Congratulations to the talented Jill Spoor of Botanist!

Town Hall Brands is pleased to congratulate and celebrate Jill Spoor, wine director at Botanist, for releasing her own wine!

The 2016 Jill Spoor White Terroir Blend is the latest limited-release wine from Okanagan Crush Pad’s Wine Campus series.

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Jill in action at Okanagan Wine Campus. Photo Credit: Lionel Trudel

Jill assembled the wine, with support from Okanagan Crush Pad’s Matt Dumayne and David Scholefield, and world-renowned terroir expert, Mr. Pedro Parra. This juicy blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc turned out wonderfully well.

The wine label was designed by Jill’s niece Taryn Brown, an artist living in Victoria, who worked with Jill’s vision to showcase imagery that captured the sensuality of women and wine. Jill is pleased to see the proceeds of the wine sales go to the BC Hospitality Foundation wine scholarship fund to support students who are pursuing their higher level wine education certification.

JillSpoor-WhiteBlend

At Botanist, in Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, Jill has a focused vision to build a unique wine program featuring both Pacific Northwest and internationally-sourced wines that reflect a true sense of place. She has developed Botanist’s wine program to reflect exclusive terroir-driven wineries that support sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking practices.

Okanagan Wine Campus, created in 2011 by Okanagan Crush Pad, is a mentorship program that provides selected Vancouver Sommeliers with the unique chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of wine they wish. The proceeds from the sale of the wine are given to the BC Hospitality Foundation wine scholarship fund to support students pursuing higher level wine education certification. 26 scholarships have so far been awarded through the support of this program.

The Jill Spoor wine is available at select private retail stores, at The Botanist, Fairmont Pacific Rim, or directly from okanagancrushpad.com.

Events to Plan for in the Lower Mainland: 2017 Edition

Want be in the know for Vancouver’s amazing events this year?

We find the best way for you to know about a client or project is to meet them in person, and the best way to do that is told an event, so everyone is hosting something. 

We have gathered all of the events in Vancouver and surrounding areas that we are aware of for 2017 thus far. The calendar is for planning purposes and will definitely change – so check back often!
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May – October: Richmond Night Market

July 17: Wild Bloom

July 22: Deighton Cup

July 23: Vancouver Food on Foot Tour

July 29, August 2, August 5: Celebration of Light

July 29-30: Caribbean Days Festival

August 4-13: Harmony Arts Festival

August 10: Mixology Night on the Pier

August 12: SeaWheeze Half Marathon & Sunset Festival 

August 16: East Van Cider Festival

August 16: Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Summerdine

August 19: BC Pinot Noir Celebration

August 24: Diner en Blanc

August 26: Wild Salmon Celebration

August 27: Farm to Fork Pop-up Summer Harvest

September 9: Fall for Local Market

September 13: Whistler Village Beer Festival

September 13: Chef Meets Truck

September 23-24: Victoria International Wine Festival 

September 28: British Columbia Wine Awards and Reception

Septemeber 30: Vancouver Cheese and Meat Festival

October 14-15: Art of the Cocktail

October 15: Slow Fish Dinner

November 3: Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival

November 6-11: EAT! Vancouver + Food Cooking Festival

Meet Mary Halpen of Best of Bridge #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 Mary Halpen.

Mary Halpen an original member of the eight friends that started Best of Bridge

Mary is one of the original eight friends who founded Best of Bridge.

In 1975, Mary, along with a group of friends who played bridge together regularly, decided that they would write a cookbook to celebrate the food they shared with each other when they’d meet. Their first book in 1976 led the way for more than 15 books between then and now.

These recipes, written by regular moms, have worked for families across Canada for decades. Best of Bridge recipes are staples at dinners, potlucks and gatherings, and the generation of children that was raised on these cookbooks is now cooking these recipes for themselves.

The original members of Best of Bridge, including Mary, are setting to retire; but they are passing on their legacy to new groups and Best of Bridge continues to live on.

If you have not tried any of the Best of Bridge recipes, then don’t let the holiday season go by without giving one of these tried-and-true group friendly recipes a try.

And in honour of the trailblazing work that Mary and her seven friends did in starting Best of Bridge can you please give her a big hello!

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

Colour BC and ChefMeetsBCGrape To Showcase Okanagan Crush Pad

Okanagan Crush Pad

On September 16th, the British Columbia Wine Institute will be hosting Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting and ChefMeetsBCGrape to showcase VQA wines of British Columbia.

On each day leading up to the events, we would like to introduce you to winery clients in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. First, here is more information about the events:

Attendees will be able to thoroughly explore the world of BC wines with walk-around tastings featuring 90 of the top BC wineries (the full list can be found here)  with principals and winemakers on site to guide you, as you immerse yourself in beautiful flavours.

 

Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting

Who: Trade and Media

Where: East Ballroom, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

When: September 16th, 2015 from 2pm to 5pm

This trade and media invite-only event will allow trade to connect with others in the industry, from winemakers to wine writers to sales specialists (the list goes on and on), all while tasting an extensive list of BC VQA wines.

More information about Colour BC can be found here.

Trade and Media registration can be found here.

 

ChefMeetsBCGrape

Who: All wine lovers

Where: East Ballroom, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

When: September 16th, 2015 from 7pm to 9:30pm

This event is open to anyone with a passion for wine and will showcase BC VQA wines and cuisine. Attendees will enjoy a walk around tasting while 11 of BC’s top restaurants prepare small plates focused on freshly sourced ingredients from local farmers and producers. Celebrity judges of the “Small Plate Challenge” will taste and evaluate each food and wine pairing throughout the evening and at the end of the night prizes will be awarded for the “”Best Regional Wine & Food Pairing” and “Plate of the Night.”

More information about ChefMeetsBCGrape can be found here.

At Town Hall we like to be prepared, and with such an amazing and extensive list of wines being showcased, we have some tips to help you make the most out of your experience:

  • Find out which wineries will be at the event
  • Research the wineries beforehand
  • Make a list of the people, wineries, and products you want to see
  • Jot down questions you have for the principals and winemaker
  • Use the hashtags #BCVQA #BCWine and #ChefMeetsBCGrape to share your experience at the events
  • Allocate the total amount of time you want to spent at the event and at each individual booth
  • Bring your business cards, a fresh palate, and open mind to share your passion with like-minded wine enthusiasts

Today, we would like to introduce you to…

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, Summerland BC

Okanagan Crush Pad

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how Okanagan Crush Pad utilizes concrete tanks in their wine cellars to directly shape the taste profiles of their wines.
  • Learn how Okanagan Crush Pad recently received their “Certified Organic” certification allowing their organic grapes to truly reflect the terroir in which they are grown.
  • Enjoy tasting the 2013 Haywire Bub with ‘the Bub’ herself, Alison Scholefield.

Okanagan Crush Pad’s commitment to making wines that celebrate the distinctive beauty and exceptional micro-climates and geology of their vineyards, makes them a true Okanagan Winery in every sense of the term. Owned by Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, the 10-acre Switchback Organic Vineyard site overlooking Lake Okanagan is home to Haywire Wines, Narrative Wines, and the Okanagan Wine Campus; where a mentorship program provides the person named Vancouver’s “Sommelier of the Year” has the chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of their choice with proceeds benefiting the BC Hospitality Foundation. As the first purpose-built custom wine making facility in the Okanagan, Okanagan Crush Pad nurtures their product from the field to the market, all while achieving winemaking excellence.

 To Learn More:

www.okanagancrushpad.com | Twitter: @OKCrushPad | Instagram: @OKCrushPad

What you will taste:

  • 2013 Haywire Bub $29.90 – The Bub is bottle fermented and aged using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes gown on cool vineyard sites in Oliver and Summerland. A fresh and lively wine with nice warm bread aromas and a crisp green apple finish, which is a shining example of what the Okanagan does best – crisp, fresh, and delicious.
  • 2013 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris $24.90 – Switchback is the winery’s home vineyard with surrounding sage, bunch grass, Ponderosa pine, and fruit trees, hallmarking the site’s aromas. Fermented in egg-shaped concrete tanks, the wine takes on minerality balanced with fruit, incredible complexity, and a round, creamy mouthfeel.
  • 2013 Haywire Pinot Noir $24.90 – Loaded with lively ripe red-berry fruits, exotic spice blends, and earthy characters, this wine is best enjoyed with salmon, soft ripe cheeses, pork, or wild mushrooms. 
  • 2012 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir $39.90 – This wine has the hallmark cherry fruit intensity of the previous vintage, with soft, lush tannins and will continue to improve and evolve with bottle ageing.  Pair with soft ripe cheeses, hearty stews and game meats.

Who You Will Meet:

Rebeka Eriksson and Amy Hollenbach from the sales team will be in attendance alongside brand manager Alison Scholefield, a.k.a. The Bub.

Meet Jeremy Schacht 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 Jeremy Schacht.

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I was happy to meet Jeremy last year when Sujinder and I visited Ampersand Distilling.

Ampersand Distilling Company is a new, family owned craft distillery located on a five acre organic farm in the Cowichan Valley.

Those who know me know I love #gttime, so when Sujinder and I were on Vancouver Island working we made a detour.

We were impressed by Jeremy and his talents with distilling, and the gin is delicious. Check it out at the Duncan Farmer’s market or schedule a visit the next time you are visiting Blue Grouse Estate Winery.

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.

 

Five Good Reasons to Visit VINEXPO 2015

By: Amy Chen

Vinexpo 2015 Welcomes YouWith Vinexpo 2015 quickly approaching on June 14th to 18th, this year’s show has been entirely revamped to offer you improved services, a new layout and an unprecedented programme of talks, tastings and networking events.

If that’s not enough to convince you to visit this flagship international exhibition in Bordeaux, here are five good reasons you will want to attend:

  1. Be part of the biggest global wine and spirits event- 2, 400 exhibitors – 30, 000 brands from 44 countries
  2. Meet the major players, decision-makers and estate owners in-person and build a special business relationship
  3. Be at the heart of things and keep pace with the latest international market trends
  4. Take this opportunity to attend some of the 80 special events over 5 days (tastings and talks given by world-renowned experts)
  5. Take new contacts at Vinexpo’s evening networking events at venues in Bordeaux city centre

Let us know if you’ll be attending Vinexpo 2015 or if you have other good reasons to attend.

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Meet Paul Brunner of Blue Grouse 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 Paul Brunner aka The Blue Grouch – owner of Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Can you please say hello?

Paul Brunner of Blue Grouse

 

Paul and his wife Cristina purchased Blue Grouse, a beautiful Vancouver Island winery, in 2012. He calls himself ‘The Blue Grouch’ but we think he is a friendly, funny and welcoming man, who isn’t fooling us with talk of being grouchy.

The winery was originally established in 1992. But in 2015, plan your visit: a beautiful new winery building will be open to welcome you. And you will have to come and see for yourself if Paul really is a grouch.

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

 

 

 

Meet Rayna Corner 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 Rayna Corner can you please say hello?IMG_2591 Rayna is the proprietor of Quench! Wines  – a Vancouver Island & Gulf Island agent for boutique wineries and breweries from various regions of BC. She considers herself to be a wine nerd, word nerd. She loves cooking, reading & her dog, and is a fledgling runner. Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Beverly Akhurst With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

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

This week we introduce you to Bev Akhurst – can you please say hello?

Bev

Beverly Akhurst is a yoga instructor at Eastside Fitness on Fraser St. in Vancouver.

Though teacher is the title, she feels guide is a more appropriate term as her belief is that the teacher is there to guide each student to the places and experiences that speak most, to the individual journey, allowing the students to connect to their own internal teacher so that their practice more personally fulfills their needs.

Whether your desire is to follow a physical, mental or spiritual practice Beverly welcomes you to each class as the unique individual you are. Certified as a Hatha and Yin instructor she welcomes young and old, new and experienced to explore body and soul. She believes you should give yourself the gift of being there for yourself so that you can be there for others in your life.

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

Find the 30 Best Patios in Metro Vancouver

by Leeann Froese

It’s no secret that our team can get to hanging around with travel and adventure blogger Marc Smith #withTownHall. Recently, we helped Marc research a few locations for his latest blog series: #30BestPatios.

Sujinder, Leeann, Laurisha & Andrew flank Marc for a group patio hug

Sujinder, Leeann, Laurisha & Andrew surround Marc for a group patio hug

With the terrific summer weather we have been having in Metro Vancouver, reviews of patios are very helpful, and the nice thing about this blog series is that not everything is in downtown Vancouver, providing options for those of us who live and work in other neighbourhoods.

We were so inspired by Marc Smith’s #30dayadventures #30bestpatios series that we decided to create a map. We’ve compiled all the patios he has reviewed and indicated what area they are in, so that you could know where to go for the rest of the summer, and many summers to follow.

Check it…

30 Best Patios

Oh and we are even so kind as to give you a downloadable PDF version.

Who’s on the list? We’ve gathered all 30 of Marc’s posts. Click the links below to see what Marc experienced at each patio and why it made his list.

1. Adesso Bistro, West End

2. Bambudda, Gastown

3.  Black & Blue, Downtown

4.  Bridges, Granville Island

5.  Cactus Club, English Bay

6.  Chill Winston, Gastown

7.  Dockside Restaurant, Granville Island

8.  Joe Fortes, Downtown

9.  The Keg, Yaletown

10. Lift Bar and Grill, Coal Harbour

11. Local, Kitsilano

12. Mill Bistro, Coal Harbour

13. Reflections at Hotel Georgia, Downtown

14. Romers Bugers, South Vancouver

15. Tap & Barrel, False Creek

16. The Wine Bar, Yaletown

17. University Golf Club, UBC

18. Vancouver Art Gallery Café, Downtown

19. Beach House, West Vancouver

20. Beatniks, Fort Langley

21. Blue Canoe, Richmond

22. Flying Beaver, Richmond

23. Harold’s Bistro, Richmond

24. Hart House, Burnaby

25. Little District. North Vancouver

26. Longtail Kitchen, New Westminster

27. Pier 7, North Vancouver

28. Riverway Clubhouse, Burnaby

29. Steamship Grill, Victoria

30. Wild Rice, New Westminster

See www.30dayadventures.ca to learn about more of Marc’s adventures

Now get out there and enjoy!