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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 a year of events far more important than a wine gathering,

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

The pandemic required a different gathering this year.

Smaller crowds masks not mandatory but 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 and come out the other side.  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

 

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
  • Our Sponsor Special
  • Jason Parkes Customs
  • Hillside Winery
  • Moon Curser Wines
  • Unsworth Wines
  • Clos du Soleil
  • Scorched Earth

 

 

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 7th, 2021-“ TOP DROP: THE ONE WINE TASTING OF THE YEAR YOU SHOULDN’T MISS.”

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“ TOP DROP: THE ONE WINE TASTING OF THE YEAR YOU SHOULDN’T MISS.”

– WESTERN LIVING MAGAZINE

THE SHOW

 

 

This weeks guest is Kurtis Kolt co-founder of  Top Drop.

The co-founder of Top Drop,  dubbed “the nerdiest, most awesome wine festival in Canada.”

Received the ‘Sommelier of the Year’ award at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival. Kurtis has run the wine program for a couple evenings at James Beard House, had bylines in local and international publications, such as Decanter and Maclean’s, plus I occasionally sit in on tasting panels at Wine & Spirits Magazine on semi-regular visits New York.

KK has various certifications and credits through London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Court of Master Sommeliers & the Winemaking Program at UC Davis.

On May 10th and 11th, Top Drop Vancouver returns, with a continued focus on sustainably-farmed, handcrafted wines offering a distinct sense of place, without heavy-handed winemaking trickery to get in the way.

Top Drop is now  in its seventh year.


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Over  two days, Top Drop offers Vancouver’s wine professionals and enthusiasts unique events and opportunities. As Top Drop’s flagship experience, The Main Event is a walk-around, grazing-style tasting where attendees can enjoy sips and stories from the principals of 40 participating international wineries.

The Main Event will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 10 and 11, at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). A full list of event participants follows, and can be found at TopDrop.ca.   Tickets are  $125 until they’re sold out, and available online at TopDrop.ca.

Event proceeds go to the BC Hospitality foundation, an organization providing financial support to individuals from the hospitality industry facing a major medical crisis.

Top Drop’s  annual grand tasting features dozens of international, terroir-focused wineries and the people behind the wines.

Kurtis  will  be talking about the wines that are starred ***

 

Aldegheri, Valpolicella, Italy     
w/ Jane Glees, Export Director

Anselmi, Soave, Veneto, Italy   
w/ Lisa Anselmi, Family Proprietor

***Ashes & Diamonds, Napa Valley, California, USA  
w/ Kashy Khaledi, Proprietor + Owner

Averill Creek Vineyard, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada  
w/ Brent Rowland, Winemaker

***Azienda Agricola Bruna Grimaldi , Piedmont, Italy    
w/ Martina Fiorino, Family Proprietor + Sales Manager

***Bella Wines, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada      
w/ Jay Drysdale, Owner + Winemaker

***Benjamin Bridge, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada   
w/ Jean-Benoit Deslauriers, Winemaker

Bisol Desiderio & Figli Societa’ Agricola, Valdobbiadene, Italy         
w/ Stefano Marangon, Export Manager

Bruno Paillard, Champagne, France  
w/ Pierre-Jules Peyrat, Export Manager

Champagne Gardet, Champagne, France
w/ Maude Autran, Export Manager

Chappellet Vineyard, Napa Valley, California, USA   
w/ Mitch Boyd, National Sales Manager

Chateau De Pommard, Pommard, Burgundy, France     
w/ Victor Goichon, Export Manager

Chateau Dereszla, Tokaji, Hungary    
w/ Gábor Weiner, Sales & Export Manager

***Chiorri Perugia, Umbria, Italy
w/ Francesco Strangis, Proprietor + Winemaker

***Creek & Gully Cider, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada  
w/ Annelise Simonsen, Proprietor + Director

Elk Cove, Gaston, Oregon, USA   
w/ Cam Christie, Director Of Distribution & Sales

***Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
w/ Gordon Fitzpatrick, President
 
***Free Form by Okanagan Crush Pad, Okanagan Valley, Canada

w/ Matt Dumayne, Chief Winemaker

***Gekkeikan, Folsom, California, USA   
w/ Koichi Murakami, VP of Sales & Marketing

***Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Washington, USA     
w/ Christophe Hedges, General Manager

***Lightning Rock Winery, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada   
w/ Jordan Kubek, Winegrower

***Long Shadows, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA  
w/ Dane Narbaitz, Director of Sales & Marketing

***Marchesi Di Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
w/ Valentina Abbona, Family Member + Ambassador

***Martin’s Lane Winery, Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
w/ Shane Munn, Winemaker

Medici Ermete, Reggio Emilia, Italy    
w/ Ermes Scardova, Export Director

Mirafiore, Piedmont, Italy 
w/ Chiara Destefanis, Export Area Manager

Montes, Colchagua, Chile
w/ Bryan Steinsapir, Export Manager

***Orofino, Similkameen Valley, BC Canada      
w/ John Weber, Proprietor + Winemaker

Pere Ventura, Penedès, Spain 
w/ Hortense Capelle, Export Sales Manager

Salcheto, Tuscany, Italy     
w/ Michele Manelli, Winemaker

Susana Balbo Wines, Mendoza, Argentina
w/ German Pungitore, General Manager
 
***Synchromesh Wines, Okanagan Falls, BC, Canada    

w/ Alan Dickinson, Proprietor + Winemaker + Farmer

Tenuta Di Trinoro + Passopisciaro, Tuscany + Sicily, Italy    
w/ Letizia Patane, Export Manager
 
Tenuta Valdipiatta, Montepulciano, Italy

***Terravista Vineyards, Naramata Bench, BC, Canada  
w/ Nadine Allander, Winemaker

Troupis Winery, Mantinia, Greece

***Ursa Major Winery  Okanagan, Canada      
w/ Rajen Toor, Winemaker + Grower + Proprietor

***Weingut Thörle, Rheinhessen, Germany   
w/ Christoph Thörle, Proprietor

***Xanadu Winery, Margaret River, Australia   
w/ Douglas Elliott, North American Manager
 

For Main Event tickets, along with more information and news, visit TopDrop.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Meet the Makers – Victoria

Michael Bartier – Project B

VanWineFest

Sponsor Fest

Cowichan June Winefest

April 30th, 2022-Chain Reaction Wines (Naramata) & Stillhead Distillery (Duncan)

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Chain Reaction Wines (Naramata)   & Stillhead Distillery (Duncan)

THE SHOW

I “discovered” Chain Reaction Winery through a conversation with DJ Kearney.

When DJ asks the question “have you heard of..?” I am totally locked in.

DJ is a senior wine educator and an opinion you want to pay attention to.

Her recommendation sent me looking for the owners Joel and Linda Chamaschuk.

Joel and Linda Chamaschuk

Originally from BC’s lower mainland, they were both cyclists,  tech workers and big wine fans.

One thing led to another.

Okanagan bike competitions, seeking new wines and a dream to one day own a winery.

Finally they  bought a great small orchard on the Naramata Bench and in 2019 they planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cab Franc.

Riesling followed in 2020.

They now have three vintages to their name. Both 2019 and 2020 were done as “custom crushes” with winemaker Dwight Sick at Moraine Winery.

Their 2021 wines were the first to be made at their new winery facility. Again with the invaluable  leadership of Dwight Sick.

Their 2021 Pinot Gris won a Lt Governor Platinum Award. For a new comer,  a rare victory.

They’ve added a Blanc de Noir and a traditional method sparkling rose – both made from Pinot Noir.

Best of all, they’re finally making wines from their estate vineyard.

Chain Reaction Wines coming this year include 2021 Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sparkling Rose and next Spring their first Cab Franc

Chain Reaction 2019 Pinot Gris[2651] Chain Reaction 2020 Pinot Noir

They’ve opened a tasting room  to the public.

Just know, they’re making everything in small batch productions. As soon as you taste these delicious wines,  this piece of information  becomes important. They will go quickly. Think about joining their wine club.

We welcome Joel and Linda because dreams DO come true.

www.chainreactionwine.com

Stillhead Distillery (Duncan) – Brennan Colebank  Owner Operator & Distiller

New whiskies and spirits from Vancouver Island.

Stillhead Distillery Inc. opened its doors in October of 2017, founded by the Colebank family, husband and wife team Erica and Brennan, along with parents Christal and Ron.

Brennan Colebank graduated from UNBC with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree..

After working almost 15 years in the tech industry, Brennan left his job to pursue his dream career blending the two things he loved most; chemistry and whisky!

Four years later, the Stillhead team has grown from a family of 4 to a team of 9, with each year showing more potential and room to grow.

stillhead distilling

Stillhead’s vision is to reflect  the essence of island living in their  brand and all of their spirits. By adding distinct Vancouver Island ingredients to their products, they’ve provided a way to showcase and express the spirit of this wonderful area they call home, in every bottle.

I tasted my way through 6 small sample bottles of Stillhead

Several “old” releases…

Rye Whisky – Small Cask Finish.  Nose. rye bread and malt Palate. Allspice, toast, coconut and leather.

B-Word – Bourbon Style – Nose. sweet clover, brown sugar  Palate. toasted marshmallow, lemon grass. spice. Cinnamon

And several New Releases…

Rye-tila the Hun Nose. Dried figs, new cowhide, Irish butter Palate. roasted wheat, closer, toasted pine nuts

Smokin Wheat – Nose. Cigar box, fruit preserves, damp embers  Palate. Peat reek, malted milk  incense

Rye Whisky – Maple Syrup Cask  Nose. Fresh cinnamon toast, maple fudge  Palate. candied ginger, toast with butter, apple pie spice

Cask Strength single  malt – Cask 6A  Nose. Freshly torched crème brulee,  beeswax   Palate. toffee, aniseed, black tea poached pears

My thanks for Davin De Kergomeaux, Meagan Haugen-Koechi (Marketing at Stillhead) and Brennan Colebank.

www.stillhead.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Top Drop 2022

Van Wine Fest 2022

Pinot Noir Blind Taste

Cowichan Wine Events

Sponsor Special – The Gathering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 23rd, 2022 -THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY – PART TWO

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THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY – PART TWO

The Show

It was the first wine gathering of 2022 and the first in two years for many in the room.

(The room was the gorgeous Terminal City Club on West Hastings in Vancouver)

This week, its part two of our interviews with winemakers, agents  and principals.

All representing the Okanagan Falls and Skaha Lake Wineries Assn.

Here’s the Line -up:

 Play Estate Winery  (Skaha Hills) – Gianluca Miceli and the one & only Paul Watkin.(Seacove Group)

They brought over the Play Estate 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon.  French Oak Barrel aged for 16 months.

14%. Lean and totally engaging. Well done Stephanie Breyers,  Winemaker.

Noble Ridge (Okanagan Falls)Benoit Gauthier Winemaker

N/V  The Fizzy One (a pre-release). A beautiful blend of 62% Kerner and 38% Pinot Gris. “it’s for Wine Club Members but for you a tease and a treat”  Hey! Join the club.

Stag’s Hollow (Okanagan Falls)  – Erin Korpisto GM. 

2021 Dolcetto – Wild mix of ripe cherry, plums, rose on the nose plus  spice and dark chocolate. Winemaker Keira Le Franc speaks Italian through wine and  I understand what she’s saying.

Pentage (Skaha Lake) – Ian Jamieson (artwine)

2015 Pentage – The Flagship Red.

35% Cab/29 Merlot & 12 Merlot Ripasso/ 10 Cab Franc/10 Petit Verdot/  4 Malbec

Considering the entire process this wine goes through, partially dried skins then more merlot added – for 8 months, it is totally worth your time and dough to find it and enjoy Winemaker/Owner Paul Gardner’s craft.

Bravo!

 Wild Goose (Okanagan Falls)  Leslie Matheson (Marketing Manager)

2021 Autumn Gold – A well crafted blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and little bit of Chardonnay.

Wild Goose

www.wildgoosewinery.ca

www.stagshollowwinery.com

www.pentage.com

www.nobleridge.com

www.playwinery.com

www.theheartofwinecountry.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Our 2022 Sponsor special

Top Drop 2022

VanWine Fest 2022

Coastal Craft – Meet the Makers (Victoria)

Stillhead Distilling – Duncan

Chain Reaction Wines – Naramata Bench.

Davin de Kergomeaux – Spirits in the Dark