Tasting Room Radio

May 1st, 2021- Our First Spring Wine Release Special of 2021!

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Our First Spring Wine Release Special of 2021

 

THE SHOW

  

You can set your clocks by this moment in the year.  Spring shows itself in green “everything”  plus  warmer days and beautiful longer nights.

For the farmers and winegrowers its “Bud Break”. One of  the first signs of life from the wines.

To celebrate, we’ll be presenting a series of these Spring Specials starting with our friends,  the segment sponsors of Tasting Room Radio.

Enrico in the Cowichan Valley, Moon Curser in Osoyoos, The Hatch in West Kelowna.

Next week Hillside, one of the first on the Naramata Bench.

 Celebrate the future with a glass of wine with your family and friends. It’s Spring 2021

 

Develyn Barker –  The ‘Artful Dodger’ of The Hatch (West Kelowna)

 If you’ve never been there, it’s almost impossible to describe the talented community gathered at The Hatch. However, their smarts and passion show in the wines.

The leader is the Fagan of the Okanagan,  winemaker Jason Parkes. JP is the hub of a wine-making wheel called The Hatch.

Please let me give you an example.

Hatch World includes:

Crown and Thieves                                         Spirit and Fizz

Black Swift Vineyards                          Cactus Fruit

Screaming Frenzy                                           The Hatching Post Brewery

Truck 59 Cidery                                     Proper Man – New album 40 Elephants

(Fifty Shades of J and Fifty Beards Old)

This segment is just a small piece of the whole wine picture at The Hatch.

Spring Wine Releases  from Crown and Thieves

2020  Mr. Hickenbothom – Chardonnay

2020 Pinky Blinders – Rose

2020 Little Nipper – Pinot Gris

2020 Winemakers Wench – Blend (Chard. Roussanne. Pinot Gris. Viognier)

 2014 – Scoundrels Punch  $29.00  Amazing blend. 6 years in the barrel. (Hello?  6 years – 29 Bucks?)

2017  Broken Wing – Merlot $38.99

2017 The Arch Doxy – Cab Franc $44.99

And then a tease of two new big reds. (in the photo above)

Fifty Shades of J

Fifty Beards Old.

AND they’re just getting started. Coming up – new wineries, new wines, new ideas.

They will be announcing four new wines every Friday in May

Thanks to our guest Develyn Barker,  The Artful Dodger, and his boss Fagan.

 

www.thehatchwines.com

Beata and Chris Tolley – Founders and leaders at Moon Curser (Osoyoos)

(Best small winery in Canada and the #2 winery of the top 25 in Canada)

 

Winery owners Beata and Chris Tolley.

 

They make a lot of everything at Moon Curser. All with new labels.

Keep an eye out for:

Roussanne Marsanne

Moonlit Viognier Bubble

Dolcetto

Touriga National

Tannat

Syrah. Tempranillo. Petit Verdot.

 

New Spring Releases include:

2020 Arneis. The “little rascal” of Piemonte . Also called Barolo Bianco. They believe it’s the only one grown in Canada. $25.99

2019 Border Vines. 62 Cab/15 Cab Franc/9 Petit Verdot/9 Malbec/5 Carmenere . Big Bold Bordeaux $27.99

2019 Dead of Night. 53 Tannat/47 Syrah. Can be cellared up to 10 years. $39.99

2019 Malbec $31.99. Cellar 7-10 years.

Moon Curser can be contacted online, tastings arranged and wine discovered and purchased.

They open right after May long weekend.

www.mooncurser.com

Lorin Inglis – GM of Enrico Winery (Cowichan Valley)

They’re open for business at Enrico. And weather permitting there’s live music on the patio Saturdays starting May 8.

Here are your 2021 Spring Wine  Releases from Enrico in the Cowichan Valley:

Two bottles of fine bubble.

Celebration (Pinot Gris) $25.50

Revelation (Pinot Noir) $25.50

Coronet  Reserve Petit Milo  $26.50

Tempest Ortega $22.75

Shining Amour (Pinot Gris) $22.75

Red Dragon – a really interesting Pinot Noir Rose $21.25

Lorin and Terry

Lorin teases us with a new field blend that’s coming. And a little info about the annual  Cowichan Wine Festival all August.

www.enricowinery.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Hillside – Spring Releases and a new Chef

Alderlea says Hello

More new Spring Wine Releases from

Clos du Soleil

Tightrope

Roche

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 17th, 2021- Spring Releases!

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Spring Releases from Le Vieux Pin, Noble Ridge and celebrating World Malbec Day

THE SHOW

 

It’s quite a line up today. Founders, owners, winemakers, viticulturalists and three of the best wine minds I know.

Leslie D’Andrea – co-founder/owner of Noble Ridge  Okanagan Falls.

Leslie brings the  next group of  Spring releases from a very busy winery.

Leslie and Jim D’Andrea

 

FYI – Now open daily from 10-5 (May-October)

NV “The Fizzy One”  Frizzante Sparkling 60% Pinot Gris 40% Viognier – a 100% fun. Lush Pink Grapefruit and citrus  on the nose. The palate is clean, brisk and loaded with berry flavours. and here’s the best part. $21.99. How long do you think 300 cases will last?

2020 Rose’

100% Cabernet Sauvignon Provence style. Pear and herbs take you to a lasting finish.There’s no need to hurry through this rose’…linger a while. Salads, seafoods, soft cheese, chicken or the love of your life. $21.65  Only 120 cases.

2019 Meritage

84% Merlot  16% Cabernet Sauvignon 12 months in barrel. 75% French  25% American. 20%  New Oak. Berry and  dark ripe current on the nose. Herb and a solid minerality/graphite straight down the middle.Hints of heated barn wood and chocolate. yes I know, I’m getting carried away.Which is  what a good wine should do for you. And the bonus is – $22.00 and they made 1984 cases.

 

www.nobleridge.com <http://www.nobleridge.com>

#benoble

Severine Pinte – winemaker/viticulturalist/management team  Le Vieux Pin and La Stella

“Wine is complex, but also simple: it’s the transformation of fruit to alcohol. A lot of people are intimidated because of how people talk about wine: experts use big words, but sometimes it goes back to -“do I like this smell, this colour, am I pleased with what I see in my glass, is the taste pleasing, do I want another glass?”

Wine can be just that. If I see a smile on people’s faces when drinking my wine, then I’m happy. And remember, it’s a training process. You can keep practicing”  Severine Pinte in The Femme Vine

We are so lucky to have Severine Pinte making wines in the Okanagan. With her skills and training she could be working anywhere in the wine world, even back home in France,  where she grew up. She leads the growing in the fields and the winemaking in the cellars for Le Vieux Pin and La Stella. The first leans French and the second fully and completely embraces the best of Italy.

Just a hunch but I think the reason why her wines are SO good is because she’s a grower first. As a grower she knows what she wants in the bottle so she works with the vineyard to produce just such a wine.

Her favorite quote is from Jean Hugel: “100% of the quality of a true wine is already in the grapes, not in the cellars where you can only lose quality.”

Severine has been growing and harvesting and winemaking in BC  since 2010 and she is truly one of the reasons why BC wines  are  so much better today.

Severine and Ava

 

Severine brings with her today her new Spring Releases from Le Vieux Pin and La Stella.

 

2020 Le Vieux Pin  Sauvignon Blanc –hints & elements of Marlborough, a little Napa influence and a dash of The Loire.

Think oysters, prawns, salads.  Strikingly fine  $30.99

2019 Le Vieux Pin  “Ava “  – classic Rhone white  50 % Viognier. Balanced with Marsanne and Roussanne. Can cellar for 5-8 years.

Le Vieux Pin 2019 Ava

Full and rich. Notes of herbs and brioche. Ripe fruit and floral delight. Pairs with roast chicken. Game birds.$30.99

2019 Syrah “Cuvee Violette”  . This is a pure essence of Syrah. Pepper, dark fruit and oak.

Feminine, perfumed and elegant.  16 months in concrete. Some new oak.  $32.99

2017 Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe Syrah.  18 months in French Oak.  48% New. Everything you want in a Syrah. Spice. Blackberries. Balance from front to back. This wine was made by a lover of Syrah. $89.99

La Stella 2018 Fortissimo  Merlot. Cab. Cab Franc. Sangiovese. It has everything you could ask for in a beautiful dark blend – spice, plum, blackberries and a wonderful fruitiness & tannins but what really pulls it all together is the acidity in the Sangiovese. $31.99

La Stella 2017 Espressivo Old World meets New World. Paying tribute to the arrival in the 60’s of Super Tuscans  This release is 52% Cab Franc,  16% Cab, 16% Merlot and 16% Sangiovesse. 17 months in barrel.  28% new oak.  $49.99

2017 Maestoso “solo” Merlot.  100% Merlot. Powerful and seriously structured.

 

Notes of cassis – plum and vanilla. Wildly  impressive. $89.99

 

https://lastella.ca/

 

https://levieuxpin.ca/

 

Saturday April 17th  is World Malbec Day –  Malbec is the flagship wine of Argentina

Viñedos relevamiento WOFA
Wines of Argentina

 

Talking about and recommending Malbecs are:

DJ Kearney – Educator and judge (note: at Argentine Wine Awards)

Kurtis Kolt – Educator and wine judge.

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine, winery co-owner and wine teacher.

 

Stories we are working on:

Spring Releases

Cowichan Wine Festival

Fort Berens

Hillside

Moon Curser

The Hatch

Enrico

 

 

April 10th, 2021 -A tribute to Chris Jentsch. Laura Kittmer & April Wine Month and a New Documentary : Brewmance

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A tribute to Chris Jentsch, Laura Kittmer & April Wine Month and new Documentary  Brewmance

Chris Jentsch (CC Jentsch)

THE SHOW

 

 

Remembering Chris Jentsch (CC Jentsch)

One of the great benefits of being around the people who call wine their life is finding and making friends along the way.

For Chris Jentsch and I it was two days after his 2013 Syrah beat all comers at the  Judgement of BC gathering in 2015.

(There were 6 BC Syrah and 6 from around the World. His CC Jentsch 2013 Syrah  placed first to the delight of a room full of judges. Me included)

When I read that Chris had died April 2 I was taken with such a sadness. For his loss, for his wonderful partner Betty and their whole family.

The BC wine industry also lost a true leader. Chris was an admitted  farmer first!  When I showed up to congratulate him on winning The Judgement, I had to talk him off the tractor. That machine was his escape from the phone that wouldn’t stop ringing.  It’s ringing still.

I’ve gathered the interview that day and two others. One at Bloom 2016 and one at VanWineFest 2019, sitting in with Val Tait.

We’ll never forget the loss but let’s remember the man. Here’s to Chris Jentsch and CC Jentsch from the Golden Mile Bench.

www.ccjentschcellars.com

 

 

Laura Kittmer – Celebrating BC Wine Month in April

Laura_Kittmer   (Wine Growers of BC)

Laura is the Communication Director of Wine Growers of British Columbia. That’s a big job!   As my pal Barney Bentall says “Like a goat rodeo”

 

In celebration of B.C. Wine Month, Wine Growers British Columbia has launched a campaign titled “A Year in the Life,” aimed at celebrating B.C.’s hard-working, passionate and dedicated winemakers and farmers and their deep sense of respect for the land. The month long event includes a consumer contest inviting British Columbian’s to learn more about B.C. wine, discover new spring releases, and participate in a B.C. wine quiz for a chance to win an exclusive behind-the-scenes trip for two to one of B.C.’s pristine wine regions once it is safe to do so.

Laura walks us through the events above and then we get into a Spring Release speed rap..lots of names and wines.

But first we remember the legacy of one of the finest persons in the farming/wine industry Chris Jentsch.

We try to get a sense of what the year will look like, given the pandemic.

Laura also reminds us that there a new Wine BC Explorer App now available. For all of you wine fans who get your shots and mask up and want to make plans to visit a BC wine region this year,  this app answers all your questions. So you can start making plans or organize your dreams of travel.

Lots of info. Because that’s what Laura brings.  Every time.

www.winebc.com

@WineBCdotcom  #BCWineLife

 

 

 

Christo Brock – Director of new documentary BREWMANCE (April 13)

 

The boys from Liberation-BREWMANCE-

Our brewery, forged from equal parts Mos Eisley cantina and a Tom Waits fever dream, is a mighty 5 barrel production facility with tasting room. A safe haven for workers, story tellers, shamans, down-n-out detectives, street samurai, graffiti artists, revolutionaries, punks, drunks, con artists, and pirates. Sit for a pint and a tale… or three. Cheers!  Liberation!

There are over 7000 breweries in America. How do you find “the story” in that many tales.

Well, if you’re documentary director Christo Brock you stay home in Long Beach and tell the story through the people behind Ten Mile Brewing and Liberation Brewing. 

Why?  “because I promised my wife I wouldn’t disappear again  and wanted to be part of my kids upbringing..so I stayed in Long Beach for this story”   Good Call.

 

The American Craft Beer movement began with a group of restless homebrewers searching for something genuine and flavorful. Today it’s evolved into a redefinition of beer and an international cultural phenomenon. The  American spirit of rebellion and innovation survives in two groups of homebrewers from Long Beach, California who are looking to open their own breweries and bring their beers to the world. These include a Christian father-son team who grew close over making beer and a retired ska band rock star (Dan Regan, Reel Big Fish) looking for the “quiet” existence of a brewery owner. With the insight and commentary of legendary brewers Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing), Charlie Papazian, Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Jim Koch (Boston Brewing) and others, BREWMANCE reveals the soul of craft beer in the heart of America.

 

“Over the three years and 600+ hours of footage I gathered I found some unexpected discoveries. Firstly, craft beer is a uniquely American story. It could only have happened in a land that values independent, out-of-the-box thinking, and anti-authoritarianism. It’s a product made by people used to working hard, not giving up, and persevering through the impossible times. It’s also a story of entrepreneurship, one driven by innovative capitalists who saw a way of giving the people something they didn’t know they wanted. And most of all, it’s a story of people who honored and respected each other, and redefined the laws of competition to include collaboration. Craft beer is a better place to be, and we are all better because of it”  Christo Brock – Filmmaker

 

 

Christo Brock is an American Producer, Director, and Editor best known for directing and producing the iconic swim documentary Touch the Wall, the sports films Spirit of the Marathon and Hood to Coast, and  now the craft beer documentary BREWMANCE.

 

https://www.brewmancemovie.com/

RELEASING ON VOD ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS ON APRIL 13, 2021.
(US, CANADA, UK AND MORE)

CANADA: 
Apple TV (iTunes),
 Google Play, Microsoft Store, Vimeo On Demand

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Spring Releases

The Wine Diva

Le Vieux Pin

Cowichan Wine festival

 

 

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

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THE SHOW

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

 It’s that time of year.

Spring brings new releases from all the wineries.

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

Bartier-Brothers

2019 Rose –  (Now) $17.99

2019 – Grenache Syrah Mourvedre (April) $41.99

2019  Merlot –  (May) $22.99

2019 – Orchard Row (June) $36.99

 “Less is More“

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

Lean and sharply defined. Flinty. Minerality.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its fantastic.

Just like the winemaker.

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

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

 

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

 

www.bartierbros.com

 

 

Mark Hopley – Winemaker at Hester Creek (Golden Mile)

 

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

Mark Hopley – Hester Creek

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2020_Trebbiano

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

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

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

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

2020 P Gris. Viognier

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

 

Wine release dinners

Rose/Trebbiano April 3  – sold out

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

The Judge – July 8 Summer Dinner.

 

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

Ti Amo,  Old Vine Brut and The Judge.

 

www.hestercreek.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

April is BC Wine Month

Valleys of Wines

New Spring Releases

Eat Local. Checking in with the restaurants

 

 

 

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

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Small Batch Bubbles and Pinot Noir from NICHE.

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

THE SHOW

 

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

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

Niche Wine Co

 

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

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

They are, however,  well worth the chase.

 

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

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

Segment two covers the two new Pinot Noirs now available.

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

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

Niche Vines

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

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

25% new oak for 16 months.

Complex and balanced. A special wine.

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

It’s a great idea.

 


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

Christine Coletta

Christine Coletta

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Okanagan Crush Pad is the home for

Haywire Wines

Free Form

Bizou and Yukon

And  

Narrative

Today CC brings the new releases from Narrative.

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

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

 

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

Slow fermented in concrete.  Yummy!

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Check out the outstanding Okanagan Crush Pad website.

https://okanagancrushpad.com/


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

Daenna van Mulligen

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

Daenna van Mulligen specializes in bubble.

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

 

Blue Mountain Rose Brut $40 (winery/private)

Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut $90 BCLS

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

 

www.winediva.ca

www.winescores.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Bartier Brothers – Spring Releases.

Valleys of Wine – Luke Whittall (author)

March 20th, 2021 THE FIFTH AND FINAL JUDGMENT OF BC-

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THE FIFTH AND FINAL JUDGMENT OF B.C.

THE SHOW

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

 

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

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

Terry and Manual Zuppiger (Arrowleaf)

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

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

We started with Pinot Noir, then Chardonnay.

The afternoon was spent tasting and spitting Riesling and Syrah.

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

DJ Kearney

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

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

Steven Spurrier

 

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

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

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

Arrowleaf Cellars ranked first among the Pinot Noir flight.

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

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

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

(Complete results at the bottom of page)

Guests on this edition of Tasting Room Radio  include:

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

www.winebc.com

PINOT NOIR RESULTS:

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

RIESLING RESULTS:

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

CHARDONNAY RESULTS:

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

SYRAH RESULTS:

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

… and the winners below!

JUDGMENT OF BC JUDGES:

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

    STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

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

 

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

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Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.

 

THE SHOW

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

The great Steven Spurrier had died.

Steven Spurrier & TDM

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jancis Robinson (Thank you)

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

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

 

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

Both stepped forward to do interviews for this show.

 

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

@djwines

DJ Kearney & Steven Spurrier

 

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

Rhyspender.com

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

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Steven Spurrier twice.

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

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

 

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

 


 

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

 

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

Aimee Parkes

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

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

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

Jason-Parkes-Winemaker-The-Hatch-

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

 

@hatchwines

@blackswiftvineyards

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Canada Whisky Awards

Spring Releases

 

 

 

 

 

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

hello

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

 

THE SHOW

Sandra Oldfield

 

Sandra Oldfield is a welcome force. 

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

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

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

This weeks she returns with stories and features on

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

 

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

Terry Meyer Stone

 

Severine Pinte – Winemaker at Le Vieux Pin

Severine Pinte

 

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

 

Leslie and Jim D’Andrea

 

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

(Her Post can be found at)

www.sandraoldfield.com

www.elysianprojects.com

#BCWineChat

 

Evan Saunders – Winemaker at Blasted Church

Evan Saunders Winemaker Blasted Chuch

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

Evelyn Campbell

But as Evelyn writes on their website:

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 – Merlot  (89% Merlot 11% Malbec)

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

Think steaks, tomato based pasta, burgers…ribbbbbs.

$27.00  (874 cases)

 

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

 

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

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

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

So!  Was it worth it?   Oh Hell yes.

 

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

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

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

 

$29.50  (2262 cases)

 

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

2018  Killer Cab Franc

2020 Rose – (Blaufränkisch)

Nebbiolo

Others..

www.blastedchurch.com

FYI

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

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

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

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON;

Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine

Canadian Whisky Awards

Wineries  and restaurants opening for Spring.

Spring Releases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

hello

 

 

THE SHOW

 

The Press Release said:

 

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

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

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

 

Our guests are:

Dana Lee Harris – Executive Director of BC Hospitality Foundation 

Dana Lee Harris and TDM (pre-Covid)

www.bchospitalityfoundation.com

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

www.nicholvineyard.com

www.lockandworth.com

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew Sherlock. Nichol Vineyard, Naramata BC

 

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

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

They have two levels of wines

 

John-Glavina

Giant Head and Canyonview.

Giant Head offers solid entry wines at affordable prices.

The Canyonview line is the very best on offer.

 

Welcome back John Glavina

  

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine

Black Swift opens its doors

Wines of BC – an update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Neil McLennan – Western Living

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Chef Ned bell

Kate Colley

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Abdallah “Dallah” El Chami

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jill Hoff

 

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

 

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

Kelcie Jones

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Julius Makarewicz

 

 

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

 

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

Zaklan Heritage Farms

 

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

 

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

 

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

Paul Natrall

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Schacht Family

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

THANK YOU NEIL MCLENNAN AND WESTERN LIVING.

 

 

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

 

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Luke Whittall – Valleys of Wine

 

Black Swift opens its doors

 

Wines of BC – an update.