Tasting Room Radio

July 16th, 2022- Cowichan Valley Wineries Party and Pour Aug 4

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Cowichan Valley Wineries Party and Pour Aug 4

A blend of stories from Cowichan Valley  and  Naramata Bench.

Starting with master storyteller Lorin Inglis, the GM of Enrico Winery in the Cowichan.

Then off to Upper Bench Road in Naramata and a visit with Wilbert and Joka Borren, the owners and winemakers at Four Shadows Winery.

And finally to the epi-centre of the Naramata Bench. We meet Nathan Todd,  President and GM of legendary Foxtrot Winery.

It’s the wine version of “something for everyone”

Lorin Inglis – Enrico Winery  GM (Cowichan)

TDM and Lorin Inglis

13 Cowichan wineries will kick off their August wine month on August 4th,  on a glorious Summer evening outside, on the lawn of the classic Brentwood College School in Mill Bay.

Lorin takes us through how the evening will unfold.

Wines poured by owners and winemakers, food from the Brentwood College kitchens, and music from Roland Barrett.

It’s such a great location and the people who made the wines are pouring, so you know  It will sell out.

If you can’t make the Aug 4th – then pick any other day in August. They’re ready to welcome you.

Details at www.cowichanwineries.com

 

 

  • Alderlea Vineyards
  • Averill Creek
  • Blue Grouse Estate Winery
  • Cherry Point Estate Wines
  • Damali Lavender and Winery
  • Divino Estate Winery
  • Emandare Vineyard
  • Zanatta Winery and Vineyards
  • Deol Estate Winery
  • Enrico Winery
  • Unsworth Winery and Restaurant
  • www.cowichanwineries.com 

 

 

 

Wilbert and Joka Borren – Co-owners of Four Shadows  (Upper Bench Naramata)

What a great story.

Wilbert and Joka

Joka and Wilbert were pig farmers in Lacombe Alberta with four growing sons. They had dreams of moving to the Okanagan and farming. That’s exactly what they did.

They bought a forgotten property on Upper Bench Road and decided to bring back the vineyards and plant their own vines to then sell the fruit to wineries.

Along the way, it made much more sense to become a winery and Four Shadows was born. The name is from a photo of their four sons.

Did I mention they had no wine knowledge but they knew how to farm pigs. I mean, how tough can it be to grow grapes?

They had amazing mentoring from Lindsay and Graham O’Rourke at Tightrope and consultant Pascal Madevon.  It paid off. They learned well.

You say “Pigs to Pinot”  They say “Swine to Wine.”

They poured

2020 Rose,  2020  Riesling Classic, 2020 Riesling Dry, 2020 Riesling sparkling, 2018 Pinot Noir and 2018 Merlot.  From Swine to Wine.

www.fourshadowsvineyard.com

 

Nathan Todd  President and GM  Foxtrot Winery (Naramata Bench) 

Even though he made his name working in very serious wine sales out of  New York City he did have an early connection to the Okanagan Valley.  Harvesting fruit to make ends meet.

Years later he blind-tasted a Foxtrot Pinot. It may have changed his life.

Nathan-Todd-Foxtrot-

He never forgot that wine and years later convinced his wine friend Douglas Barzelay to eventually buy the winery from the Allander family.

Barzelay is one of the  World’s leading authorities on Burgundian wines. Their wine consultant is Veronique Drouhin from Domaine Joseph Drouhin. Torsten Allander’s son Gustav was retained as winemaker. Quite a team.

Nathan poured:

2 versions of Foxly Rose 2019/2020 (both instantly likable. $24)

An Estate Vineyard 2019 Pinot Noir.  (everything a great Pinot should be. texture. balance. Defines a long finish.)

www.foxtrotwine.com

 

Thank you, Tina BairdNaramata Bench. Thank you, Barry and Carol Beecroft for “the swim”.

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON  

  • Fort Berens – New Releases
  • August Wine Month – Cowichan
  • Howard Soon
  • Victoria Wine Festival

 

July 9th, 2022, Two of the Best in the West –  New releases from  Ann Sperling (Sperling) & Michael Clark (Clos du Soleil)

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Two of the Best in the West –  New releases from  Ann Sperling (Sperling) & Michael Clark (Clos du Soleil)

It’s a slippery slope to call anyone “Best”. It’s like saying blue is the best color. Totally subjective.

However, tasting is believing. The wines from Sperling and Clos du Soleil are consistently beautifully constructed and always memorable.

Best of all,  their wines are organically grown through regenerative farming.

“Committed to grasslands, permanent cover crops, biodiversity, and farming that benefits the environment instead of degrading it.”

 

Ann Sperling – Winemaker,  Co-owner,  Family Member. Sperling Vineyards (East Kelowna)

TDM and Ann

Ann’s family has been farming their land for 135 years.

These are not just fine wines she’s producing, they’re grown and made to honour those who came before her.

You may notice when I ask Ann about her two Pet Nat releases her voice goes up an octave and she leans into the words. One of the strongest elements in all her wines is passion.

 

Ann brings these new releases..

2021 Pinot Noir Rose  $25 (215 cases 11.5%)

Planted in 2008 – 3 pinot clones 282. 777. 114

Stainless Steel Barrels – on lees for 4 months. Wonderful texture.

 

2021 Vision series – Ruby Pet Nat 85% old vines Marechal Foch  $32– 15% Pinot Noir ( 189 cases-12%)

2021 Speritz Pet Nat $32 (9% – 135 cases)

Thirds of Perle d’Csaba – Bacchus and Chardonnay. Dry. Pet Nat and Pizza!!

Again…9% alcohol!!

2021 Pinot Blanc $22 (10.1%- 112 cases ) Stainless Steel cellared.  BONE Dry.

 

Planted in 1980..deep roots bring forth flavors of tropical fruit and quince.

From the Heritage Series  “honoring the decisions of the past in the location of the vineyard and varietals planted”

It’s all about Ann’s family history.  She passionately explains!

 

2016 Old Vines Riesling ($35 – 11.5% 200 cases)

“Made in the vineyard” Meaning,  light hands on the vines and fruit. It is what it is”

It is grown in limestone and calcium – the flagship wine. 2 years in bottle before release.

And again.. honoring the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2021  Natural Amber Pinot Gris ($35 – 915 cases)

“it’s not the vessel,  it’s the grape”

Notes and flavors of guava and tea.

Bone dry. Can cellar for 5-7 years.

Pairs well with strong and savory food.

And friends.

Thank you Ann.

www.sperlingvineyards.com

 

Michael Clark – Winemaker, GM, and Co-Owner of Clos du Soleil (Keremeos. Similkameen Valley)

Michael Clark

 A winery that proudly makes wines of substance.

The wines are shaped through organics & biodynamics,  combined with low intervention winemaking.

Michael’s wines reflect their terroir and letting the fruit shine.  It’s “hands-off” winemaking.

Clos du Soleil wines are always beautifully balanced.  Your nose and mouth will know.

Michael proudly tells us the stories behind  his Spring/Summer 2021 releases, which includes the iconic 2019 Signature (Bordeaux inspired)

(all prices retail)

2021  Pinot Gris Winemakers Series. Whispered Secret Vineyard (23.90 – 750 cases. 13.3%)

Crushed right after harvest. Pressed the whole cluster and fermented in stainless steel barrels, tanks, and French Oak Puncheons.

Aged on lees for 3 months.  That’s it. More hands-off winemaking.

Orange, pear, green apple, nice stony minerality. Beautiful long finish.

2021 Rose $26.90  (404 cases – 12%)

Perfect pairing with salmon, and roasted chicken. Great picnic wine.

A careful blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec.  These two wines co-fermented

together.

Aged on lees for four months. carefully handled.

2021  Fume Blanc  ($23.90 -745 cases – 12.7%)

Organically farmed. A beautiful blend of 61% Sauvignon Blanc and 39% Semillon. The nose is lemons, and grapefruit and the palate is guava, citrus, floral and light oak.

Cellared separately then blended into an aromatic experience. Fine Fume my friends.

BBQ chicken, salmon, oysters, soft cheese, or by itself.

 

2021  Pinot Blanc  Winemaker’s Series.  Middle Bench Vineyard. ($24.90 – 13.3% – 410 cases)

“This is a wine that speaks of Similkameen Summertime.”

Stainless steel front to back.  Fresh fruit, peach, pear, sweet apple, etc

Grilled fish, pasta with olive oil, and fresh summer vegetables.

Hello corn season!

 

2019 Signature  ($54.90 – 13.9 – 453 cases) 

42% Merlot – 31% Cabernet Sauvignon – 13% Malbec – 10% Cab Franc – 4% Petit Verdot .

Aromas of blackberries and raspberries, sagebrush..   and mint.  On the palate dark fruit, cassis, mint, and ripe blackberry.

Aged 16 months in 100%  carefully selected French Oak Barrels. Only the barrels showing the greatest complexity, depth, and elegance are selected for the Signature Blend.

 

Thank You Michael (and team)

www.closdusoleil.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Fort Berens

Cowichan Wine Month

(Brentwood Kick off Aug 4)

An August Holiday…

 

 

July 2nd, 2022- Checking in with The Neighbourhood!!

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Checking in with The Neighbourhood!!

 

THE SHOW

 Tasting Room Radio has been celebrating Canadian wine and food for 15 years.

We could not have stayed the course and grown without  the support of our segment sponsors

Thus, each year we make a point of making a feature fuss about our neighbors.

Thing is, we’d be doing feature stories on them anyway because they’re all winners.

When we decided to have a sponsor for each segment we had one bottom line

“if we have to talk about someone for a year,  let’s make sure we like them!  As great people and as singular artisans”!

 We are honored to welcome our in show  neighbors into the feature spotlight (in the order in which they became available)

Jason Parkes CustomsJason Parkes  (Founder) and Develyn Barker (Dreamer and Doer)  West Kelowna, BC

Jason Parkes and crew

Their story just keeps on growing.

Came on board as The Hatch Winery. Well named, as they released well-crafted and accessible wines but they also “hatched” a series of new labels,  all heading in different wonderful directions.

The Hatch, Gobsmacked Series, Hobo Series.

Then came Black Swift, Crown and Thieves, The Hatching Post, Truck 59 Cider House, and SmokeShow BBQ plus  wines such as  Screaming Frenzy, 14 house beers, The Angel Share rooftop restaurant, The Broken Hearts Club speakeasy (house band is Proper Man, also home to Hangover Church, etc)

They have created their own JPC Wine Trail – a 5-hour adventure you will talk about and might even remember.

…And the wines? Bigger and better every season!  Beautifully crafted and pushing the boundaries – much like the people who make them!

JPC is one of the great success stories in BC wine. Best of all, they did it their way!  Rock on!

(there is no known photo of Jason Parkes but he did send this message “wine is just yeast poop”

www.jpcfanclub.com

www.crownthieves.com

www.thehatchwines.com

Unsworth Vineyards – Dan Wright (Winemaker) Christle Pope (Manager) Karen Newington (Tasting Room Manager)  Cowichan Valley, Van Island

Mere minutes from our home in Mill Bay, it’s also top of mind when we think, “it’s time for wine and dine”

The Turyk Family has created a beautiful destination is perhaps the most gorgeous small farming valley in the area.

Dan Wright

The bonus is , the wines are outstanding and the restaurant is hugely popular.

They have just received a Silver Medal and  91 points for their 2019 Pinot Noir from Decanter Magazine. A first for Vancouver Island winemaking.

The new owners have their own family roots deep into the history of Napa and Sonoma. One of the first decisions was to let the Unsworth team carry on making better and better wines and the second was to start production on a new vineyard outside Duncan.

The future looks very bright for Unsworth Vineyards – so we have much to talk about!

www.unsworthvineyards.com

Moon Curser Vineyards – Beata and Chris Tolley (Owners/Founders) Osoyoos, BC

At the very bottom of the Okanagan Valley is Osoyoos. It’s right up against the US border and surrounded by some of the very best vineyards in Canada.

One of them is Moon Curser. It’s the winemaking passion of Beata and Chris Tolley. It’s also their home.

Well, it was,  until they just had to move off-site to get a break from the daily weight of farming. It’s a hard road,  no whining is allowed.

Chris Tolley

In wine circles, they’re famous for the amazing varietals they make – several are the only ones being made in Canada.

However, what they do make are wines judged to be as good as anything in Canada.  That’s how they were named The WineAlign  Best Small Winery in Canada in 2019.

We’ll be talking Arneis, Viognier, Roussanne Marsanne, Carmenere, Dolcetto, Malbec, Syrah, Contraband Syrah, Border Vines, Tannat, Tempranillo and Touriga National.

Beata Tolley

There’s more. Next time we’ll talk about their bubble program featuring Eclipse, Moonlit and their Heist Rose.

Four of those wines can only be found through their wine club. Giddy Up!

www.mooncurser.com

Hillside Estate Winery  – Kathy Malone  (Senior Winemaker)  – Executive Chef Evan Robertson (The Bistro at Hillside)  Naramata Bench, BC

Kathy Malone

Classy!  

That describes Kathy and Evan, and the rest of the team at Hillside and especially Hillside Estate itself.

A much-honored winery with an atmosphere that comes from being one of the first three wineries in the area and always being a benchmark for Naramata Wines.

Hillside made a commitment years ago to only use grapes farmed on the Naramata Bench.

This conversation was important. To get caught up with Kathy’s latest releases, growing conditions in 2021, and then what dishes Chef Evan recommends from his menu to pair with each wine.

We talk  Cab Franc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Ottonel, Viognier, Syrah,   Merlot – Hidden Valley Vineyard

From the kitchen,  Evan teases us with Tomato Capresse, Panzanella Salad, House-made fresh pasta, Gnocchi, 50oz Northern Gold Beef Tomahawk.

www.hillsidewinery.ca

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Clos du Soleil

Fort Berens

Bill Jones  Shroom Master

Orofino

Sperling Vineyards

 

 

 

June 25th, 2022 – Our yearly Pinot Noir Geek Out!

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Our yearly Pinot Noir Geek Out – with  15 top experts and a  Pinot  Blind Tasting!

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

THE SHOW

 Bordeaux is made by man, Pinot Noir by God.

Pinot Noir may not be the most planted grape in the World but no other varietal even comes close to the dialogue that takes place between winemakers and wine fans about the place of Pinot in today’s wine world.

Whether they love Pinot Noir or not, wine people all have an opinion on this grape. Described as the diva of the wine world”, it takes a really focused winemaker and farmer to grow, harvest, and cellar this beauty.

The payoff is spectacular.

Notes and flavors of Clove, Cherry, Mushroom, Floral, Soil, Tea, Vanilla, blackberry, and plum. Lush and lengthy.

High acidity and lower tannin make Pinot Noir perfectly paired with pork, mushrooms, duck, and chicken.

I’ve been doing Pinot Noir interviews for 15 years and I’m still learning from the many stories being told.

I’ve gone back into the Tasting Room Radio files to share some of the stories and people who’ve stayed with me over the years.

Check this out:

Nigel Greening – Owner Felton Road Winery (Central Otago NZ)

Nigel Greening Felton Road NZ

Grant Stanley – Spearhead (South East Kelowna)

Grant Stanley

Mike Rathjen – Rathjen Cellars (Saanich)

Daniel Dragert – Kutatas (Salt Spring Island)

Layne Craig – 40 Knots (Comox)

Barb and Ian Phillip – wine educators  (Vancouver)

Christina Coletta –  Okanagan Crush Pad/Haywire (Summerland)

Chris Turyk – Unsworth (Cowichan Valley)

JAK Meyer – Meyer Family Vineyards (OK Falls/Skaha)

David Patterson  – Tantalus Vineyards (South East Kelowna)

Kurtis Kolt – Wine Educator – Judge – Sommelier (Vancouver)

Vikram Vij –  Chef – Author  (Vancouver)

This pinot noir  special concludes with a Blind Tasting of 2018 Pinots

It was organized by John Glavina – the owner of Giant Head Winery in Summerland. John wanted to include several of his pinots to discover how they stood up to the competition. (He didn’t tell anyone that his wines were in the mix)

Tasting on the day were two of the very best wine minds.  Great guys.

John Schreiner – The Dean of Canadian wine writers (15 books in total) Master Blogger.

TDM. John Schreiner. Brent Gushowaty

Brent Gushowaty – A Pinot specialist. Founder of  bcpinotnoir.com

I was delighted to be judging in such fine company.

The discussion went on for several hours and I’ve done my best to edit the prime points down into a segment of the show.

I couldn’t get all the comments on the blind wines when revealed but we did talk about the top two and several others not in the room.

The Pinot Noir poured on the day were…

2018 Giant Head Estate Winery Flagship Pinot Noir

2018 Fox and Archer – Brent G. choice

2019  Canyonview Wines Brand – CVW – Pinot Noir

2018 Spearhead- Saddle Block Vineyard

2018 Lake Breeze Aura

2018 giant head Pinot Noir Reserve

The segment is memorable just to hear the conversation between John Schreiner and Brent Gushowaty.

I thank John Glavina for the invitation for myself and the microphone plus John & Brent for the Pinot Masterclass. I also thank Harbour Air for the beautiful trip over and back.

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Next Week

Hillside

The Hatch/Jason Parkes Customs

Moon Curser

Unsworth

 

Clos du Soleil

Aug 4 Cowichan Pour

Sperling Vineyards

Scorched Earth

Robert Belcham /Cooks Camp

Bill Jones – Shrooms

 

 

June 18th, 2022 – Wine Growers of BC: 2021 Vintage Preview

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THE SHOW   

Title Sponsored by Harbour Air

Every year is a growing year for the wine farmers and winemakers.

And because farmers are dealing with the whims of the planet..all bets are off until the harvest is in.

Heat, frost, hail, insects,  wind, smoke, leaf infestation, drought, floods etc  all either assist the vineyards or shut the whole growing process down.

Most farmers and winemakers  I interview are a happy bunch, after you get past the premature grey hair and dark humour.

It’s a hard road they’re walking but some of our favourite wines become  the end result.

That’s why the annual Wine Growers of BC Vintage Preview is so important.

The 2021 growing season featured Heat Domes and Smoke Taint. Laura Kittmer and her Wine BC team gathered winemakers from all regions of BC to exchange growing problems and solutions.

 

Laura Kittmer WineBC

 

There were some surprises along the way. One of them  is how similar the hurdles are, whether its Cowichan or Golden Mile.

So, the next time you’re shopping for BC wine and the year on the label  is 2021 – think about the winemakers below and their journey through that year.

Interview guests are bolded:

Chris Tolley, Winemaker, Moon Curser Vineyards  (Osoyoos)   www.mooncurser.com

Chris Tolley – Moon Curser

Dwight Sick, Winemaker, Seven Stones Winery (Similkameen) www.sevenstones.ca

Galen Barnhardt, Winemaker,   (Kamloops) Monte Creek Winery www.montecreekranch.com

Galen-Barnhardt-Monte-Creek

Lyndsay O’Rourke, Winemaker, Tightrope Winery (Naramata) www.tightropewinery.ca 

Mark Holford, Winemaker,  Rocky Creek Winery  (Cowichan) www.rockycreekwinery.ca

Mary McDermott, Winemaker, Township 7 Winery & Vineyards (Naramata/Frazer Valley) www.township7.com

Laura Kittmer Wine Growers of BC – Kelowna  www.winebc.com

We promise to get caught up with Lyndsay O’Rourke and Mark Holford.

Enjoy your 2021 BC wines. Each bottle has a story to tell.

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

“The Neighbours”

.Moon Curser

.The Hatch

.Hillside

.Unsworth

Pinot Noir Blind Tasting

Clos du Soleil

Sperling Vineyards

Where’s the cider at?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 11th, 2022- Van Wine Fest Part Two  (plus 2 very special guests)

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Van Wine Fest Part Two  (plus 2 very special guests)

THE SHOW

Walking into the Vancouver Wine Festival at the Convention Centre, as an interviewer,  is like working the field at an All-Star Game.

Familiar wine star faces and voices are everywhere.

I think I did a dozen interviews and these are the last three.  However,  I needed one more, So I decided to re-run one of my all time favourite interviews.

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

From our coverage of the 2019  VanWineFest on Tasting Room Radio we present California wine royalty.

Gena Gallo and her winemaking husband Jean Charles Boisset.

Not just talking about their wines but about surviving cancer, raising their twin daughters and their love of Vancouver and the wine fest.

Wine Fest Part Two includes interviews with

Tony Holler – Owner of Poplar Grove (Naramata Bench) www.poplargrove.ca

Tony Holler & crew

Ray Signorello – Owner of Signorello Estate  (Napa) www.signorelloestate.com

Ray Signorello

Mark De Vere – Master of Wine.  Robert Mondavi Vineyards (Napa) www.robertmondaviwinery.com

Mark de Vere. Mondavi

Gina Gallo, Vice President, Winemaking – Estate Wines. E. & J. Gallo  www.gallo.com

Gina Gallo, JC Boisset, TDM

Gina Gallo, JC Boisset, TDM

Gina Gallo developed a deep respect for the land early on. After studying winemaking at the University of California at Davis, Gallo became an apprentice winemaker at E. & J. Gallo Winery, under the careful guidance of her grandfather Julio. Today, as the winemaker behind the Gallo Signature Series, she carves out specific blocks on Gallo’s most sought-after vineyards to hand-craft limited batches of wine.

 

Jean-Charles Boisset, Proprietor, Boisset Collection      www.boissetcollection.com

Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine in Vougeot, Burgundy, France. Under his leadership, the Boisset Collection operates 24 wineries in California, France, and Canada. Decanter magazine has included him on its “Power List” of the 50 most important people in the wine world each year of its publication since 2007.

His many honours include Meininger’s International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year, “Innovator of the Year” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and the first-ever French-American Partnership Award from the French America Foundation.

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STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Sponsor Special

Hillside

Moon Curser

Unsworth Wines

Jason Parkes Customs

2022 Vintage Report

Clos du Soleil

Scorched Earth

Pinot Noir Blind Tasting

 

 

June 4th, 2022 – The return of the Vancouver Wine Festival: Part One

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The return of  VanWineFest Part One…

THE SHOW

After 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.

For having survived the pandemic.   To see friends and exchange 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.

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

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • 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

 

 

May 28th, 2022- Tasting Cowichan-New Fairview Cellars-Quails Gate Expands

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Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

Tasting Cowichan-New Fairview Cellars-Quails Gate Expands

 

THE SHOW

 Tasting the Cowichan

It’s a two-part interview with several of the wineries of the Cowichan Valley.

Taste Your Way Through The Cowichan Valley runs June 1-30

and:

Wine Festival Month Launch Party – on the Grand Lawn  Brentwood College Aug 4th (7-10 pm)

Ticket info and details are on this Page and  CowichanWineries.com

Bringing the news and pours on Zoom  are:

 Lorin Inglis – GM Enrico Winery  enricowinery.com

Jim Moody – Owner Zanatta Winery   zanatta.ca

Dan Wright – Winemaker Unsworth  unsworthvineyards.com

Bailey Williamson – Winemaker Blue Grouse  bluegrouse.ca

Tony Stewart – CEO Quails Gate Estate Winery (West Kelowna)

The news came as a wonderful surprise to many.

Quails gate Winery

 

Two beloved BC wine families have come together,  with an eye and considerable heart on the future.

The Stewart Family at Quails Gate (N. Okanagan) has leased 30 acres of Black Sage Road vineyards from Julie and Lanny Martiniuk at Stoneboat. (South Okanagan)

Tony Stewart

After replanting and pollination, just think of the wonderful wines that will appear on our shelves in about 4-5 years..

I love the fact that two iconic BC wine families have enough trust and respect to make this partnership work.

Tony Stewart explains the details.  Truly hope there’s more of these kinds of stories.

While I had Tony’s attention,  I asked about new releases from Quails Gate.

 

Fairview Cellars – Danielle and Dermott Hutton  New Co-owners (Golden Mile)

Bill Eggert and the Hutton Family

Fairview Cellars was the home and consuming passion of  Bill Eggert.

Bill Eggert

A legendary winemaker who at one point in his life, was teaching winemaking at the valley college. Fair to say, he kept some of his secrets to himself.

Several years ago Bill let it be known that he was looking for new owners so he could move on to the next chapter of his life..

It took considerable time but he found them in Danielle and Dermott Hutton.

Danielle became the GM and Dermott learned how to get along with a tractor and farm vineyards.

Now the vineyard has changed hands. Good hands.

Bill simply would not sell his beloved vineyards to just anyone.

We’ll talk to Bill Eggert down the road but right now it’s the Hutton Show.

They’ll explain how it all came together and then walk me through the new releases.

 

Sending love to the great tasting room manager – Mindy Ward.

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • 2022 Vancouver Wine Festival (Two-Part)
  • Pinot  Blind Tasting
  • Sponsors Special
  • 2021 Vintage Wine Review

 

 

May 21st, 2021-The Return of Top Drop / 2022

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Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

The Return of Top Drop / 2022

 

THE SHOW

 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 international wineries pouring!

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

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

Creek & Gully Cider – Annelise Simonsen and Alyssa Hubert (Naramata Bench) A family farm, 65 acres of Organic Apples. They use 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, juicy wines. Jordan and Tyler desire to express each vineyard in the glass.

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

Okanagan Crush Pad – Darryl 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.

Orofino – John and Virginia Weber. Winemaker & Co-owners (Similkameen Valley) Minimal intervention in the solar-powered, strawbale winery. Premium wines that John described as “gulp able”. 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 Winery – Rajen 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 Wine Director. Pouring Wines of Bordeaux

 

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

 

www.bellawines.ca

www.creekandgully.com

www.fitzwine.com

www.hedgesfamilyestate.com

www.lightningrockwinery.com

www.martinslanewinery.com

www.okanagancrushpad.com

www.orofinovineyards.com

www.terravistavineyards.com

www.ursamajorwinery.com

www.bordeaux.com

www.tanninmanagement.ca

www.kurtiskolt.com

www.topdrop.ca

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • Cowichan Valley –  June is Wine Month
  • Point Noir  Blind Tasting
  • Two-Part Vancouver Wine Festival
  • Sponsor Special
  • Quails’ Gate partners with Martiniuk Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14th 2022-Your chance to “Meet the Makers” in Victoria

hello

Tasting Room Radio is Presented by Harbour Air

THE SHOW

Sara Park and  Cam Duke,  the co-founders of Coastal Craft Beverages in Victoria always throw a great pour.

As in previous years, they head for the 8th-floor skyline suites at the top of Parkside Hotel in downtown Victoria.

They work exclusively with producers who are independent and family-owned. Artisans who focus on sustainability and care for the Planet and its people.

Best of all, they partnered with Vintage West Wine and Spirits. Owners of an amazing portfolio.

“I have a real passion for working with local, BC, Craft Producers and helping them grow their businesses. We have some of the most talented Winemakers, Distillers, Craft Brewers & Cidermakers in North America – right here! I’ve met and worked with incredibly knowledgeable and passionate people in this business. I feel very lucky to do what I do, and work on the west coast.”  Sara Park.

“Working with like-minded, passionate people who take such incredible pride in their workmanship and crafts is a privilege to be a part of. I’m excited to continue growing these relationships and contribute to each of their success stories.”  Cameron Duke

Jacqueline Downey Photography

Meet the Makers

 

Provincial Spirits –Jesse Bannister Founder, Owner

Jesse Bannister-Provincial Spirits

Winemaker’s Cut –Michal Mosny, Winemaker and Owner

Mike Mosny – Wine Makers Cut

Sheringham Distillery and Lumette –Jason MacIsaac, Master Distiller, and Owner

Sheringham Distillery and Lumette –Jason MacIsaac, Master Distiller, and Owner

Junction Cider –Cody Brown (Owner),

Junction Cider –Cody Brown (Owner),

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards –Gordon Fitzpatrick, Owner/VP

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards –Gordon Fitzpatrick, Owner/VP

Blue Grouse –Michael Abbott (Vineyard Manager)

Blue Grouse –Michael Abbott (Vineyard Manager)

Tightrope Winery –Lyndsay O’Rourke, Owner/Winemaker

Tightrope Winery –Lyndsay O’Rourke, Owner/Winemaker

Vintage West Wine & Spirits –Matt Thirlwell (Partner)

Vintage West Wine & Spirits –Matt Thirlwell (Partner)

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

  • Top Drop 2022
  • VanWineFest
  • Cowichan Wine Month
  • Sponsor Love in