Meet Glen Korstrom 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 Glen Korstrom

Glen Korstrom

Me, a while back on a sunny day with Glen Korstrom #withTownHall

 

Glen is well known in Vancouver for his work as a journalist at Business in Vancouver who mainly covers the subjects of retail, tourism/hospitality & real estate.

Outside the office, he is a big fan of music, sports and wine.

Whether you already know Glen or not, please help us and say a big hello.

Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Meet the Drunken Cyclist Jeff Kralik 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 Jeff Kralik.

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Jeff is The Drunken Cyclist. He is a wine lover and a wine blogger, who can saber open a bottle of bubble with almost anything. He is known to be a bit of a ham at times…

Jeff is also a Cat 3 cyclist, a husband, and a father of two boys and he lives with his lovely family in Philadelphia. We know Jeff via the Wine Bloggers Conference and want you to know him too – he has more than 45K followers on Twitter!

And whether you already follow or know Jeff or not, please help us support him and say a big hello.

Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter

 

So A Genie From the Finger Lakes Grants You Three Wishes…

by Sujinder Juneja

Following two successful conferences in Santa Barbara, California and Penticton, British Columbia, in August 2015, I will be participating in my third-in-a-row Wine Bloggers Conference #withTownHall; this year in Corning, New York and hosted by the wineries of the Finger Lakes AVA.

Seneca Lake Courtesy of Finger Lakes Wine Country

Seneca Lake Courtesy of Finger Lakes Wine Country

Although the region has been growing grapes (a mixture of native Vitis Labrusca, European Vitis Vinifera and French-American hybrids) since 1829, it’s still a small and arguably emergent region, with production levels such that few of their wines make it all the way to the left coast. I am very excited to finally get a chance to gain a better understanding of what makes these cool-climate wines, and the Finger Lakes region itself, so unique.

So when I was asked to pick the ‘top three’ things that I really wanted to learn while I was visiting (and tasting), here’s what I came up with:

I Love to Get My Hands Dirty

When people use the word ‘terroir’ to discuss the specific traits of different wine regions in the world, it’s important to note that the concept doesn’t just refer to the soil. ‘Terroir’ translates loosely as a “sense of place” and refers not only to the complex geology within the soil itself, but also the geography (aspect, slope), the climate, the weather and even the surrounding flora and fauna that may have an effect on the agricultural crop in question.

Seneca Lakes Courtesy of Finger Lakes Wine Country

Seneca Lakes Courtesy of Finger Lakes Wine Country

Coming from British Columbia, which is also described as a cool climate wine region, one of the first things I want to learn about the Finger Lakes AVA is what makes its terroir so special for the wine that it produces. Both regions share a similar history of commercial wine development, each of them dating back to the mid 1800s when grapes were first planted by the clergy for use in sacramental rituals. Each region experimented with native vines and hybrids before moving towards increased plantings of the European Vitis Vinifera varieties, to varying degrees of success. I want to learn more about the geology and geography that adds to the bright and minerally flavours of the Finger Lakes wines.

The Right Grape for the Right Place

The fact that both British Columbia and the Finger Lakes have shared a similar path in terms of varietal experimentation forces me to think about the reasons some grapes are planted more than others. Some are chosen for their ability to ripen properly in a given climate, while others are chosen because they are more fashionable or commercially viable, even if the resultant wine suffers in quality. The more winemakers, grape growers and soil specialists I speak to, the more I realize that it doesn’t make sense to plant consumer-friendly, but slow-ripening varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, in regions that simply don’t get the heat units to enable them to fully mature to produce balanced wines. It makes more sense to plant grapes and produce wine that matches the ‘terroir’ of the vineyard.

It’s been noted that the wines of the Finger Lakes region are fresh, with naturally high acid and low alcohol – you’ll have to look elsewhere for wines with rich intensity and depth of fruit. French vignerons are way ahead of the game, having studied their own terroir for centuries. That’s why you don’t see Cabernet Sauvignon in Burgundy and you don’t see Pinot Noir in Bordeaux. The grapes suit the land and produce the best possible wines. So although Riesling and Pinot Noir (both very fashionable varietals) have become the dominant plantings in the region, the second thing I want to experience about the Finger Lakes AVA is these less-recognized varietals which have been developed specifically for the region. When is the last time you sipped a Cayuga White or a Valvin Muscat? It’s my aim to try as many of these unique varietals as I can, hoping to find some new favourites in the process.

A European Invasion

The ForgeCellars Team, LR: Justin Boyette Louis Barruol Rick Rainey Courtesy of Forge Cellars

The ForgeCellars Team, LR: Justin Boyette Louis Barruol Rick Rainey Courtesy of Forge Cellars

The third thing I really want to know about the Finger Lakes AVA is: what is it that is so exciting about the region that makes it attract some of the highest profile international winemakers to start their own projects there?

The first I heard about was Louis Barruol, owner and winemaker at Chateau de Saint Cosme in Gigondas (and one of my favourite all-time wineries), who is one of the most acclaimed and respected winemakers in the entire Rhone Valley, if not the world.

He recently partnered with local Finger Lakes investors to create Forge Cellars, a winery in the Seneca Lake AVA that focuses exclusively on Riesling and Pinot Noir. With more than 500 years of family experience making wines from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre and Viognier in hot Southern France, what made him invest in Riesling and Pinot Noir in cooler upstate New York?

Paul Hobbs and Johannes Selbach Courtesy of Weingut Selbach-Oster

Paul Hobbs and Johannes Selbach Courtesy of Weingut Selbach-Oster

More recently, a joint venture was announced between leading California winemaker and consultant Paul Hobbs and the Mosel Valley’s Johannes Selbach that saw them purchase a 67-acre site on the southeastern shore of Seneca Lake that will ultimately be planted with 45 acres of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Blanc.

What is it about the Finger Lakes that drew these two titans of the wine industry together? It’s a big question, but I aim to find the answer.

August can’t come soon enough. Very much looking forward to exploring the Finger Lakes wine region from August 13-16 at this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference.

Meet Cristina Brunner 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 Cristina Brunner.

Cristina Brunner

Cristina is an artist who hails from Peru, and she, along with her husband Paul, owns Blue Grouse Estate Winery, located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

Cristina is looking forward to the brand new Blue Grouse winery to be open May 23, and invited you to come and visit her there this summer.

And whether you already know Cristina or not, please help us support her and say a big hello.

Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter

 

Start your summer sipping at a gala gathering of BC wineries

See you at the BCWAS 10th Anniversary Gala Event!

Happy #WineWednesday, British Columbia!

FaceBookCover-Cheers1Help the BC Wine Appreciation Society celebrate its 10th Anniversary, at a gala tasting overlooking the city. A whopping 48 BC wineries will be on hand to offer a true taste of the varied terroirs of BC.

April 16 at the Diamond Ballroom. Tickets are $49 and selling fast!

We are proud because many of our clients are going to be there to offer the attendees a taste, and, we will also have a Town Hall table! Come and visit us and taste wines from

40 Knots Winery

Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Mt. Boucherie Winery

Serendipity Winery

Singletree Winery

TIME Estate Winery

Join us at our table and meet Andrew Etsell from Singletree – Fraser Valley’s newest winery as well as Judy Kingston from Naramata’s Serendipity.

Our lovely clients SpierHead will also be there, hosting their own table, so be sure to say hello to them and have a taste.

Below are all the details:

FaceBookCover-Cheers3

 Event Information

  • What- BCWAS 10th Anniversary Gala Event
  • Date- Thursday, April 16th, 2015
  • Time- 7:00pm to 10:00pm
  • Location- Diamond Ballroom, 1495 West 8th Avenue, top floor of Masonic Centre
  • Ticket Price- $49.00 per person. Tickets available online.

What to expect?

  • Discover & Sip– Taste more than 95 SKUs from wine regions across BC, including the Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Naramata, West Kelowna and many more.
  • Scenic View- Enjoy beautiful scenery of Vancouver as you mingle with like minded wine lovers inside the Diamond Ballroom.
  • Meet & Greet- You will have the opportunity to meet winery principals from select wineries.
  • Take home your tasting experience- Tasted a wine that you like but don’t want to order a whole case from one winery? No problem. Bring your credit card and you can buy as few as 3 bottles of wines from any winery to make a mixed case.

Winery Regions to Discover:

BC wineries have so much to offer and these amazing vintners are making the trip to Vancouver to help the BC Wine Appreciation society kick off this milestone of 10 years of celebrating the wines of BC!

 

Finger Lakes Offer Diversity of the Grape

by Sujinder Juneja

For #Winesday we look to our wine growing neighbours to the east…

Since grape vineyards were first established in the Finger Lakes region of New York State in the mid 1800s, winemakers and grape growers have never lost their thirst for adventure and experimentation. They work with lesser known and cold hardy varietals and we are looking forward to celebrating the region’s diversity at the Wine Bloggers Conference pre-excursion in August.

Photo by East Lake Road.com

Seneca Lake Photo by East Lake Road.com

The Finger Lakes AVA, officially recognized in 1982, is a cool climate growing region in upstate New York, south of Lake Ontario, and surrounds eleven glacier lakes. These lakes moderate the local microclimate, keeping the it milder in the winter, relative to the rest of the region. Similarly to other cool climate regions such as Germany and Austria, the vines are often planted on steep hillsides near the lakes, offering better drainage, increased sun exposure, with less chance of frost.

Vitis Labrusca vines were first planted in the region in 1829, but it wasn’t until 1862 that commercial viticulture began. For years, the most successful and popular wines from the area were sparkling and sweet, but demand for dry still wines produced from Vitis Vinifera grapes increased after soldiers returned from Europe following World War 2, their tastes influenced by wines from France, Italy and Germany. Unfortunately, the majority of plantings in the region were either from Labrusca or French-American hybrid stock, since previous experiments with Vinifera had failed to yield successful wines.

But in 1951, Dr. Konstantin Frank, a Ukrainian immigrant with a PhD in viticulture, arrived at the Cornell University Geneva Experiment station where he began grafting the more climate-sensitive Vinifera varietals to native cold-hardy Labrusca rootstock, eventually resulting in commercially and critically successful wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, among other noble varieties.

WBC15_SenecaLakesWineTrailLogoIn 1986 the Seneca Lake Wine Trail was formed in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes Wine Country to attract more visitors to experience its rich history, beauty and production of world-class wines. Today, Seneca Lake Wine Trail is the largest and most active wine trail in New York State with a community of 35 wineries

Even though Riesling and Pinot Noir has become the dominant white and red varietals in the region, Seneca Lake wineries such Villa Bellangelo, Ventosa Vineyards, Anthony Road Wine Company and Fox Run Vineyards, among others continue to push the envelope with interesting and delicious left-of-centre varietals. These include lesser-known Vinifera (Blaufränkisch, Tocai Friulano, Grüner Veltliner), French-American hybrids (Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir, Vignoles, Rougeon), native Labrusca (Catawba, Isabella), hybrids developed in the region (Cayuga White, Melody) and three new wine grapes created at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva (Noiret, Corot Noir and Valvin Muscat. While some of these grapes are used in varietally-named wines, most of them are used in blends or sparkling wine.

When we visit the region we look forward to tasting this diversity.

Meet Degan Walters 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 Degan Walters

Degan Walters

Say hi to Degan!

Degan, which is pronounced like Meagan, is an artist, writer, food blogger, scuba diver, motocycle rider, and more.

Her food blog is SmokySweet.com and she also writes freelance articles on food & drink (as well as other subjects) and is a contributor to Foodists.ca.

Degan is from Vancouver but currently lives in Seattle with her husband Matt, dog Riley, and cat Maceo. (This pic was taken a while back, when she still lived in Vancouver and sported #pinkhairdontcare.)

Degan has been writing about food (and lifestyle and travel) since 2008. For a great read on what she has learned from 7 years writing abojut food, check out this post on her blog Smoky Sweet

And whether you already know Degan or not, please help us support her and say a big hello.

Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter