut $90 BCLS

Segura Viudas Cava $16.99 ($14.99 special until March 6) BCLS







Bartier Brothers – Spring Releases.

Valleys of Wine – Luke Whittall (author)






 The Wines of British Columbia were put to the ultimate test at the final Judgment of BC on Tuesday, October 29, where special guest and wine expert Steven Spurrier joined 32 top wine professionals from around the world and across the country to take part in a full-day, blind tasting of 24 of BC’s celebrated grape varieties; Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah against 16 international benchmarks.


I was honoured to be one of 32 wine judges in the room on the day.

Trust me, it was/is a humbling experience tasting wines “blind” and have a sheet in front of you that asks you to decide whether the wine is from BC or The World.

Terry and Manual Zuppiger (Arrowleaf)

Your nose, your mouth,  your mind play tricks on you.

For each varietal there were 6 from BC and 4 benchmarks from around the world.

We started with Pinot Noir, then Chardonnay.

The afternoon was spent tasting and spitting Riesling and Syrah.

Paperwork was furiously filled out and collected.  DJ Kearney, the moderator and people wrangler asked for comments about what we had just experienced. Everyone seemed to have a comment, especially those from outside BC.

DJ Kearney

So many faces and memories in the room.  Most of them friends who had watched the BC wine industry grow and  work hard to be better.

Hosted by the BC Wine Institute, and curated by wine expert DJ Kearney, the final Judgment of BC took place in Penticton. Inspired by the legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976, the inaugural Judgment of BC was hosted in 2015 by the BC Wine Institute in honour of Steven Spurrier’s visit to British Columbia.

Steven Spurrier


Five years later, the BC wine industry was thrilled to welcome Steven Spurrier back to BC wine country to taste and evaluate world-class wines from the region.

“What I think is really exciting about BC wines is we’re tasting more and more like ourselves, our individual regions and individual sites. Our best examples are fresh on the palate, pure of fruit and really speak to our beautiful, cool, but hot climate.” Judge Barb Phillip, MW.

Tasting Room Radio would like to congratulate all BC wines who made the Judgment list and  the following BC wineries who took home top prizes in their categories.

Arrowleaf Cellars ranked first among the Pinot Noir flight.

Meyer Family Vineyards came in first for the flight of Chardonnay, with 50th Parallel Estate Winery in close second.

For the Riesling flight, CedarCreek Winery came in second with St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery coming in third.

The final flight of Syrah saw BC wines take all three top spots with Tightrope Winery coming in first, Le Vieux Pin Winery in second and Stag’s Hollow Winery and Vineyard in third.

(Complete results at the bottom of page)

Guests on this edition of Tasting Room Radio  include:

  • Gurvinder Bhatia – Edmonton Journal/Quench Magazine
  • Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva
  • DJ Kearney – New District
  • Dr. Jamie Goode – Wine Journalist/Wineanorak.com
  • Laura Kittmer – Wines of BC
  • Steven Spurrier – Decanter
  • Mark Filatow – Waterfront Bistro
  • Kurtis Kolt  – Georgia Straight
  • Rhys Pender – Master of Wine
  • Anthony Gismondi – Vancouver Sun/Best of Food and Wine
  • Sebastien Le Goff – Cactus Club Canada
  • Manual Zuppiger = Arrowleaf Vineyards
  • Larry Gerelus – Stag’s Hollow
  • JAK Meyer – Meyer Family Vineyards
  • Lyndsay O’Rourke –  Tightrope



  1. Arrowleaf Cellars Archive Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey 2016 California
  1. Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills 2015 Oregon
  1. Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Meyer Family Vineyards McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Louis Jadot Beaune Grèves Premier Cru 2015 Burgundy
  1. Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills 2016 South Australia
  1. Tightrope Winery Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Quails’ Gate Winery Richard’s Block Pinot Noir 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley


  1. Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben 2014 Mosel, Germany
  1. CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2018 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  2. St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Vineyards Family Reserve Riesling 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Tightrope Winery Riesling 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Culmina Family Estate Winery Riesling Decora 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Upper Bench Estate Winery Riesling 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling 2015 Columbia Valley Washington State
  1. Rieslingfreak No. 3 Reverence of Riesling 2018 Clare Valley, South Australia
  1. Martin’s Lane Winery Fritzi’s Vineyard Riesling 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Nigl Dornleiten Riesling Kremstal 2015 Austria


  1. Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series Donovan Tildesley Old Main Road Vineyard 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. 50th Parallel Estate Winery Chardonnay 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Craggy Range Chardonnay Kidnapper’s Vineyard 2017 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  1. Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Chartron et Trébuchet Pouilly Fuissé 2017 Macon, Burgundy
  1. Laroche Chablis Premier Cru La Chantrerie 2016 Burgundy, France
  1. Tantalus Vineyards Chardonnay 2015 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Monte Creek Ranch Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2016 BC VQA British Columbia
  1. Culmina Family Estate Winery Chardonnay Dilemma 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  2. Bethel Heights Vineyard Chardonnay Estate Eola-Amity Hills 2015 Oregon


  1. Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Le Vieux Pin Winery Cuvée Violette Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Stag’s Hollow Winery & Vineyard Syrah Amalia Vineyard 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage 2016 Northern Rhône, France
  1. Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz Barossa Valley 2017 South Australia
  1. Time Winery Syrah 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Painted Rock Estate Winery Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Domaine Jamet Syrah Collines Rhodaniennes 2015 Northern Rhône, France
  1. C.C. Jentsch Cellars Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. K Vintners MCK Syrah 2015 Washington State, USA

… and the winners below!


  • Gurvinder Bhatia
  • Jenna Briscoe
  • Sid Cross
  • Dr. Janet Dorozynski
  • Mark Filatow
  • Zach Geballe
  • Anthony Gismondi
  • Dr. Jamie Goode
  • Christina Hartigan
  • Lingzi He
  • John Isacs
  • Kelcie Jones
  • Kurtis Kolt
  • Sebastien Le Goff
  • Bryant Mao
  • David McIntyre
  • Sharon McLean
  • Michaela Morris
  • Terry David Mulligan
  • Tim Pawsey
  • Rhys Pender, MW
  • Barbara Philip, MW
  • Iain Philip
  • Rod Phillips
  • Treve Ring
  • Brad Royale
  • John Schreiner
  • Dawn Smith
  • Steven Spurrier
  • Shane Taylor
  • Daenna Van Mulligen
  • Matt Wentzell
  • Jason Yamasaki


  • Canadian Whisky Awards
  • New pours from  Crown and Thieves
  • Spring Releases


March 13th, 2021-Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.


Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.



The news came early this week and the news traveled fast.

The great Steven Spurrier had died.

Steven Spurrier & TDM

“The wine world lost one of its great adventurers last night.”

“It seems extraordinary that the wine world is going to have to survive without someone who has been characterized for his 79 years by the phrase ‘youthful enthusiasm’.

It is likely, however, that Steven will henceforth be recognized as an even greater influence on wine than during his colorful life. For someone who achieved so much, he acted with such extreme modesty and politesse that there was always a danger of his not being accorded his due.

Even though his famous Paris tasting in 1976 was truly ground-breaking, signaling infinite possibilities for wines other than the French classics, and he was valued throughout the world as an educator, taster, and writer, he wore his achievements exceptionally lightly – always more fired up by the next project than by those of the past.

Indeed, when I asked him during our last conversation last Saturday night what he would most like to be remembered for, he rather downplayed the Judgment of Paris in favor of his most recent achievements, the Académie du Vin Library publishing imprint and the relaunched Académie du Vin wine school in Canada.”


Jancis Robinson (Thank you)

Complete article https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/steven-spurrier-1941-2021

Our friend Elizabeth Gabay MW said, ‘Can’t believe the news of the eternally young Steven Spurrier’s death. I met him in 1987 when he encouraged me to go into wine and has been so supportive throughout the years.’


I reached out to two Canadian wine educators who knew and worked with Steven over the years.

Both stepped forward to do interviews for this show.


DJ Kearney – Director of Wine Terminal City Club, Educator. Adjudicator. Organized The Judgement of BC tastings.


DJ Kearney & Steven Spurrier


Rhys Pender – Master of Wine. Wine Plus. WSET Wine School. Co-Owner of Little Farm Wines.


(Tony Aspler. Barbara Phillip. Steven Spurrier. Janet Dorozynski. Rhys Pender)

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Steven Spurrier twice.

Once at the Argentine Wine Awards in Mendoza in 2016 (with DJ Kearney)

And again in the Okanagan for the final Judgement  of BC (with both Rhys and DJ)


I’ve combined both Steven Spurrier interviews into one segment for this week’s show.



Jason Parkes – Winemaker. Team Leader of Crown &Thieves/The Hatch etc


The final segment of this week’s show honors the life of Aimee Parkes. Cousin of Jason Parkes from The Hatch.

Aimee Parkes

We’ve attached Jason’s post that set this interview in motion.;

I was hesitant to ask him to re-live this tragedy but he found a way to tell the story for us.

Even though it’s been four years, Jason has continued to remember Aimee and others like her, who are threatened or died because of domestic violence. Aimee loved Rose and he’s donating a $1 from every bottle of Pinky Blinders Rose to the @kelownawomensshelter for the month of March.


The show ends with Jason’s band Properman and the single that he wrote for Aimee, Ink Runs Dry





Canada Whisky Awards

Spring Releases






March 6th, 2021- Sandra Oldfield with 3 Women of Wine/Evan Saunders presents two new Blasted Church Reds.


Sandra Oldfield with 3 Women of Wine/Evan Saunders presents two new Blasted Church Reds.



Sandra Oldfield


Sandra Oldfield is a welcome force. 

Sandra is the co-founder of Elysian Projects. (with her husband and pal Kenn)

I love exchanging info and ideas with her but mostly I ask questions and get OUT of the way.

Several months ago Sandra suggested we spotlight BC’s Women of Wine.

This weeks she returns with stories and features on

Women leading the growing  Wine Club movement and her three favourite Wine Clubs (and why they work for her)


Terry Meyer Stone – Mayhem Wines, Meyer Family Wines & The Garagiste Movement.

Terry Meyer Stone


Severine Pinte – Winemaker at Le Vieux Pin

Severine Pinte


Leslie D’Andrea – Co-founder/Wine Community Leader at Noble Ridge


Leslie and Jim D’Andrea


At the very end of this two part feature we touch on the  recent loss of her Father and the post that followed.

(Her Post can be found at)





Evan Saunders – Winemaker at Blasted Church

Evan Saunders Winemaker Blasted Chuch

Speaking of women as leaders in the BC Wine Industry – how about Evelyn Campbell at Blasted Church?

Evelyn Campbell

But as Evelyn writes on their website:

I’ve had good fortune of finding highly talented, visionary and highly motivated individuals. I grant them full trust, and support them with the resources required to perform their very best for our winery endeavour. A philosophy that has helped Blasted Church thrive.

 We welcome  one of those high motivated individuals Evan Saunders- Winemaker.

 Trained in micro-biology  at U Vic on Vancouver island, then straight to Ontario and the  well known winemaking courses at Brock.

On site training followed at Osoyoos Larose in Oliver and the ground-breaking Pinot at  Kosta Browne In California.

Even worked his way up from student to cellar rat to assistant and is now a fully developed   human being.

He brings with him two of his latest reds. (I’M RECOMMENDING BOTH. What a great way to celebrate the end of Winter)

2017 – Merlot  (89% Merlot 11% Malbec)

Plums. Dark ripe berries. Dark Chocolate.  Serious texture in the mouth and a long finish. Outstanding tannins.

Think steaks, tomato based pasta, burgers…ribbbbbs.

$27.00  (874 cases)


2017 Syrah (94% Syrah. 3% Viognier 3% Roussanne)


The Viognier and Roussanne were co-fermented with the Syrah. Bringing the nose alive!

Left on skins for up to 3 weeks. Oak was  also a mix – French, American and Hungarian.

14 months in barrel then racked to tanks, blended and back in barrel for another 4 months.

So!  Was it worth it?   Oh Hell yes.


Black berries of all shapes and sizes on the nose with a bacon chaser.

Same in the mouth. Wonderful texture and tannins. Loooong finish.

This is a wine to open and celebrate,  then hide the other bottles for at least a couple of years.


$29.50  (2262 cases)


Evan also teases us with what’s coming later in the Spring

2018  Killer Cab Franc

2020 Rose – (Blaufränkisch)





Office Hours: 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday
Wine Shop Hours: 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday

NOTE! We are now closed for tastings and open for sales only weekdays 10am – 5pm.
If you are making a pilgrimage from afar, please call us first as Winter hours may vary.

Before your visit, please review our Safety Plan for more information.



Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine

Canadian Whisky Awards

Wineries  and restaurants opening for Spring.

Spring Releases.







February 27th, 2021 Nichol Winery raises funds for BC Hospitality Friends plus New Wines from Giant Head..






The Press Release said:


The BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) is honoured to be the beneficiary of a new initiative by Naramata’s  Nichol Vineyard and Winery.

Starting immediately, the Naramata winery will donate $10 from the sale of every case of its 2019 Pinot Gris to the local charity.

Cases of  the wildly popular Nichol Vineyard 2019 Pinot Gris may be purchased online for home delivery; shipping is free within B.C. or across Canada with a purchase or 2 or more cases.


Our guests are:

Dana Lee Harris – Executive Director of BC Hospitality Foundation 

Dana Lee Harris and TDM (pre-Covid)


Matthew Sherlock – Director Sales and Marketing Nichol Vineyard/Partner Lock and Worth  




Think about it – wait staff, the kitchens, cleaners, front of house, hotel staff and their families.  Covid 19 has crushed a lot of lives and dreams.

We’re telling this story because people and businesses are stepping forward to help and support each other.,

Nichol Pinot Gris is one of the most popular wines in BC…here’s a chance to buy a case or two  and help those around you.

While we’re talking to Matt Sherlock we’ll also talk about the Nichol portfolio and the sneaky good Lock and Worth

(This winery is truth in winemaking. I love them for the honesty with which they create.)

They are actually admitting to miscreating and then selling a white blend that wasn’t supposed to be a blend…and you can find it at $13.00 in selected stores.

It’s a Chard and Semillon. Return buyers indicate its damn good.

Matthew Sherlock. Nichol Vineyard, Naramata BC


The last story is the return of John Glavina to TRR.  He’s the Co-Founder of Giant Head Winery in Summerland.

John and his partner Jinny Lee continue to offer  better and better wines. Some are sold out (always a good sign) and several are gems you want to seek out.

They have two levels of wines



Giant Head and Canyonview.

Giant Head offers solid entry wines at affordable prices.

The Canyonview line is the very best on offer.


Welcome back John Glavina




Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine

Black Swift opens its doors

Wines of BC – an update.









February 20th, 2021- Western Living Food /Travel Editor Neil McLennan : Top 40 Foodies of 2021


Western Living Food /Travel Editor Neil McLennan : Top 40 Foodies of 2021

Neil McLennan – Western Living

This is the  14th edition of  Western Livings Foodies of the Year and it’s safe to say, it’s been a tough year for most everyone in the hospitality industry across Western Canada. But despite the closures, restrictions and seemingly endless hurdles, the foodies of the West still managed to make their mark and do all of us proud. Western Living’s Top 40 Foodie  winners will be announced Wednesday, March 10, 2021.


With the invaluable assistance and lung power of Food and Travel Editor Neil McLennan, we present Western Livings  2021 Foodies of the Year Finalists: these are 40 of the tastemakers, innovators and damn good cooks that wowed their  editorial team. Congratulations to each and every one of you.


  1. Katherine Backman (Nora’s Non-Dairy <https://www.norasnondairy.com/> , Vancouver) The beloved cashew-based Nora’s is only three years old but it’s already in 250 retailers in B.C. and Alberta, including Whole Foods Market, Nesters Market and SPUD.ca, and has sold more than 100,000 pints of its ice cream.


  1. Ned Bell & Kate Colley (The Naramata Inn <https://naramatainn.com/> , Naramata) The former Four Seasons chef and Oceanwise ambassador is no stranger to this list, but he and wife Colley (along with partners Marie Wiesner and Paul Hollands) have taken the all-potential, but never-quite-there circa 1907 Naramata Inn and transformed it into the perfect small wine country inn. Great food, a killer wine list and charm and history galore—it’s the lodging the area’s been longing for.

Chef Ned bell

Kate Colley

  1. Tess Bevernage and Tom Robillard (Hānai Family Table <https://www.hanaifamilytable.com/> , Vancouver) In a year when all but the most selfish of us stayed put in our home provinces, what a godsend it was to have these two recent O’ahu transplants cooking up all the Hawaiian classics—from garlic Furikake Chicken to Spam Musabi to perfect macaroni salad—once a week from their East Georgia shared commissary to a legion of tropically deprived fans.


  1. Bread & Butter Collective (Social Issues, Victoria) Spearheaded by some of the biggest names in the city (Sterling Grice of Part & Parcel, the Big Wheel Burger team) this initiative is focussed reimagining the Victoria food scene addressing issue with compensation, returns and community engagement.


  1. @actual_daddy (Good Pizza <https://linktr.ee/Goodpizzayvr> , Vancouver) The industry veteran—real name Alexander Cashin—started making homemade pizzas on his night off, posting them on Instagram and then donating profits to local charities helping those in need. It proved so popular that it’s morphed into an actual business: Good Pizza started serving the public in late January 2021.


  1. Antonio CayonneAndrew Jameson and Sean Reeve (Say Mercy! <https://www.saymercy.ca/> , Vancouver) The Southern-meets-Italian spot had just opened when Covid hit, but the team (who also own the Mackenzie Room) responded by starting the Staff Meal program, which allowed industry people and first responders to access low-cost healthy meals via takeout (and made reasonably priced containers of deliciousness for the rest of us). Plus Cayonne found time to star in a Hallmark Movie – no kidding.


7.Taylor Chobotiuk (Tacofino <https://www.tacofino.com/> , numerous locations in B.C.) The head of people at Tacofino spearheaded the Shift Change series of events, and when Covid hit moved them online to help the industry open up a discussion on important issues facing the industry like LGBTQ2S and BIPOC inclusion.


  1. Meaghan and Steve Clark (Tractor <https://tractorfoods.com/> , Vancouver/Victoria/Toronto) Covid proved a boon to the healthy, pre-made fare that has seen Tractor grow from one location in Kits in 2013 to now nine, including Toronto and the newly opened Victoria spot.


  1. Abdallah “Dallah” El Chami (Superbaba <https://eatsuperbaba.com/> , Vancouver & Victoria) With partners Robbie Kane and Ryan Spong, Dallah brought the middle-eastern meets high-end ingredient concept to Main Street, and it’s been one of the few openings to flourish during a tough year. Plus he helped spearhead the movement to avoid delivery services, by making Superbaba a pick-up only spot.

Abdallah “Dallah” El Chami



  1. Liane Faulder (Edmonton Journal, <https://edmontonjournal.com/> Edmonton) The long-time Journal scribe covered Edmonton’s food scene with focus and passion for more than 30 years before taking a final bow in 2020. A sincere bow to a job well done.


  1. Mike Gordon (Great Plains Craft Spirits <https://greatplainscraftspirits.com/> , Calgary) The main problem facing any whisky start-up? Time needed to mature the spirit to mellow perfection. Gordon didn’t have it, so he got creative with a variety of unique barrel finishes—both 20-year-old cognac & 35-year Armagnac versions will be coming soon. But it was their inaugural Jerez brandy finish that got them all the attention—including Best New Whisky at the Canadian Whisky Awards.


  1. Brandon Grossutti (Pidgin <http://www.pidginvancouver.com/> , Vancouver) The long-time Gastown restaurant owner created delivery app FromTo, as a cost-based delivery app that was designed to allow restaurants to survive the lockdown without having to pay the steep delivery fees associated with the big companies.


  1. Joe and Matt Hamill (Red Shed Malting <http://www.redshedmalting.ca/> , Penhold, AB) Most craft beer drinkers don’t think beyond the brewmaster when they enjoy a pint, but if it weren’t for the Hamill brothers steering their multi-generational farm in central Alberta toward producing their own custom malt, there would be a lot less interesting pints in Wild Rose Country.


  1. Jill Hoff (Monogram Coffee <https://monogramcoffee.com/> , Calgary) The team at Monogram has been at the forefront of the sustainable, ultra-nerdy love of coffee since their first location in 2014. This year saw their showstopping manager Jill Hoff win the title of Best Barista in Canada at the Canadian Barista Championships—the first woman to ever garner the honour.


Jill Hoff


  1. Tristan Jagger (Vancouver Food Runners <https://www.vancouverfoodrunners.com/> , Vancouver) This start-up pairs restaurants with organization that help those in need with an aim to prevent food waste. Since March 2020, they have rescued over 235,000 pounds of food, which is equivalent to over 195,000 meals.


  1. Kelcie Jones (Chambar <https://www.chambar.com/> , Vancouver) With four years and counting at Chambar, the somm is one of the longest-serving-at-one-spot wine slingers in the city, and not only does she run one of the city’s tightest wine programs she’s long been an agitator for respectful and equal work environments for all FOH peeps.

Kelcie Jones


  1. Jenny Kang (Orchard <https://orchardyyc.com/> , Calgary) The South Korean native grew up on a farm outside Seoul and has worked at some of the city’s top rooms (Bow Valley Ranche and Darren McLean’s acclaimed Shokunin), but at the stunning new Sturgess Architecture-designed Orchard, she’s finally the star of the show (and part owner), and she’s been wowing crowds with her modern Mediterranean as seen through a pan-Asian lens take on cooking.


  1. Peter Keith, Will Kotowicz and Glendon Tan (Meuwly’s Artisan Food Market <https://www.meuwlys.com/> , Edmonton) The concept started with three friends and nascent butchers launching a Secret Meat Club that delivered artisanal fare to those in the know. It’s now morphed into a 124th Street bricks-and-mortar shop showcasing not just their own charcuteries, but local fare from a well-curated selection of purveyors.


  1. Tyler Knight and Jordan Kubeck (Lightning Rock Winery <https://www.lightningrockwinery.com/> , Summerland) Their low-intervention sparkling-wine operation has been clamoured after since their first vintage three years ago, and each year production and acclaim increases—and the date they sell out gets shorter.


  1. Eve Laird (Eve’s Crackers <https://evescrackers.com/pages/stockists> , Vancouver) The dream of a gluten-free cracker that tastes good became a reality when the Nanaimo-raised Laird perfected the crunchy and flavourful recipe that is the hallmark of Eve’s crackers. Now in some 500 locations across Western Canada, including Safeway, Save On Foods and Whole Foods Market. Sales reached the high six figures in 2019.


  1. Arlie and Brett Laroche, Scott Dicks and Lacey Sellinger (Odla <https://odla.ca/> , Saskatoon) Two farmers, a chef and a sommelier come together like some sort of agrarian Avengers to bring Saskatoon a near-perfect partnership of a generational farm (Odla means farm in Swedish) that supplies the bounty to a farm-to-table wonder on Sakatoon’s Broadway Ave.


  1. Julius Makarewicz (Nude Beverages <https://nudebeverages.com/> , Vancouver) Is it possible that Nude, that spirit juggernaut that’s seemingly everywhere in Western Canada, only launched in 2017? Yes, and the anticipated onslaught of the behemoth has done little to dampen the local champ’s upwards trajectory.

Julius Makarewicz



  1. Jonathan Burke, Alex Ploughman, Craig and Jillian Sheridan (Legends Haul <https://shop.legendshaul.com/> , Coquitlam) Perhaps the ultimate Covid pivoters, they not only moved from supplying high-end protein and produce from restaurants to consumers, but they also quickly added ready-made food from those restaurants to their growing fan base.


  1. Gemma McNeill and Doug Zaklan (Zaklan Heritage Farms <http://www.zaklanheritagefarm.com/> , Surrey) The duo has transformed a 1.5-acre micro-plot that’s been in Dougs family for over 90 years into the go-to spot for thoughtful and creative chefs (like Budock and Co.’s Andrea Carlson) who want the very best (grown by the very best people).

Zaklan Heritage Farms


  1. Said Mdahoma (Said the Pastry Nerd)  <https://www.instagram.com/said.pastrynerd/?hl=en> , Calgary) If one person encapsulates everything that happened in the pandemic year, it might be this French-Comorian PhD in Neuroscience who got the baking bug and transformed a nascent passion into being one of Calgary’s self-taught proper French baking extra ordinaires, through his popular Instagram account and YouTube videos.


  1. Shane Munn (Martin’s Lane <https://www.martinslanewinery.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0-6ABhDMARIsAFVdQv9487HFtvOwuRQjQLNDwATHB6_-n-1OJfJkRLBRJ2bvBXRE-eZ_YL8aAvE-EALw_wcB> , Kelowna) The Kiwi winemaker oversees one of Anthony Von Mandl’s (and as such the entire Okanagan’s) prestige properties, crafting rieslings and pinot noirs that are easily among the region’s best (and most pricey), while still maintaining that southern hemisphere “aw shucks it’s nothing” vibe.


  1. Paul Natrall (Mr. Bannock <https://www.mrbannock.com/> , Vancouver) Nattrell is a familiar face thanks to his popular Mr. Bannock food truck, but it’s his role as a director of The Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations that’s seeing him help bring to cuisine of our first peoples to a wider audience—including the Indigenous Feast Box program that sees Indigenous-owned restaurants (including Mr. Bannock) create healthy meals for their communities during Covid.

Paul Natrall



  1. N’Quatqua First Nations (Trout Hatchery <https://www.nquatqua.ca/> , Darcy, B.C.) The D’arcy-based band may be isolated from regional population centres, but in the past few years they brought their bounty to the finest restaurants in the region (like Whistler’s Grill Room) with their pioneering trout farm. Covid saw them using their surplus to help feed local band members, many who, raised on Salmon, had never tried trout.


  1. Ben Reeder (Maple Bay Hop Farm <https://www.maplebayhopfarm.com/> , Maple Bay ) We love our IPAs out West but we rarely think of the raw goods required. Ben Reeder does—the Backcountry Brewing co-founder controls his (and others) own supply change, by running a Maple Bay hop farm growing everything from classic Cascade to nerdy Sorachi Ace to keep the bitter front and centre for breweries like Luppolo and Strange Fellows.


  1. Pascal Roy (La Fabrique St. George <https://www.fabriquestgeorge.com/> , Vancouver) The idiosyncratic owner of Marche St George had an idea three years ago to open a small natural wine that aged the fermenting juice in ancient kveri vessels. And it took all of those almost three years of dealing with the city’s permitting department to make it happen. But the cool Mt Pleasant spot is worth the wait.


  1. The Schacht Family (Ampersand Distilling Company <http://www.ampersanddistilling.com/> , Duncan) What is it about gin and the Island? First it was the ground-breaking Victoria Gin, then purple-hued Empress, then the dominance of Sheringham. But at this year’s World Gin Awards, it was Ampersand’s flagship bottling that took home the Gold for Canada (and for good measure their Per Se Vodka won best varietal vodka at this years world vodka awards). A testament to the father-son engineering of Stephen and Jeremy, with Jeremy’s wife Jessica dealing with the botanicals and mother Ramona tending the nearby farm.


The Schacht Family


  1. J’Val Shuster (Devour <https://devourcatering.com/> Ca <https://devourcatering.com/> tering <https://devourcatering.com/> , Calgary) Her catering business may have been reeling from the pandemic, but when she heard that the Calgary Food Bank was in receipt of an unwieldy donation of 1,000 pounds of potatoes (destined for French fires that never were) she sprang into action. The Potato Project, as it came to be known, saw her company transform the raw material into healthy meals that could be frozen for the underprivileged. That initial shipment started a trend —by the end December, Devour had transformed over 20,000 pounds of potatoes into almost 16,000 packaged servings of potato soup, smashed potatoes and Potatoes O’Brien for the community.


  1. Gus Steiffenhofer Brandson (Published on Main <https://publishedonmain.com/> , Vancouver) The Winnipeg-born Hawksworth and Pear Tree-alum opened one of the most ambitious restaurants in recent memory—weeks before Covid hit. But he’s stuck to his guns with thoughtful, elaborate and one-of-a-kind menus throughout the pandemic.


  1. Ian Tostenson (BCRFA <https://www.bcrfa.com/about-us> , Vancouver) The long-time head of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association was front and centre from the start of the pandemic, advocating for change to the industry—like patio permits and ability to sell wine with takeout—that made the difference between life and death for many establishments.

  1. The Turyk Family (Unsworth <https://www.unsworthvineyards.com/> , Duncan) Perhaps the most momentous wine moment of the year came last summer when Barbara Banke and daughter Julia Jackson, majority owner in the behemoth that is California’s Jackson Family Estates, announced that they were purchasing Duncan’s well-respected Unsworth. It was a feather in the cap for the Turyk Family, who will stay on and continue the day-to-day operations of the now in-the-spotlight winery.


  1. Josh Vanderheide (Field House Brewery, <https://fieldhousebrewing.com/crafting-good-beer-good-times-in-east-abby-bc/> Abbotsford) In the Lower Mainland, the conventional wisdom is that you want to open a great craft brewery you have two options: East Van or North Van. But Abbotsford’s Field House has bucked that trend making sought-after brews (they’re deadly with the sours) that the city folk are clamouring for (and they expanded to Chilliwack this year).




  1. Peter Van De Reep (Bar Gobo <https://www.bargobo.com/> , Vancouver) The long-time Campagnolo Upstairs barkeep started the year by winning the BC Sommelier of the Year, but as his beloved bar closed, he helmed the opening of yet another soon-to-be classic spot a few blocks away: Andrea Carlson’s natural wine spot Bar Gobo.


  1. Brian Welch (Farrow Sandwiches <http://farrowsandwiches.ca/> , Edmonton) The sandwich king of Edmonton’s three locations was primed to serve the needs of the takeout-only era, but he still found some spare time to open the High Dough, an ode-to-Detroit deep dish, which seems like another concept that might replicate itself a few times over.


  1. Asha Wheeldon (Kula Kitchen <https://kulakitchen.ca/> , Vancouver) Wheeldon created the Afrocentric plant-based foods that became one of the city’s notable vegan operations, and when the BLM movement was just gaining wider recognition in Western Canada, she created one of the first directories of black-owned business in Vancouver that continues to be the resource for those who want to support with their shopping dollars.


  1. Greg Zeschuk (Ritchie Market <https://ritchiemarket.ca/> , Edmonton) The Bioware founder used some of his capital to create one of the most dynamic spots for food in town. Housing the new Duchess Bakery location, Acme Meats, Transcend Coffee, the uber-popular Biera as well as Blind Enthusiasm Brewing, Ritchie Market has become the place for the city’s foodies to get their fix of, well, everything.





For further info and results stay connected with  westernliving.ca <https://www.westernliving.ca/>   Also, keep an eye on their  Facebook and Instagram sites for updates. The Top Ten will  be featured with portraits and essays in Western Living’s March 2021 issue.






Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine


Black Swift opens its doors


Wines of BC – an update.
























February 13th, 2021 -Four of the  Best Experts Recommend  Valentines Wines  


Four of the  Best Experts Recommend  Valentines Wines:




We welcome back – 

Daenna Van Mulligan – The Wine Diva

Ben Sigurdson – Winnipeg Free Press

Kurtis Kolt – Wine Educator

DJ Kearney – Director of Wine Terminal City Club/Educator


Its Valentines Weekend and what better time to talk wines than now.

Whether you’re buying for yourself or the love of your life – when it comes to wines, everyone could use a helping hand.


I’ve invited four of the very best wine minds in Canada.

They judge, they review, educate and mentor.

Best of all, they’re friends.

I asked  a basic question –

What would you recommend to pour over the Valentines weekend and frankly, whenever romance is in the air.


Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva

You can always find her at www.winediva.ca  and www.winescores.ca

Daenna van Mulligen

Blue Mountain Rose Brut $40 (winery/private)

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut $90 BCLS

Segura Viudas Cava $16.99 ($14.99 special until March 6) BCLS


Ben Sigurdson – Winnipeg Free Press



Ben Sigurdson


Benjamin Bridge NV Brut Rose – Nova Scotia, $33, private wine  stores in BC.


Spade and Sparrows 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – California , $29 private wine store

Wine spearheaded by Alberta-born Kaitlyn Bristowe, who appeared on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, as well as Dancing With the Stars.


Amalaya 2019 Malbec – Argentina (Calchaqui/Salta), $19.99, Liquor Marts and beyond $21.99 BCLDB

* 97 pts Decanter World Wine Awards


Bodegas Atalaya 2019 “Laya” – Spain (Almansa) $13.99, Liquor Marts and beyond , $16.99 BCLDB


Tommasi 2017 Poggio al Tufo “Rompicollo” – Italy (Tuscany) – $19.99, Liquor Marts and beyond (Manitoba), $22.99 BCLDB


(Also recommended Synchromesh, Covert Farms, Wolf Trap Red)

Kurtis Kolt – Wine Educator . Co-founder of Top Drop. Consultant. Freelance Writer.


Broc Cellars ‘Happi’ 2018 Chenin Blanc ~ $45


Little Farm 2018 Blind Creek Vineyard Rosé  ~$26


Unsworth Sparkling Rose Brut  ~$19.49 LTO $15.97 until March 6


Creek & Gully 2019 Pet Nat Cider https://creekandgully.com/product/2019-fortuna/


@kurtiskolt covers all platforms




DJ Kearney – Director of Wine Terminal City Club. WSET Educator.  PICA Instructor

Unsworth Charme de L’Isle Rose $25.00

Cedar Creek Chard 2019 – $16.99 sale price

Bartier Bros Cab Franc 2019 $26.99 sale price

Quails’ Gate Optima 2019 – $34.99









Valleys of Wine

Giant Head

Church and State

Spring Releases

Is your restaurant open?











February 6th 2021- Super Bowl Show


Wine Diva. Jay Onrait & Dan O’Toole & Joe Leary

Must be Super Bowl Weekend



It happens but once a year but if ever a year needed a Super Bowl,  it’s the year we all just went through.

It’s a bag of fun for everyone at Tasting Room Radio.  We get to reconnect with friends and talk football, food & drinks for Super Bowl Weekend and of course, predict the final score.

Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva

Daenna has admitted over the years that football is not exactly a priority but like everyone else, when the game gets close she lines up food and wine at home.

Take a sec  to check out her list below.  As always they’re  well thought out and personally tasted by The Wine Diva.

(These bottles are chosen from her current wine list – Budget Bottles under $17.00www.winediva.ca

(Daenna will be back next week with Valentines Bubble)

Intrigue Chardonnay, BC $17 (winery/private)

Torres Vina Esmeralda Catalunya $16.99 (special $13.99 until Mar 6) BCLS

Protea Chenin Blanc SA $14.99 (on special $12.99 until Mar 6) BCLS


Tiger Horse Cinsault, Western Cape SA $14.99 BCLS

Trapiche Reserve Malbec Mendoza $14.99 (special $11.99 until March 6) BCLS

McGuigan Single Batch Cab Sauv Australia $16.99 (special $14.99 until March 6) BCLS


Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole – Jay and Dan SC/TSN


Jay and Dan and I have been gathering like this for a couple of years now. I stalk them through their Sports Centre shows, their podcasts and now TRR.

So..sports is what they do.  We’ll talk about the game and its impact..Dan has a mini conspiracy theory going about Covid 19 and the players..and because they are the hosts of the Super Bowl wrap-up on TSN they only get to see half the game at home and the rest at work. Dan does his chili…Jay blends Syrah and a  kale smoothie.  Eeewwwww.

The boys bring all the info you need and some you don’t.  (but it’s all fun)

Plus you get a final score.

If you’re a winemaker or owner they have a proposition for you.



Joe Leary –   Host/Producer of Just Here for the Beer. TSN Radio


Who better to bring the beer that Smokin’ Joe Leary.

​ Just Here for the Beer is now Canada’s longest-running, dedicated, and continuous beer-oriented program on commercial radio airwaves. JHFTB broadcasts on Vancouver’s Flagship Sports Radio Station, TSN 1040/103.5 FM HD2.

For 11 years he’s been hosting and producing Just Here for the Beer. Everyone on the show either pours, makes, or owns beer or a brewery.

Joe brought 6 recommendations. He could easily have brought 106. These were some of his favorites. Some local. Some not.  Well done Joe

Driftwood – Fat Tug

House of Funk – Lager Bier (House of Lager)/Chaka Sour IPA

Red Truck – 8 pack box: The Defender Bourbon Ale/Cherry Bomb Black Cherry Lager

Lagunitas – IPA

La Cerveceria – Salted Lime Lager

Hoyne – Dark Matter



The Wine Diva – Valentine Bubble

Kurtis Kolt – Wines for Valentines Weekend

Giant Head


January 30th, 2021 – Christa-Lee McWatters (Time) – Christine Coletta (Narrative) – Jay Drysdale (Bella) 


Christa-Lee McWatters (Time) – Christine Coletta (Narrative) – Jay Drysdale (Bella) 




Three true wine leaders in the Okanagan bringing new releases you’re going to want to try and buy.


Christa-Lee McWatters – GM of  5 Vines Cellars. (TIME Winery and Kitchen . Evolve. McWatters Collection)

Christa-Lee McWatters

TIME-CabFranc2018-TechSheet TIME-CabSauv2018-TechSheet

Being the daughter of Harry McWatters, British Columbia wine pioneer, Christa-Lee has had a rich understanding and love for BC wine since birth. She was involved in planting vineyards with her father and sister Darrien on the Black Sage Bench in the early 1990s.

Since 2000, Christa-Lee held key roles in sales, marketing, and hospitality for several successful Okanagan wineries, until stepping in as director of marketing and sales for her family’s enterprise ENCORE Vineyards in 2014.

After her father’s passing in 2019, Christa-lee assumed the position as CEO until the parent company was purchased by Five Vines Cellars. Christa-Lee continues to manage the three wine labels and downtown winery in Penticton but still finds time to give back to her industry through the British Columbia Wine Institute, Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive Winery Association, Canadian Vintner’s Association, the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, BC Hospitality Foundation and Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter.

Getting caught up with CL includes new releases from TIME Winery.

The Whites.

2018  Brut  Method Covee Clos  (34.99)

It engages with notes of toast and lime and a wonderful tiny bubble texture in the mouth invites you to let it linger around your tongue.  Love this.














2018 Meritage White  (25.00) – An perfect equal split between Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. I  found melon and mandarin on the nose but the texture had such a lovely tropical fruit entry that lead to a nice texture and finish.

A true barrel-aged  Winter White that can only get better with cellaring for a couple of years.

The Reds

2017  Fourth Dimension (35.00)  When you blend well made Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc many things can happen. They can end up fighting each other for dominance or with the careful blending exhibited in this blend the varietals reward with Cherry and Raspberry on the nose and cracked black pepper and spice. Long slow finish.  Again. Let it Linger.

“Time is the Fourth Dimension”   Al Einstein


2018 Syrah (39.99) Greeted by bold ripe blackberry and hints of mint on the nose.  Rich flavors of fresh black currant and ripe plum cracked black pepper and a taste of cinnamon on the way out. This could be your next favorite red. Cellaring for a couple of years will reward big time.


2018 Cabernet Sauvignon  (39.99) Everything you want and expect in a classic Cab. Cassis, blackberry, vanilla, pepper!  Boom. This well structured big red wine compliments beautifully with BBQ  and engaging pasta. Although just released,  I’d advise to get it while you can.


2018 Cabernet Franc (34.99)  So good it just takes three words – Find-Buy-Taste. If you need more words how about this –  aromas of raspberries, ripe cherry, and pepper on the nose,  taste includes, plum, black fruit, with soft tannins and finish. Think food with the same bang.



Christine Coletta Co-Founder of Okanagan Crush Pad  and Narrative Wine

Christine Coletta

Everyone in B.C.’s wine industry knows Christine Coletta.

Innovator, community champion, visionary, land steward— She is an ongoing force.

Christine, or CC as she is known by many, has earned awards and accolades throughout her illustrious career. She was named  One of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2020 by Wine Industry Advisor.

Christine is one of the founding members of the BC Wine Institute and the BC VQA program, and she has helped to mentor a number of professionals in the food and wine industries over the last 30 years.


Through her crush work at Okanagan Crush Pad, she has also been involved in the start of a number of new wineries in BC.

Her guidance, support, and mentorship have landed her the nickname, “Godmother of BC Wine.”


Okanagan Crush Pad is the home for

Haywire Wines

Free Form

Bizou and Yukon



Today CC brings the new releases from Narrative.

Is it a floor wax or a shampoo?

Is it a Rose?  Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s a….


2019 Viognier/Syrah except it’s 80% Viognier and 20% Syrah

(spice, pepper, raspberries, and strawberries. Lots of rich  texture)


Viognier I was impressed by this release a while back and had to ask CC about it.

Slow fermented in concrete.  Yummy!


2018 Syrah Viognier.  Its quite a process to get this wine just right.  Syrah co-fermented with Viognier in clay amphora. On skins for 90 days. Some of the Syrah is in concrete which brings out the spice and texture. It’s crazy good.


2016 Syrah (organic)  Grown in the South Okanagan  Spends lots of time in concrete. Its soft in the mouth with notes of white pepper.

There’s a surprising lift in the mouth mid-palette. Not the usual dark chocolate.

THIS is a Syrah you want to find and it’s one of Narrative’s Winter Reds. Best of all its been in bottle for 2 extra years.


Check out the Okanagan Crush Pad website for information on Virtual Tastings, Special 6 packs and an opportunity to join a panel of tasters.



Jay Drysdale –  Bella Wines (Naramata Bench)

“I moved to the Okanagan in 2004 and quickly fell in love with everything related to the BC wine industry.  I see a world class wine region in BC and understand we are still in our infancy, comparatively speaking.  This is our “wild west” era and we should enjoy this time of exploration, trial and error. 

Jay Drysdale and Wendy Rose

In the ten short years I have been watching, and involved with, the B.C. wine industry, quality has increased and our voice is getting louder and stronger.  I’m honored to be a part of this growing and evolving community.”  Jay “Gamay” Drysdale

Jay Drysdale is a geekmeister.

He will talk about Gamay and bubble for hours..and when you think of Jay and his love Wendy Rose you have to think of Bubble. Because that’s what they do. As many releases as you can taste in a day. As many clones as you need to know..

Bella makes and releases

The Vineyard Series  – specific vineyards. Many in small batches

Pet Nat

Trad Nat

Bella Reserve


In order to give Jay room to expand his storytelling we’ve given  him  two segments and we go over multiple wines each with their own story, terroir, season and results.

Trust me on this – they are one of the most interesting wineries and couples in BC wine. Every bottle, every release has a surprise in it. If its not the nose it’s the taste or the colour in the bottle. If you happen to ask Jay about,  say,  one of his Gamay Rose grab and chair and sit down. Get comfortable because your Jay Jam is about to begin.


Fabulous wines and totally unique to BC.  Start with the 2019 Mariani Vineyards Clone 509 and stash a bottle of Pet Nat.






Church and State

Giant Head

Creek and Gully Cider

Black Swift

Anthony Buchanan


Le Vieux Pin