Meet Brian Glaum with Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall. 

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them.

This week we introduce you to Brian Glaum. Can you please say hello?

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While his day job is a machinist, we introduce you to Brian as the president of the BC Wine Appreciation Society. The non profit society runs in support of the enhancement of knowledge and interest in the wines of British Columbia.

Throughout the year the society hosts tasting events and excursions and via Brian’s enthusiastic lead, the society is tirelessly advocating for BC wine.

Can you please say hello to Brian with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Mikael Sigouin with Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall. 

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them.

This week we introduce you to Mikael Sigouin. Can you please say hello?

kaena

When not making wines for Beckmen Vineyards, Winemaker Mikael Sigouin is busy making amazingly delicious wines for his own label Kaena.   Kaena was launched in 2001 to showcase Mikael’s deep passion for Grenache. Kaena is a boutique winery that sources from Tierra Alta Vineyard and Larner Vineyard in the Ballard Canyon AVA , primarily.  Mikael who is part Hawaiian and raised on the Oahu shores, uses a shortened version of his given name for the brand – Kaena – which means “potential for greatness”.

We met Mikael in the summer when we attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in California.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Harvest Time in Paso Robles Wine Country a Great Weekend Getaway

By Leeann Froese

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Tablas Creek Vineyards, Paso Robles CA

As the month of October heads to its mid point we are now in fall’s official season, and all that it will bring. With the cooler evenings here in Vancouver where I live and the longer shadows, summer has now slipped away from us like the beach sand through our fingertips.

But the sun keeps making a fighting return, not to yet be outdone by a rainy day or two. It’s at this time that we can start to daydream about what autumn might offer, while grasping onto the days of summer. I have an idea for a last-minute fall getaway that I want to share, that was inspired by my summer trip to California with the Wine Bloggers Conference.

Make a fall getaway to California wine country and visit Paso Robles wine country.

Fall is a perfect time to visit because the weather is beautiful, the grapes are ripe and in the midst of being harvested, and from October 17 – 19, 2014, wineries are set to host events.

Harvest20Wine20WeekendHarvest in Paso Robles Wine Country, like in other regions, is a time of excitement shared by winemakers, growers, and tasting room staff alike. It is the culmination of a successful year of hard work in the vineyard, and is a glimpse into what the new vintage holds. Harvest Wine Weekend 2014 celebrates with more than 140 Paso Robles wineries inviting wine lovers to their tasting rooms, vineyards and wineries for tours, special tastings, live music, winemaker dinners and much more.

Wineries get creative during this annual celebration, presenting varied events, educational opportunities and hands-on fun such as wine and bacon pairings, grape stomps, and blending sessions.

As far as visiting, I had been to Napa twice, but never to any other wine regions in California so I was very curious to see what Paso Robles brings. So before Sujinder Juneja and I attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara this past July, we spent two days in Paso Robles on a pre-conference excursion.

We left Vancouver on an early morning flight and after an easy stopover in Seattle we flew into the San Jose International Airport by lunch time.

When we was there, it was a whirlwind two days, and we were lucky enough to taste wines from a large handful of wineries, and take in much of the beautiful countryside.

What I was most stricken by, however, was the people we met. As has been my experience in every other wine region I have visited, the hard work and passionate approach by the people of the area are its heartbeat. There was a lack of pretension, a genuine pride in the work being done, and hospitality surrounding the wines being made.

The vintners we met were keen to share their Cabernets, Zinfandels and the smaller production of Rhone based wines.

I loved the beautiful, grassy countryside striped with vines, and the rolling hills that make way to lavender fields and stunning vistas. There is a tranquility to the open skies, and settling into a shady patio with a glass of wine from Paso Robles as you take it all in is the way to go.

If this is not enough notice for you to make a quick getaway, the Paso Robles wineries have an excellent visit planner on their website as well as a mobile app. Start planning your trip to Paso Robles now.

I’ll be headed back there in November 2014 for the Wine Tourism Conference, and I can’t wait. Stay tuned for more on Paso Robles, the discoverable wine region located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco; there’s so much more to share.

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Be welcomed to Niner Wine Estates by the site and scent of lavender

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Beautiful vineyards that produce grapes for J Dusi Wines

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On top of the world. DAOU Vineyards is 2,200 feet in the Adelaida Mountains of Paso Robles CA

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The biodynamically-farmed Tablas Creek Vineyard has a baby llama!

Winemaker Tyler Russell of Nelle Winery

Winemaker Tyler Russell of Nelle Winery

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L-R Paso Robles Rhone Ranger winemakers Tyler Russell (Calcereous, Nelle), Carl Bowker (Caliza Winery), Steve Lock (L’Ecluse Wines) and Jason Haas, (Tablas Creek Vineyard)

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Jason Hass of Tablas Creek Vineyard demonstrates grafting

Meet Lorne Eckersley With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall. 

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them.

This week we introduce you to Lorne Eckersley. Can you please say hello?

Lorne Eckersley

Lorne Eckersley, seen here at the beautiful Summerhill Pyramid Winery publishes the weekly Creston Valley Advance. He is a wine enthusiast and columnist, contributing writer for Wine and Food Trails magazine, opera, theatre and music lover, foodie and traveller. Join him as he searches for the sweet life, or la dolce vita, and chronicles his efforts in weekly columns, blog entries, magazine articles and photographs.

Visit Lorne’s own website, La Dolce Vita.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Gerry Jobe With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall. 

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although they could be). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them. This week we introduce you to Gerry Jobe. Can you please say hello?

Jerry Jobe

 

This summer, Gerry Jobe, acclaimed Okanagan-based bartender, joined Kelowna’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery as consulting bartender to create a cocktail program that puts the spirit back in spirits.

After a massive lobby (and much patience), Summerhill has been granted the license to add spirits and craft beer to the wines already on the menu in its Sunset Organic Bistro. As the first BC winery in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) to have this new license, they are taking advantage of this in a way that expresses the winery’s unique personality.

The winery has linked up with Gerry to oversee their spirits menu, and take their cocktail program to an unparalleled level. Having been recognized by Western Living magazine as one of their “Top 40 under 40″, and winning several prestigious cocktail creation awards, Gerry is an award-winning and passionately creative bartender.

As a lifetime resident of the Okanagan, Gerry feels the need to establish a vibrant and stylish cocktail culture in Okanagan, the #‎okanagancocktailmovement‬.

All Summerhill cocktails created by Gerry utilize speciality techniques and ingredients hand-foraged on the sweet aromatic land of Summerhill’s own biodynamic permaculture gardens, including wildcrafted medicinal herbs and syrups aged in the Pyramid.

Unconventional cocktail techniques are applied to the creation of each drink, including employing vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls, intentionality and biodynamic rhythms.

In addition to the work that Gerry does for Summerhill, Gerry is a wine and spirits representative, and he consults to other restaurants to help them create their cocktail lists.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

October is a Month of Foodtivities

 

By Amy Chen

October, perhaps the most delicious month, is home to Thanksgiving, Halloween and now… Pizza Month.

October is Pizza Month

To show support for North American’s growing pizza love, Gerry Durnell, pizzeria owner and founder of Pizza Today Magazine, launched a national pizza-focused magazine in October 1984 and designated the month as Pizza Month. If you don’t already know, Town Hall is all about celebrating the bounty of good food and great wine. When we sat down with our team to plan this special foodie month, we unanimously agreed that any idea we came up with needed to include what we love most: wine. With this in mind and a certified wine scholar on the team (Sujinder Juneja), it only made sense for us to do a series of wine and pizza pairings to share with all of our friends! For the next five #WineWednesday in October, grab a slice of pizza, sit-back, and follow us on our blog to find the perfect wine pairing for that slice in your hand. Let us know if you have a favourite wine and pizza pairing that we can share with our readers. Looking forward to celebrating Pizza Month and #WineWednesdays with you this October.


WEEK 1 (OCTOBER 1)

Pizza Month- Week 1 (Oct1)

October 1st is not only the start of Pizza Month but also World Vegetarian Day. It makes perfect sense for our very first #WineWednesday #PizzaMonth post to pair great wines with vegetarian pizzas. Michael Pollan, in his acclaimed book In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto (Penguin Books, 2009) suggests that as a responsible species, we should “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” With a cornucopia of sustainable, locally-sourced and delicious fruits and vegetables to choose from in British Columbia, the possibilities for veggie-themed pizzas are near endless. Here are a couple favourite pairings from two of Town Hall’s sustainably-minded wineries:

Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s 2013 Small Lot Pinot Gris is a certified-organic custom blend from winemaker/viticulturalist Eric von Krosigk, which includes 8% Chardonnay and 5% Viognier, both fermented in oak barrels, plus 2% Pinot Blanc, each of which add gorgeous aromatics and balanced structure. The bright stone fruit and citrus tones of this wine will pair perfectly with pizza topped with fresh sliced pear, caramelized onions, extra virgin olive oil, organic goat cheese and coarse sea salt.

Already well-known for terroir-driven Pinot Gris, Summerland’s Haywire Winery has created quite a stir with their 2012 Gamay Noir, which offers a nose of bright red fruit and sweet earth, leading to flavours of raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Consider pairing with a vegetarian pizza topped with spinach, Portobello mushrooms, sweet and spicy peppadew peppers with a homemade garlic pesto base.

 


WEEK 2 (OCTOBER 8)

Pizza Month- Week 2 (Oct8)

100% Okanagan and 100% to charity. The gold-medal winning (2014 BC Wine Awards) 2013 Rosé from The Girls (produced and distributed by Time Estate Winery) is a food-friendly blend that shows a soft pink colour with an intensely fragrant, floral nose of raspberry and wild strawberry. It’s dry and medium-bodied, with a thread of refreshing acidity. Pizza toppings with a bit of “spice” would work very well with this vivacious charmer – try with your favourite ground meat (spiced and pan-fried before baking), black olives, green onions, fresh BC tomatoes, pickled jalapeños and a mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese.

A new favourite of ours is the just-released 2012 Quill Red blend from Blue Grouse Estate Winery in the Cowichan Valley. It’s a unique and deliciously balanced blend of Cabernet Foch, Marechal Foch, Merlot and Cabernet Libre sourced from Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley. This robust red calls for a hearty pizza with pepperoni, spicy capicola, Italian sausage, red onions and mozzarella cheese with a tomato sauce base.

Both wines are priced at under $20 – you might just want to grab two of each and share with friends.

 


 

WEEK 3 (OCTOBER 15)

Well Seasoned is THE foodie paradise in the Fraser Valley. The store has just celebrated 10 successful years of being the go-to gourmet superstore in the region and has just moved to a brand new location at #117-20353 64 Ave in Langley. Angie Quaale,Well Seasoned’s owner, believes that the best pizza can only be made with the best ingredients and a few key tools.

Angie says the best homemade pizzas are made in the oven with a pizza stone, guaranteeing your pie even heat distribution so that the crust cooks evenly on the top as well as the bottom. You can get a good oneat Well Seasoned for around 20 bucks. She also recommends a pizza ‘peel’ – a handle with a flat wooden carrying surface – to keep the pizza from falling on the floor as it goes in and out of the oven. They are a great investment for any serious pizza maker.

Of course, it’s not even toppings that matter most, but the base that will make the pizza perfect.

Angie suggests always having a package of frozen pizza dough on hand (she uses the ones from local Calabria Bakery). Making your own sauce from canned and peeled Italian tomatoes is always a great idea, seasoned with your own choice of dried herbs and specialty salts. Well Seasoned has plenty to choose from. Be creative. Have fun. Eat Pizza!

Pizza Month- Week 3Need more inspiration? Well Seasoned is offering a “Killer Pizza” class with Chef Carl Sawatsky on October 30 at 6:30pm. For just $60, you can learn to make pizza like a boss.


 

WEEK 4 (October 22)

Pizza Month (Week 4)

This week, we’re pleased to introduce you to a newcomer to the BC wine scene – Kamloops’ Monte Creek Ranch. Their wines are now arriving at select liquor stores and restaurants across the province and we know you’ll be impressed. Amazing flavours, great packaging and a unique history all add up to a sensational experience. Their 2013 Riesling offers mid-week friendly low alcohol, fresh acidity and notes of balanced minerality, along with a crisp lemon/lime citrus and grapefruit finish. Try it with a pizza topped with savoury grilled chicken and pineapple, on a freshly-made crust brushed with olive oil, lemon juice and citrus sea salt. A dollop or two of gooey mascarpone cheese would round things out nicely.

While the debate rages on about what a “signature grape” could or should be for the British Columbia, there’s no doubt that Syrah is often name-checked as one of the front-runners. Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery has been farming grapes throughout the valley since the late 1960s and their passion for the land is evident in each and every one of the wines they produce. Their 2010 Syrah is sourced from family-owned vineyards in the picturesque Similkameen Valley. Aromas and flavours of dark plum, blackberries, leather and black pepper lead a velvety long finish. To balance the rich fruit and spicy notes of the wine, we’re thinking Genoa salami, bacon and ham with a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheese over a tomato sauce base.


WEEK 5 (October 29)

Pizza Month (Week 5)Ever since we first met Judy and tasted through her wines, we were hooked. The love, care and attention that she and her team devotes to every bottle is earning them accolades beyond our provincial borders. Planning a visit to Naramata? Make sure you stop in to say hi to Judy and her second-in-command, Katie, who are always there to greet visitors with a smile and a glass. We’ve long been fans of their Viognier, and the 2013 vintage shows notes of orange blossom and tangerine with notes of toasted coconut, blood orange and apricot, balanced with refreshing acidity. How about a pizza with a creamy Thai curry sauce base, topped with wild shrimp (Ocean Wise, naturally), red onions, red and orange peppers, pineapple, coriander and mozzarella.

Oliver’s legendary Sundial Vineyard was planted on the Black Sage Bench in South Okanagan in 1992. For more than 20 years, the vineyard has produced some of the most sought-after and award-winning wines in the province, based mostly on Bordeaux varietals. TIME Estate Winery, launched by vineyard owners Harry McWatters and Bob Wareham continues the tradition of producing premium fruit under direction of viticulturist Richard Cleve. The 2011 Meritage (Red) is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It offers classic aromas of red berries, black cherries and pepper with a character that suggests rose petal and sage. Inspired by the artisan thin crust pizza from Summerland’s Local Lounge • Grille, we suggest a pizza topped with olive oil, arugula, roasted local garlic and braised short rib.

Thank you to everyone that followed along with our #PizzaMonth wine and pizza suggestions. Were you inspired to try these recipes yourself or do you have other suggestions to share? We’d love to hear from you. Send a photo, write us an email or leave a comment below. Happy eating!