Tasting Room Radio

September 24th, 2022 – The return of the Vancouver Wine Festival: Part One


The return of  VanWineFest Part One…


After  a series  of historic events far more important than a wine gathering,

we welcomed the 43rd annual Vancouver Wine Festival back into our lives.

The pandemic required a different gathering this year.

Smaller crowds,  masks not mandatory but fully encouraged.

Fewer wineries and participants made for a calmer and quieter convention center. We liked it.

Many of the participants who were scheduled to attend and pour last year returned with some wines a year older and lots of new fresh wines from 2021.

There was an unmistakable joy in the room.

Joy, for having survived the pandemic.   Joy, to seeing friends and exchanging stories about the past two years.

It was a beauty.  People shook hands. They hugged! Almost like the life we used to know.

So… let’s celebrate with the first of two specials at this year’s VanWineFest from the floor of the Vancouver Convention Centre..

Many thanks to Harbour Air for getting me there and back. Also Meriha Beaton – Milk Creative. John De Vries, FMFM  and Corey Wood.

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

Here’s the line up! We have sit down interviews with

Harry Hertscheg. Exec. Director


Harry Hertscheg – Executive Director VanWineFest  www.vanwinefest.ca 

Lynzee Schatz – Winemaker at TIME Family Wines (Penticton) www.timewines.ca

Ross Baker – Winemaker at LA FRENZ (Naramata)  www.lafrenzwinery.ca

Dan Irving – Bread and Butter Wine (Napa) www.breadandbutterwines.com

Mike Raffan – General Manager Township 7 (Naramata) www.township7.com

Howard Soon – Chief Winemaker  Vanessa Vineyards (Similkameen) www.vanessavineyard.com

Taylor Whelan – Winemaker Cedar Creek (East Kelowna) www.cedarcreek.bc.ca

Mark Kuspira – Soft Crush Imports (Calgary) www.crushimports.com




  • VanWineFest Part Two
  • Tony Holler – Poplar Grove
  • Mark De Vere – Robert Mondavi Wine
  • Ray Signorello – Signorello Wine
  • Scorched Earth
  • Bartier Bros.
  • Township 7
  • Hillside  Estate
  • Napa/SF
  • Thanksgiving Wines



September 17th, 2022-a vertical pour from Clos Du Soleil and 3 new releases from Hester Creek


This week – a vertical pour from Clos Du Soleil and 3 new releases from Hester Creek



The invitation was just too good to pass up.

Michael Clark,  Winemaker and GM of Clos du Soleil Winery  in the Similkameen Valley was coming to Chambar Restaurant in Vancouver to pour two verticals of his wines.

Michael Clark

Best of all, he brought his Similkameen neighbour,  Master of Wine and co-owner of Little Farm Winery, Rhys Pender.

Rhys & Michael

First tasting was with Capella, their flagship white wine. A classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

The grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed and lightly crushed, then cold-soaked for several hours prior to pressing. The wine is fermented entirely in barrel (500L French oak puncheons), with the majority of the fermentations being spontaneous with wild yeast. In some years a portion of the barrels are allowed to go through wild malolactic fermentation as well. The wine is then aged on the lees for 9 months, with occasional lees stirring. Only the best lots are then blended for inclusion in Capella. The wine is filtered prior to bottling, but otherwise entirely unmanipulated.

Capella has truly earned a place in my wine world as one of my go-to favourites. That’s what happens when  wine becomes a treat for yourself and others. We tasted 2006/2009/2012/2017/2019/2021

The other vertical tasting was with their red icon Bordeaux blend Signature.

Signature is their flagship blend of red Bordeaux varieties, with most vintages including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Each variety and vineyard block is harvested separately, by hand, at optimal maturity and then gravity-fed to concrete tanks, where it is spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeast.

After a moderate post-fermentation maceration the wine is pressed in a basket press, and then aged for approximately 16 months in 100% French oak barrels, where it undergoes spontaneous malolactic fermentation. A rigorous barrel-selection process is used to determine the final blend. The resulting wine is bottled entirely unfined and unfiltered.

We tasted 2007/2009/2010/2013/2016/2017/2019.

 The Clos Du Soleil vineyards are primarily located on the upper bench of the southern Similkameen Valley, which has an arid, hot, desert-like climate, with rocky, mineral-rich soils that produce truly distinctive wines of ripe fruit character, fresh acidity, herbal notes and striking minerality.

Rhys Pender is the perfect co-host for this tasting as he has always tried to convince BC wine fans to cellar their special whites and enjoy them years later. Rhys has also taken part in these same varietal pours back home in Cawston with Michael and  brings with him the history of the wines and the vineyards.

Rhys Pender

@Clos du Soleil Winery

@[email protected]


 Our Second guest is Winemaker Mark Hopley of Hester Creek (Golden Mile)

A wonderful winemaker,  Mark Hopley would like all of us to know about three new releases.

Mark Hopley

2021 Ti Amo

Prosecco inspired, its primarily Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Semillon. $21.99

This clean sparkling wine bursts with fragrant honeysuckle and orchard blossom notes. The inviting palate shows light Okanagan pear and candied citrus, with a light touch of sweetness. A perfect sparkling wine for entertaining,  brunch or desserts. At this price, its perfect for larger gatherings, weddings and receptions.

2019 Old Vine Brut $34.99

Made from rare Old Vine Pinot Blanc vines on the historic Golden Mile Bench Vineyard (Thank you Joe Busnardo)

This second vintage displays  light honey hued tones with fine, active beads. Bright lemon, brioche and ginger aromas. A fresh and inviting palate invites the joy of lemon zest and fresh biscuits, ending with a clean, and long finish.  Beautifully balanced blanc de blanc Brut. This is the wine to  celebrate with,  enjoy with an olive tapenade, spot prawn ceviche or fresh Pacific oysters with a Meyer lemon ginger mignonette sauce. Loved this bubble. It’s such a delight, you’ll find yourself smiling and giggling. Which, considering our times,  is never a bad thing. Highly recommended. Cellar up to 10 years.

2019 The Judge $49.99

What a beautiful  wine. I fell in love with this Bordeaux blend the first year they made it – 2008.

Made from the oldest vines on their property.

41 Merlot/31 Cab/28 Cab Franc. Barrel aged 24 months. Primarily French oak (New and Neutral)

Winemaker Mark Hopley judged from the best lots in their  cellar to make this iconic wine. Generous aromas of toasted caramel, dark chocolate, fresh blackberry, leather and sagebrush. The fabulous palate expresses ripe cherry, rich cocoa and savoury characteristics with a round, huge finish. A richly textured wine that pairs well with braised short ribs, thick rich stews or full-bodied cheeses.

Can be cellared up to 10 years.

Join Hester Creek  throughout next  weekend at the winery for daily live music, vendors, vineyard tours, and food trucks!   Special features for Friday, September 23rd  Food Truck – Pit Stop Smokery  ~ 12-4pm Vendors ~ 12-4pm Petit Pétale Flower Farm South Okanagan Snacks Live Music by the talented Ari Neufeld ~ 1-4pm ​patio & lawn

@Mark Hopley





Bartier Brothers

Township 7









September 10th, 2022 – 812 Wines.  20 Platinum. Here’s 5 of the very best 2021 BC Lt. Governors Winners.


812 Wines.  20 Platinum. We present  5 of the very best 2021 BC Lt. Gov Winners.


 The press release said..

A panel of judges from Canada and the US tasted more than 800 wines, and awarded gold, silver, and platinum medals to 90 British Columbian wineries”

I know most of these judges. They cannot be fooled or influenced. They take great pride in getting the winners right. 12 of the 14 judges have been guests on Tasting Room Radio. I pay attention to what they have to say.

On and off the air.

Congratulations to all the wineries and to Tim Pawsey – Winner of the Harry McWatters Award.

There simply wasn’t time to talk to all 20 Platinum winners but we were able to stalk and corner…



Wine of the Year winner David Patterson – GM & Winemaker of Tantalus 2018 Old Vines Riesling (East Kelowna)

David Patterson


Grant Stanley – Winemaker at Spearhead Winery. . (East Kelowna) 3 Platinum Pinot Noirs

Grant Stanley


Lorin Inglis – GM at ENRICO Winery (Cowichan Valley) 2020 Shining Armour Pinot Gris

TDM and Lorin Ingles


Jeff Hundertmark – Head Winemaker Mt Boucherie  (West Kelowna) 2020 Original Vine Semillon/2018 Reserve Syrah

Jeff Hundertmark


Gaurev Maan – Maan Farms Estate Winery – 2020 Raspberry Table Wine (Frazer Valley)

The Mann Family


Elan Morris – GM OK Wine Festivals. (Kelowna)

Here is the complete 2021 Platinum List – Congratulations All.

  • Arrowleaf Cellars – 2019 Riesling
  • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery – 2019 Syrah
  • CedarCreek Estate Winery – 2020 Platinum Home Block Rosé
  • Chain Reaction Winery – 2019 Tailwind Pinot Gris
  • ENRICO WINERY – 2020 Shining Armour Pinot Gris
  • Inniskillin Okanagan Estate Winery – 2018 Estate Riesling Icewine
  • Kismet Estate Winery – 2018 Cabernet Franc Reserve
  • Liquidity Wines – 2020 Rosé
  • Maan Farms Estate Winery – 2020 Raspberry Table Wine
  • Mission Hill Family Estate – 2019 Terroir Collection Vista’s Edge Cabernet Franc
  • Mission Hill Family Estate – 2019 Perpetua
  • Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery – 2020 Original Vines Sémillon
  • Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery – 2018 Reserve Syrah
  • Silhouette Estate Winery – N/V Boyd Classic Cuveé
  • Silkscarf Winery – 2017 Syrah-Viognier
  • SpearHead Winery – 2019 Pinot Noir Saddle Block
  • SpearHead Winery – 2019 Pinot Noir Cuveé
  • SpearHead Winery – 2019 Pinot Noir Golden Retreat
  • Tantalus Vineyards – 2018 Chardonnay
  • Three Sisters Winery – 2019 Rebecca

The full list of medal winners can be found on the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society website.










Hester Creek

Bartier Brothers

Victoria Wine festival

Clos de Soleil Vertical Pour

Township 7







September 3rd,2022-The Return of Top Drop / 2022


Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

The Return of Top Drop / 2022

“The one wine tasting  of the year you shouldn’t miss”



 Like all other events in our day-to-day lives, there was no Top Drop during the pandemic.

However, Top Drop wine fans are a very loyal bunch and I never thought for a minute that there might never be another Top Drop.

Why the loyalty?

“The one wine tasting  of the year you shouldn’t miss”

Western Living Magazine


Kurtis Kolt and his partners have dedicated themselves to finding and inviting wineries that display a sense of place and craft.

Kurtis Kolt

A great many are organic and all farm sustainably. Some are large but many are small and finding them is like finding a prize.

The participants are so thoroughly vetted, that it makes the invited list feel like an all-star game.

The two-day event took place May 10 & 11 in the very comfortable surroundings at The Roundhouse in Yaletown. 40 local and  international wineries pouring!

As usual, I couldn’t get to everyone in the room. But I did stalk and talk to :

Bella WinesJay Drysdale (Naramata Bench) A stellar sparkling wine house focused on single-vineyard expressions. Especially Gamay.

Creek & Gully CiderAnnelise Simonsen and Alyssa Hubert (Naramata Bench) A family farm, 65 acres of Organic Apples. They seek and fully welcome apples deemed “undesirable”

Ciders are proudly unfined, unfiltered, and ambiently fermented in the bottle and can. We also talk about saving Okanagan orchards.

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards – Gordon Fitzpatrick. (Summerland) Focused on traditional method sparkling wine. From 40 acres of vines separated into 12 smaller blocks.


Hedges Family Estate –  Christophe Hedges (Red Mountain. Washington)  Farmers first, winemakers second, the Hedges Family were pioneers of the modern Washington Wine Industry. Christophe leads the next generation.

Lightning Rock Winery – Jordan Kubek Winemaker (Summerland) Creating electric, joyous and juicy wines. Jordan and Tyler desire to express each vineyard in the glass.

Martin’s Lane WineryShane Munn Winemaker (East Kelowna) Pinot and Riesling only. Vineyards are farmed and certified organic. Gravity-fed winery. Outstanding wines and winery.

Okanagan Crush PadDarryl Brooker New CEO and Matt Dumayne.  Winemaker. (Summerland) What a success story is Okanagan Crush Pad. Creating their own wines Haywire, Narrative, and Free Form. Concrete tanks, native yeasts, and no messing with the wines. New plantings deserve your attention.

Orofino – John and Virginia Weber. Winemaker & Co-owners (Similkameen Valley) Minimal intervention in the solar-powered, strawbale winery. Premium wines that John described as “gulpable”. From beautiful Rieslings to knockout Syrah plus  outstanding vineyards in a spectacular valley. It all adds up to Orofino!

Terravista Vineyards – Nadine Allander Winemaker (Naramata Bench) Producers of small-lot specialty white wines including Spanish varietals: Albarino and Verdejo plus French beauties Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier.  A tribute to the vineyards and those who planted them.

Ursa Major WineryRajen Toor Owner/Principal. (South Okanagan. Black Sage Bench) Organically farmed vineyards on prime land. Working with many varietals but especially Bordeaux grapes to see if they can showcase a different side of the grape.  Much buzz about this winery.

Owen Knowlton – Stable House Award-winning  Award winning Wine Sommelier and Director.

Pouring Wines of Bordeaux


Kurtis Kolt – Co-Founder of Top Drop Vancouver and Wine Educator

















  • Hester Creek Bubble
  • Bartier releases
  • Victoria Wine Festival
  • Fall Reds
  • Regenerative Farming
  • Benjamin Bridge – Nova Scotia

















August 27th, 2022 Making Award Winning Wines at “The Fort”



Making Award Winning Wines at “The Fort”





Just how well is Fort Berens Winery doing this year?

#3 – Top 10 Small Wineries in Canada

#6 – Top 10 BC Wineries

#8 – Top 25 Wineries in Canada

1 Platinum Medal and 94 Points for their 2020 Pinot Noir

3 Gold Medals and 92 Points for the 2019 Merlot Reserve  and small lots  2021 Gruner Veltliner

2 Silver Medals and 90 points for the 2019 Cab Franc Reserve and 2021 Pinot Gris.


Lillooet is a new and emerging wine region in BC’s growing wine industry. Fort Berens is the first winery in Lillooet and features close to 40 planted acres of vineyards.

I guess you can tell that we’ve been keeping an eye on the winery and region as Co-founder Rolf de Bruin joins us for his 6th visit.


As soon as The Nationals were announced Rolf was ready to talk about the 2021 Spring and Summer releases. These were the Heat Dome Summer wines, with the highest temperature ever recorded in June. Followed by wildfires in the area.


Rolf also told us the tale of how winemaker Alessandro  (Alex) Nel made his way from making wines in  South Africa to Fort Berens in Lillooet.

Alex Nel


Here are the wines we taste and talk about:

2021 Riesling $21.99

2021 Pinot Gris $21.99

2021 Chardonnay $22.99

2021 Rose $21.99

2021 Small Lot Dry Riesling $24.99 (new)

2021 Small Lot Gruner Veltliner $24.99 (new)

The ultimate goal of Rolf and his team is to be 100% Lillooet VQA.  The 100% Lillooet wines above are Chardonnay, Rose, Small Lot Dry Riesling, and Small Lot Gruner.

They are open daily for tastings and the Kitchen at Fort Berens is also open daily.  Check out their Wine Club and Newsletter




2021 Vintage Previews from:

Dwight Sick – Winemaker and GM at Seven Stones Winery in the Similkameen Valley


Galen Barnhart – Monte Creek  Winery  in Kamloops /Thompson





Bartier Brothers

Hester Creek

Benjamin Bridge – Nova Scotia

Victoria Wine Festival

Township 7



August 20th, 2022 A Haltwhistle Cheese & Wine pairing with Unsworth Wines – A  Feature Special  


A Haltwhistle Cheese & Wine pairing with  Unsworth Wines :   a feature special



 This weeks guests:

Kirsten Thorarinson and Cory Spencer – co-founders of Haltwhistle Cheese

Kirsten Thorarinson and Cory Spencer

Karen Newington – Tasting Room Manager Unsworth Vineyards

 As the Sales & Operations Manager, Kirsten makes sure that the farm runs efficiently. She frequently delivers cheese to mongers and chefs and is often manning their stand at Vancouver Island farmers’ markets.


Cory is the cheesemaker. He oversees he entire process from caring for the animals to aging the cheese. He also looks after their herd.

“Treat yourself to a taste of Europe in your own backyard. Here at their  family farm in the Cowichan Valley, they make all their  raw-milk cheeses by hand–using the same Old-World methods as European farmstead cheese makers. Their artisanal cheese pair well with wine, honey and good company.”

 I know almost nothing about cheese. Apparently I’m not the only one

Here are three questions Kirsten and Cory have been asked at Saturday markets.

“is your Gouda processed cheese?”

“what are your cheese curds made from?”

“do you milk your goats?”

The whole idea of putting Haltwhistle and Unsworth together was to answer the questions about pairing.

What do you pair with Feta?

It helps that Karen Newington is not only the Tasting Room Manager at Unsworth, she also worked at Haltwhistle for 4 years.

Karen Newington. Unsworth

Here  are the cheeses:

 Fromage Frais – Fromage Frais is a rich and spreadable cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. It has a somewhat tangy flavour and distinct buttery notes, thanks to its high butterfat content. This decadent cheese pairs well with bread or crackers.

fromage frais

Tadwick – This traditional English-style cheddar is one of our best-selling cow’s milk cheeses. Made from unpasteurized milk, Tadwick is mild yet flavourful when young (3-7 months). The longer it matures (8-12 months), the more it develops its signature sharp flavour and pleasant tang.


Thombury – This rustic farmer’s cheese is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It has an earthy and milky flavour and is based on the Tomme-style cheeses made in the French Alps. To develop its natural rind, Thombury is carefully tended to for 3 to 6 months.


Tomme de Vallée – Our signature cheese and one of our best-sellers. This natural-rind cheese is inspired by the traditional Tomme-style cheeses from the French Alps. It is made from unpasteurized goat’s milk and gently aged for 3 to 6 months, giving this rustic farmer’s cheese an earthy and rich flavour.


Feta – This traditional Greek cheese has a firm and crumbly texture. It is made from unpasteurized goat’s milk and aged in brine (a salty solution) for 2 to 3 months, which lends the cheese a slightly salty and tangy flavour.

Feta cheese

The Unsworth wines being paired and poured are:

2021 Rosé with Fromage Frais $26.90

2021 Rosé

2020 Gamay Pinot Noir with Tadwick $26.90

2020 Chardonnay with Thombury $30.90

2020 Pinot Noir with Tomme de Vallée $38.90

2020 Saison Vineyard Pinot Gris with Feta $25.99


Do your own taste test. It’s a ton of fun!








Bartier Brothers

Township 7

Hester Creek

Victoria Wine Festival


August 13th, 2022- Cowichan Wine Month Kick Off…


The Summer of 2022 has been one big wine festival in the Cowichan Valley.

June was wine passport month.

Now comes the August 4th  Wine Festival Launch Party. BECAUSE  August is Wine Month in the Cowichan Valley!!

The kick-off took place on the superb beachfront lawn at Brentwood College, Mill Bay.

With the help and support of Corey Wood and Jill Nessel, I was able to taste with  and talk to:

Dan Wright – Unsworth Vineyards  https://www.unsworthvineyards.com/


(Dan Wright- Unsworth)


Lorin Inglis – Enrico Winery  https://www.enricowinery.com/

Lorne Inglis

(Lorin Inglis – Enrico)

Bailey Williamson – Blue Grouse Winery  https://bluegrouse.ca/

Bailey Richardson

(Bailey Williamson – Blue Grouse)

Xavier Bonilla – Cherry Point Estate https://www.cherrypointestatewines.com/

(Xavier Bonilla – Cherry Point)

Garrett Deol – Deol Winery  https://www.deolestatewinery.com/

Zac Brown – Alderlea Vineyards https://www.alderlea.ca/

Mike Nierychlo – Emandare Vineyard https://www.emandarevineyard.com/

Christiaan DeBeer – Zanatta Winery https://zanatta.ca/



photos by: Corey Wood &  Stephanie Cragg


 Township 7

Haltwhistle Cheese and Unsworth – a pairing

Fort Berens

Bartier Brothers



August 6th, 2022- Anthony Gismondi & The National Wine Awards of Canada – 2022


The National Wine Awards of Canada – 2022

With Co-Founder Anthony Gismondi.




 Our guest is the highly respected wine writer, reviewer, and industry leader Anthony Gismondi.

Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America’s most influential wine voices. His twice-weekly column in The Vancouver Sun, which he has written since 1989, is read across Canada through Postmedia Network, reaching close to 10 million readers.

His comprehensive wine review website www.gismondionwine.com, one of the first such sites on the internet, features over 30,000 tasting notes, added daily. It is an important resource for trade and consumers in Canada and 114 other countries.

Anthony hosts BC Food & Wine Radio Show the longest-running, weekly wine and food show on Canadian radio for 25 years. The one-hour show is broadcast on 20 radio stations across British Columbia and is available everywhere as a podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, and more.

Gismondi is the co-founder of the annual National Wine Awards of Canada, the largest and broadest competition for Canadian Wine since its inception 21 years ago. Anthony continues to run the annual event as co-chair. He is also the editor of the Canada wine section in the world’s best-selling wine book Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. In addition, Anthony is a much sought-after moderator and consultant.

He will occasionally post as ‘The Spitter”


The 21st running of the National Wine Awards of Canada wrapped up on June 23 in Niagara.  After much deliberation and number checking,  the results rolled out on July 15th, starting with Sparkling Wines. 

The rest of the category results were rolled out throughout the rest of July, with the final Platinum, Best Performing Small Winery, and Winery of the Year announcements coming at the end of the month.  (We’ve included links to all the results below)

Co-Head Judges Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason

The 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada were founded by David Lawrason and Anthony Gismondi, ‘The Nationals’ are the largest and most respected Canadian wine competition.

In 2022, 24 judges tasted 1,890 entries from more than 250 wineries. Canadian wine is indeed gathering acclaim internationally, but ‘The Nationals’ is the most important peer competition local wineries can enter. With nearly every producer of note in the country competing, making it to the top ten of any category list is special. Getting on the annual list of the Top 25 Wineries in Canada is one of the most sought accolades in the business.


Judges and Admin Staff of the National Wine Awards of Canada

The entries came from eight provinces. British Columbia had the highest representation with 137 wineries entered, Ontario came second with 87, followed by wineries from Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

The wines were all served blind (producer, origin, and price were not revealed) but identified and organized into flights by grape variety or style. The top medalists were tasted in multiple rounds by many different judges.

The judges only tasted a limited quantity of wines each day so their palates could stay fresh and focused, and the wines were served in high-quality glasses at just the right temperature. All this was to ensure that each wine was treated with the respect it deserves.

Finally, after an exhilarating series of announcements on July 29 WineAlign were thrilled to conclude their results with Canada’s Winery of the Year, the Top 25 Wineries in Canada, the Top 10 B.C. Wineries and the Top 10 Ontario Wineries.


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada!





Medal Winners by Category:

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Icewine & Late Harvest
Mead, Fruit Wine & Fortified
Orange Wines (extended skin contact)
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Pinot Noir
Red Blends
Red Single Varieties – Others
Sauvignon Blanc
White Single Varieties – Others
White Blends






Hester Creek – includes new sparkling

Bartier Brothers

Fort Berens

HaltWhistle Cheese pairing with Unsworth – Cowichan

Cowichan Wine Month – kick off at Brentwood




JULY 30 2022-SUMMER SPIRITS with Davin De Kergommeaux


SUMMER SPIRITS with Davin De Kergommeaux

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air


 My spirits education began and ended with the same bottle of  Lemon Gin.

My brother and I were the youngest members of the Kamloops Rube Band.

All the other band members were college-age or dads.


Denis and I tried to keep up with “the boys” when we did parades or road trips.

As much as we liked the first taste of lemon gin, we HATED ourselves the morning after.

For me, it only took one bottle and I never went back to spirits. That is until I met Davin de Kergommeaux at the Canadian Whisky Championships in Victoria.

Davin has been an author and whisky reviewer/judge for over two decades.

Davin De Kergommeaux

His books Canadian Whisky The Portable Expert, The New Portable Expert, and The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries are invaluable to those of you seeking support and deep information on whisky and spirits.


So.  When I decided to do a Summer Spirits special – Davin was a natural co-host.

I asked two things of him:

Please recommend spirit makers who are also storytellers

and…   stop me when I get stupid.

He was great on the first ask and on the second request,  Davin almost gave up on me.


Davin’s recommendations were:

Caitlin QuinnHead Distiller at Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley, Alberta.

Negroni. Old Fashion. Rupert’s Whisky Sassafras.


Caitlin Quinn – Eau Claire


Jake Clark –  Consumer Engagement Manager  Strait and Narrow – Custom Handcrafted Gins/Pacific Coast Cocktails

Grapefruit Rosemary/Pear Rhubarb/Peach Elderflower/Lemon Lavender  (Makers of 1908 Gin)



Bob Baxter – President & Co-founder Yukon Brewing Company

Spiked Seltzers –  Cherry and Lime/Pineapple Ginger/Raspberry/Basil/Mango Hibiscus and a great Lemon Lavender Radler (German Shandy)


Bryce Parsons – Master Distiller  Last Best Brewing. Calgary.

The man who created 52 different gins in one year.

Last Best Afterglow Gin & Soda – Savage Love  Tom Collins – Fortunella Citrus Iced Tea




Colin McDougall – Corby’s Spirits Portfolio Consultant.

JP Wiser’s 18-year-old Whisky and Lot 40 Dark Oak 100% Rye Whisky

The man is a storyteller. Enjoy the tales.



Thank you Davin De Kergommeaux, Letittia King, Rob Roycroft and Heather Gillespie at Yukon Brewing.



Fort Berens – Releases and Awards

Aug 4 Cowichan pour at Brentwood School

Wine Align – National Wine Awards

Township 7 New Wines

HaltWhistle Cowichan Cheese and Unsworth Pairing Session

Hester Creek – Foating down The Creek



July 23rd, 2022- The Wonderful Wines of OZ


The Wonderful Wines of OZ

 We start with Tim Dolan, the Senior Winemaker at  Peter Lehmann Wines in the Barossa Valley.


Tim Dolan

Tim Dolan is the third generation of his family to make wine in the Barossa, following his father Nigel and grandfather Bryan – two of the most influential winemakers of their respective eras.

Tim worked for pocket money after school in just about every part of the winery, from crushing to cleaning. With a degree in Oenology from The University of Adelaide, in the five years that followed Tim set out to amass as much international experience as possible working vintages in eight different regions across the USA, Italy, Canada, and  Australia. He spent several chilling vintages in Niagara but was impressed with Canadian wines.

In 2011 Tim joined the Peter Lehmann team under the stewardship of then Chief Winemaker, Andrew Wigan. Since that time he has proven himself to be a talented and highly competent winemaker brimming with passion and ideas. Tim is now the Sr Winemaker at Peter Lehmann.

Peter Lehmann

It didn’t go unnoticed that one of his winemaking team at Peter Lehmann is Brooke Blair,  who spent many years winemaking in Canada. Most of it with Jackson – Triggs in the South Okanagan.  She was often a guest in the first years of Tasting Room Radio, I hope to follow that info up and reconnect with Brooke.

Tim Dolan brings two solid wines to the show.

The Barossan Shiraz and The Barossan Chardonnay.  Both will go great with your Summer BBQ.

The Barossan Shiraz:  Best with an Angus beef burger – extra cheese, dill pickle, and a side of crunchy chips.

the barossan 2019 Shiraz

The Barossan Chardonnay:  Perfectly paired with BBQed chicken or Salmon, or pair it with a coconut and turmeric fish curry. This Chardonnay was made specifically for Canadian Wine Fans.

These wines are well made, balanced, and best of all – affordable!! Both under $20

the barossan 2021 chardonnay



Back to Australia

We’re staying with Australian wines and winemakers for the last segment of this week’s TRR.

An interview from the archives from a  busy Top Drop gathering several years ago.

Behind  the Australian pouring, table were Wines of Australia ambassador Mark Davidson, Brendan Keys (BK Wines/Handmade Wines), and  Matt Fowles (Ladies who shoot their Lunch & Are you Game?)

Mark Davidson




The Cheese and Wine special

Fort Berens

Township 7

Aug 4 pour in Mill Bay