British Columbia Icewine Harvest Begins

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British Columbia Icewine Harvest Begins at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Team Braves Sub-Zero Temperatures For A Sweet Reward

Suggested Tweets:

Brrrr! The #icewine harvest began tonight @summerhillwine Superb grapes will yield delicious nectar. #bcwine #organic

or

Want to learn more about #bcwine and #icewine? @summerhillwine tells us more about it in Icewine: The Essence of the Grape

Here’s The Story:

 

Pickers bundled up to pick frozen grapes at Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Pickers bundled up to pick frozen grapes at Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada’s acclaimed organic and biodynamic winery, started its harvest of Icewine at their Kelowna vineyard tonight. Following an already excellent growing season and table wine harvest, the ideal weather situation occurred that allowed the team to harvest Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zweigelt from the winery’s estate vineyard.

“To make superb Icewine, the first thing you need is superb grapes,” said Summerhill CEO Ezra Cipes. “The Okanagan Valley is singularly blessed because not only have we had a growing season that produced perfect grapes, but we had the temperatures that froze our grapes on the vine to produce this delicious nectar. It’s perfection in a glass.”

Frozen grapes are poured into a bin at  SummerhIll Pyramid winery

Frozen grapes are poured into a bin at SummerhIll Pyramid Winery

In the previous vintage, Summerhill picked grapes for the 2012 vintage Icewine on January 12, 2013.

Vineyard manager Willem Semmelink suggested, “After a challenging growing season that saw heavy rain in June, followed by damaging hail in some parts of the Valley, the weather ultimately delivered a long, warm Autumn that produced wonderful grapes. We are pleased that the arctic express has arrived so early, allowing us to capture this amazing fruit so early in the season and avoid damage to nature’s gift.”

So what exactly is Icewine?

summerhillicewine

Grapes left to hang on the vine that when frozen, will be made into Icewine

Icewine is a style of sweet dessert wine produced from grapes that have frozen naturally on the vine to a level of at least -8 degrees Celsius. Grapes left on the vine late in the season begin to lose their stored water content and start to shrivel. The sugars within the core of the grape do not freeze, which produces a concentrated grape must at time of pressing, resulting in a small yield of sweet and concentrated juice. Ice wine usually offers mouth-coating balanced with high acidity and moderate alcohol.

Frozen grapes are picked for Icewine at Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Frozen grapes are picked for Icewine at Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Icewines are generally more expensive than table wines for several reasons. Labour costs are higher than normal as a large group of grape pickers must be assembled with sometimes little notice, who are able to pick the entire crop within a few hours before the grapes begin to thaw, often in the middle of the night. The potential for damage to grapes left on the vine also increases due to weather, predators, rot and disease. Conditions in the cellar are also more challenging as the grapes must be pressed while still frozen and special equipment may be used. Fermentation also takes months instead of weeks and unique varieties of yeasts must be used in the process.

Since many of the world’s wine growing regions will not experience such extreme temperatures, Canada and Germany produce most of the world’s Icewine, usually sold in 375 or 200ml bottles

Summerhill Winery has produced a short video titled Icewine: the Essence of the Grape which can be viewed HERE.

Learn About Summerhill Pyramid Winery:

 

 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery  Kevin Trowbridge photo

Summerhill Pyramid Winery – Kevin Trowbridge photo

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located for more than 20 years in the Lakeshore district in Kelowna, BC, is Canada’s premier certified organic winery, BC’s first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada’s foremost producer of sparkling wine.

Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that suit every occasion and has earned the winery the ‘Canadian Wine Producer of the Year’ award at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including Summerhill’s own on-site permaculture-style vegetable garden. The mission of the entire Summerhill team is to produce exceptionally good-tasting wines organically, support local organic food growers, and provide unforgettable experiences for all guests.

More background reading on Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s organic and biodynamic farming practices can be found here.

For more information, visit www.summerhill.bc.ca, find Summerhill on Facebook or follow the winery on Twitter @summerhillwine.

Download photos:

1. Pickers bundled up to pick frozen grapes at Summerhill Pyramid Winery click here

2. Frozen grapes are poured into a bin at SummerhiIll Pyramid Winery click here

3. Frozen grapes are picked for Icewine at Summerhill Pyramid Winery click here

4. A bottle of Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s finished Pinot Noir Icewine click here

Need something you can’t find here? Email leeann@townhallbrands.com or sujinder@townhallbrands.com

Do Good Work: Town Hall does 30 Days of Kindness with 30 Day Adventures

 

Do Good Work – Town Hall does a kind act for 30 Days of Kindness.

by Leeann Froese

Those that know me, know that each day I ask myself and my world: “have you been as kind as you can be today?

RecordPhoto

Honour House was featured on the cover of The Record when our team was there

So when blogger, friend, and client Marc Smith of 30 Day Adventures called for people to get involved in his latest blog series called 30 Days of Kindness, I leaped at the chance.

Presented by CHIMP and Provence, the second annual 30 Days of Kindness series sees Marc work with people and companies to spread 30+ acts of kindness.

For our act of kindness I asked my Town Hall team what they wanted to do; I said I wanted help those who are constantly helping others.

Honour House

Honour House in New Westminster BC

It was Andrew & Felicia from our design team that suggested we visit and recognize those who volunteer at Honour House.

So we went to Honour House. See the 30 Day Adventures blog post by Marc Smith on our act of kindness here.

It just so happened that Marc posted our kind act on World Kindness Day! How fitting. CTV spoke to Marc about his series, World Kindness Day and Honour House. If you want to watch the CTV coverage go here and check it out!

Honour House is a home away from home that offers temporary housing for Canadian Forces and Emergency Services personnel whose families or loved ones are receiving medical treatment in Greater Vancouver. This special refuge is almost 100% volunteer driven, and seemed like the perfect place to visit and show some kindness to the volunteers.

Honour House Tree of Honour

Honour House GM Craig Longstaff shows off the Tree of Honour, where donors and otehrs are thanked

The house opened in 2010 and is a completely renovated heritage home in New Westminster that has 20 guest rooms, peaceful, brightly lit common areas and a shared kitchen. Craig Longstaff is the general manager, and Patti Graham, who looks after finances, are the only two paid staff members. Maintenance, upkeep and fundraising events are all managed by a group of dedicated volunteers. Craig gave our team a tour and we learned a lot about this unique facility.

A lot of care and love goes into Honour House on a regular basis; for example a group of quilt makers has sent over enough quilts for the entire house, as well as many child-sized quilts, which young guests of Honour House can take home with them when they return home.

Hand made quilts are supplied in each room at Honour House

Hand made quilts are supplied in each room at Honour House

cookies

Custom Cookies by Sally sent special cookies to the Honour House volunteers

 

Town Hall’s act of kindness was to take the volunteers some kind of a treat and help with some of their regular duties. Sally Koldenhof, owner of Custom Cookies by Sally, heard what we were planning, and made amazing maple leaf sugar cookies to fit Honour House’s theme. We then gave these to the volunteers and staff upon arrival.

As we learned more during our visit to Honour House we realized that this special facility needs more volunteers. Like any accommodation or B&B, when guests leave, things need to be cleaned and organized for the next set of people who will be staying.

With a number of VIPs set to visit Honour House on Remembrance Day for the parade and event to follow after in New Westminster, our timing could not have been better. The Town Hall team, along with Marc, spent a few hours working at Honour House on Friday November 8th.

Townhallteam

The Town Hall Team with Honour House GM Craig Longstaff

I, Andrew, Felicia, Sujinder, Ali, Ben, and Marc raked leaves, made beds, vacuumed & mopped the floors over the course of an hour and a half alongside their volunteers and we were able to get the house cleaned from bottom to top.

After that was done the group posed for a photo and enjoyed the custom-made maple leaf Cookies by Sally. The volunteers, staff and the Town Hall team were super happy with the cookies.

During our time at Honour House we realized that the Honour House volunteers are amazing. No job was too big or too small, and they did everything with a smile. The ladies whom I helped were laughing and having fun pretty much the whole time. Their passion for Honour House is clear and they do whatever it takes to make sure the house is comfortable and clean when new guests arrive.

Craig was impressed with how much our team accomplished. He noted that they need five or six people to help them on a regular basis, to bolster their existing group of volunteers.

So, if your company, or you and a group of friends want to help those who regularly help others, check out the Honour House website at www.honourhouse.ca They would be very grateful for your help and so would the Canadian Forces and Emergency Services personnel, who stay there.

I especially send this note out to other companies – as a small business owner, if I and my team can find the time to do an afternoon of good work: I challenge you to do the same.

 

Okanagan Crush Pad’s Latest Wine Release is Dynamite

Client News
Okanagan Crush Pad’s Latest Wine Release is Dynamite

TNT, the 3rd Wine From Okanagan Crush Pad’s Okanagan Wine Campus Series, Released

Suggested Tweet:

The wine from Sommelier @terry_threlfall is released by @OKCrushPad #bcwine

The Story:
November 6, 2013 [Summerland, BC] BC’s Okanagan Crush Pad, producer of Haywire and Bartier Scholefield announces the release of 150 cases of BC TNT ($22.90) made by 2012 Sommelier of the year, Terry Threlfall.

TNT is the third wine release from the winery’s Okanagan Wine Campus program. Threlfall’s Chardonnay is named TNT after Terry Nicholas Threlfall, but of course the wine’s name does offer a fun play on words.

Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Michael Bartier and Terry Threlfall

Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Michael Bartier and Terry Threlfall. Lionel Trudel photo.

Threlfall shares, “Yeah, that’s a little cheeky, hey? First of all, my initials are TNT and a favourite reference for me from those that know me well. Secondly, do not expect an oak-bomb here – this wine is aged in steel and concrete. Where it does detonate is with its exuberant pure fruit, minerality, and vibrant natural acidity.”

The TNT Chardonnay is pale yellow with a tinge of green; this wine has aromas of bright citrus fruit and apricot, with hints of green apple and a chalky minerality. Multiple layers of complexity from concrete and native fermentation keep this wine changing every time one smells it. The weight is amazing, with a lively, tangy acidity that is bolstered by a lovely, gentle creaminess and elegant fruit. A salty mineral character helps round out the refreshing finish. TNT cries out for a plate of freshly shucked BC oysters. Dynamite, one might say…

Okanagan Wine Campus, created in 2011 by Okanagan Crush Pad, is a mentorship program that provides the person named Vancouver’s Sommelier of the Year a chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of wine they wish. In 2012 Vancouver Magazine, Vancouver International Wine Festival and California’s Sunset Magazine each named Terry Sommelier of the Year. So when harvest 2012 occurred, Threlfall visited Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland and worked alongside chief winemaker Michael Bartier to create the wine.

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with Michael,” says Threlfall. “His patience in describing some of the more technical parts of the process was legendary. I learned a huge amount about the winemaking process and the difficulties of trying to make a wine in as natural a way as possible. Also, I picked up so much while spending time with Michael and Alberto Antonini (who was in town), touring various vineyards of the Okanagan — they were both inspirational in sharing their thoughts and experiences about the history, current state and future of viticulture in the Okanagan.”

The TNT Chardonnay is released from Okanagan Crush Pad.

The TNT Chardonnay is released from Okanagan Crush Pad.

The proceeds from the sale of TNT Chardonnay will be given to the BC Hospitality Foundation wine scholarship fund to support students who are pursuing their higher level wine education certification. To date, $10,000 has been awarded to 11 individuals with further scholarships. Okanagan Wine Campus projects to date include Kurtis Kolt (2010), Owen Knowlton (2011), Terry Threlfall (2012), and Samantha Rahn (2013).

As of the time of this notice, TNT Chardonnay is available by contacting the order desk at 250-494-4445 ext 2 or orderdesk@okanagancrushpad.com

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 wine advisor 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.

Need a bottle image for TNT Chardonnay? RIGHT CLICK HERE, then save to your computer to download.

View the TNT information kit here. (To download the kit, RIGHT CLICK on the link).