4 BC Wineries to Discover at the Vancouver International Wine Festival

4 BC WINERIES TO DISCOVER

The wine world convenes February 11-19 for the Vancouver International Wine Festival.

In 2017, the wine world celebrates Canada in its 150th year of Confederation. Meet BC wine pioneers and stars that continue to shape the industry and taste their amazing wines.

DOWNLOAD a PDF: Four BC Wineries to Discover at VIWF

SummerHill Vineyard

3 Story Starters

1. Industry disruptors, who carve a path for BC wine, then and now
Christine Coletta | Stephen CipesHarry McWatters

2. Trends in BC Wine
Sparkling Wine | Organic | On site experiences | City Winery

3. Organic Okanagan
Stephen Cipes’ 2020 vision – great plans for the health of the Okanagan Valley

Meet the wineries…

1) Haywire 

OCP-Christine-Coletta-6-Credit-Lionel-Trudel

Christine Coletta, Okanagan Crush Pad

Discover The ‘New’ Okanagan
okanagancrushpad.com | @Haywirewine | @OKCrushPad

Industry icon Christine Coletta & husband Steve Lornie built Canada’s first custom-crush facility on Switchback Organic Vineyard. With the input of lauded international consultants Alberto Antonini and Pedro Parra, winemaker Matt Dumayne is turning heads and garnering acclaim for his natural wines made using state-of-the-art concrete tanks, native yeast and minimal additives. With the help of Pedro, the team is working hard to shape a new direction by understanding terroir.

  • Natural wines that celebrate the land
  • Made at Canada’s first custom-crush facility
  • Award-winning leaders in innovation for BC wine
  • Rock star team with international consultants who bring
    global perspective to Okanagan terroir.

Talk to:
Christine Coletta – co-owner, one of Canada’s most astute wine marketers
Matt Dumayne – winemaker
Pedro Parra – internationally–lauded terroir expert

2) Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Stephen Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winer

Stephen Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Leading the Organic Movement
summerhill.bc.ca | @SummerhillWine

Summerhill Pyramid Winery has led the BC organic movement since the Cipes family purchased the vineyard in 1986. The winery was certified organic in 2007, with biodynamic certification for its Kelowna vineyard following in 2012. Winning national and international awards for its pyramid-aged wines, Summerhill is Canada’s foremost producer of sparkling wine and is BC’s most visited winery. A tireless change maker, founder Stephen Cipes is at the helm of the Okanagan 2020 initiative to transition the entire valley to 100% organic by the year 2020.

  • Committed to organic and biodynamic winemaking since 1986
  • Aims to transition to Organic Okanagan by 2020
  • Pyramid cellar-aged wines
  • Known globally for award winning sparkling wines

Talk to:
Stephen Cipes – founder
Ezra Cipes – CEO and a BC wine leader
Eric von Krosigk – winemaker

3) Evolve Cellars

Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, Evolve Cellars

Welcoming Wine Country with Celebrational Approachability
evolvecellars.com | @EvolveCellars

Evolve Cellars is a celebration of BC’s next generation, Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, daughter of industry pioneer, and chair of the BC Wine Institute, leads Evolve Cellars in embracing the traditions of BC wine industry to create today’s winery experience. Whether it’s a picnic on the sun-drenched patios with lakefront view or an onsite meal at E Restaurant, Evolve Cellars will leave you with an experiential journey to Okanagan Wine Country. Start yours with a glass of its approachable and affordable wines.

  • Bright, delicious, approachable and affordable BC wines
    that celebrate BC terroir.
  • An experiential journey to Okanagan Wine Country.
  • Breathtaking lakefront view and onsite E Restaurant.

Talk to:
Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond – oversees the winery; chair of the BC Wine Institute
Nadine Allander – winemaker
Tristan MacLaggan – hospitality director


4) TIME Winery

Harry McWatters

Harry McWatters, TIME Winery

Complete Winery Experience in Downtown Penticton
timewinery.com | @TimeWinery

Led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 50-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. Harry has done many firsts in his career: founding the BC Wine Institute, introducing VQA to BC, and bringing Meritage to Canada, for a few. Throughout his career, he has celebrated that winemaking is about time and place. Now the TIME is to innovate and do another “first”: a heritage theatre is being revitalized into a fully-functional winery and experience centre in downtown Penticton.

  • Winery home of Harry McWatters, pioneer of BC wine
    industry since 1967 — this year marks his 50th vintage!
  • Fully operational winery in the heart of downtown
    Penticton, in the former Penmar theatre.
  • Makers of Meritage wines.

Talk to:
Harry McWatters – president, grandfather of the industry
Lawrence Buhler – winemaker

These are only a few ideas; let us help you with stories.

To arrange interviews with the winery principals, for images and more information, please email Genevieve Dufresne or Amy Chen or call the Town Hall Brands office at 604-321-3295

 

BCWI Colour 2016

British Columbia Wine Institute‘s Fall VQA Tasting, Colour, is on the horizon. An event for trade and media to mingle with winery principals and winemakers while tasting new releases.

Later on, at “ChefmeetsGrape” the public will be able to taste the new vintages, accompanying delicious food pairings from hot restaurants.

TRADE: In order to plan your strategy for tasting your way through the day, Town Hall Brands is going to give you the inside scoop on each of our PR clients that are attending and what you can taste from them.

Since the tasting will be organized alphabetically (we hope), let’s start at the top:

Evolve Cellars

Evolve Cellars

Evolve Cellars, located in Summerland, offers a lineup of wines that are fruit-forward and approachable.  Believing every choice has intention Evolve encourages everyone to #raiseaglassto those who inspire them.

Principals attending: Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond, director of sales and marketing

Wines being poured:

  • Pink Effervescence – NEW bubbles!
  • Effervescence – NEW bubbles!
  • Pinot Blanc 2015
  • Riesling 2015
  • Cabernet Merlot 2015

Okanagan Crush Pad

smallOKCrushPadsept2015-Mike West kneeling in Switchback Vineyard-credit Taryn Liv Parker

Located in Summerland, Okanagan Crush Pad is home to Haywire and Narrative Wines. The winery team’s aim is to produce distinct, terroir-focused super-premium wines from the Okanagan Valley.

Principal attending: Christine Coletta, owner

Wines being poured:

  • Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2014
  • Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2013
  • Narrative XC Method NV
  • Narrative Rosé 2015

Serendipity Winery

Serendipity-Vinessmall

Nestled among the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench, a visit to Serendipity is about discovery, surprise and warmth. The journey began in 2005 following a serendipitous turn in the road made by owner Judy Kingston, and continues with each new vintage of wines crafted to be paired with food and shared with loved ones. Judy, a former lawyer, brings her smarts and wit to the wines and their labels. Each bottle has a story.

Principal attending: Judy Kingston, owner

Wines being poured:

  • Next Step 2012
  • Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Rosé 2015

TIME Winery

Wine making is about time and place, and that’s what TIME Winery proves with each new vintage. As what will be Penticton’s first urban winery, spearheaded by industry pioneer and icon Harry McWatters, these wines are complex yet approachable.

Principal attending: Harry McWatters, owner

Wines being poured:

  • Cabernet Franc 2014
  • Meritage (white) 2014
  • Meritage 2013
  • McWatters Collection Chardonnay 2013

ENCORE Vineyards to bring urban winery to downtown Penticton

 

Town Hall Brands Client News                           Contact Sujinder Juneja 604-367-6745

Urban Winery Coming to Downtown Penticton

Former PenMar Theatre complex to take on new life as a winery & hospitality centre

[Penticton, BC] – ENCORE Vineyards Ltd., home to TIME Winery, McWatters Collection, and Evolve Cellars, announces it has purchased the former PenMar Theatre Complex (361 Martin Street, Penticton) and will be transforming it into an urban winery, the first in the South Okanagan.

The subjects have now been removed on the sale, paving the way for ENCORE to begin modifications on the building that will see it ready for wine production of the 2016 vintage.

The restored building will be home to a brand-new winery production facility, including a crush pad, barrel cellar, custom fermentation hall, lab, warehouse, and administrative offices. When open to the public, the visitor experience will include a tasting bar, a small plates lounge, a 40-seat outdoor patio, as well as a retail wine shop.

An onsite commercial kitchen will give the winery the ability to host public and private events. Banquet facilities and other offerings are being planned for the future.

In keeping with the community’s desire to showcase local performing arts, ENCORE will maintain one of the theatres as a 75-seat movie, performance and event space for concerts, private functions and non-profit uses. Ultimately, this destination, multi-purpose winery, bistro and theatre will help to attract visitors to the area and assist with the revitalization of the downtown.

The PenMar is a historic site with a long history of arts and culture. Built in 1956, the theatre closed in 2012 after its then-current owners, Landmark Cinemas, moved into a multiplex location. An organization named the PenMar Community Arts Society attempted to raise enough money to restore the building, but was not able to raise the funds required. ENCORE Vineyards, who coincidentally contributed to the society’s fundraising efforts, is pleased to be able to help preserve this historic building and contribute to the community.

Harry McWatters, president and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards says, “We are excited to share the next chapter of ENCORE Vineyards with our Penticton neighbours. Our aim is to create a downtown destination that the South Okanagan can be proud of, while preserving the legacy of this vibrant cultural landmark.”

About Encore Vineyards:

ENCORE Vineyards Ltd., a progressive Okanagan-based company, is home to a number of wine brands, providing a host of wines and hospitality service. The ENCORE team has developed an unparalleled opportunity for investors to participate in the growth of its existing enterprise, substantial brand expansion, and premium brand acquisition opportunities. By consolidating certain operating, management, and marketing and sales strategies of multiple wineries, ENCORE will improve financial returns in what has the potential to be a high-margin industry. Learn more at encorevineyards.ca.

ENCORE has amassed an impressive team, poised to help define the next generation of Okanagan winemaking via its production of premium wines in the Okanagan Valley. The company is known for its labels including TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection. In 2016, ENCORE Vineyards expands, with new projects that further celebrate the spirit of the South Okanagan.

The ENCORE team is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 48-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond is the ENCORE marketing director, offering lifelong wine industry insight. Lawrence Buhler is ENCORE’s director of winemaking, who has experienced more than 15 vintages in Ontario, British Columbia, Chile, Argentina, and Australia. He will oversee the company’s growing portfolio of premium British Columbia wines.

What a year of personalities #withTownHall

 

By Leeann Froese

Welcome to the #withTownHall #2015recap!

If you are a regular reader, you will know that each week we introduce a person we have encountered #withTownHall!

So as we end the year, let’s re-meet some amazing people:

Featured-in-2015-allDid you miss a post, or are you curious to know more about someone above? Click their posts to read about them:

Ezra Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Crystal Kwon, Citizen Relations & Vancity Buzz

John Biehler

Alison Scholefield, Okanagan Crush Pad

Welbert Choi, Forage

James Melendez, James the Wine Guy

Mark Hicken, Vintage Law Group

Bailey Williamson, Blue Grouse Winery

Tyler Harlton, TH Wines

Hootsuite Owl, Hootsuite

Annika Reinhardt, Social Bites

Clement Chan, Torofuku Modern Asian

Degan Walters, SmokySweet

Cristina Brunner, Blue Grouse Winery

Jeff Kralik, Drunken Cyclist

Glen Korstrom, Business in Vancouver

Julie Van Rosendaal, Dinner With Julie

Darnelle Moore, Eastside Fitness

Sam Hauck, My Vancity

Blue Grouse Estate Winery, team

Jim Irving, BC Hospitality Foundation

Jeremy Schacht, Ampersand Distilling

Tori Klassen

Mijune Pak, Follow Me Foodie

Brian Webb Homoculture

Chris Pritchett, UBC Thunderbirds Baseball

Swearing Minion, Despicable Me

Christine Campbell, Girls Go Grape

Kayla Koroush, Barrel Thief

Joshua McVeity, Photographer and Fred Lee, Man About Town

Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, Local Lounge | Grille, Encore Vineyards

Kristina Manning, Monthlyclubs.com

Frank Morgan, Drink What You Like

Courtney Buryta, Vancouver Canucks

Natalie Langston, Freelance Media

Eagranie Yuh, Edible Vancouver and Wine Country

Crystal Henrickson, University of British Columbia

Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly

Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine

Jennifer Schell, BC Food and Wine Trails Magazine

Amy Chen, Town Hall Brands

Ann Luu, CTV Morning Live,

Jackie Gidda, Mt Boucherie Estate Winery

William Ho, Fairchild Radio

Skip & Judy Stothert, Coolshanagh

Mary Halpen, Best of Bridge

Ron Wilson, Cheap and Cheerful

Justin Darnes, Drinks Undressed

 

Do you know someone who we should feature #withTownHall? Introduce us. And leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter

 

Colour BC and ChefMeetsBCGrape To Showcase Evolve Cellars

On September 16th, the British Columbia Wine Institute will host Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting and ChefMeetsBCGrape at Canada Place to showcase VQA wines of British Columbia. To learn more about these two events, please visit our earlier post here.

On each day leading up to the events, we will to introduce you to wineries in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. Today, we would like to introduce…

Evolve Cellars, Summerland BC

Evolve Cellars

  • Learn about industry pioneer Harry McWatters’ new lifestyle brand winery which focuses on producing fresh, fruit-forward, crisp, approachable, and well-balanced wines.
  • Try the fresh, clean, and crisp award winning 2014 Pinot Blanc.
  • Use the hashtag #RaiseAGlassTo to share your experience tasting Evolve Cellars’ wine selection during the event.

Evolve Cellars was born from the concept of the celebration of self, your successes and growth in life. This winery, and winemaker Lawrence Buhler, know that the Okanagan Valley has evolved to produce some of the best wines on the planet and intends to gently transform the fruit that mother nature creates in this beautiful region to create wines that are fresh, fruit-forward, crisp, approachable, and well-balanced.

See what makes this winery, with its beautiful design and breathtaking vineyard overlooking the Okanagan Lake, the perfect place to raise a glass to friends and family and mostly importantly, yourself.

To Learn More:

www.evolvecellars.com | Twitter: @evolvecellars | Instagram: @evolvecellars

What you will taste:

  • Pinot Blanc 2014 $14.99 -Granny Smith apple, white peach, and pear – fresh from the orchard. Mingling melon and tropical fruit flavours that linger with minerals and grapefruit.
  • Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $15.99 -Tropical fruits with lime and nectarine. Bright, lively citrus and summer fruit flavours of melon, nectarine, and pear.
  • Pinot Noir 2014 $19.99 -Easy drinking, fruit-forward with pleasing aromas of cherry. This dry, harmonic blend of black cherry and a touch of vanilla leaves a lingering, soft finish.
  • Cabernet Merlot 2013 $18.99 – Pretty and seductive, with a spicy nose of black cherry and cassis. Soft and complex, with mouth-filling flavours of plum, cherry, and wild red berry from start to finish.

Who you will meet:

Lawrence Buhler, director of winemaking, and Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, director of sales and marketing, will be available to answer any questions you might have.

Look out for these BC Wineries at Bloom

by Ali Harris

Celebrate the arrival of fresh, local, home grown wine and sunny spring time, with the annual Bloom: Wines of British Columbia Spring Release Tasting.

Explore more than 90 BC wineries showcasing over 360 BC VQA wines! The event is sure to provide a wonderful overview of the capabilities of BC’s terroir.

We encourage trade and media who are attending to stop by the tables of our clients, and we have provided you with a bit of intel about each.

A note to Journalists: we can help you with any interview requests for the visiting winery principals.


Winery: Evolve Cellars photo
Located: 
Summerland
Who you will meet: Harry McWatters (founder), Christa-Lee McWatters Bond (founder), Steve Jones (hospitality) 
What you will tast
2012 Cabernet Merlot
2014 Rosé
2013 Sauvignon Blanc
2013 Pinot Blanc
Need to know fact: Evolve is the newest winery on Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive. In fact, it opened to the public on May 16th! Led by Christa-Lee McWatters Bond and Harry McWatters, their goal is to gently transform the fruit that Mother Nature creates, into wines that can be enjoyed by all.

Winery: Mt Boucherie Family Estate WineryMTB-Patio
Located: Kelowna
Who you will meet: Jim Faulkner (winemaker)
What you will taste:
2013 Riesling
2013 Gewürztraminer
2012 Pinot Noir
2012 Merlot
Need to know facts: At Mt. Boucherie Winery, there’s a wine country experience for everyone. Whether it’s a picnic, yoga or a family-style dinner in the vineyard, you’ll want to bring a friend because everything is better in two. 

Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad
Located: Summerland
Who you will meet: Christine Coletta (owner), Amy Hollenbach (sales), Alison Scholefield (brand manager) and Rebeka Eriksson (sales)
What you will taste:
2014 Haywire Rose
2013 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris
2013 Haywire Pinot Noir
2012 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir
Need to know facts: Okanagan Crush Pad is the first in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks, and wines that are fermented and aged in concrete carry the Raised in Concrete™ designation. See what differences you think the use of concrete makes!

Winery: Serendipity Winery IMG_1843
Located: Naramata
Who you will meet: Judy Kingston and Katie O’Kell (owners)
What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Grigio
2013 Rose
2012 Voignier
2010 Devil’s Advocate
Need to know facts: Judy Kingston makes her every wine with food pairings in mind. Be sure to stop by and try their wines
and chat about the stories behind each wine… because there’s a story in every bottle. 

Winery: Singletree Winery
Located: Abbotsford View More: http://typeaphotography.pass.us/onetree
Who you will meet: Andrew Etsell (owner)
What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Noir
2014 Siegerrebe
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Pinot Gris
Need to know facts: Singletree Winery is committed to showing the world what the Fraser Valley is capable of. The winery was named for a single harness yoke that was commonly used in the late 1800s. The Singletree was an essential tool that allowed fertile land in the Mt. Lehman area to be cleared to make way for farms.

Winery: SpierHead Winery
Located: Kelowna
Who you will meet: Marina and Bill Knutson (owners)
What you will taste:

2013 Pinot Noir
2013 Chardonnay
2014 Riesling 
2014 Pinot Gris
Need to know facts: This small winery flies under the radar for many, but keeps capturing accolades and awards in every competition entered. For example, the 2014 Pinot Gris was just given 90 points from Beppi Crosariol!

Winery: Summerhill Pyramid WineryIMG_2646
Located: Kelowna
Who you will meet: Ezra Cipes (CEO)
What you will taste:
Cipes Brut
2012 Organic Pinot Noir (first public debut!)
2014 Alive Organic White (first public debut!)
2012 Alive Organic Red (first public debut!)
Need to know fact: Summerhill Pyramid Winery is fully committed to organic practices. Summerhill-Pyramid-Credit-Aaron-BarrAsk them about their nitrogen generator or their on premise pyramid cellar which is second only to the Great Pyramid of Egypt for alignment and precision!

 

 

Winery: TIME Estate Winery
Located: Oliver
Who you will meet: Harry McWatters (founder), Christa Lee McWatters Bond (brand manager), Steve Jones (hospitality)Time-Harry
What you will taste:
2012 Meritage
2014 White Meritage 
2013 Cabernet Franc
2013 Sundial
Need to know fact: TIME Winery is the next big winery project in the South Okanagan desert, with Harry McWatters, grandfather of the BC wine industry, coming out of ‘retirement” to make wines from the province’s most awarded vineyard. The visitor centre will open in 2016 but hard hat tours are available.