Painted Rock

July 29th, 2023


John Skinner on his Painted Rock Wines /VJ Gandhi on making our wines available in USA.




“If Painted Rock is going to compete with the best in the world we must have confidence in our terroir and allow it to express its uniqueness. That’s why we are 100% Estate.”  John Skinner

John Skinner

John Skinner

John Skinner and Valeria Tait planted Painted Rock  in 2006,  a year before we moved to the Naramata Bench. Even though there was no Painted Rock to taste when we arrived, it was one of the first wine names I heard in my ‘walk arounds’.

John was driven to make wines that would be appreciated all over the World but first he had to create it and then convince the wine world that it was worthy.

He has done so with Painted Rock.

Fires around Painted Rock

John’s Red Icon was named as a Decanter Wine of the Year in 2020.

Also this review from Jancis Robinson:  London

Painted Rock, Red Icon 2016 17 Points: “Like a very rich red Bordeaux. Very beautifully balanced. Long and velvety. Everything fully ripe but with good acidity too. Well balanced and very bright-fruited. Still youthful but promising for the long term. (RH) 14.9%” Drink 2020 – 2027


John takes us through his new releases and brings a stack of stories.

2020 Chardonnay  available for first time since 2019

2020 Merlot – dark and rich.

2020 Red Icon – classic blend

2020 Syrah – a jaw dropping gem


Alfresco Dinner  featuring Backyard Farm  Saturday Sept 16

Info on Painted Rock Website


VJ Gandhi  – Founder of Kascadia Wine Merchants

It’s time to change the narrative to – North American wine.” – VJ Gandhi

For everyone who has family and friends in the USA asking how to get their hands on  wines from BC and other provinces, or Americans who discover wines North of the border that they really like, there’s someone now making our  best wines available in the US.

That someone is VJ Gandhi.

KASCADIA WINE MERCHANTS - Napa Valley Life Magazine

VJ Gandhi

Founder, VJ Gandhi is a proud Canadian citizen with epicurean taste, and her deepest passion yet has to be her love for the complexity in a glass of fine-tasting wine.

Over the course of her career in marketing and business management  VJ has developed, implemented and managed several large scale projects in finance and marketing for high profile organizations such as the Government of Canada, BC Provincial Government, and 2010 Olympic Games Secretariat.

VJ was inspired to market award winning Canadian vintages globally in the United States when  she’d moved to the San Francisco area in 2014. VJ and her trusted team of experts have carefully curated the Kascadia Wine portfolio over the years, which has now scaled to shipping in US states.

With the launch of the wine club, clients who are eager to savor exclusive, high quality wines from North America, including Canada and the Pacific Northwest are going to be impressed!


Today, her growing venture, Kascadia Wine Merchants, markets and sells Canadian wines across 45 US states.




Fort Berens – Winemaker Alex Nel

Pietradolce Rosso – Mt Etna

Meyer  and Mayhem – it’s a family thing.




Apr. 26th 2014- Okanagan Falls


What the Heck is going on in Okanagan Falls?
8 wineries from OK Falls. Have an ice cream..stay for the wines!!
Black Hills winemaker Graham Pierce pours a Note Bene Vertical.
And The Wine Diva, Daenna van Mulligen has more Spring wines..



Black Hills. Home of Note Bene

Black Hills. Home of Note Bene

One of the most successful releases – each and every year – is the Bordeaux  blend Note Bene from Black Hills Estate in the South Okanagan.
Graham Pierce

Graham Pierce

To celebrate the release of their 2012..winemaker Graham Pierce came into Vancouver and poured a rare vertical of this sensational wine from 2007 to 2012.
The 2007 stands out because it was the last release under Senka Tennant but also the year that Graham studied her techniques to eventually take over from  the departing Senka.
As we tasted through 2008/09/10/11 and the 2012 you could smell and taste Graham’s style slowly taking over.
They all had slightly different tones and tastes but still that Note Bene signature came through.
Cassis. Dark fruit, Spice, Oak on the nose.
Blackberries, Coffee, Blueberries and Toasted Oak in the mouth.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Can Franc  and Merlot.  And as always a wonderful note of Cigar Box.
Note BeneThe serious challenge for anyone buying this wine is to hold on to it for at least a couple of years.
Today’s wine buyer has been schooled to buy and drink..cellaring presents all kinds of problems..such as keeping your hands off the juice.
Note Bene is well worth the wait..
Between Penticton and Oliver lies the town  of Okanagan Falls.
Surrounded by Skaha and Vaseux Lakes..with soils perhaps like no other region.
Many seemed to blow through this small town on your way somewhere else but not anymore.
Many of the wineries listed below have added tasting rooms and bistros.
The OK Falls Winery Assn has helped raise the profile of this region to watch.
Speaking as one voice , these 12 wineries are raising their profiles and their wines to a whole other level.
Here’s the line of this very interesting mix of wineries.
A mixture of old school and hard charging new labels..what they have in common is a hard passion to succeed and OK Falls.

wine diva

wine diva

And the final guest is one you’re very familiar with,  Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva.
You know she’s a “list” kind of wine reviewer. This list is perfect for Spring.
Wines for longer, warmer days and lighter food.
As usual, all the wines have been tasted and reviewed by Daenna.
Have fun.. head for and print up the Spring list. Keep it handy. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rose, Lillooet BC $18.00
  • Upper Bench Estate Winery Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC $22.00
  • Rustico Farm & Cellars ‘Farmer’s Daughter’ Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley BC $18.00
  • M. Chapoutier ‘Bila Haut’, Cotes du Roussillon France $17.99
  • Pares Balta Brut Cava, Penedes Spain $19.99
  • Codorniu ‘Anna de Codorniu’ Brut Cava, Spain $16.99
  • Nk’Mip Cellars Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC $17.99
  • Saxon Estate Winery Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $24.00
  • Trivento ‘Amado Sur’ White, Mendoza, Argentina $14.99
  • Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir California $24.99
  • ‘Kono’ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand $16.00
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley BC $18.00
  • Quails’ Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $35.00
  • Road 13 Honest John’s Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $16.99
  • Upper Bench Estate Winery Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Perseus Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley BC $18.00
  • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley BC $25.00



  • May 3rd – our first wine tour of New Zealand
  • David Lebovitz – My Paris Kitchen
  • Bill Jones – The Dearholme Foraging Book
  • The 2014 California Wine Tour