Tasting Room Radio

May 13th, 2023- The 44th annual Vancouver Wine Festival. Part 2


Winemakers from Aquilini/Beringer/Laughing Stock/Michael David/Nk’mip/Osoyoos LaRose/Vina Carmen/Santa Rita




Welcome back to the 44th annual Vancouver Wine Festival.

Cutting through the clutter with world class wine smarts is our co-host DJ Kearney (Wine Director Terminal City Club. Speaker, writer, wine judge, noted authority)

dj kearney

This is our 17th year of covering this wildly successful wine gathering.

As always, we make a wish list of who we’d like to talk to and try to shape a tale of climate, regions, wines, winemakers and what’s ahead for an ever changing business. At some point the wish list gets thrown out and it’s a sprint to the finish line.

Exhausting but memorable.

This week’s guests are:

 Justin Hall – Winemaker Nk’Mip Cellars Osoyoos, BC

Michael Kullmann – Winemaker and GM Osoyoos LaRose Osoyoos, BC

Sandy Leier – Winemaker Laughing Stock Vineyards  Naramata Bench, BC

Sandy Leier

Sandy Leier

Ryan Rech – GM and Winemaker Beringer Vineyards  Napa Valley, Ca.

Tyler Tennyson – Consulting Winemaker Aquilini Wines Red Mountain, Washington

Dave Phillips – Co-owner and President Michael David Wines Lodi, Ca.

Oscar Salas – Winemaker  Santa Rita Maipo Valley/Limari Valley  Chile

Pablo Prieto – Winemaker Vina Carmen  Various Locations Chile



DJ Kearney – Co-Host with the Most

Ray Signorello – Signorello, Edge, Trim  Napa/Alexander valley

Garron Elmes – Winemaker/Pres. Lake Breeze Naramata, BC

Ben Pon – Co-owner Salentein   Mendoza, Arg.

Joe Spellman – Master Sommelier  Justin Vineyards and Winery Paso Robles, Ca

Evan Goldstein – Keynote Speaker

Harry Hertscheg – Executive Director VanWineFest

Mark deVere – Master of Wine Robert Mondavi  Napa




Township 7

Lt Governors Awards

New Releases

Moon  Curser



Mt Boucherie

Okanagan Wine festivals

Noble Ridge

Cowichan Valley Wine Festival


May 6th, 2023- 44th Vancouver International Wine Festival (Part One)


2023 QUICK FACTS  (Ever Changing)

44th annual (founded 1979)

8 days, April 22-30

18,000 admissions

17 countries

147 wineries » 44 wineries from South America

36 events at 19 venues » 26 public events; 10 trade-only events

25 participating restaurants, hotels, caterers

1135 wines, including:  800 wines in the Tasting Room –  335 wines at special events (dinners, seminars, etc)

15,000 bottles poured and/or purchased


 This is our 17th year of covering the  adventure  of The Van Wine Fest!

For the Executive Director Harry Hertscheg and his top flight team of organizers,  it’s their 44th annual.

(Harry and keynote speaker Evan Goldstein will close our series in a couple of weeks)

harry hertscheg

Although it’s still a amazing “blur” I think we did at least 20 interviews in just under four hours.

A mix of winemakers and founders from Chile, Argentina, BC, Lodi, Napa, Sonoma and  Washington!

We could not have made this journey without the help of media/marketing support from Ruby Gillett (Milk Creative Communications) and Danielle Giroux (Director- California Wines Canada)

Thank you both.

Vancouver International Wine Festival


Here’s Part One of this years Festival

 We begin with the most amazing friend – Wine Director at Terminal City Club and much admired wine educator, speaker and wine judge,  DJ Kearney.

DJ and I were judging the Lt Governor awards last month and between flights I whispered “will you join me at VanWineFest for a couple of interviews. I love your questions and observations?”

She nodded OK!  How lucky I was to know her?

As promised,  DJ sat down for the first two interviews and to my complete surprise and delight,  she stayed for almost the entire series of chats. A small grouping of chairs – knee to knee –  because the crowd noise gets louder as the minutes click by. A lot of collective chatter.  In the chairs, we all found ourselves leaning in to listen and comment. Tasted many outstanding wines the guests brought.

Loved it.  Best of all, this is just Part One of 3 weeks of interviews.

This weeks guests are:

 DJ Kearney – Wine Director  (Terminal City Club) Wine Educator, Judge, Writer,  Speaker and great friend.

DJ Kearney

The one and only DJ Kearney with her observations about Van Wine Fest history, the line up of this years wineries and general opinions about the state of today’s winemaking. She brings so many memorable stories and details.




JJ DowellWinemaker Lake Sonoma, Plume Wines. (Russian River, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Napa Valley)

Jaime started her career “in the arts” at her family’s art gallery.

The art of wine came calling. Crooked Vine, Stony Ridge. Then off to New Zealand making high end Pinot Noir at Villa Maria.

Back to California in 2011 to join Bonny Doon, Alpha Omega, Round Pond Estate in Napa and finally joined West Coast Wine Partners – which included the Stewart Family at Quails Gate – to oversee Lake Sonoma and Valley of the Moon WinesPlume Wines were soon added to the portfolio.

All that experience shows in her wines.  https://lakesonomawinery.com/

Jaime "JJ" Dowell Named Round Pond Estate Winemaker - Wine Industry Advisor

JJ Dowell


Christa-Lee McWatters – McWatters Collection GM/Family (Penticton)

Tony Holler – Co-Owner Poplar Grove (Naramata Bench)

DJ and I knew this was going to be fast, informative and lots of fun.

Christa-Lee and Tony LOVE talking about wine. Theirs and many others.

But they also have new events and growth.

At Time Family of Wines in Penticton Christa-Lee has opened OROLO Restaurant with Damian Cole as Head Chef.  Fine dining friends.

Wine's Most Inspiring People: Christa-Lee and Darrien McWatters, TIME Family of Wines - Wine Industry Advisor

Christa-Lee McWatters

She was also pouring her Father Harry’s last vintage. A  2017 Brut!

Cheers to Harry McWatters.



Tony Holler poured his Pinot Gris “it has to be poured at this event.”

Tony Holler

And also revealed his new culinary team at Poplar Grove Restaurant.

Timing says Tony “its all about timing” His executive chef moved on to Canoe in Toronto and at the same time Executive Chef Stacey Johnson and Chef de Cuisine Minette Lotz came available at Naramata Inn. Think about it.  That team in that room with that view? Wow!

Truly loved DJ’s comments.



On my way into the Convention Centre I bumped into Chris Turyk and his Father Tim from Unsworth in the Cowichan Valley.

I reminded Chris that last year I stood in front of their Unsworth pouring table but the line-up just kept getting bigger and bigger and we never got an interview done.

Secrets and Lives Interview with Chris Turyk - Victoria News

Chris Turyk

So, this year we put two chairs together and had a conversation.

About Unsworth, the Cowichan Valley, the Jackson Family adding Blue Grouse to their Cowichan Portfolio, what he was pouring at the festival (Charme de l’ile NV), his journey to Master of Wine status and an update on the Cowichan Wine Festival the month of August.

My thanks to Chris, Tim and Unsworth.



Next Week –  Winemakers and Principals from

Tyler Tennyson – Aquilini (Red Mtn Washington)

Dave Phillips – Michael David Winery (Lodi, Cal)

Justin Hall – Nk’Mip  (Osoyoos)

Michael Kullman – Osoyoos LaRose

Ryan Rech  – Beringer Vineyards (Napa)

Oscar Salas – Santa Rita (Chile)

Pablo Prieto – Vina Carmen (Chile)





Van Wine Fest Parts Two and Three

The Ones

Noble Ridge

Township 7

Lt. Governors Awards

Cowichan Wine festival



April 29th, 2023 – Our yearly Pinot Noir Geek Out!


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


 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.





Next Week


The Hatch/Jason Parkes Customs

Moon Curser



Clos du Soleil

Aug 4 Cowichan Pour

Sperling Vineyards

Scorched Earth

Robert Belcham /Cooks Camp

Bill Jones – Shrooms



April 22nd, 2023 Chris Waters (Globe and Mail) interviews  Jason Priestley. Michal Mosny and TDM


Chris Waters (Globe and Mail) interviews  Jason Priestley. Michal Mosny and TDM

Michael, Jason and Terry




What started out as a Zoom interview for a story Christopher Waters was writing on Q&A Wine for his Easter Globe and Mail wine column has now become  a Tasting Room Radio show, a Podcast and video interview for TDM YouTube Channel.

Full Disclosure :

Q&A wine is a new partnership in the South Okanagan between myself, Jason and Winemakers Cut winemaker/owner Michal Mosny.

Michael Mosney

How this came to be is a wonderful story that starts the interview.

tdm and Jason Priestley in Niagara
(globe&mail photo)

Make no mistake…  this interview is lead by Chris Waters.

Chris Waters

As someone who has done countless interviews,  it was such a treat to watch someone else carry the load and just enjoy the conversation. The surprise in the dialogue  were the outflow of words, opinions  and thoughts from Chris,  who was completely open and engaging.

I kept thinking “this would be a really good TRR and podcast”

So.  Here we are. With the help of Olivia Siu and Chris himself,  this weeks Tasting Room Radio is a friendly war of words about the wines of Canada, BC’s place in wine, Michal’s and Martina’s story of moving from Slovakia to Oliver BC and starting Winemakers Cut, Chris’s thoughts on Q&A Red and the just arriving Q&A RMV White , about wines that pleasantly surprise and Pink Floyd.

The Red is a blend of 45/Cab 38/Merlot 13/Cab Franc 4/Petit Verdot

The White  RMV a blend of 58/Rousanne 34/Marsanne 8/Viognier

Christopher was kind enough to award the Q&A Red Blend 91 Points and the Q&A White Blend  92 Points


Christopher Waters  is a WSET certified instructor. He is the acclaimed wine and spirits columnist at The Globe and Mail.

For 21 years, Christopher was the editor/co-founder of Canada’s largest circulation wine publication, VINES, and author of the nationally syndicated column, Waters & Wine. An internationally recognized wine judge, Christopher represents Canada for the Globe Fine Wine Challenge in Sydney, Australia and served as head judge and organizer of the InterVin International Wine Awards from 2009-2019.

Michal Mosny is the co-owner and winemaker at Winemakers Cut in Oliver, BC

He and his wife/winemaker Martina moved from Slovakia to BC in 2004 after seeing the Okanagan featured on Hollywood and Vines TV. The hosts were Jason Priestley and TDMulligan.

Producer was Chad Oakes... he has his own wine.









Van Wine Fest

Moon Curser

Hillside Wines

Mt Boucherie

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Unsworth Vineyards

Lt. Governor’s Awards 2023

The Ones

Township 7

Lake Breeze

Cowichan Wine Festival



Chris Waters awarded:

Q&A Red (Bordeaux Blend) 91 Points

Q&A RMV White (Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier) 92 Points



April 15th, 2023- Barnyard Natural Wine Fest Part 2 & Natural Winemaker Ann Sperling


Barnyard Natural Wine Fest Part 2 & Natural Winemaker Ann Sperling



 Last week we happily presented a feature story on the first Barnyard Natural Wine Festival in BC.

As promised here’s the rest of the featured interviews.

Matt Cooke

We decided to start with a shortened version of the interview with Matt Cooke.

matt cooke

Matt conceived and organized  the Festival at his home base of Save-On Arena in Victoria.  Matt has a history of supporting natural winemaking through various restaurants  where he’s lead the wine program.

The Rogue Kitchen and Wet bar in Vancouver, Tableau Bistro, Homer St Café,
Ancora and finally  the wonderful OLO restaurant in Victoria. He featured natural wines all the way.

Completing the natural story are:

 Murray Fontaine and Aaron Goddard from the much admired Scout Vineyard (Similkameen)

Kesley Rufiage   – Winemaker  Else Wines,  Echo Bay and jocko (OK Falls)

Alex Thornley – Thorn and Burrow  (Various Locations)

Annelise Simonsen – Creek and Gully (Naramata Bench)



Ann Sperling – Winemaker and family member Sperling Vineyards  (East Kelowna)

Ann Sperling

Certified organic in 2017, Ann is the fourth generation of Sperlings tending the vineyards on the East Benches of Kelowna.

Ann created:

Natural organic Amber Pinot Gris

Organic Heritage Rose


Organic Pinot Blanc

Organic Vision Pinot Noir Reserve

Vision Series Brut Natural

Organic Old Vines Foch




Van Wine fest

Moon Curser










April 8th, 2023 BARNYARD  (Part One)  –  BC’s First Natural Wine Festival (Victoria)


BARNYARD  (Part One)  –  BC’s First Natural Wine Festival (Victoria)



“Wine unplugged. It’s the unfiltered, untamed, unphotoshopped version of what we know wine to be. Hand picked, no additives, little or no sulphites.

It flies against the status quo. Challenges what people think is good wine”

Madeline Puckette /Wine Folly


This first natural wine festival was organized by Matt Cooke .

In 2016 Matt moved to Victoria and joined the management team at OLO Restaurant, where he quickly took over the bar, and then wine programs. The food at OLO screamed natural – which inspired him to create a largely natural wine list, which over his nearly 5 years there, grew to become arguably the most natural list in Victoria.

Matt’s passion was really in finding new and exciting wines/regions/varietals to pair up with the food and encourage OLO guests to try. Then in fall 2021 he became the Food & Beverage General Manager at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

It was a major career shift, from a 40 seat farm-to-table high end restaurant, to a 7000 person arena, but loved it. Over the course of two hockey seasons now, Matt has become confident in his role – but missed the aspect of educating people on wine, and  missed his connection to the wine world. Which is where the idea for Barnyard came from.


In Fall of 2022 Matt started reaching out to his contacts from his  buying days at OLO, and suggested this gathering. The response was immediate and highly supportive.

Matt Cooke

For BARNYARD they had 35 wineries/agencies attending, including 18 BC wineries and 1 Ontario winery – all with principals, and 16 import agencies. The import agencies presented  a range of products from their portfolio, which allowed the festival  to showcase wines from 17 other countries.


The full list of wineries and agencies is up on their website:



The guest line up for Part One:


Matt Cooke – Founder of Barnyard www.barnyardwinefest.ca <http://www.barnyardwinefest.ca>


Rajen Toor –  Winemaker Ursa Major (Black Sage Road)  https://ursamajorwinery.com <https://ursamajorwinery.com/>


Mathew Vasilev – Co-founder/cidermaker Twin Island Cider (Pender Islands) https://www.twinislandcider.com/ <https://www.twinislandcider.com/>


Jay Drysdale – Bella Vineyards (Naramata Bench)  https://www.bellawines.ca/

Bella- Jay Drysdale & Wendy Rose

Louise Fedyk – Massey Wines (Pouring Eastern European Wines) https://www.masseywines.com/ <https://www.masseywines.com/>


David Eiberg – Therianthropy (Ontario) https://therianthropy.wine/ <https://therianthropy.wine/>


Anthony Buchanan – Anthony Buchanan Wines (Kaleden) https://www.anthonybuchananwines.ca/ <https://www.anthonybuchananwines.ca/>

Anthony Buchanan


For a complete rundown of what everyone was pouring please head for






Natural Wine fest Part Two



Moon Curser

Mt Boucherie

Okanagan Wine festivals


Lt Governors Awards

Hester Creek

New Releases.

District Wine Village

Wards Wine Country Kitchen

The Ones


April 1st, 2023 Executive Director Harry Hertscheg on 44th VanWineFest


Executive Director Harry Hertscheg on 44th VanWineFest  (April 22-30)



Harry Hertscheg – Executive Director of Vancouver Wine festival.

harry hertscheg

It’s Harry’s show.  He spends his entire year leading a great creative team.

If anyone can give us a wrap up of the entire festival it’s Harry.

Harry spends every day between festivals planning, conceiving, producing and executing details for the next VanWineFest. We’ll spend the entire TRR with Harry because he’s already lived the festival. The rest of us just have to catch up.


Vancouver International Wine Festival 2023 returns this spring | Dished

148 Wineries from 17 Countries, Featuring South America

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is excited to announce the winery line-up for the 44th annual festival, which takes place April 22-30, 2023. This spring wine and food extravaganza returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) and other venues, with 148 wineries from 17 countries, featured at 36 events over eight days. The festival will feature South America as the 2023 theme region, with a global spotlight on sparkling wine.

View the winery list here.

The festival is featuring a specific region of the wine world for the first time since 2020, with South America in the spotlight for 2023. Forty-four wineries from four countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay – will be sharing their wines and their stories with festivalgoers in the Tasting Room and at special events throughout festival week.

The 7 Best Wine Regions of Latin America - We Are Cocina

The festival is pleased to welcome Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, president of Full Circle Wine Solutions and Master the World, and a renowned wine writer and educator, as this year’s keynote speaker.

Evan Goldstein - Wines of South America | Book Passage

Evan Goldstein

VanWineFest 2023 will welcome 151 different producers from 17 countries, more than 25% of them attending the festival for the first time.

36 events, 20 venues, 8 days!

In addition to the four countries and 44 wineries from South America, there is  a strong contingent travelling from Europe,. “Italy leads the way with 26 wineries, but France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, and Spain are also well represented. The New World is out in force, with Canada and the US combining for 48 wineries in attendance, and returning favourites travelling from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. In total, there will be more than 1150 wines in the Tasting Room to discover, marking a return to pre-pandemic numbers.

Wine Class | April | South American Wines

VWF  global spotlight is sparkling wine.  They will bring the best bubbles from around the wine world, with Champagne and Crémant from France, Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, and other superb sparklers featured in events throughout festival week and in the Tasting Room.

The festival is headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre; in addition, restaurants and venues around the city will host winery dinners, lunches, seminars, and wine minglers. The sumptuous Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859, and benefiting Bard on the Beach, will take place on Saturday, April 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The heart of the festival is the Tasting Room in VCC East, where all 152 wineries will gather for four International Festival Tastings and two Trade Tastings on Thursday, April 27, Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29.

Homepage - Vancouver International Wine Festival



Natural Wine Festival – Victoria


Moon Curser


Mt Boucherie

Okanagan Wine festivals

Lt Governor Awards

Many Spring Releases


March 25th, 2023- Osoyoos LaRose/The Wait is Over with Winemaker Michael Kullmann


Osoyoos LaRose Winemaker – Michael Kullmann/The wait is over.


Many press releases cross my screen. This one caught my eye and imagination.

Osoyoos Larose is a Bordeaux winery in the Okanagan. The owner Groupe Taillan,  is a major producer of wines in Bordeaux.

They produce around 12,000 cases at Osoyoos Larose and  most of it finds its way to Eastern Canada.

For the first time, Osoyoos Larose is offering its wines direct-to-consumer, via a new winery membership subscription list.

Michael in cellar

What this means is that wine lovers in BC and Alberta can now join “La Maison Osoyoos Larose” to receive library wines from Osoyoos Larose, large format bottlings, and early access to new releases. You can find more details about it here: https://lamaisonosoyooslarose.com/

For those that know the wines, this is pretty big news.

After 20 years of public queries, wine fans  will be excited for this chance to buy Osoyoos Larose wines.

Our guest for this  entire Tasting Room is the winemaker and COO  Michael Kullmann.


Michael Kullmann

Michael was  born in London and has a master of science degree from a Bordeaux university and experience at two Bordeaux wineries.

He became the vineyard manager at Osoyoos Larose in April, 2019, and took over managing the winery and making wine in January 2022.

We’re going to taste and talk about

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2019 and 2020.

Plus a classic library release from  2009

Dark ripe black currents, plum, blueberries and  cherries on the nose

Palate gifts you dark chocolate, spice, saddle and those same dark fruits from the nose.

Some weeks  Tasting Room Radio has many voices telling the stories. Because this is such a special wine,  winery and winemaker, there’s only one story and one storyteller – Osoyoos Larose and Michael Kullmann.



Harry Hertscheg – VanWineFest

The first  Barnyard Natural Wine Festival (Victoria)

Lt. Governors Awards

News releases from


Mt Boucherie


Moon Curser

Update on Okanagan Wine Festivals

New releases from IVSA

March 18th. 2023- Guests – Davin De Kergommeaux, and distillery co-founder James Lester


Guests – Davin De Kergommeaux (author/whisky specialist) and distillery co-founder James Lester

Davin De Kergommeaux – Author &  Whisky Specialist

DAVIN DE KERGOMMEAUX is an independent expert who has been writing, talking and teaching about whisky in all its forms and flavours for two decades.


He is the world’s leading authority on Canadian whisky and has been called “Canada’s unofficial whisky ambassador” as well as being named one of the most influential Canadians in Food and Drink by The Globe and Mail in 2016. Davin is the founder and chairperson of the prestigious Canadian Whisky Awards!

James Lester –  co-founder Sons of Vancouver Distillery

Jenna Diubaldo  Richard Klaus James Lester

Sons of Vancouver is a small distillery on Vancouver’s North Shore. It was born out of a young, foolhardy desire to follow passions and contribute to a growing community of independent distillers. Best known for the ever-popular No. 82 amaretto, the distillery is now running a growing whisky program and is very excited to bring super flavourful rye whiskies to the Canadian market.

Sons of Vancouver has shifted into whisky-making in a big way, with the goal of changing the standard for rye whisky in Canada. After becoming the first craft distillery to winCanadian Whisky of the Year’ at the 2023 Canadian Whisky Awards, achieving this goal never seemed so possible.

They lead with big flavours, and high-rye expressions, and prefer to bottle their whiskies at barrel-proof. By allowing the whisky itself to guide the blend, each bottling is unique and provides an outlet to highlight the many facets of rye grain achieved through fermentation, distillation, and maturation.

Currently, they release whisky in limited quantities, 2 to 3 times per year. In the very near future, Sons of Vancouver will have whisky on shelves much more often. Until then, sign up for their whisky mailing list to keep current on new whisky releases, tasting events, and more!

Watch out for these releases:

Summer Road Trip Across the Mid West

Marshmallows over a Campfire

Cigarettes on a Leather Jacket


‘2023 Canadian Whisky of the Year – Canadian Whisky Awards

The 3rd limited-release whisky from Sons of Vancouver Distillery, this 100% rye whisky was aged in used American oak, blended and transferred into bourbon barrels, and finally, rested in Virgin Islands rum casks. The rum undertones provide breezy tropical vibes that complement the natural rye spice perfectly.

The nose hits with pit-roasted pineapple and vanilla cigarillo, continuing with pine humidor and under-ripe banana on the palate. It finishes with allspice and demerara sugar, leaving you dreaming of daiquiris on the beach.

One of the founding owners of SOV, James Lester  started the distillery alongside best friend Richard Klaus and partner Jenna Diubaldo



Best of all they also run a 5-day Whisky making school.

Details at https://sonsofvancouver.ca/





Van Wine Festival

Lt. Governors Awards

New releases from


Mt Boucherie

Moon Curser


March 11th, 2023- Okanagan Crush Pad becomes Haywire Wines. Guest is Christine Coletta.


Headline – Okanagan Crush Pad becomes Haywire Wines. Guest is Christine Coletta.



Tasting Room Radio began in 2007 in a studio in a barn on the Naramata Bench.

I announced to myself and the audience that I had a lot to learn but each interview and tasting would take me closer to the promised land.

One of the very first interview friends I made was Christine Coletta who had just launched Okanagan Crush Pad with her husband Steve Lornie.

Christine Coletta


I knew of Chris because of her leadership at Coletta and Associates.   Her specialty was to market new and established wines to an ever-growing base of wine fans. The wineries needed a voice to speak for them. Christine was that voice.

In our first interviews, Christine talked about Okanagan Crush Pad and the need for small Indy wineries to have a facility to access when harvest came. It was a huge success and much-needed in the Okanagan.

At the same time, Chris and Steve (and their wine friends) started to groom, plant, and plan for their own wines under the Haywire label starting with the Switchback Vineyard in Summerland. Certified Organic in 2015.

The first 6 concrete tanks arrived in 2011 well ahead of the concrete “movement” in the valley.

Pinot Noir, Gamay, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay love the Okanagan soil and the concrete allows them to be the lively & vibrant style of wine the Haywire team aims to make. Key to the popularity of Haywire wines is the winemaker Matt Dumayne.

Matt and Christine

So, now we come to 2023 and lots of changes at Okanagan Crush Pad.

First, the name is now changed to Haywire. The look of the Haywire release has changed as well… New labels and colors.

A modern tasting room has been constructed right next door to the crush pad and the cellar.

The Haywire winemaking facility is also the home for other unique wine labels that found a place at Okanagan Crush Pad.

Free Form, Narrative, Bizou & Yukon, and the new Garnet Valley Ranch. (more on Garnet Valley  later)

While it was great talking to Chris about the name changes and new facility at Haywire it also gave us an opportunity to do what we most love doing…tasting and talking about new Haywire releases.  Here’s the line-up!!

  • 2021 Haywire Pink Bub
  • 2021 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris
  • 2021 Haywire Chardonnay 2021 Haywire Gamay Rosé
  • 2021 Haywire Gamay          
  • 2021 Haywire Pinot Noir


Check out the new Haywire website – for all the experiences available.




Sons of Vancouver/Davin De Kergommeaux

Van Wine Festival

Lt. Governors Awards

New releases from


Mt Boucherie

Moon Curser