Meet Bailey Williamson With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #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 #withTownHall we introduce you to Bailey Williamson.

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Bailey is the winemaker at Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard, located on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley.

Bailey has been with Blue Grouse since he and his family relocated to Vancouver Island in 2012, and before that he was at Road 13 in Oliver BC.

At Blue Grouse, Bailey oversees the production of a small portfolio of estate-farmed wines, including special and less common varietals that grow fabulously in the Vancouver Island climate, including Ortega, Bacchus and Siegerrebe.

He also makes a lineup of wines called Quill that are special blends made from grapes grown on both Vancouver Island as well as in the Okanagan.

These days, as everyone in western BC is reveling in the blossoms and preparing to welcome spring, Bailey and the Blue Grouse team are working hard preparing for the re-opening of the winery in a brand new, beautiful building set to open this summer. (Plan your visit to Cowichan now.)

And whether you know Bailey already or not, please help us say hello.  Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Meet Mark Hicken With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #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 #withTownHall we introduce you to Mark Hicken.

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Mark is a Vancouver lawyer providing a full range of legal services to the wine industry through his own law practice, Vintage Law Group, located in Vancouver, BC.

With all of the changes happening in BC with liquor legislation, and the province’s wineries’ desire to sell wines in all provinces in Canada, Mark has been busy helping clients navigate these changing waters. And in generosity to the industry, he has been publishing articles to help everyone interpret just what the heck is going on, as it seems to be in constant state of change.

For his vast wine industry knowledge he is often sought after to give comment in the press on the matters noted above and more.

He sits on the board of director for the BC Hospitality Foundation, and is the president of the Modernize Wine Association of B.C., a non-profit society that advocates for a modern food and wine culture.

On top of this, he shares info on his blog winelaw.ca and can be spotted at wine tastings all over British Columbia. If you don’t already know Mark, you should. He’s a really nice guy!

Whether you know Mark already or not, please help us say hello.  Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Meet Town Hall’s participating BC wineries and more at the International Wine Festival

 

The Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine event, will be returning for its 37th year with wine tasting, performing arts and delicious food to create a super fun event from Friday, February 20 to Sunday, March 1.

The festival will showcase 170 wineries from 14 countries, pouring more than 1750 wines and hosting 53 events throughout the city. This year, the focus of the festival is Australia, with Syrah at the heart of all festivities. The event promises to be educational and entertaining for all visitors.  

We encourage all attending public, trade and media to stop by the following wineries to experience what BC wine has to offer your taste buds. 

Journalists and bloggers: Interview opportunities are available with visiting winery principals listed below and Alan Sacks of the BC Hospitality Foundation.

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Of special note:

  • Visit the BCHF booth to get your digital caricatures done courtesy of Cruelty Free Cartoons, available throughout the trade tasting days: Thursday 1:30-5pm, Friday 1:30-5pm.
  • In 2014, with the support of a number of dedicated volunteers and partners, the BCHF raised more than $85,000 to support current and future industry members.

Who will you meet:

Alan Sacks has worked or been involved in the Hospitality Industry for over 30 years. Educated in the UK he has an Honours Degree in Hospitality Administration. His Canadian Hotel career with Delta Hotels and Resorts included positions as General Manager of three properties and Corporate Director of Food and Beverage. Alan formed his own business in 1991 and has worked exclusively within the hospitality industry providing a variety of services focused on procurement and project management. He joined the BCHF team in October 2009 and now serves as executive director. 

About BCHF:

Formed in 2006, the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation is the industry’s charity of choice, providing support to individuals within the hospitality community in their times of financial need as they cope with any extraordinary health or medical conditions. The BCHF raises funds through various fundraising events in order to support the industry’s next generation by providing scholarships to selected students enrolled in hospitality, culinary and wine programs in partner post-secondary institutions in BC.

For more information, visit bchospitalityfoundation.com, Like on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Of special note:

  • Summerhill Pyramid Winery will pour Cipes Brut, awarded Best Sparkling Wine in Canada at the All Canadian Wine Championship. 
  • The winery is known for organically and biodynamically growing grapes from the pristine Okanagan Valley.

Wines to taste:

Who you might meet:

Ezra Cipes is proud to carry on the family legacy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery as CEO. Like his father Stephen, Ezra has a multitude of passions and talents. At Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ezra Cipes is responsible for day to day operations, marketing, and leadership. He is a talented musician, and has completed courses in vineyard management and in permaculture design.

Eric von Krosigk is winemaker and viticulturist at Summerhill, and as the winery’s first winemaker, has been associated with Summerhill since its inception. Leading the winery’s organic growers, von Krosigk works with some of the Okanagan’s best grapes to produce world-class wines. Despite the fact he wins numerous awards each year, Eric remains one of the most approachable and humble BC vintners. Also notable is that Eric is president of the Okanagan Wine Festival board.

About Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located in the Lakeshore district in Kelowna, BC, is Canada’s largest biodynamic and organic winery, producing more organic wine than the rest of the Canadian wine industry combined. In addition, Summerhill is Canada’s most visited winery and foremost producer of sparkling wine. Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that earned the winery the Canadian Wine “Producer of the Year” trophy at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England in December 2009 as well as a trophy for “Best International Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine” from this same competition in 2010. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to Summerhill’s organic Sunset Bistro, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including an onsite permaculture-style vegetable garden. The mission of the entire Summerhill team is to produce exceptionally good tasting wines organically, support local organic food growers in the bistro and provide unforgettable experiences for all its guests.

For more information, visit summerhill.bc.ca, Like on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

 

Haywire Winery, Summerland BC

Of special note:

  • Okanagan Crush Pad is the first winery in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks during fermentation, and carry the raised in Concrete designation.
  • The Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2012 was recently featured in Wines in Niagara and was awarded 92 points by wine expert Rick VanSickle.
  • Haywire is co-owned by Christine Coletta, who is leader in BC’s wine industry.

Wines you will find at the Haywire table:

Who you might meet:

Alison Scholefield is arguably the youngest winery principal you will find in the room and she has been in the wine industry since birth. Now as the winery ambassador and sales team liaison for Haywire, it’s her job to communicate with customers, the public and wine club members. You can ask her about where to find the wines, and anything that’s happening at the winery. Also find out why she has Haywire’s Sparkling wine the Bub named after her.

Julian Scholefield is the operations manager at the winery, and also president of the Summerland area Bottleneck Drive winery association. Julian oversees the coordination in the cellar of Haywire, Bartier Scholefield, client Bartier Brothers as well as several other client wines, including bottling, deliveries, on-site activities, as well as liaising with the vineyard teams, including the team that is planting the new Garnet Valley Vineyard.

Matt Dumayne is the winemaker for Haywire. Originally from New Zealand, and with 25 vintages under his belt crafting award-winning wine in Central Otago, California, Australia, and Oregon, Matt brings unparalleled insight and passion to the winemaking program. You can speak to Matt about the ways that he is approaching the Haywire portfolio, as well as some of the special projects he’s working on which *sneak peek* include an orange wine…

You can also meet their enthusiastic sales representatives including Mike West, Amy Hollenbach, Rebeka Eriksson and Whitney Law.

About Haywire

Haywire is an old Canadian term that refers to wire once used for baling hay, which tended to tangle in a chaotic way. It is also an apt description of Christine and Steve’s transition from the city to owning a vineyard and winery. The learning curve was steep, but as the first wines hit the market (in 2010) it became apparent that the journey was the reward. Since planting the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard, Christine and Steve have gone on to open Canada’s first purpose-built custom crush facility (Okanagan Crush Pad Winery in 2011) and are now getting ready to plant the first 20 acres of vines at their 312-acre Garnet Valley Ranch. Haywire is committed to crafting wines that tell the story of the New Okanagan.

For more information visit haywirewinery.com, Like on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

TIME Estate Winery, Oliver, BC 

Of special note:

  • All TIME Estate wines are grown and made on Canada’s most-awarded, Sundial Vineyard in Oliver, BC.
  • Harry McWatters, owner, will launch the inaugural TIME Estate Syrah at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Only 100 cases of the Syrah have been produced.

Wines you will find at the TIME Estate Winery table:

Who you might meet:

Harry McWatters is the owner and winemaker of TIME Estate Winery and is a leader in the thriving British Columbia wine industry in which he has been involved for over 40 years.  He was the founder of British Columbia’s first estate winery and has been the driving force in the development of British Columbia’s wine industry. In 1980 he led a group of wineries and local businesses to establish the Okanagan Wine Festival Society and acted as the founding president. Harry was also instrumental in founding VQA Canada, a trade association that spearheaded the development of national wine standards for Canadian vintners and served as the first Chairman.

About TIME ESTATE Winery:

A progressive new building is currently under construction for TIME, which will feature an extensive hospitality centre (including a commercial kitchen) and luxury guest suites, all with stunning Valley and lake Osoyoos views. When completed, the winery will focus almost entirely on Bordeaux-style premium wines created from the estate parcels. Harry’s vision to create the very best wines in the Okanagan is about to be realized. Its about time.

For more information on TIME Estate Winery, visit timewinery.com, Like on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

 For more information

If you are unable to attend the Vancouver Wine Festival but would like to learn more about our clients, please contact Sujidner Juneja at sujinder@townhallbrands.com or 604-367-6745

 

Meet James Melendez With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #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 James Melendez, otherwise known as James the Wine Guy.

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James is a #winelover and a really nice guy. I met him a few Wine Bloggers Conferences ago after forging an online friendship through Twitter, and am happy to share who he is with you here.

His motto is “Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time”. He is passionate about wine, food, travel, science & technology, and has been previously named the World’s No. 1 producer of wine videos.

He uploads at least with one video per week, if not more often, midweek on or near ‘Wine Wednesday’.

Check out James on his blog and  please help us say hello.  Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Getting Social at the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon

By Leeann Froese

Sometimes BC families require medication, equipment, or accommodation while they are receiving treatment in hospitals outside of their own communities.

And sometimes, specialized therapy and tools to help children can make all the difference in little lives becoming successful, as they make their way through school and family life.

Variety the Children’s Charity steps in to help make sure that families get the help that they need. They make a big difference and families’ lives and help children across the province.

With this in mind I am super proud to participate in the Miss 604 Show of Hearts Social Lounge.

The 49th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon takes place on Valentine’s weekend, airing on Global BC February 14th and 15th, and there’s a lot in store for BC viewers and supporters this year.

Respected and widely followed blogger Rebecca Bollwitt a.k.a Miss 604 has proudly come on board as a sponsor of the Social Lounge, to lead the way with live and interactive social media updates. 

The hashtag is #SOH2015 and we hope you’ll join the conversation by including @Miss604 and @Variety BC in your tweets. 

There will be other bloggers and local social media personalities included in the room such as photographer and foodie Scott Graham from What’s for Lunch BC, tech blogger and one of the world’s top 3D printing authorities John Biehler, and travel blogger Marc Smith of 30 Day Adventures. We’ll all be monitoring the #SOH2015 tag, replying, interacting, and leading a few fun campaigns and contests throughout the weekend.

And I will be there on Sunday, February 15, #withTownHall, smart phone charged up, posting and tweeting on behalf of both @TownHallBrands and my own handle @lfroese 

Tune in on Valentine’s weekend to see how your donations make a difference and follow @VarietyBC on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

I hope that you will join the conversation, and I hope you will make a generous donation! 

Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône

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The 8th edition of the touring wine fair Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône is now d5c29440-c922-4a7f-a5ab-2bc79a12c554launched!

On this occasion, from Monday 2nd to Thursday 5th March 2015 come and meet near 750 exhibitors, who will present to you their AOC wines from the Rhône Valley

On 2nd March: You will discover the Crus from the Northern Côtes du Rhône area that are tucked away in the vineyards of Ampuis, France. 
 

On 3rd March: Appellations from Northern Rhône will be presented at the heart of the 136f5210-502c-44bf-a290-e36fed6a2347vineyard in Tain l’Hermitage and Mauves, France. 

On 4th & 5th March: wine producers and merchants from Southern Rhône Valley will exhibit in Avignon Historic Center, France.
 
Don’t wait and register now at www.decouvertes-vins-rhone.com
 
Contact:
The Team Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône – decouvertes@inter-rhone.comeaa86d39-b42f-4b88-be3d-708fe6be2b4a
Tel.: +33 (0)4 90 27 24 53
 
Free access – Wine fair strictly for trade visitors – Online reservations only

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Meet Welbert Choi 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 #withTownHall please meet Welbert Choi.

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Welbert is a man of many talents, notably as chef de cuisine at Forage. He is also a father and talented photographer – see his photo work here.

In addition to all that Welbert does, he is a really nice guy, so can you please say hello to Welbert with a comment – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter so more people can meet him too!