Frozen Rosé Pops ft. Evolve Cellars

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It’s no secret that frozen Rosé is the hottest drink of the summer. With the combination of the long weekend and this insane heatwave, it’s the perfect time to try your hand at creating this cocktail that is as beautiful as it is delicious.

The best part about this cocktail is that the honey, blueberries, and wine are all from BC – perfect for celebrating BC day!

Let us know if you’ll be celebrating BC Day with this recipe. We’d love to see a photo of your Rosé popsicle! Cheers to you.

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(Makes about six 4-oz popsicles.)
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Evolve Cellars Pink Effervesence wine (the leftover are for you to enjoy!)
  • 2 cups lemonade (juice of 2 lemons; 2 cups water; 1/3 to 1/4 cup of Okanagan honey, adjust to your preference)
  • 1/3 cup BC blueberries
  • 6 popsicle molds
INSTRUCTIONS:
 To make the lemonade:
  1. Squeeze juice of two lemons then add into 2 cups of water. Stir gently.
  2. Slowly stir in honey until even.
Optional: Add more/less honey and lemon juice pending taste preference.
Evolve Cellars -2
To make the Rosé Popsicle:
  1. Combine the Rosé wine and lemonade. Stir gently.
  2. Pour mixture into the popsicle mold and insert popsicle stick.
  3. Freeze for ~3-4 hours before adding blueberries in.*
  4. Once blueberries are added, freeze popsicles again until fully frozen.
*Tip: It’s best to wait a few hours for the popsicle to freeze partially before adding in blueberries to the popsicles, otherwise the blueberries will fall to the bottom of the old.

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 

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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

 

So your child has collected too many treats…

halloween-treat-and-wine-quoteBy: Amy Chen

As the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, we said goodbye to Halloween 2016 and hello to the piles of chocolates and candies that your child has collected in the few hours of trick-or-treating.

Instead of trying to give away the mountains of Halloween treats to everyone in the office or anyone that you see in the next few months, why not turn it into a fun #WineWednesday pairing!

Yes, candies and chocolates paired with wine.

It’s inexpensive and fun. Everyone will love you and actually accept your leftover treats. It’ll also save you from the headache of dealing with your child’s sugar-high or melt-down from discovering that you have secretly taken from their stash of treats. It’s a win-win for all.

If you’re (un)lucky enough to not have piles of treats at home or a coworker who has brought in a stash of Halloween treats (secretly taken from their child), there is still time for you to head over to your local grocery store and stock up on those heavily discounted candies and chocolates.

Here’s our suggestion of chocolate and candy pairings but feel free to experiment and let us know what pairs well or not.

Halloween and wine pairing

L to R: Evolve Effervescence, Serendipity Sparkling Truth, Evolve Effervescence Pink, Haywire Pinot Noir, Evolve Riesling, TIME Cabernet Merlot, Haywire The Bub, Narrative Riesling, Blue Grouse Pinot Noir, Haywire Pinot Gris Switchback

  • Fruity candies– Such as Skittles, Starburst
  • Sugar coated chocolate– Such as Smarties and M&Ms
    • Pair sweeter chocolates, especially ones that are sugar-coated, with reds such as Cabernet Franc, for a classic aroma with firm but approachable tannins to balance off the sweetness.

Leave a comment below or tweet us your pairing @TownHallBrands, using the hashtag #WithTownHall.

2016 BC Grape Harvest In Full Swing

 

Would you like images, an interview, or to learn more? Contact Sujinder Juneja for assistance.

According to the BC Wine Institute (BCWI), BC’s cool-climate grape crop is on track for another excellent vintage this year. Hot and dry conditions in the spring led to the earliest bud break on record and the earliest harvest ever for some wineries in the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. The low average temperatures and high rainfall allowed BC grapes to have more time to ripen on the vine and to accumulate flavour and aromatic compounds. This contributes to wines that are fresh, complex and balanced with higher acidity that make them versatile food pairings.

On Vancouver Island

Bailey Williamson, winemaker for Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Duncan on Vancouver Island, is expecting another excellent harvest at the Cowichan Valley estate. A strong growing season in April and May, followed by a cooler June and July than the previous year, led to an elongated flowering and fruit set cycle and allowed the grapes to mature and ripen to classic levels. The Blue Grouse harvest started on September 10, beginning with the popular Siegerrebe, an aromatic white varietal which tends to ripen earliest. After that, there will be a break in harvest until the end of September, when the rest of the grapes will be harvested in earnest. Compared to all the vintages since 2012, this year’s harvest started within a week of normal.

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Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Duncan.

In the Fraser Valley

Conditions on the mainland were similar to Vancouver Island. Andrew Etsell, GM and viticulturist of Singletree Winery in Abbotsford notes that with the warm and dry August, the grapes developed beautiful flavours with balanced acids and sugars. Singletree began its harvest on August 25 – one full week earlier than 2015, and the winery’s earliest harvest on record. “We started with our Siegerrebe, which is evolving into one of our most popular wines,” Andrew shares. “We’re also keeping a close eye on our estate Pinot Noir, which we have just harvested for our first-ever estate sparkling wine. Other estate varietals, such as our Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc, will follow after that. This year’s harvest will not yield as much fruit as 2015, yet the fruit will be clean and very high quality.”

It’s harvest time at Abbotsford’s Singletree Winery.

In the Okanagan – Naramata Bench

After an unseasonably warm spring, followed by an early summer, Serendipity Winery’s Katie O’Kell was concerned that the harvest would take place much earlier than normal at her estate Naramata vineyard. However, the cooler, wetter weather moved in, which allowed the grapes to mature a more moderate pace.

Serendipity’s harvest started on August 29 with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and continued on August 31 with Viognier. With a dry and cool climate, the phenolics (flavour and aromatic compounds) will eventually catch up to the brix (a measure of potential alcohol) that is currently sitting in the low 20s.

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Serendipity Winery’s estate vineyard in Naramata.

Okanagan – South

Likewise, Lawrence Buhler, director of winemaking for ENCORE Vineyards, which produces wines under the TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection labels, is also in the middle of an active harvest. Compared to last year, Buhler and his winemaking team saw a two-day early start to the season on August 17. Harvest has almost been completed for the still whites, with additional harvests to take place in the next two to four weeks for red varietals.

Regarding the balance of the 2016 harvest, Lawrence says the reds are maturing well and the cooler weather is excellent for proper fruit development and sugar accumulation in the berries.

Harry McWatters, president and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards said recently to Global Television, “we had record-breaking temperatures in April and the earliest bud break that I’ve seen in my history in British Columbia. This is my 49th vintage in the wine business and I’ve never seen a harvest this early. What it does is even in the fringe areas, where the grower may be pushing their limit as far as what they’re growing or the amount of crop they’ve got, it gives them a bit bigger window to mature that fruit to its optimum level. It’s a good thing.”

Indeed it is, Harry. And although the wineries – from Vancouver Island to the Fraser Valley to the Okanagan – are right in the middle of an exciting harvest, we already can’t wait to taste the finished wines starting next spring.

evolve-vineyard

A view towards the lake at Evolve Cellars in Summerland.

 

Town Hall Brands: Specializing in wine, food and hospitality

Town Hall Brands, based in Vancouver BC, build brands and promotes them. We offer marketing strategy, graphic design, packaging, promotional campaigns and PR, and social media outreach.

Can we help you with a story? If it comes to a story in need in wine, we can help or send you to the right place.

These applauded BC wines call for an Encore!

Hot Client News!

Encore Family Shot

We’re taking a moment heading into the long weekend to #raiseaglassto one of our amazing clients and their winemaker Lawrence Buhler. The results of the NorthWest Wine Summit are in and it’s safe to say that ENCORE Vineyards, parent company of Evolve Cellars, McWatters Collection and TIME Winery, and their winemaker deserve a round of applause for their recent landslide of awards.

The Superlative Awards

“Best” Category – Evolve Cellars Riesling 2015

Evolve View and Wine-Chris Stenberg-6599

Jerry Mead Awards:

Best Value Wines: Evolve Cellars Rosé 2015, Evolve Cellars Riesling 2015

Gold

Evolve Cellars

  • Riesling 2015
  • Rosé (Merlot & Pinot Blanc) 2015

McWatters Collection

  • “HMC” Chardonnay 2013

HMC Family

TIME Winery

  • Meritage (39% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc) 2013

ckstenberg-8824Silver

Evolve Cellars

  • Gewürztraminer 2015

McWatters Collection

  • “Meritage” 60% Cabernet Sauvignon (three clones) 20% Merlot (two clones), & 12% Cabernet Franc (one clone) 2012

TIME Winery

  • Cabernet Franc 2014
  • Chardonnay 2013
  • Meritage (white blend: 68% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Sémillon) 2014

Bronze

Evolve Cellars

  • Cabernet Merlot 2014
  • Pinot Blanc 2014
  • Pinot Gris 2015
  • Sauvignon Blanc 2014

 

ENCORE Vineyards Ltd., is a progressive Okanagan-based company, and home to TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and McWatters Collection.

The ENCORE team is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 49-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond is the ENCORE director of sales and marketing, offering lifelong wine industry insight. Lawrence Buhler is ENCORE’s director of winemaking, who has experienced more than 16 vintages in Ontario, British Columbia, Chile, Argentina, and Australia. He will oversee the company’s growing portfolio of premium British Columbia wines.

Congratulations winemaker Lawrence; the Town Hall Brands team awaits your encore!

Meet Dino Pascoa #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 Dino Pascoa.

Dino Pascoa withTownHall

After more than 20 years in the restaurant business Dino joined the wine industry in 2007 and trained through the ISG Sommelier certification as he made the move to sell wine from all over the world. He is a sales representative with Vancouver-based agency The Wine List.

Next year Dino will celebrate his 10th year in wine sales. Over the past decade he has proven his expertise in wine, food and service, and has a strong reputation for loyalty and a desire to go above and beyond for his customers. He prides himself on the solid relationships he has created.

We are pleased to work with Dino via our client ENCORE Vineyards, parent to Evolve Cellars, McWatters Collection and TIME Winery.

A side note about these wineries – their wines are featured all weekend at the 10th Anniversary of the Chefs’ Table Society of BC Spot Prawn Festival.

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

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

Meet Justin Darnes of Drinks Undressed #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 Justin Darnes.

Justin Darnes of Drinks Undressed #withTownHall

Justin Darnes is one of Vancouver’s cocktail masters and currently managing the bar at Mission in Kitsilano.

Justin has also created his own YouTube channel, ‘Drinks Undressed’ where he creates cocktails that are easy and cheap for the masses to replicate at home or when hosting a party. So far there are 22 episodes with no signs of stopping.

In January, you’ll be able to see Justin take wines from our clients Evolve Cellars, Serendipity Winery, and TIME Estate Winery and incorporate them into various cocktails.

With all this in mind, can you please say hi to Justin? Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Newly released: What makes Riesling a “BC” Riesling?

By: Amy Chen

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Karl Kliparchuk, BC wine writer, has published an extensive analysis of BC’s Riesling.

As the world’s 20th most grown grape varietal, Riesling is said to have originated from the Rhine region of Germany during the 15th century. Over time, Riesling made its way to Canada, where it is most commonly used to produce stunning Icewine in Ontario and table or sparkling wines, like the Summerhill Cipes Brut, in British Columbia (BC).

Every wine lover knows the importance of terroir in influencing the taste and flavour of a wine. Even if BC is a relatively young wine region, it still has its unique terroir that defines this region.

According to the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI), there are currently 440 acres of Riesling grapes planted throughout vineyards in BC. Regardless of the winemaking style, BC’s Riesling is fairly balanced and acidic.

The general flavour profile for Riesling ranges from fruity flavours of pear, apple, stone fruits, to herbal, citrusy, and floral notes. Minerality and petrol is occasionally tasted in older vintages. It’s also dry to sweet with a light to medium body.

This seems like a wide spectrum of tasting notes for Riesling. So, is there a more specific and distinct flavour profile that is unique to BC Riesling? What makes BC Riesling special?

Acclaimed wine, food and travel writer, Karl Kliparchuk of MyWinePal began to explore this question from the angle of soil. Karl collected BC Riesling (mostly from 2014 vintage) from 35 wineries in various wine regions of BC, including samples from our clients: Evolve Cellars, and Haywire / Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland, Monte Creek Ranch in Kamloops, Mt. Boucherie Winery in West Kelowna, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna.

Evolve 2014 Riesling

Evolve 2014 Riesling ($16.99)- Lime juicy with floral notes and a touch of honey sweet. Well balanced citrus and peach, smooth and full-bodied with a seamless palate. Pairs well with crab cakes, other seafoods, Asian cuisine (think red curry), or sweet and spicy dishes.

OCP Mike Bernardo Riesling Cabinett 2014

Mike B Riesling Cabinett 2014 ($25.00)- This Riesling was made in a stainless steel tank and a concrete egg to build complexity and showcase a bright acid and mineral style. This wine stopped fermentation naturally, leaving a touch of sweetness which balances the wine magically. Lemons, lime, and pure fresh Okanagan minerality all lead to a bracing zing that only Riesling can deliver.

Monte Creek Ranch 2014 Riesling ($16.99)- This classic Riesling beauty entices with a brilliant green gold colour and aromas of kiwi, lime rind, wet stone, and honey. Mouth watering acidity and a long, flavourful finish that will make you crave more. Harvested October 13th, 2014.

Mt Boucherie 2013 Riesling

Mt. Boucherie Winery 2013 Riesling ($16.00)- An off-dry white. Refreshing stone fruit, apricot, peach and a hint of citrus and green apple on both the nose and the palate. Pair with smoked salmon, fish tacos or a broccoli and apple salad.

Summerhill 2014 Organic Riesling

Summerhill 2014 Organic Riesling ($22.95)- This classic version under-went a cold stabilized stop of fermentation resulting in a balanced, off-dry wine with low alcohol. Pair with egg dishes such as quiche, frittata or omelette. Also try pairing with seafood, salads and tapas style meals or just enjoy as a sipping wine with friends.

His months-long analysis included an extensive comparison of the tasting notes, soil and geographic region of Riesling throughout BC.

The body of work that Karl developed is unlike anything done in the past, and is such a gift to both the wineries who have been evaluated, as well as the industry at large.

To better guide you through understanding BC Riesling, Karl divided his research into several parts, all of which offer an impressive and comprehensive insight into this aromatic varietal in BC.

What’s your experience with BC Riesling? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet us @TownHallBrands to start the discussion.

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.

Meet Christa-Lee McWatters Bond #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 Christa-Lee McWatters Bond.

Christaleemcwattersbond

She’s been in the BC wine industry ever since she was born, and loves every aspect of promoting British Columbia’s wine and food.

After growing up in her family’s winery, Sumac Ridge, which is now owned by Constellation Brands, Christa-Lee went on to open a restaurant with her husband Cameron Bond which is now one of the most popular restaurants in the Okanagan Valley, Local Lounge | Grill.

And if that isn’t enough, her hands are very full of these days as she is the marketing manager for Encore Vineyards, which is the parent company to TIME Estate Winery under construction in Oliver BC, her family’s legacy label the McWatters Collection, and the brand-new Evolve Cellars in Summerland BC.

Please help us say hello to Christa-Lee?

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