Mark Filatow

November 6th, 2021- The 8TH Annual 4 F’s & Michelle  Bouffard


The 8TH Annual 4 F’s & Michelle  Bouffard on Somm. of the Year & Tasting Climate Change



 It started 8 years ago as an idea. Let’s take some great food and wine and go fishing.

I made my pitch to:

John Weber    co-founder and winemaker at Orofino (Similkameen)

John Weber

Mark Filatow  Award winning Chef, Sommelier and Partner at Waterfront Wines Restaurant (Kelowna)

Rhys Mark and John

Rhys Pender  Master of Wine,  Little Farm Wines, wine judge  & WSET Educator Wine Plus+ (Similkameen)

Rhys Pender

Over the first 7 years we’ve lake fished, drift fished the Similkameen and Kettle Rivers,  salmon fished in Campbell River and hiked into remote lakes. Best of all, every time we gathered,  we all brought wines that we felt would be appreciated and Mark Filatow would create firepit meals that always featured huge Tomahawk steaks.

This year the guys went fishing when they could and I was house bound on Vancouver Island.

So… This week we met on Zoom and talked great wines.

For year 9  they’re coming to Mill Bay Vancouver Island.

Here’s a list of wines we each would have brought this year.

Chef Mark Filatow   Waterfront Wines

Mark Filatow

Markus Altenburger, Chardonnay vom Kalk, 2019, Weinland, Austria


Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Munsterer Kapellenberg Riesling Kabinett 2001, Nahe, Germany


Veronica Ortega, ‘quite’ Mencia 2019, Bierzo, Spain


John Weber  Orofino


Jean Foillard Morgan 2019

Orofino Passion pit cab 2011

La Rioja Alta gran reserva 904 2001 mag


Rhys Pender MW  WinePLus+

Vajra Rosso 2019

Wynn’s 2007 Coonawarra Cab

Azahar Vinho Verde 2018



Else Wines – Jocko  (Echo Bay) a light cab franc

Modest Wines –  2018 zed’s dead (Zinfandel)

Maverick Estate Winery – 2019 Bush Vine Syrah

Thomson and Scott – Noughty  Organic Sparkling Chardonnay (alcohol free)

Odd Bird – Blanc De Blanc (Liberated from Alcohol) Sparkling Chardonnay

Rust Wine Co    Solus (Golden Mile Bench)



Sommelier, Author, journalist, speaker, educator, consultant.

Michelle Bouffard is a “force”.  She leads by example. Caring enough about this planet and its winegrowers that she conceived of and started Tasting Climate Change. The event takes place every two years. This year it will be held on line from Nov 8-30.   (Info below)

Michelle Bouffard

Tasting Climate Change is an international event organized founded and lead by Michelle, who acts as moderator of the conference. Michelle also offers training and consulting on the impact of climate change in the wine world.

 Originally from Quebec, Michelle moved to Vancouver to complete her Bachelor of Music degree in classical trumpet where she unexpectedly ventured into wine while working in a fine dining restaurant. Determined to make her mark in the wine industry, she graduated as a sommelier with the highest honours from the International Sommelier Guild in 2003 and completed the Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in 2005.

Michelle was the co-owner of House Wine from 2003 to 2015. She also founded and was  president of BC chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.

Michelle now lives and teaches WSET courses in Montreal and gives numerous training sessions including for wine associations such as Inter Rhône and Wine Australia. She works closely with the nursery Lilian Bérillon located in the Rhone Valley acting as a wine educator and ambassador.

Michelle first book “Dis-moi qui tu es, je te dirai quoi boire” was published in 2017.  She has a second book coming in 2022.

Michelle is often invited to sit on various panels and judges at numerous wine competitions in Canada and abroad. Ever the eternal perfectionist, she is continuing her studies at the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine.


Michelle was also one of the judges at this years Sommelier of the Year competition. We start her interview right there, talking about how demanding  the competition is and the wild events they put each contestant through. The winner was Pier-Alexis Souliere from Quebec. Contestants were asked to display their knowledge of viticulture, wine regions, producers, spirits and beer.


Cider tour of Vancouver Island and Gulf islands

Church and State



October 3rd, 2020-Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8


Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8

(A Chef, Winemaker,  Master of Wine and me)



For 8  years now, Master of Wine Rhys Pender, Winemaker/Owner at Orofino John Weber,  Award winning  Chef at Waterfront Bistro Kelowna Mark Filatow and yours truly have gathered once a year to reconnect through fishing. On oceans, lakes, streams, rivers and sharing campfires, food, wines and stories.


2020 has been such a crazy mess on so many levels,  that getting away – just for two days – was so the right thing to do.

It was Mark who suggested drift fishing the Kettle River, one large valley East of the Okanagan. There’s no pristine chain of blue lakes down this valley but the river is gorgeous and home to beautiful trout.

Day one we drifted the Kettle River. Fished the rapids and pools for about 5-6 hours..had a spectacular dinner thanks to Mark. It featured the annual Tomahawk Chops cooked on an open fire (this year the fire was a charcoal fueled Weber BBQ)

Dinner cooked all on the charcoal fueled Weber. Dry Aged Beef Tomahawk Steaks.Organic Corn.

Potatoes and Chive sour cream. Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Homemade BBQ Sauce

The wines we poured were like a liquid gift… better and better.

I headed for bed while the other three played campfire dj. I happily slept through the noise.

I put on a master class in campfire coffee- for an audience of one. Me!

When the guys woke up Mark put on his usual healing breakfast – Kale eggs with Rhys’s great bread (photos included) and then off we went.

Day two, we drove Highway 33 East and identified 3 dark pools that looked promising and accessible. So, instead of drifting, we spent the day fishing those pools and walking the river.

Mark had two great fishing days, so did John. Rhys had his moments and I came up completely skunked. But I still spent two days with these friends, on a river and shared fishing, food and fluids.

It’s hard to put into words how wonderful it all felt.

The last dinner was spring salmon I had caught in Ucluelet and we BBQ’d on the fire with a wild variety of wines for pairing.


Terry’s salmon with the potato, corn, shishitos and vegetable succotash

Wines in no particular order


Burge Family Barossa Valley Olive Hill Vineyard Semillon 2006

Clai, Ottocento 2014, Istria Croatia

Jean Bourdy, Cotes du Jura Blanc 2008

Eric Texier, St. Julien St. Alban, 2014, Rhône, France

Stephenson Cellars, Syrah 2008, Columbia Valley, Washington



 From Orofino:

Gamay bubble 2019

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 21B 2018

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 239 2018

Gamay 2019


Pozza Vineyard cab franc rosé 2019

SA Natte Valley Cinsault 2017

Domaine de Pothiers “Reference” Loire Gamay



Pesquera Ribera del Duero 2011,

St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling 2011



Mission Hill  2007 Point Noir

Desert Hills 2006 Mirage

Inniskillin Dark Horse 1996 Riesling Ice Wine


We talked of Covid19, the state of wineries and restaurants this year and what 2021 may bring, wines we brought, about each of their careers and of course,  fishing.


Next year?  Let’s just say “It’s under discussion.”

Thank you was an honour and a dream.



Angus An – Maenam Cookbook

Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Dining at Row 14 in Cawston

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal










October 19th, 2019 – Fishing. Food. Friends. Fluids  The Four F’s Year Seven


Fishing. Food. Friends. Fluids  The Four F’s Year Seven


 For 7 years I have had the pleasure of gathering once a year with 3 food and wine friends to fish, eat a great meal and pour tastes of interesting wines.
What’s not to like about that.

Along for the fun again are:

John Weber – Our host this year as we all gathered at John’s Orofino Winery in the Similkameen Valley in the South Okanagan. John’s wife Virginia was kind enough to let us stay overnight in her outstanding  Orofino Winery Suites, right beside the crush pad.

beautiful suites at Orofino!


John is the real true fisherman here. He arranged a pontoon boat drift down a stretch of the Similkameen River, from just outside Hedley and almost to Keremeos.  6 hours in total.

John Weber

Our second day was spent just outside Cawston on a farming lake that can be seen from the highway. Its stocked,  locked and loaded.

Executive Chef Mark Filatow from  came along again with his spinning rod..the one with no tip.

Didn’t stop him in the least.  Caught more fish than me, that’s for sure.

TDM and fish!

Mark also prepared a sensational breakfast and a dinner that I’m still telling people about.

Oh, and then he created pizza’s from all the leftovers. Pies that could win awards.

Mark Filatow

It’s the kind of cooking you come to expect from his Waterfront Bistro and his Catering café in Kelowna.

One other thing, because he’s a certified Somm, his wine choices for all of us are  from all over the Planet!

And finally Rhys Pender – Master of Wine and co-partner in Cawston’s Little Farm Winery, just around the corner from Orofino.

Rhys Pender

In the two days that we’re together it’s Rhys that starts most group laughs. Plus he  comments about the wines we’ve brought to no one one in particular..I think he just shouts out tasting comments to the ceiling.


Occasionally I feel like I’m in one of his Wine Plus Classes.

Enjoy the food, the wines, the fishing and what friends do when they gather.

The Four F’s Gang

(all fish were catch and release.)

Just a heads up – to all those many people who drive through Keremeos ,  Cawston and The Similkameen Valley on their way to “wine country”,   STOP and check out The Similkameen, Its where many of the other wineries wish they had vineyards. This IS wine country!!

And the fishing is outstanding!!


Special thanks to:

Virginia Weber

Similkameen Ernie

Row 14 Restaurant


Lft Governors Awards

Harvest 2019

August 2nd, 2014 – Fly fishing special!


Tasting Room Radio B_BANNER2 Food, Fishing and wine @ 7 Half Diamond Ranch  with Mark Filatow, Rhys Pender and John Weber. The Wine Diva has 17 outstanding wines from South Africa for you. And Bubbles returns to the show.. Michael Smith gives us the dirty dirt on SwearNet.   



For the four years now my fly fishing friends and I have gathered at some exotic location and off loaded bags of food, boxes of wine and  enough fly fishing gear for 8 people. Yes, it’s just an excuse to get away and fish but it seems to work for all. Guests this year are.. BC Gold Medal winner Chef Mark Filatow – Waterfront Bistro Kelowna. Master of Wine Rhys Pender (also winemaker at Little Farm, Cawston) And John Weber – co-owner and winemaker at Orofino Wines. [divider] The FLY FISHING SPECIAL /  7 Half Diamond Ranch   For the fourth year in a fly fishing friends and I head for the lakes. 7 Half Diamond Ranch We’re heading for 7 Half Diamond Ranch just North of Princeton in BC’s South Central Interior on Highway 5A. Seven Half Diamond Ranch provides the opportunity to enjoy the best and most exclusive fly fishing in British Columbia, located only 300 meters from your cabin. Their lake is rich with big, hard-hitting, Kamloops Rainbow Trout weighing up to 15 pounds. Our management program welcomes experienced fly fishers to test their skills in a unique and private lake. With an abundance of shallows, ridges, and reeds you will notice a large variety of bugs and hatches. Can you Imagine   Barbless flies, catch and release nets, and proper fish handling skills are required to ensure that the trout remain healthy and happy.     Catch and release Our host is Justin O’Connor who grew up on the Ranch. Justin O’Connor and his spouse and partner Christy Hughes also publish the award-winning Okanagan HOME Magazine.    [divider] Rhys Pender MW is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Working in the wine trade since age 14, Rhys’ career has included experience in the vineyard, cellar, wine retail, education and hospitality .In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW). In 2009 Rhys and his wife Alishan planted a small 4 acre vineyard at their Cawston home. The resulting wines are found under the Little Farm Label. If you see one…grab it. Small production. Great wines. photo 4 Rhys looks after the vineyard. Having studied the world of wine he brings a global perspective to the project and an understanding of the world’s wine regions and wine styles. He continues to run his Wine Plus+ business including a wine school, consultancy, writing for a number of publications and judging wine competitions around the world.

Rhys Pender

Rhys Pender

He knows almost nothing about fly fishing. Interestingly, the fish could care less. [divider] John Weber IS Orofino..along with his wife Virginia, of course.  JOHN AND VIRGINIA WEBER both grew up in Southern Saskatchewan far away from anything to do with grapes and the wine industry. Virginia studied nursing and became a registered nurse and John received a Bachelor of Arts in English and then went on to finish an Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
Team Weber at Orofino

Team Weber at Orofino

After serious travelling  experiences, the two of them settled down and took teaching and nursing positions around Swift Current , Saskatchewan. Life settled and things were good until they met the Similkameen Valley in 2001. The desire to try something new, their love of wine and the beauty of the Similkameen convinced them to purchase a vineyard and move from Saskatchewan to the Similkameen Valley to try something new. Virginia and John have two sons Jack and Nate. They share their house with an affable retriever named Cooper and an enigmatic cat named Rosie. Orofino is a straw powered winery. The wines are sensational. [divider] Mark Filatow / Waterfront Bistro  With over twenty years of experience, Chef Mark Filatow has had the honour of working at some of BC’s top restaurants including the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Bishops and Diva at the Met in Vancouver and Fresco Restaurant (now known as RauDZ) in Kelowna before taking the reins at Waterfront Wines. Not only is Mark an exceptionally talented chef, he is also certified by the International Sommelier Guild which allows him to retain an extraordinary wine list and create perfectly paired dishes.
photo 2


Chef has seen many accolades during his time at Waterfront including numerous Gold Medals at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, the coveted Southbrook Canadian Wine Award at Canada’s Food day in 2010 and most recently, the Gold Medal at Vancouver’s Gold Medal Plates in 2012. This fly fishing will be Chefs first ever. He’s a spin cast kind of guy.


[divider] THE WINE DIVA/ South Africa

Wine Diva Daenna van Mulligen

Wine Diva Daenna van Mulligen

The wines of South African are  once again featured all over BC during the month of august. If you haven’t yet discovered their amazing wines  and wine prices..let Daenna Van Mulligen – The Wine Diva lead you through 17 of the best to be found this month. 1   CitrusdalWines “Six Hats” Cab  South Cape $13.99        . 2. Glen Carlou ‘Grand Classique’, Paarl South Africa $21.00 3. Graham Beck ‘The Game Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Robertson South Africa $17.99 4. KWV Roodeberg Western Cape South Africa $13.99 5. Flagstone ‘Longitude’ Shiraz~Cabernet~Malbec, South Africa $13.99 6. Painted Wolf Wines ‘The Den’ Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa $14.99 7. Moreson ‘Miss Molly’ Bubbly, Franschhoek South Africa $19.99 8. Spier ‘Signature’ Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch South Africa $13.90 9. Obikwa Merlot, South Africa $10.00 10. Nederburg ‘Winemaster’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape South Africa $12.99 11. The Beach House Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape South Africa $11.99 12. Fleur du Cap ‘Bergkelder Selection’ Chardonnay, South Africa N/A 13. Inception ‘Deep Layered Red’, Western Cape South Afica $16.00 14. Douglas Green Chardonnay, Western Cape South Africa $12.96 15. Spier ‘Creative Block 5′, Coastal Region South Africa $28.92 16. Arabella Chenin Blanc, Western Cape South Africa $13.00 17. Spier ’21 Gables’ Chenin Blanc, Tygerberg South Africa $28.85 [divider] Mike Smith – Bubbles talks SwearNet..  Fed up with being censored in their post-Trailer Park Boys lives, the out of work stars/world-renowned ‘swearists’, Mike Smith, Robb Wells and John Paul Tremblay decide to start their own uncensored network on the internet. Thus it’s SwearNet. Mike knows his wines and his food..having been the owner of 3..maybe  4 restaurants in Halifax, depending on who you talk to. It’s fair to say that the world knows Canada for three things. Hockey. Ice wine and …wait for it..The Trailer Park Boys. Deal with it.   Have a great long weekend.   [divider]


One of Canada’s best chefs David Hawksworth..brings his 8th annual Culinary Adventure to The West Coast Fishing Club. Haida Gwaii. Guests include Anthony Walsh – Oliver and Bonacini  Toronto Dino Renaerts – Bon Vivant Group Shaun Snelling – The Clubhouse Mark Davidson – Wines of Australia Jacob Richler – Author and Food Specialist