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.

Singletree Welcomes the Harvest with Community Social

According to general manager Andrew Etsell, visitation at Mt. Lehman’s Singletree Winery is up more than 100% over last year. “We’re not just busy on the weekends, but every day, Wednesday through Sunday. This is because more and more people, especially from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, are realizing there’s a new winery literally at their back door. Through tastings at trade and media events, along with strong accolades from wine journalists, the word is getting out there about Singletree.”

singletree family

The Etsell family welcomes you to Singletree Winery in Mt. Lehman, BC.

Next up for #winelover-s is the winery’s first annual Mt. Lehman Community Social, on Saturday, August 20, from 5:30pm until late. It’s a free event for the community to connect, socialize, and come together as one. All are invited to bring a favourite dish to share at a potluck, family-style feast, with the Mt. Lehman Community Association sponsoring live music from Langley’s alternative folk-rockers, Prairie Dance Club.

New vintages of Singletree wine will be available for purchase by the glass or by the bottle, alongside craft beer on tap from a local brewery, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Laura Preckel of Singletree says, “We want to bring old neighbours and new friends together. We’re inviting the Mt. Lehman community, their friends and family to bring a dish and to raise a glass with us. It’s about giving back to our community through sharing. And what a better way to do that than with a glass of wine?”

Indeed, wine lovers are increasingly adventurous and are not only seeking wine that reflects a sense of place, but are interested in unique vineyard experiences.

“We’ve been holding more winery events, including our popular concert series, and our (usually sold out)  painting parties in the vineyard,” says Andrew.

Singletree painting party

Singletree’s popular painting parties beside the vineyard are often sold out in advance.

The winery is very foodie and family-friendly. Visitors to the tasting room can purchase specially-selected local cheese, charcuterie, fresh breads and crackers from the wine shop, and take them to its newly-licensed picnic area, where they can also enjoy wines by the glass or by the bottle. It’s al fresco dining at its best!  Plus – the family lends everyone a picnic basket with glasses, plates and cutlery, to complete the experience. There are always games and toys for kids at the picnic area, and families are encouraged to get up close and personal with the vineyards that surround the winery and tasting room.

“We’ve also been receiving numerous requests for onsite weddings,” continues Laura. “Surrounded by vineyards and farms, with mountains in the background, it’s the perfect site for a rustic valley wedding.”

Singletree at night

Singletree at night offers fun and excitement for the whole family.

Up next for the winery is arguably the most important event of the year… the HARVEST!

The weather in April and May was extremely hot, which gave an early boost to the vines. Although June and July have been slightly cooler than normal, if trends continue, Singletree can expect another great vintage in the Fraser Valley. Bud break started in the first week of March, four weeks ahead of schedule. Andrew is projecting to start harvest in mid-September. This will be about two weeks later than 2015, but still earlier than average vintages. They’ll start the 2016 harvest with their popular and early-ripening Siegerrebe (“get siggy with it”), followed by Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, with Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc to follow. Andrew is carefully watching his two acres of Pinot Noir, which he will use for Rosé and – spoiler alert – Singletree’s first-ever vintage of traditional method sparkling wine.

For more on Singletree, visit www.singletreewinery.com.

Naramata Winemaker Brings International Experience To BC

Note:
Katie O’Kell is available for interviews. To schedule, please contact Sujinder Juneja | 604-367-6745 .

Serendipity Winery’s Katie O’Kell has just returned from a three-month stage at New Zealand’s ultra-modern Delegat Wine Estate, where she worked harvest for the 2016 vintage. This new winemaking experience falls on the heels of O’Kell earning her winemaking certificate from UC Davis in California, where she received an impressive 100% on her final exam. O’Kell brings this newly-acquired knowledge and experience to the cellar at her family-owned, Naramata-based winery.

In Bloom

Katie New Zealand Crew

Serendipity’s Katie O’Kell (back row standing, 5th from left) along with her fellow international winemakers in New Zealand.

Becoming a winemaker was not O’Kell’s first career choice, but this role has evolved naturally since her mother Judy Kingston purchased the land on what would become Serendipity Winery in 2005.

O’Kell was born and raised in Toronto and received her BSc in Biology with a specialization in microbiology and pathogens at Hamilton’s McMaster University. After ruling out medical school, O’Kell was accepted into law school, but during a break between her undergrad and the start of the next session, she traveled to Naramata to assist her mother. She had already spent a few summers helping at the winery, so knew what she was getting into… almost. O’Kell ended up loving the work at the winery so much that she deferred her law school acceptance and stayed on at Serendipity full time since 2011.

Adopting the role of ‘second in command’, O’Kell wears many hats: at the winery, vineyard, and at the wine shop. While she prefers to spend time in the cellar, she has also conducted tastings, acted as a sales representative for the winery, delivered cases of wine to stores and restaurants, and has managed the popular wine club as well as on-site winery events. But since winemaking is her greatest passion, she knew that she needed more than just hands-on experience to truly make her mark.

California Dreamin’IMG_3921

Most budding winemakers recognize that the winemaking certificate from California’s UC Davis is one of the most thorough and respected programs in North America. For the past 18 months, taking breaks only during the BC harvest, O’Kell worked in her spare time to complete the program, designed for those that already work in the industry. The course focuses on quality control and sensory analysis, viticulture, the history of winemaking, and the biology of wine. O’Kell attended video lectures three times per week, successfully handed in weekly quizzes, and completed a new winemaking assignment every two to three weeks, with a final exam for each course. Averaging 95% on her course work, O’Kell scored 100% on her final exam, which she completed in March 2016.

The Land of the Silver Fern

O’Kell wished to further expand her range of experience beyond the Okanagan’s borders, hoping to work a harvest in another wine region. She initially set her sights on Australia so that she could work a harvest during spring in the Southern hemisphere and return in time for the fall vintage in BC. Eventually, she chose New Zealand as its climate and grape varietals are very similar to British Columbia. Proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the pear tree, her mother had also trained at a winery in New Zealand. Ultimately, O’Kell chose Delegat Winery in Blenheim, within the Marlborough region on the South Island, the centre of New Zealand’s wine industry. She was interested in working at an ultra-modern facility that processed varietals similar to those that she worked on at Serendipity, including Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. She also wanted to learn processes that are not widely used in BC, including environmentally progressive clarification and filtration methods.

“I specifically requested to be put on the flotation team at Delegat,” O’Kell says. “It’s a process for removing suspended solids in the wine, using micro-bubbles of food-grade nitrogen injected into the must. It allows a winemaker greater control over the degree of desired clarification, and can improve the efficiency of filtration and water usage. It’s a new technology that’s just beginning to be implemented in the Okanagan, and I want to make sure we’re ahead of the curve.”

Since mid-March 2016, O’Kell worked 12 and-a-half hours a day, with one day off every eight, with a crew that consisted of 12 full time staff, along with 66 international winemakers from France, the Ukraine, the USA, Australia, and Russia; which gave her additional insight on winemaking techniques from across the globe.

“There were some international winemakers finishing up their PhD studies while I was there,” O’Kell notes. “Even though I was focused on one aspect of winemaking, I spent as much time as I could learning about their particular areas of expertise. For example, I learned a lot about new methods of extraction in red wines, efficient cellar management techniques, as well as creative solutions for pump overs, racking, and how to effectively manage tank space. These ideas will be integrated into the work that Bradley [Cooper, Serendipity’s head winemaker] and I do in the cellar this vintage.”

While on this group international experience, each of the visiting winemakers brought a bottle of wine from their home country for comparison and discussion. O’Kell shared Serendipity’s terroir-driven 2014 Rosé, a blend of white and red grapes from her estate vineyard, purpose-planted exclusively for rosé wine.

Home Sweet Home

O'Kell in front of Serendipity Winery's emblematic cellar door.

Katie O’Kell and her winemaking certificate in front of Serendipity Winery’s emblematic cellar door.

Now, armed with valuable international experience and her winemaking certificate, O’Kell plans to fully-integrate what she has learned to the winemaking program at Serendipity, while sharing new tips and tricks with her fellow winemakers on the Naramata Bench. Working alongside Bradley Cooper, O’Kell is putting the final touches on the first vintage of Sparkling Truth, a traditional method sparkling wine made from the 2014 vintage, which has been O’Kell’s pet project. Watch for the Sparkling Truth to be released in August 2016.

Looking forward to the forthcoming harvest this fall, O’Kell says, “I have had the privilege of working with many young winemakers from around the world, and I am inspired by their techniques, and I’m looking forward to bringing new methods and practices to the table at Serendipity. After all, I’m a scientist at heart, and experimenting with new ideas is the most exciting thing about what I do.”

Meet Haywire Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery at the 2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival

By Leeann Froese

Oh it’s on!

 

Haywire and Summerhill will showcase their wines

Haywire and Summerhill will showcase their wines at Wine Fest

Vancouver International Wine Festival runs from February 24 to March 2, 2014. Our Town Hall team is attending various events throughout the festival, and we have two winery clients that are exhibiting: Haywire, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Both will have amazing VQA wines and bubbles you HAVE to try!

Now we will share the details on what you can expect from each of our BC winery clients during the festival, and we have some handy image downloads at the end.

Haywire Winery, Summerland BC

Of special note:

• Haywire will be making its inaugural appearance at this festival

• Meet the Bub herself, Alison Scholefield, who is likely the youngest winery principal in the room (25)

• Haywire is co-owned by Christine Coletta, who is an iconic Canadian wine marketer

The Vancouver Sun has a table and they will also be featuring Haywire at their table

Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire and Switchback Vineyard

Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire and Switchback Vineyard Lionel Trudel Photo

Wines you will find at the Haywire table:

• Haywire Rosé 2011 – $20 New release! #365 days of rosé indeed

• Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012 – $23 Taste the difference of a wine that has been Raised in Concretetm

• Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2011 – $35 Critically-acclaimed, concrete-aged Pinot

• Link to Global Focus: the Bub 2012 – $25 taste why everyone loves this crisp sparkler

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…

Bonus events where you will taste Haywire wines:

BC PAIRED: INDULGE YOUR SENSES – Gamay Noir 2012, Gewürztraminer 2012

25 UNDER $25 – The Bub Traditional Method Sparkling Wine 2012

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 see www.haywirewinery.com – like Haywire on Facebook or follow on twitter @haywirewine

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC

Of special note:

Stephen Cipes is a pioneer of the BC wine industry and the grandfather of BC’s organic wine movement, and you can meet him

Summerhill Cipes Ariel• You are lucky, lucky, lucky that Summerhill is pouring Cipes Ariel at this festival. In late 2012 Summerhill Pyramid Winery held a tasting at Hawksworth where in this fascinating tasting event, celebrated sommelier instructor, wine judge and journalist DJ Kearney guided guests through the taste experience of the lovely Cipes Ariel, side by side with France’s iconic Champagne, Krug Grande Cuvee. The wines were accompanied by a unique tasting menu that celebrated British Columbia ingredients as inspired by the tradition of French degustation, prepared by Chef David Hawksworth and his talented team.

The idea to pour the Ariel beside Krug was sparked by a wine shop host and tour guide from Epernay, (who has worked at both Moët and Krug), who suggested the wine reminded him of the Krug style. Winery CEO Ezra Cipes was inspired to conduct his own research. The media in attendance thought putting the Ariel beside the richness, layered complexity and elegance of the Krug was very brave, and while this was never intended to be a competition, the idea was to illustrate how this special sparkling wine can stand alongside the world’s best. And it did. And it does.

 

• Bonus: taste the Cipes Rose and Cipes Ariel over at the special Vancouver Sun table as well

• Bonus 2: the BC Wine Institute will be pouring Cipes Brut at their table

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Kevin Trowbridge photo

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Kevin Trowbridge photo

Wines you will find at the Summerhill table – All link to the Global Focus of bubbly wines!

• Cipes Brut – $26.95 The winery’s flagship bubble, which has won gold medals internationally every year since its release in 1991

• Cipes Rosé – $26.95 Gold Medal, Top 10 Sparkling Wines of competition – 2013 Effervescents du Monde

• Cipes Blanc de Noirs 2008 (pre release) Sneak peek! Say no more…

• Cipes Ariel 1998 – $85 Gold Medal – 2012 World Wine Awards, Chicago, Illinois; 92 points – Anthony Gismondi; 90 Points: Beverage Testing Institute

Who you might meet:

Founder Stephen Cipes moved to Kelowna in 1987 after a successful real estate career in New York. Ready for a career move to get in touch with the earth, Stephen was horrified when he saw the pesticides sprayed on his new vineyard and immediately transitioned to organic growing. With his jovial, convivial personality, Stephen Cipes is the spiritual guide and visionary behind Summerhill Pyramid Winery. He has so much to share.

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.

Bonus events where you will taste Summerhill wines:

BC PAIRED: INDULGE YOUR SENSES – 2011 Baco Noir, 2010 Cabernets

ALL ABOUT BUBBLY! – Cipes Brut

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 www.summerhill.bc.ca find Summerhill on Facebook or follow the winery on Twitter @summerhillwine.

Enjoy and use these downloads:

Need an image you don’t see here, or more info? Contact our media team leeann@townhallbrands.com or sujinder@townhallbrands.com

Haywire Rosé 2011

Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012

Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2011

Haywire The Bub 2012

Haywire Gamay Noir 2012

Haywire Gewürztraminer 2012

Photo of Okanagan Crush Pad – home of Haywire, credit Lionel Trudel

Do you like the group photo of bottle above? Download a copy.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Rosé

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel 1998

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2011 Baco Noir

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2010 Cabernets

Photo of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, credit Kevin Trowbridge

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Wins Gold in France and Rosé is Named in World’s Top 10 Sparkling Wines

 

Client News – photo download at end of story

Header

 

Suggested Tweet:

Best bubble! @summerhillwine Cipes Rosé named in Top 10 in the world http://bit.ly/1dSKgbY #bcwine #organic

The News:

Cipes Rosé Brut

Cipes Rosé Brut

They have done it again! The Cipes Rosé sparkling wine from Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada’s acclaimed organic and biodynamic winery, has been given a gold medal and named one of the Top 10 Best Sparkling Wines in the World at the 2013 Effervescents du Monde held on November 13-15 in Dijon, Burgundy, France.

Of the 46 gold medals awarded, the Cipes Rosé is the only North American wine to win a medal, as well as make the top 10. Other countries that placed in the top 10 included France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Brazil.

The Effervescents du Monde, now in its 11th year, has established itself as the leading authority on quality sparkling wine. Utilizing strict guidelines, more than 100 international expert judges, including 50% from outside of France, sampled over 600 wines representing almost 30 countries.

The Cipes Rosé is a 100% organic Pinot Noir cuvee grown at multiple vineyard locations around the Okanagan Valley that were planted and are maintained specifically for sparkling wine production to express a crisp, bright style.

Made in the traditional Champagne method, this wine offers notes of raspberry, strawberry, kiwi, blood orange, vanilla, almond and white toast. Extremely versatile, the wine pairs well with charcuterie, salmon, grilled chicken, duck, pork, quiche, roast turkey, or with family and friends.

Perfect for the holidays!

Download the bottle shot here.