Meet Jackie Gidda #withTownHall

By Leeann Froese

It’s a new week 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 Jackie Gidda.

Jackie Gidda Mt Boucherie Winery

Jackie was born into the BC wine industry as her family has been growing grapes since the early 1970s and is one of the pioneering families of the Okanagan. The Gidda family opened Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery in 2001 and have been a friendly fixture in West Kelowna ever since.

At Mt. Boucherie Jackie contributes in the tasting room as well as helps represent the winery at events. She does not do this full time, as she is an accountant and mom of two as well, and that keeps her plate very full!

Jackie’s sparkling personality and friendly approach make her a joy to be around whenever you encounter her at a tasting, and with all of that said about Jackie, will you please help us give a big hello to her?

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Meet Ann Luu #withTownHall

By Leeann Froese

It’s a new week 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 Ann Luu.

Ann Luu CTV MorningAnn Luu’s bright smile is the first thing that thousands of Vancouverites wake up to as the co-host and traffic specialist for CTV Morning Live. Her passion for broadcasting is obvious and her experience in the field is top notch, she has worked in the radio and TV for the past seven years for CHMJ-AM 730102.7 The Peak FM93.7 JRfmCBC News Vancouver and most recently for The Early Edition with CBC Radio One.

When Ann isn’t saving commuters time with her morning traffic reports and keeping us up to date on what we need to know as we head into the day, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two Boston terrier dogs; Nitro and Ramsay, cruising down the local mountain slopes, and hiking in the outdoors.

Yesterday was the 1000th show for CTV Morning Live and we want to congratulate Ann and the whole CTV morning team on their hard work and dedication and a big cheers to the next 1000th episodes! Will you please help us give Ann a big hello?

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Meet Amy Chen #withTownHall

By Leeann Froese

It’s a new week 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 actually are featuring one of our own team members – we introduce you to our very own Amy Chen!

Amy Chen #withTownHall at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, BC

Amy Chen #withTownHall at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, BC

It’s Amy’s birthday today so we thought if you haven’t met her yet, this is a great chance to introduce her to you.

Amy is one of our star communicators. She does PR and event management with a smile and smarts. She has worked with us for a year and a half and in that time has become one of the city’s go-to PR people when it comes to wine, food, and personalities.

Always with a positive attitude, Amy is a strategic thinker and is a great asset to our clients. You can read her complete bio here, but what we want you to know is that she is super talented, multi-lingual and in addition to being so great with people, she loves dogs too.

She works really hard and brings a ray of sunshine into our lives every day, and if you knew her, she’d bring sunshine into your life too!

She will be #withTownHall all week, so please help us wish her a happy birthday and give her a hello.

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Behind the Scenes: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker

By Leeann Froese

In case you missed it, our #withTownHall person this week is Jennifer Schell, international best selling author of two collaborative cook books… go say hi here.

We are super proud that Jennifer’s newest book, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker-By the Sea, was released last Thursday, October 8th and features a few of Town Hall’s clients, including winemaker Bailey Williamson from Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Cowichan Valley.

Blue Grouse Estate Winery’s philosophy is “What really matters?” and this relates directly to their new facility, the experience they create at the winery and the wine making process. Bailey’s process in creating Blue Grouse wines is working harder in the vineyard and playing shepherd to the grapes through the process from vine to bottle, letting the natural state shine through in the final product.

We wanted to share a few behind the scenes shots from the cookbook photo shoot for you.

Bailey Williamson, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, winemaker & model

Bailey Williamson, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, winemaker & model.

Up close and personal with Blue Grouse Quill Red 2012 & 2013 Ortega

Up close and personal with Blue Grouse Quill Red 2012 & 2013 Ortega

The amazing producers and Jennifer on Jericho Beach.

The amazing producers and Jennifer on Jericho Beach.

Jennifer Schell at her book release.

Jennifer Schell at her book launch on October 8th at Barbara Jo’s Book for Cooks.

Want to see even more?

For more behind-the-scenes action from the book and photos from the book launch, head over to Town Hall’s Facebook page were we’ve uploaded an album for you to enjoy!

Meet Jennifer Schell #withTownHall

By Leeann Froese

It’s a new week 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 Jennifer Schell.

Jennifer Schell with Town Hall Brands. Barbara Jo's Book for Cooks

Jennifer is a food and wine writer, columnist and editor of BC Food and Wine Trails Magazine, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, author of the international best seller The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker – An Okanagan Cookbook and the brand new The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker – By the SeaIn her second book you’ll be able to learn from our clients Bailey Williamson, winemaker at Blue Grouse Estate Winery in the Cowichan Valley, Harry McWatters, from TIME Estate Winery, and multiple member chefs from The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia.

Jennifer has made her work about celebrating the people behind the labels and recipes, so today take a moment to say ‘hello’ and help celebrate her.

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

Meet Steven Spurrier #withTownHall

By Leeann Froese

It’s a new week 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 Steven Spurrier.

Steven Spurrier - Decanter Magazine

Steven Spurrier, Decanter magazine’s consulting editor and chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards, has been a leader in the global wine industry for 50 years. Spurrier’s introduction to wine was through his grandfather on Christmas eve in 1945 when he was poured a Cockburn’s 1908 port after dinner. It was at this point that Spurrier knew he would make wine his profession; starting in cellars of Christopher and Co, he would go on to start his own wine shop, Les Caves de la Madeleine and then L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school, he now is the proprietor of a 10-hectare vineyard, Bride Valley, at his farm in Dorset. This lifelong passion for wine has led Spurrier to be at the forefront of the international wine industry.

This August, Spurrier visited BC to judge in a blind tasting event organized by the BC Wine Institute and Vancouver wine luminary DJ Kearney. The event, aptly named the Judgment of BC, was fashioned after Spurrier’s 1976 Judgement of Paris event which pitted California Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons against their French counterparts and concluded with a shocking decision in which the French judges scored Californian wines highest in each category.

The Judgement of BC put local Chardonnays and Syrahs beside a world class selection from around the globe.  While the 2013 vintage from the Okanagan’s C.C. Jentsch topped the list of Syrahs, the BC Chardonnays did not fair as well with the top B.C. vintage Okanagan Falls’ Blue Mountain Reserve 2013 in sixth place.

After sitting down for a tasting with Kurtis Kolt, he left him with these words: “My message to British Columbia is that I think you undervalue yourselves: your wines are sensational.”

Both the Judgement of B.C. and Spurrier’s commentary on BC wines have been a reaffirmation that the industry is continuing to move in the right direction and has the ability to produce world class vintages. The Somm Journal has just published an article by Spurrier entitled “The Best of British Columbia”, in which he gives these encouraging words; “For me, wine is the three Ps: the place, the people and the product. British Columbia ticks all three boxes with exuberance, elegance and conviction.” It was an honour and pleasure to have Spurrier visit BC and taste what our region has to offer.

With all of that said about Steven, will you please help us give a big hello to him?

For more coverage of Spurrier’s visit and the Judgement of BC please visit:

“I think that was a very successful tasting,” Spurrier remarked to the Westender, “There wasn’t a dud wine in there. Syrah always has a wonderful exuberance and a wonderful expression and I found that the British Columbia Syrah were very expressive.”

“You’re not an emerging wine region but a deserving wine region” – Check out Tim Pawsey’s coverage of Spurrier’s visit over at Hired Belly.

John Schreiner’s coverage of Judgment of BC and the C.C. Jentsch Cellars’ vintage that topped the list of Syrahs during this momentous blind tasting event.  

Kurtis Kolt sat down with Spurrier for a tasting of BC wines at Chambar, learn about their conversation on the BC wine industry and their tasting notes from the evening.

Check out Kurtis Kolt’s coverage of the Judgment of BC and the full listing of Chardonnay and Syrah results over at The Georgia Straight.

Daenna Van Mulligen, one of the judges at the Judgment of BC, writes a very interesting article on her experience as well as covering Spurrier’s visit and remarks on her website Wine Diva.

Read Treve Ring’s coverage of and thoughts on the Judgment of BC over at Anthony Gismondi On Wine.

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