Canadian Wine Culture Debated

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Canadian Wine Culture Debated
Webcast Tasting & Discussion Trended Across Canada

Suggested Tweet: WATCH highlights from Canadian #wine culture panel via @plwinescanada: http://bit.ly/plwines #plwines #Kelowna

The Story:
A first-of-its-kind webcast tasting and discussion on Canadian wine culture took place last week. Organized by Australia’s Peter Lehmann Wines, the groundbreaking event, called The National Tasting, featured writer and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi, along with a panel of top sommeliers and wine educators gathered from across Canada.

Panel moderator Ben MacPhee Sigurdson

Panel moderator Ben MacPhee Sigurdson

Seven minutes of video highlights from the 1.5 hour event are now online at www.nationaltasting.ca.

The panel discussion was webcast, with queries submitted via social media. Supporting this, a conversation on Twitter was fast and lively, making the #plwines hashtag a trending topic across the country at the time.

Wide participation in the national tasting made the #plwines hash tag trend in canada

Wide participation in the national tasting made the #plwines hash tag trend in canada

Topics covered included how Canadians can make wine fit into their lifestyle, whether or not the Canadian wine industry is driving our food culture or vice versa, how social media is humanizing the wine business, and how Canada needs to embrace a unified national wine culture in order to make itself stand out on a world stage.

A few users noted technical issues at the time of the webcast, so if anyone missed part of the discussion, they may catch up via the key points in the summary video.

Peter Lehmann Wines' Matt Lane

Peter Lehmann Wines’ Matt Lane


It’s an incredible accomplishment that a world renowned Australian winery held its inaugural mentorship retreat in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The program was aimed at building bridges between Canada’s thriving wine trade, industry professionals and wine enthusiasts. This gesture of selecting Canada to launch this international program, was made with the intention of giving back to the wine community and to help unite Canada’s wine scene.

Due to feedback gained from the retreat, Peter Lehmann wines expects to hold regular online chats on the topic of the development and future of wine culture in Canada. Details will be announced soon.

About the Mentor Award and National Tasting:

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 10.45.41 AM The first-ever Peter Lehmann Wines Mentor Award was aimed at bringing together industry professionals and wine enthusiasts with an opportunity for up-and-coming Canadian oenophiles to grow and share their knowledge.
A two-day retreat took place in Kelowna, BC on October 20-23 and was led by noteworthy author, internationally acclaimed wine expert and inaugural program mentor, Anthony Gismondi.

The following are the mentees for 2013:
Britnie Bazylewski, student liaison & instructor, Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College, St. Catharines, Ontario
Taylor Douglas, assistant manager, Kitsilano Wine Cellar, Vancouver, British Columbia
Jonathan MacCalder, sommelier, e11even (Air Canada Centre), Toronto, Ontario
Alex Keevil, assistant manager, Bin 905, Calgary, Alberta
Michaela MacMullin, sommelier & manager, Bertossi Group, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Agostino Teixeira, sommelier & director of purchasing, 40 West Steakhouse & Raw Bar, Montreal, Quebec

This December one of the mentees willl be selected by a panel of esteemed judges to travel with Gismondi to Australia in 2014, and take part in the annual grape harvest. This five-day trip will further acquaint this year’s recipient mentee with the Peter Lehmann winery and with Australia’s famed Barossa Valley wine growing region – truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
For more information, visit mentoraward.ca or follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Not All Vegan Wines are Vegan

By Leeann Froese

Recently we came across a question the question posed was whether a wine is also vegan. And so we thought this provided a great chance to discuss…

Is your wine vegan?

Is your wine vegan?

Most people might assume that all wine is vegan because, well, wine is made from grapes along with yeast to convert the sugars into alcohol. However, many wines are exposed to animal-derived products during production. It’s in the process called fining where the wine is clarified, by introducing a very small amount of protein to extract tiny bits of grape skin or stems, naturally occurring yeasts and various other particles. Typical fining agents are isinglass (fish bladder protein), albumen (egg white) and gelatin (animal protein). As the agent sinks down, the unwanted particles adhere to the agent.

Fining makes wine clear and gives it a smooth texture. While none of the fining agents end up in the finished product sold in the bottle, some vegans deem wine that has undergone this process unfit to drink because the animal products have been used. On the flip side, some winemakers skip the fining process entirely or use alternative fining agents and allow nature to take its course. Bentonite clay, limestone and vegetable plaques are among some of the natural agents.

Now no one on our team is a winemaker, so if you, dear reader, have more knowledge than we do on the winemaking process, that would be no surprise. However another topic of vegan interest that our team has been discussing with clients and other wine lovers is the packaging.

We asked our own Andrew von Rosen, if a wine is vegan, can the package also be vegan? Andrew shares “even if a wine is vegan, it’s difficult to guarantee that a label aligns with veganism. First off,” he says, “recycled paper can’t be considered vegan because it is unknown what the paper has touched (a harsh reality that stuns many tree-loving vegans – it’s only vegan if you chop down a tree). Secondly,” he continues, “on the back side of that label is glue – possibly an animal–based gelatin glue. Lastly,” he adds, “while many inks are vegetable based – opposed to the petroleum based inks of a decades past – pigments that colour those inks may be made from insect or animal products.”

So how would someone know if their wine is actually ‘fully vegan’? There are a few resources online that list wineries and their wines that have been deemed vegan. See www.vegans.frommars.org/wine/ and www.barnivore.com for some examples.

Regrettably, most wine labels in Canada typically do not identify whether the wine is suitable for vegans or what fining products were used. Contacting a winery directly is a way to know if animal products were used in the winemaking, but it is very challenging to know if all aspects of the wine you’re buying including the label align with the vegan lifestyle.

More Concrete Tanks for Okanagan Crush Pad

PRESS RELEASE October 21, 2013

Media Contact: Leeann Froese | Town Hall – 604-321-3295

More Concrete Tanks for Okanagan Crush Pad

Old practice made new again bears wines ‘Raised in Concrete’

Suggested Tweet: New concrete fermenters debute @okcrushpad, celebrating their 2nd birthday. http://bit.ly/OCPconcrete

The Story:

Concrete Tanks

Okanagan Crush Pad’s Newest Concrete Fermenters – Lionel Trudel Photo

(Summerland, BC) Okanagan Crush Pad Winery (OCP) just celebrated its second birthday at the end of September. To celebrate, the winery received a very heavy package, just in time for 2013’s harvest.

Six 4,400-litre concrete tanks, weighing a total of 39 tons, arrived from Italy to join six 2,000-litre black egg-shaped concrete tanks that the winery purchased from a supplier in Sonoma in 2011.

The new tanks had a long journey, which started at the Nico Velo factory in Vicenza, Italy, before arriving at their ultimate resting point in Summerland, BC.

Nico Velo, established in 1943, makes all types of concrete prefabricated structures, from bridge columns to wine tanks, and offers first class workmanship.

Matt Dumayne & Michael Bartier

OCP winemakers Matt Dumayne and Michael Bartier – Lionel Trudel Photo

The decision to purchase the concrete tanks from Nico Velo came at the urging of Okanagan Crush Pad’s consulting winemaker, Alberto Antonini, who uses the same tanks at his Poggiotondo winery in Tuscany, and is very impressed with the results. OCP winemakers Michael Bartier and Matt Dumayne concur with the idea of using concrete fermenters. Concrete had been used for centuries in winemaking, but was more or less abandoned with the arrival of stainless steel. These modern day concrete tanks take a forward- thinking approach to the old world practice.

“Okanagan Crush Pad is my first experience using concrete tanks, and I am very impressed with the results. We now have just over 38,000 litres in concrete tank capacity,” notes Dumayne. “They have excellent fermentation kinetics such as temperature retention. The conical shape of the tank moves the fermenting juice around in a vortex, which produces wines with enhanced depth, complexity and roundness of tannins. We have found that the resulting wines have a complexity and an enhanced creamy mineral character.”

OCP original concrete fermenters

OCP’s original concrete fermenters – Lionel Trudel Photo

To date, Okanagan Crush Pad has made and released several wines that were fermented and aged in concrete, including the 2011 and 2012 vintages of the Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris and the recently-released and much anticipated 2011 Haywire Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir. These wines were made in Canada’s first temperature controlled egg-shaped concrete fermenters. Each wine that was created in concrete carries the “raised in concrete” trademark on the front label.

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, located in Summerland, BC, is home to Haywire and Bartier Scholefield wines, and also makes wines for other BC vintners who are seeking to establish their own wineries. Haywire wines are directed by winery owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, while Bartier Scholefield is a collaboration between OCP’s chief winemaker Michael Bartier and Scholefield family member David Scholefield. The winery team focuses on crafting natural wines that are pure expressions of the vineyards they were grown on. The winery is open seasonally June 1 to September 15 and by appointment off season. For more information, visit www.okanagancrushpad.com.

Okanagan Crush Pad is a place for collaboration; we want to talk to you!
Tweet with us: @okcrushpad
Join the conversation on Facebook: facebook.com/okcrushpad

Click here to download this press release as a PDF.

Harper’s Trail Named Best Winery In Kamloops

PRESS RELEASE October 15, 2013

Media Contact: Leeann Froese | Town Hall – 604-321-3295

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Best Winemaker in Kamloops goes to Harper’s Trail Winery

Suggested Tweet: #Kamloops public votes @harperstrail as the best, via @KamNews  #BCwine

The Story:

(Kamloops, BC) Harper’s Trail Winery proudly shares that is has been selected by the readers of Kamloops Daily News, in their annual Readers’ Choice Awards Survey, as best winemaker.

Harper's Trail owners Ed and Vicki Collett walk through their Thadd Springs vineyard in Kamloops  (photo by Linda Williams)

Harper’s Trail owners Ed and Vicki Collett walk through their Thadd Springs vineyard in Kamloops
(photo by Linda Williams)

Vicki Collett, Harper’s Trail winery co-owner, is delighted. “When we first opened our doors, we hoped the community would accept and welcome us with open arms. The people of Kamloops have done this, and well beyond our expectations. We are blown away, ” she continues, “and so thankful for the ongoing support from our community.”

The entire Harper’s Trail team, while in the thick of the 2013 harvest now, would like to thank everyone who supported this winery thus far, and visited this summer.

The 2013 visitor season has now ended, and Harper’s Trail is open only by appointment over the fall and winter. Please contact the winery at 250-573-5855 for operating hours or to schedule a visit.

About Harper’s Trail

Harper’s Trail, is the first estate winery from Kamloops. Tucked into the city outskirts on the bank of the South Thompson River, Ed and Vicki Collett’s vineyard sits among rolling hills of sage and grass, home to bighorn sheep, bears, and myriad birds. The backdrop of limestone, hoodoos, and a natural spring in the vineyard contribute to the biodiversity of this rare place.

The wines, made by Michael Bartier of Okanagan Crush Pad, reflect this emerging region with minerality and crisp acidity. Enjoy the winery’s current releases and taste the flavours that will soon be known as characteristic for the Kamloops region. For more information visit www.harperstrail.com

Click here to download this press release as a PDF.

Australian Icon Celebrates Thriving Canadian Wine Culture

Client News:

[Kelowna, BC] October 8, 2013

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Australian Wine Icon Celebrates Thriving Canadian Wine Culture

Aussie-hosted Interactive Wine Tasting Centres in Kelowna

Suggested Tweet:

Discuss #wine culture with renowned online panel, in the @plwinescanada www.nationaltasting.ca Oct 21, 4pm PST #plwines

gismondi

Journalist and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi will be Peter Lehmann Wines’ first mentor

In Short:

Those from the wine world and beyond are summoned to be online on Monday October 21 at 4pm PST and join the conversation on wine culture in an online interactive event.

Organized by Peter Lehmann Wines, this first-of-its-kind event features writer and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi, and a panel of top sommeliers and wine educators opening the floor to wine lovers across Canada.

Pose questions to the panel and RSVP at www.nationaltasting.ca.

The Full Story:

Every industry has its pioneers. Radio had Marconi. Phones had Graham-Bell. Automobiles had Ford. You can’t start a fire without a spark…

The wine industry also has those that created legacies. Champagne had the widow Cliquot and Dom Perignon. The California industry owes a debt to Robert Mondavi. And there’s Australia’s recently-late Peter Lehmann.

During his 50-year career, Peter Lehmann inspired countless people by sharing his talent, wit and passion for winemaking. Peter Lehmann Wines was founded in 1979 to assist the grape growers of the Barossa Valley in Australia, who at the time were facing financial ruin; now, the winery and the region mutually enjoy an international reputation for excellence in wine production.

It is this continued spirit of collaboration and inclusion that brings The Mentor Award – a first of its kind event – to Kelowna, BC, from October 20-22, 2013.

The Mentor Award, a two-day intensive retreat and seminar series to take place in West Kelowna on October 20/22, features inaugural mentor, acclaimed BC wine writer and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi, along with a panel of top sommeliers and educators.

The program, aimed at building bridges in Canada’s thriving wine trade, brings together industry professionals and wine enthusiasts from cities across Canada, and provides opportunities for up-and-coming Canadian oneophiles to share and grow their knowledge. Delegates will gather to learn international perspectives from Gismondi and other leading wine experts, gaining insight to share with customers and colleagues in their home cities, ultimately helping to shape Canada’s burgeoning wine culture from coast-to-coast.

Matt_Lane,_Peter_Lehmann_Brand_Ambassador

Matt Lane, VP Americas for Peter Lehmann Wines, wants to help grow Canada’s wine scene.

While the Mentor Retreat is small, wine lovers across Canada are invited to join a highlight event: a spirited online panel discussion on the business of wine and how to foster a world-class wine culture. Conversation will touch on the value of high-quality wines and what they add to life, the current state and future of wine in Canada, as well as encourage friends and family to gather and conduct their own tastings at home while linked online.

Participants are encouraged to submit questions to the panel via YouTube and Twitter for a chance to win prizes from Peter Lehmann Wines. Online guests will also be encouraged to taste along with the panel from home using the #plwines hashtag.

The live discussion will be webcast on Monday, October 21 at 4pm (PST) and wine enthusiasts and consumers from anywhere in the world are invited to join in. Moderated by Ben Macphee-Sigurdson, wine columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press, confirmed panelists include Gismondi, Zinta Steprans, manager and sommelier of Toronto’s Soho House, Harry Hertscheg, executive director of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, Samantha Rahn, wine director of Whistler’s Araxi Restaurant and Matt Lane, VP Americas for Peter Lehmann Wines.

While on the surface it would seem to be only for the wine engaged, this retreat is an event to be recognized and celebrated. It’s a rare honour that a world renowned Australian winery is holding its inaugural mentorship retreat in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. This gesture of selecting Canada to launch this international program, and shoring up support for BC’s rapidly-advancing wine industry, shows further leadership by Peter Lehmann Wines to propel an emerging wine region.

Aside from lively classroom-style seminars, and the webcast panel discussion on wine culture, one delegate will walk away having earned a five-day trip to Australia with Gismondi, to take part in the annual grape harvest. This will further educate this year’s recipient with the Peter Lehmann winery and acquaint the mentee with Australia’s famed Barossa Valley wine growing region.

“We want to give to the wine community, and help grow Canada’s thriving wine scene,” says Peter Lehmann’s Matt Lane. “We see this program establishing lasting friendships, inspiring a new generation of wine lovers, and sharing the rich winemaking traditions of the Barossa Valley.”

 

About the Mentor Award:

The first-ever Peter Lehmann Wines Mentor Award is aimed at bringing together industry professionals and wine enthusiasts with an opportunity for up-and-coming Canadian oenophiles to grow and share their knowledge.

A two-day retreat will take place in Kelowna, BC on October 20-22 and will be led by noteworthy author, internationally acclaimed wine expert and inaugural program mentor, Anthony Gismondi. Following the retreat, one participant will then be selected by a panel of esteemed judges to travel together with Gismondi to Australia, taking part in the annual grape harvest. This five-day trip will further educate this year’s recipient with the Peter Lehmann winery and acquaint the mentee with Australia’s famed Barossa Valley wine growing region – truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

In addition to the retreat, Canadians are invited to attend a spirited online panel discussion on the business of wine and how to foster a world-class wine culture. The event will be webcast on Monday, October 21 at 4pm PST.

[end]

Best Dessert Label in BC goes to Town Hall Client: Kamloops’ Harper’s Trail Winery

NEWS: on October 3, at the 2013 BRITISH COLUMBIA WINE LABEL AWARDS in Kelowna, BC, accolades were handed out for the best wine labels in BC. Our team  is proud to share the Harper’s Trail Late Harvest Riesling has won the Best Dessert Label with a package that its design team created .

The Harper's Trail Late Harvest Riesling wins for Best Dessert Label

The Harper’s Trail Late Harvest Riesling wins for Best Dessert Label

The BC Wine Label Awards are a component of the Okanagan Wine Festival. A complete list of the BC Wine Awards can be found here.

We’re very proud of this accolade!

About Harper’s Trail

Harper’s Trail, is the first estate winery from Kamloops. Tucked into the city outskirts on the bank of the South Thompson River, Ed and Vicki Collett’s vineyard sits among rolling hills of sage and grass, home to bighorn sheep, bears, and myriad birds. The backdrop of limestone, hoodoos, and a natural spring in the vineyard contribute to the biodiversity of this rare place.

The wines, made by Michael Bartier of Okanagan Crush Pad, reflect this emerging region with minerality and crisp acidity. Enjoy the winery’s current releses and taste the flavours that will soon be known as characteristic for the Kamloops region. For more information visit www.harperstrail.com