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

 

Five Reasons to Love Okanagan Crush Pad Winery

Okanagan Crush Pad is Five today!

5glass

1. Summerland

This winery is located in beautiful Summerland, heart of the Okanagan Valley, and is one of the Bottleneck Drive wineries. The surrounding views are breathtaking and the hospitality and community are so welcoming in this small town.

The view from Okanagan Crush Pad.

The view not far from Okanagan Crush Pad.

2. Respecting history to make wines of today

Since constructing its state-of-the-art winemaking facility and visitor center in 2011, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery has been regarded as one of the most innovative wineries in Canada. One of these reasons is because of its return to yesterday’s wine making techniques using the science and knowledge of today. The use of concrete tanks and clay amphorae really work to bring out the terroir of their Haywire and Narrative wines, which personify where they are grown.

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Haywire natural wines with an amphorae.

3. International insights

The Okanagan Crush Pad Winery team has pulled in consulting minds from Alberto Antonini and Pedro Parra, who have used their global perspective to help the Okanagan Valley shine.

 

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The OCP team learning about the soil at Garnet Valley Ranch with Alberto and Pedro.

4. For the love of the earth and all of its animals

Switchback Vineyard, where Okanagan Crush Pad Winery is located, is certified organic. Garnet Valley Ranch, where vines are grown for Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, is also organic from day one. There are animals onsite, including chickens, ducks, dogs, sheep, cows, worms and bees, which help to keep the biodiversity alive.

ocp-chickens-sbv

Say hello to the chickens at Switchback Vineyard.

5. A dream team

Owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie have assembled an amazing team around them: Christine, Steve, David, Alison, Matt, Julian, Jordan, Megan, Tyler, Theo, Duncan, Kristina, Mike, Lisa, Rebecca, Amy, Rebeka, Paula, Alberto, Pedro, and many more, and we are proud to be part of it!

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The OCP team on the day Switchback Vineyard became certified organic in 2015.

Congratulations to the entire team at Okanagan Crush Pad Winery on your fifth birthday; we are so proud of all of you.

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

Meet Row #38 at Okanagan Crush Pad #withTownHall

By Kathleen Beveridge

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, are our client (although sometimes they are), or even are a person.

This week #withTownHall, is a little bit different as in celebration of Earth Day we introduce you to Row 38 at Okanagan Crush Pad‘s Switchback Vineyard-named after our own Leeann Froese.

This is Row 38, named after Town Hall's own Leeann Froese, at Switch Back Vineyard.

This is Row 38, named after Town Hall’s own Leeann Froese, at Switchback Vineyard.

If you weren’t aware, Switchback Vineyard was certified organic last August so we thought we’d take today to celebrate a piece of the vineyard-especially since it allows us to show you many many #row38selfies!

Leeann taking a typical selfie at her row while visiting the Crush Pad.

Leeann taking a typical selfie at her row while visiting the Crush Pad on a gorgeous sunny day!

Leeann likes to document her visits to Okanagan Crush Pad by taking selfies with her row and has encouraged her network to do the same! It’s a fun way to connect through photos and celebrate the vineyard.

I should say that Leeann isn’t the only one with a row named after her but she encourages selfies be sent to her when visitors come upon or seek out row 38.

These are just a few of those who have risen to the challenge.

Capturing Okanagan Crush Pad owner Christine Coletta and Toques and Truffles, Katie Marks in the act of #row38selfie!

Capturing Okanagan Crush Pad owner Christine Coletta and Toques and Truffles, Katie Marks in the act of #row38selfie!

Editor-in Chief of Western Living, Anicak Quinn at Row 38.

Editor-in Chief of Western Living, Anicka Quinn at Row 38.

Row 38 -not quite a selfie- with Derek Thompson

Row 38 -not quite a selfie- with Derek Thompson

Say hello to professional cook Dixie May Kunicky in this #row38selfie

Say hello to professional cook Dixie May Kunicky in this #row38selfie

Christine Campbell, Girls Go Grape, looks great in her #row38selfie

Christine Campbell, Girls Go Grape, looks great in her #row38selfie

Vancouver's 30 Day Adventurer Marc Smith with row 38's namesake.

Vancouver’s 30 Day Adventurer Marc Smith with row 38’s namesake.

Town Hall's graphic designer Felicia Fraser made sure she took a #row38selfie on her trip last summer.

Town Hall’s graphic designer Felicia Fraser made sure she took a #row38selfie on her trip last summer.

Writer and business owner Jackie Kai Ellis at row 38.

Writer & business owner, Jackie Kai Ellis at row 38 at Okanagan Crush Pad.

 

It's only natural South Van Little League would make an appearance at row 38.

It’s only natural South Van Little League would make an appearance at row 38.

David Lancelot, a Kelowna tour operator, joins in on the fun.

David Lancelot, a Kelowna tour operator, joins in on the fun.

Kieron Gallagher showing row 38 some love with a big hug.

Kieran Gallagher showing row 38 some love with a big hug.

Social media marketer Rebecca Coleman is all smiles with row 38.

Social media marketer Rebecca Coleman is all smiles with row 38.

Big hello for Marilyn working the vineyard angles at row 38.

Big hello for Marilyn working the vineyard angles at row 38.

Deborah Skreslet under the Okanagan sun at row 38.

Deborah Skreslet under the Okanagan sun at row 38 at Switch Back Organic Vineyard.

Okanagan Crush Pad's own Rebeka gets in on the row 38 photography action.

Okanagan Crush Pad’s own Rebeka gets in on the row 38 photography action.

Here's Kayla of UnCorkBC with pure #row38selfie skill shining through.

Here’s Kayla of UnCorkBC with pure #row38selfie skill shining through.

Leeann is excited wine journalist Treve Ring is hanging out at row 38.

Leeann is excited wine journalist Treve Ring is hanging out at row 38.

Taryn Liv Parker's book makes an appearance at row 38.

Tarynn Liv Parker’s book makes an appearance at row 38.

Triple threat! Robin, Linda Horn and friend make this an epic #row38selfie

Triple threat! Robin, Linda Horn and friend make this an epic #row38selfie

Will you help us say hello to Row 38 and celebrate Earth Day this week?

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

Summerland Winery Okanagan Crush Pad Heads to Europe for Prowein

We’ve got some big news for one of our BC wine clients!

Summerland’s Okanagan Crush Pad will be making its first foray into the European market, debuting at ProWein Dusseldorf March 13 to 15.

OCP-Switchback-Vineyard-Building-Sunset-Credit-Lionel-TrudelEstablished in 2011, Okanagan Crush Pad’s reputation has grown quickly in regard to their efforts in organic growing and natural wine making. Owner Christine Coletta credits international consultants Italian winemaker Alberto Antonini and Chilean soil expert Pedro Parra for the winery’s vision. While Antonini has been working with the winery since 2010, Parra joined the winery team in 2012 in order to choose and design a new vineyard site, Garnet Valley Ranch. Its first harvest will be this year.

OKCrushPadsept2015-107“We are all on the same page with respect to the direction we are traveling. The real heavy lifting falls to our viticulture and winemaking teams who have followed the road map drawn by Antonini and Parra perfectly,” notes Coletta.

OCP-Concrete tanks Credit Lionel Trudel

The winery is capable of 35,000 cases annually and initially developed as the first purpose-built custom crush winery in Canada. While Okanagan Crush Pad crafts their portfolio wines Haywire and Narrative exclusively in concrete tanks, they also choose to focus on small lots of premium wines.
OKCrushPadsept2015-264 OKCrushPadsept2015-274
The winery team aims to craft wines that showcase the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley and so additives such as yeast and nutrients are not used, except in their bubbles.  “We want the wine community to discover what excites us about our growing region, and we feel Prowein is an excellent place to start,” said Coletta.
 
OKCrushPadsept2015-103

Representing the winery at Prowein will be owner Christine Coletta, her daughter Alison Scholefield, winery business partner David Scholefield, and brand ambassador Michael West. The natural wines from Haywire will be showcased, made from grapes grown on Switchback Organic Vineyard, as well as their Ancient Method sparkling wine from the Narrative roster.

NOTE to those headed to Prowein: go see Haywire with all the Canadian wineries, who will be located in Hall 9/D48.

Take a photo of yourself with the winery principals or the wines and send it to us on social media @townhallbrands. Tag it #gohaywire #prowein – we can’t wait for you to meet our amazing clients!

 

 

Looking Ahead to the Grape Harvest in BC

By Leeann Froese

As we ease back into our work week after a long weekend to celebrate this great province, we reflect on how it has been a long, warm spring and summer across BC.

Weather, growing conditions, watering restrictions and threat of fire all could impact the upcoming grape harvest, depending on which grape growing region you are in.

Could this be one of the earliest harvests on record in BC? How are things looking so far?

Laura Kittmer, media relations manager at the British Columbia Wine Institute states “It’s been a very hot summer in BC this year; many wineries are reporting their grapevines to be about two weeks ahead right now, which could mean early wine harvest.”

We checked in with our clients in different parts of the province for an update, which follows.

Let us know if you need more info, photos, or wish to interview anyone quoted below. Amy @ townhallbrands.com / 604-321-3295

 

Okanagan – Summerland – Okanagan Crush Pad – Christine Coletta, owner

OCP-Christine-Coletta-4-Credit-Lionel-Trudel“At Okanagan Crush Pad we are more than half way into yet another great season in the Okanagan. But as we like to remember, it isn’t over until it’s over, and the next three months are the most crucial to shaping vintage. Will we get those cooler fall days with cold nights that allow for hang time that creates the phenolic* ripeness and natural acidity that we all crave? Or will there be a quick, sharp finish to the growing year that leaves us with high sugars, resulting in wines with higher than normal alcohol levels? Time will tell.

An early spring and unseasonably warm summer has challenged viticulturists throughout the valley. We did not get the typical rainfall we expect in June and the rest of the summer has been dry and hot. A careful watch on irrigation levels has been required.

Bountiful crop sets with large cluster formations and small berry size should result in some excellent wines next year. The early spring start will guarantee that most crops will finish on time and viticulturists will surely be pleased about that. With veraison** starting we anticipate a late September /early October harvest. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the weather continues to co-operate as we eagerly anticipate yet another outstanding year.

As far as water use goes, vineyards used significantly less water than tree fruits, and vineyards with drip irrigation, even less than vineyards with overhead irrigation. Our home organic vineyard, Switchback Vineyard, used seven inches of irrigation water a year compared to the standard 19 inches. At this point the Okanagan is on water restrictions, but this is an annual occurrence and nothing out of the ordinary as is being experienced in the lower mainland.

From the forest fire situation, there has been absolutely zero impact from fires and smoke in our area. A few people have said on social media that they are concerned that the smoke can impact the harvest. This kind of talk is a little on the sensational side as smoke would have to be within close proximity (not 50 km away) and for an extended period of time (not a day or two) to have any impact on grape quality.”

 

Vancouver Island – Blue Grouse – Bailey Williamson, winemaker

_DerekFord_BlueGrouseportraits1505218765“Many in the Cowichan Valley have long stood by the ideology of dry farming, and this year they may reconsider this dogma.

At Blue Grouse we hope to have drip irrigation throughout the whole vineyard by next season; we have been irrigating where we can, and it shows a marked difference in the vine health.

Smoke has not been an issue for us as the fires are not burning close by or the smoke is blowing the other way.

Our issue is that vineyard labour has always been a huge issue and will be for the foreseeable future. In a small grape growing region it is even more of a challenge because there is no labour pool to draw from: seasonal, foreign or otherwise.

Very often we pick the grapes based on disease pressure, and hope for phenolic ripeness. At this moment the extreme heat has given way to more seasonal averages which could very well have us harvest a bit early, but not super early. If the rain holds off and the grapes are a week ahead of usual we could be picking in the sun rather than the rain. This would be a great boon for both quality and morale.

I generally don’t like to count my chickens before they hatch, and Mother Nature always has a trick or two up her sleeve, so I am cautiously optimistic, and hopeful.”

 

Okanagan – Naramata – Serendipity Winery – Judy Kingston, owner

Serendipity-Judy-Kingston-6

“At Serendipity we are lucky that there are no water restrictions on agricultural properties in the Naramata bench.

The smoke cover here was far less than in most parts of the province, almost to the point that it was less than normal. We had maybe five days of smoke, and the kind of smoke damage that CedarCreek and St Hubertus had in 2003 is not anticipated at this time. That was a rare occurrence.

We have seen few if any 40 degree days on the Naramata bench, we had a few that were kissing 40 degrees. The south valley has seen a few. We haven’t seen the vines shut down yet, but we have in past seasons. At this point, veraison is just kicking in, showing up in our Pinot Noir field and our Syrah field. Southern regions have veraison in full-swing.

Everyone needs to take a reminder that grape vines are one of the most adaptive species out there. They can withstand stress or difficult conditions.

This year’s harvest looks great. We knew at the beginning of the season that it was going to be an early start to the growing year and a hotter year, so we have taken measures to make sure that the grapes mature properly and not too quickly. Without careful farming practices, there could be a risk that the brix*** accumulate in the berries faster than the phenolics do. This year’s harvest could be fantastic, but it is impossible to say how the harvest is going to be until the grapes are in the press. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

We look forward to picking the Pinot for bubble in the last week of August. Katie is looking forward to harvesting in shorts and a tee shirt, as we anticipate harvest for our regular table wines to start in early September, well ahead of schedule.”

 

Fraser Valley – Singletree – Andrew Etsell, viticulturist

View More: http://typeaphotography.pass.us/onetree

“This year has the potential to be the best year I have seen in a decade. The grapes are 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. At Singletree our Siegerrebe is already at verasion and the lack of rain has made mould a non-issue. This is the first year I have seen the Fraser Valley grapes keeping pace with the Okanagan. The only issue I foresee is that with so little rain our tonnage will be down from last year, but the quality of grapes will be far superior to what we have seen in the past from the Valley.”

 

Kamloops – Monte Creek Ranch – Galen Barnhardt, winemaker
DSC_8036 copy“The 2015 at Monte Creek Ranch season got off to a roaring start, bud break arrived 10 days early and an unbelievably hot start to the summer has pushed us 2.5 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule at veraison. The period between veraison and harvest is the most crucial by far, we are hoping for more moderate temperatures so that phenolic ripeness will occur before sugar levels get too high.

Though there have been many water restrictions in the province, we are fortunate that grapes are quite drought resistant. We practice deficit irrigation within our own vineyards and typically only use 20% of our water license in any given season. We have also been quite lucky and have avoided any smoke taint so far – a bit of recent rain should help matters. If Mother Nature can play nice for another six weeks then we should have a phenomenal harvest.”

 

So there you have it; no one has a crystal ball, but things are looking good so far for the 2015 BC grape harvest.

 

*Phenolic – are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in grapes, which give a wine its profile; includes tannins that occur in grape skins, seeds and stems as well as other complex chemical compounds that will help to define a wine’s character

**Veraison – a grape-growing term meaning when the grapes change colour – the onset of ripening in the grapes.

***Brix – the measure of sugar

 

It’s OK to have opinions – and 4 other things I have learned in business


By Leeann Froese

5 Things I have learned on our 2nd Anniversary

I am not sure how that happened so fast, but our little agency is two years old this month.

Andrew and I want to thank our amazing team and our clients for allowing us to us create brands and get the word out on things that celebrate living well: wine, food, hospitality, financial planning, film, and sport.

Clockwise, from left: me, Laurisha Bardal, Andrew von Rosen, Felicia Fraser, Ali Harris, Sujinder Juneja, Kathleen Beveridge, Amy Chen and Carole Morton

Clockwise, from left: me, Laurisha Bardal, Andrew von Rosen, Felicia Fraser, Ali Harris, Sujinder Juneja, Kathleen Beveridge, Amy Chen and Carole Morton

I have been learning new lessons everyday, and wanted to share a few things that rank at the top of my mind as we celebrate the start of year three #withTownHall.

I’d love to know, if you own a business, what are you learning? Maybe we can learn from each other? Listed as a countdown, but not in strict order:

5. It’s OK to have opinions – even if they are unpopular

For much of my career I only cared about being a people pleaser. I still possess this trait, and our team also shares this trait, but not at the expense of giving bad advice or being untruthful.

My mentor, Christine Coletta, instilled in me the saying ‘we’re not here for a haircut’, meaning that people don’t look to my expertise so I can blow smoke, or not make things happen. As such, people can count on our team for good content and to get things done.

I have also realized since opening Town Hall that after almost 20 years in the industry I have knowledge to share and I should provide not only expertise, but also the truth and my own opinions, especially if they defend clients, and even if these opinions or truths are unpopular or are not what people had hoped to hear.

So now, I give my complete opinion when asked, or call out situations when I need to. An example of this is my recent post about those who ask for wine donations. Sorry, everyone who wants free wine.

4. The right team is everything

Clockwise, from left: me,  Felicia Fraser,  Andrew von Rosen,  Carole Morton, Laurisha Bardal, Sujinder Juneja, Amy Chen & Kathleen Beveridge

Clockwise, from left: me, Felicia Fraser, Andrew von Rosen, Carole Morton, Laurisha Bardal, Sujinder Juneja, Amy Chen & Kathleen Beveridge

There is no way that Andrew and I could deliver strong programming to our clients without the contributions of a strong design and communication team. I’m so proud of the work that our team does to create identities and raise profiles.

It has taken the full two years, with some personalities coming and going (and this may continue as the business evolves) but when the fit is right, as it currently is, the culture and work output can be magic.

Thank you Sujinder, Felicia, Amy, Laurisha, Ali, Lindsey, Kathleen, Lindsey, our newest member, Carole, and our consultants Alana and Irene, for being so key in the team’s success. We would be nowhere without you all!

3. A home office can only hold so much

We are seeking a new space, and ideally, by our 3rd birthday we will be in a different office. We are working with a realtor but the Vancouver market is hot. Wish us luck!

2. We need to tell people what else we do

Many people don’t realize we are a full service agency and think that we only offer publicity services, or that I am singularly a PR person.

So can you please help it be known: we offer packaging, media relations, social media outreach, logo and graphic design, advertising campaigns, events and marketing strategy.

Also, we are not the popular Joseph Richards Group owned Townhall Public House.

We named our company “Town Hall” based on collaboration, which we feel is so important, especially in this era of crowd-sourced information and real-time customer feedback.

It is our constant goal to be a lifestyle destination, and deliver projects that inspire and celebrate the good life.

1. We are just getting started

In the scheme of a growing business we are really just getting started. The learning curve for sure is super steep.

I was looking after a lot of the agency work at Coletta and Associates before we closed the doors there, but there’s nothing quite like being the one who’s the air traffic controller and holding the bag and making sure that everybody’s rent gets paid.

We are super thankful to our clients who believe in what we’re doing at our little agency. We truly love you!

Life is too short to work with people you don’t like and products you don’t fall in love with.

Andrew and I thank you

Andrew and I thank you

We thank everybody for coming along for our ride #withTownHall

We are very social with what we do – so converse with us on your favourite social network @townhallbrands.

Keep up with what we do and talk to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

We look forward to what the next year brings!

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.

 

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.

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 Alison Scholefield 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 Alison Scholefield.

If you like this post please feel free to share it so others can meet her too!

alison scholefield

Alison Scholefield is the sales ambassador for Summerland winery, Okanagan Crush Pad, representing her family’s wines Haywire and Narrative.

Perhaps her future was fated at an early age. Visitors to the Canadian booth at Vinexpo in 1992 might have seen Alison happily colouring under the table while Mom, Christine Coletta, poured Icewine.

Back in those days Alison’s nickname was ‘Bub’ and now Haywire’s much loved sparkling wine carries her name. (Look for the Bub where fine wines are sold.)

Alison loves being a part of her family’s business and and having the opportunity to be involved in Vancouver’s amazing wine and food culture

Can you please say hello to Alison with a comment – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter so more people can meet her too!