Raise a glass to these two women who balance motherhood and winery work

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There is no one more brave, strong or influential in our lives than our mother. We know how much mothers do for us. They wear many hats. Our mothers are teachers, housekeepers, rule enforcers, book keepers, landscapers, nurses, chefs, counselors, taxi drivers and more. Not only are they all of these things, but their job never ends. 

We checked in with two amazing ladies we work with, to learn what motherhood means to them and how their role at the winery may be similar to their role as a Mom…

Laura Preckel of Singletree Winery, and her family

Laura Preckel of Singletree Winery, and her family

Laura Preckel, Singletree Winery, Abbotsford, BC

Our Q: Is your role at the winery anything like motherhood?

Laura: Yes. I take care of the weddings and events. Each bride and groom that comes and books with us is like having a new baby. My job is to guide them, just as I would in motherhood. My brides need to know what rentals they need, what deadlines to meet. I try to ensure all my brides have everything they need from me to have the most magical wedding and the best experience possible. In motherhood, I try to ensure my kids have a memorable childhood. I provide them with the tools to have a successful, fulfilled and happy life. 

Our Q: What is your favourite thing about being a mom?

Laura: Being a mom is scary! I say to myself all the time, am I doing this right thing? My favourite thing though is when I get hugs, cuddles and they say “I love you.” Nothing makes my heart melt more. When my son reaches up to hold my hand, I know I made the right decision to become a mom. I never really knew how motherhood would change my life. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I love my little creatures and family more than anything in the world. 

Jenny Garlini, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and her family

Jenny Garlini, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and her family

Jenny Garlini, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, Duncan, BC 

Our Q: Is your role at the winery anything like motherhood? If so, how?

Jenny: Yes. I’m behind the scenes making things happen.  There are so many things that I do in my role at the winery that no one knows that I do.  From ordering lunch for a team meeting to keeping track of inventory at four different locations, to submitting PST returns.  

It is the same as motherhood – all the behind the scene jobs….making lunches, signing up kids for camps, getting rid of the outgrown clothes and toys, etc. 

Making the home and winery run smoothly- that is my job.  

Our Q: What is your favourite thing about being a mom?

Jenny: Knowing I can always make my kids feel better.  They come to me for hugs, cuddles, kisses on ouchies, or a talk.  My words and comforts make their tears go away.  Nothing is better than that.

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These two ladies provide only a small window into the work of working moms, all over the world. Happy Mother’s Day to all the super awesome, inspirational, hard working moms out there.

And to the dads who are raising children by being both a Mom and Dad, Happy Mother’s Day to you too! 

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.

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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.

Celebrating Canadian Cuisine on Food Day Canada

By Kathleen Beveridge

Saturday is Food Day Canada, which means we get to celebrate by eating delicious Canadian cuisine.

And we share it @FoodDayCanada with #CanadaISFood #FDC2015

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Vancouver island’s Blue Grouse Estate Winery is all about celebrating local food and wine

Canada is known across the globe for a variety of things: saying “sorry” and “eh”, maple syrup, and being cold (although that idea is out the window lately), but what is often forgotten is how delicious and diverse our local food is across the country. And let’s be honest, that’s silly, considering we eat every single day.

At Town Hall we couldn’t be more proud to have clients that are a part of this movement, from Langley’s Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store’s owner and local food queen, Angie Quaale, who buys local whenever she can and uses it in her recipes; to the members of the Chefs’ Table Society who all stand behind sustainable and local foods, to our winery clients who produce wine sourced from BC grown grapes.

We also have some clients who source locally and sustainably for their restaurants, including Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Sunset Organic Bistro, the new restaurant at Evolve Cellars, and the soon-to-open Perch Restaurant, located in the beautiful new AMS building at UBC. These restaurants support local farms and are Ocean Wise.

Top this list off with our client, the BC Hospitality Foundation, who supports those working in the Food and Beverage industry with financial support for industry workers when the need arises, keeping the Canadian food and beverage movement on its feet.

It’s more important than ever to buy local and support Canada’s economy, but more importantly the people, who put so much into growing and creating nutritious food to fuel us through each day.

Now I’ll go celebrate by picking local blackberries and raising my glass (full of BC wine) to Canadian cuisine.

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Harvesting at Summerhill’s gardens.

How will you celebrate Food Day Canada? In Kelowna, celebrate at Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Sunset Organic Bistro, one of the 250 participating restaurants in Food Day Canada.

Try wine from one of these BC wineries this Food Day Canada:

Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Coolshanagh

Evolve Cellars

McWatters Collection

Monte Creek Ranch

Mt. Boucherie Winery

Okanagan Crush Pad

Serendipity Winery

Singletree Winery

SpierHead Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

TIME Estate Winery

Start your summer sipping at a gala gathering of BC wineries

See you at the BCWAS 10th Anniversary Gala Event!

Happy #WineWednesday, British Columbia!

FaceBookCover-Cheers1Help the BC Wine Appreciation Society celebrate its 10th Anniversary, at a gala tasting overlooking the city. A whopping 48 BC wineries will be on hand to offer a true taste of the varied terroirs of BC.

April 16 at the Diamond Ballroom. Tickets are $49 and selling fast!

We are proud because many of our clients are going to be there to offer the attendees a taste, and, we will also have a Town Hall table! Come and visit us and taste wines from

40 Knots Winery

Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Mt. Boucherie Winery

Serendipity Winery

Singletree Winery

TIME Estate Winery

Join us at our table and meet Andrew Etsell from Singletree – Fraser Valley’s newest winery as well as Judy Kingston from Naramata’s Serendipity.

Our lovely clients SpierHead will also be there, hosting their own table, so be sure to say hello to them and have a taste.

Below are all the details:

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 Event Information

  • What- BCWAS 10th Anniversary Gala Event
  • Date- Thursday, April 16th, 2015
  • Time- 7:00pm to 10:00pm
  • Location- Diamond Ballroom, 1495 West 8th Avenue, top floor of Masonic Centre
  • Ticket Price- $49.00 per person. Tickets available online.

What to expect?

  • Discover & Sip– Taste more than 95 SKUs from wine regions across BC, including the Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Naramata, West Kelowna and many more.
  • Scenic View- Enjoy beautiful scenery of Vancouver as you mingle with like minded wine lovers inside the Diamond Ballroom.
  • Meet & Greet- You will have the opportunity to meet winery principals from select wineries.
  • Take home your tasting experience- Tasted a wine that you like but don’t want to order a whole case from one winery? No problem. Bring your credit card and you can buy as few as 3 bottles of wines from any winery to make a mixed case.

Winery Regions to Discover:

BC wineries have so much to offer and these amazing vintners are making the trip to Vancouver to help the BC Wine Appreciation society kick off this milestone of 10 years of celebrating the wines of BC!