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How to Use Events to Build Your Winery Brand

Everyone loves a great time, especially one that involves wine and a gorgeous destination. So why not host an event to attract people to your winery? People who have never heard of your winery before may explore it and taste the wines. Others who already know and love your wine will join you for a celebration and feel more closely aligned with your winery as they enjoy an entertaining experience. Objectives for holding an event are to attract newcomers, retain existing customers, and to ultimately make some sales.

We will start with the simplest idea, which is when people come to the winery and the kind of visitor experience that you give them. Do you offer tours of your production facility or the farm property? Are there opportunities for hands-on experience? Allowing people to get a peek at your production and what you do helps them understand that you are working hard for your finished product; and then they have a greater appreciation for your wine.

Another idea is to hold a fundraiser at your winery for your charity of choice. Fundraisers are a win-win situation for everyone: the people attending feel good about where they're putting their money, you get people into your winery to see what you have (and ideally become a customer), and the charity that you choose benefits from your support and donation.

 Host an event at your winery. Pictured here: Event at Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Host an event at your winery. Pictured here: Event at Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Throughout the year, themed parties are a favourite. Every season offers some fun reason to get together and dress up. From the Academy Awards in the winter, to a cupid’s ball, or a picnic-themed social, to a harvest party or Halloween bash.

For a more informative event, you can invite outside experts to your winery to give a presentation. This is an age of celebrity, so a well-known expert can attract and engage customers.

Hold a seminar. This is a classic way to get people to taste your wine while educating them. You can have a formal, instructional / tutored or guided tasting led by your winemaking team, or maybe a guest sommelier.

The kind of skill set required to coordinate an event is organized, detail-oriented and able to coordinate things in a calm manner. They should know how to budget and understand how to make sure that the cost of the tickets covers the cost of any rentals, wine poured, and staff that is going to work the event.

These are just a few ideas - what are your thoughts? Have we missed any ideas that have been successful for you in getting audiences engaged and attracting them into the winery?

 

Aspirational Okanagan Wineries Form New Group

'The Okanagan Wine Initiative' Members Set to Collaborate and Raise Profile

[Okanagan Valley, BC] Seven leading BC wineries: 50th Parallel Estate WineryCulmina Family Estate WineryHaywire WinesLiquidity WinesPainted Rock Estate WineryPoplar Grove Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery, have formed a partnership, The Okanagan Wine Initiative.

The association groups together these seven Okanagan wineries to share resources and collaborate on varying projects internationally, across Canada, and in their home market, British Columbia. The members share a common passion to drive one-another to excel and adopt best business practices and to help elevate the identity of the Okanagan as a premium wine producing region and superb wine tourism destination.

The seven members found themselves working together over industry issues or attending wine trade fairs abroad and discovered common values and aspirations, most notably around export market development, sustainable business practices and a desire to create terroir driven wines that showcase the Okanagan. Over a year ago, they started informally sharing resources and more recently decided to establish The Okanagan Wine Initiative as a company. Each member has provided significant funding that will support market development and promotional activities. Once the group is firmly established and its processes and activities in place, other likeminded wineries with similar aspirations will be encouraged to join.

The Okanagan Wine Initiative is in no way a replication or replacement for any of the current trade marketing associations in BC. "We are non-partisan and will work closely with all existing trade organizations, in addition to driving our own initiatives," says Liquidity's Ian MacDonald, a key force behind the group's formation. "The Okanagan Wine Initiative is about adding to what is currently being done to elevate awareness and demand for Okanagan wine around the world."

"This group is here to challenge and build one another up to be the best we can be in all areas of our business," says Christine Coletta, co-owner of Haywire Wines in Summerland, BC. 

"Collectively, we offer wines and tourism experiences from north to south, and we create a diverse portfolio, focusing on wines that are signatures of the Okanagan," Coletta continues.

Recently the group came together to host the event 'Farm Friends' following the Alberta BC wine boycott, and also held a public tasting and panel discussion for the Everything Wine tasting Lab in Vancouver. Next up is a series of events in London in mid-May and co-hosting a tour in the Okanagan for seven UK journalists.

"Each of us brings a different skill set to the group and by dividing the work between us, we hope to make fast in-roads," noted Culmina's co-owner Don Triggs. "Our end game is to build our wine region's reputation nationally and internationally."

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About The Okanagan Wine Initiative

The Okanagan Wine Initiative was formalized in 2018 by a group of winery owners seeking to elevate the region's rich and diverse narrative through business excellence and the promotion of quality Okanagan wines outside of British Columbia, Canada.

Founding members include 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Culmina Family Vineyards, Haywire Wines, Liquidity Wines, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

Their mandate is to work together to improve all areas of viticulture, winemaking and winery operations, market development and sales, by sharing resources and expertise, and to go to market as a group under the banner of The Okanagan Wine Initiative. A collection of member wines will be selected annually to benchmark the region's style and diversity at national and international events and tastings.

 

Meet The Okanagan Wine Initiative Founding Members


50th Parallel Estate
50th Parallel Estate, truly one of Canada's exemplary destination wineries, is set in Lake Country on a stunning 61-acre southwest-sloping site. Panoramic lake views, a warm, dry climate, the sun, the lake reflectivity, the slope of the land, and feldspar granite soils combine to provide the perfect place to build an enclave for Pinot Noir, with the first release in 2011.

The winery building was constructed specifically to handle Pinot Noir, utilizing the natural slope of the site and gravity to gently process the grapes, rather than mechanically pumping the juice and skins.

Proprietors Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel invite you to try their internationally-awarded Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines, and in 2018, 50th Parallel opens its new winery fine dining restaurant, event hall, and 'Transparent' tasting room.

 

Culmina Family Estate Winery
Culmina Family Estate Winery is the result of a lifetime of experience in the wine industry for Don and Elaine Triggs. Purchasing raw land in 2007 and joined by their daughter in 2012, the Triggs began developing their new estate, naming it 'Culmina'. Latin for 'peak', they chose the name to reflect not only their lifetime of efforts in the wine industry, but also their desire to coax the highest quality grapes from their Golden Mile Bench terroir.

Culmina's vineyard and winemaking practices are grounded in precision-management and scientific tenets, stemming from a desire to make Icon quality wines that reflect the uniqueness of their terroir, as well as an underlying commitment to sustainable vineyard practices, gentle handling of fruit, and minimal intervention of wine. This philosophy has informed every decision since the project's inception, including the mapping of the vineyard's 44 micro blocks, the design of the winery's state-of-the-art production facility, and the release of a wide number of critically-acclaimed wines from the estate.

 

Haywire Wines
The journey began in 2006 when Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie planted a 10-acre site in Summerland with Pinot Gris and named it Switchback Vineyard. Three years later, after a lot of trial and labour, a tiny crop capable of making 168 cases was harvested. Curiosity won out over practicality, Haywire wines were launched, and there was no turning back. In 2010 consulting Tuscan winemaker Alberto Antonini arrived and the following year, his colleague Pedro Parra, from Chile joined him. The pair make regular trips to advise the winery and vineyard teams and have been instrumental in shaping a vision which includes precision viticulture, organic farming and minimal intervention winemaking. 

In 2011, Coletta and Lornie opened Okanagan Crush Pad, an innovative custom winemaking facility, to give Haywire a home. Today, their venture includes 380-acres of organic vineyard and farmland. Signature wines include Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and traditional method sparkling. Haywire is recognized as making game-changing wines with New Zealander Matt Dumayne at the helm. The team is committed to farming organic wines that let the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley shine through.

 

Liquidity Wines
Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls, uses sustainable, time-tested viticultural practices to provide the finest growing environment for the 100% estate grown vines and hand harvested grapes. 10,000 years ago, glaciers covered the landscape deposited sand and gravel soils on the south-facing property, creating the ideal growing conditions for fruit. Winemaker Alison Moyes' goal is to produce authentic, expressive wines of the highest quality. The winery's 2016 Reserve Chardonnay received the top award at the 2018 Chardonnay du Monde.

Visitors treat their senses when they visit the cutting-edge winery, bistro and gallery. All design aspects of this property have been carefully chosen by the owner, Ian MacDonald, so wine lovers may sample award-winning wines while surrounded by wonderful modern art. Visitors also enjoy delicious, locally-sourced cuisine from the Liquidity Bistro, as they take in the views of the surrounding landscape and the ever-evolving art installations throughout the grounds.

 

Painted Rock Estate Winery
Painted Rock Estate Winery began in 2004, on a 56-acre west sloping property, surrounded by an amphitheatre of rock bench, on the eastern shore of Skaha Lake in south Penticton. The long, hot summer days, in conjunction with ideal air flow and soil structures of the site, allow proprietors John and Trish Skinner to create terroir-driven wines and build a family legacy business.

The Skinners assembled local and international talent to realize their vision for an ultra-premium Okanagan winery, planting the single vineyard estate with Chardonnay and Syrah, in addition to the five Bordeaux varieties. Their consultant, Alain Sutre of Ertus Consulting in Bordeaux, oversees the blending and winemaking team each vintage.

At Painted Rock, John Skinner personally welcomes visitors to the architecturally-distinctive tasting room, to taste the results of his family's shared ambition to make terroir expressive Okanagan wines.

 

Poplar Grove Winery
One of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench, Poplar Grove Winery was founded in 1993. Tony Holler purchased Poplar Grove and became winery president in 2007. Tony's wife, Barbara, owns and operates the Holler's 100 acres of estate vineyards, while their sons, Chris, Andrew, Matthew, and Eric, manage the vineyards with a passionate desire to bring the Okanagan's full potential into each bottle.

Poplar Grove is focused on six core wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a signature blend called The Legacy. Visit Poplar Grove and experience breathtaking views of the Okanagan Valley while sipping on a selection of these signature wines. Stay for afternoon tapas, lunch or dinner at the Vanilla Pod restaurant. While visiting, join the Poplar Grove Wine Club and their journey to make truly great wines.

 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located since 1991 in the Lakeshore district of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, is Canada's largest certified organic winery, BC's first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada's foremost producer of sparkling wine. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, a 200-seat, organic restaurant featuring fresh, seasonal wine paired menus and a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake.

The winemaking philosophy is that organic and biodynamic is the royal road to producing exceptionally beautiful, authentic, terroir-based wine. The portfolio of 100% BC wines has earned the winery the title of 'Canadian Wine Producer of the Year' at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England, as well as numerous international trophies and medals at the highest levels of competition.

Reinvented Annual Spot Prawn Festival Returns to Fishermen's Wharf

Reinvented annual Spot Prawn Festival returns to Fishermen's Wharf

Get your tickets now to celebrate the return of BC's favourite delicacy!

With the new format, media passes are very limited. To apply for accreditation, please visit: https://bit.ly/2uSbqyG 

 

THE SPOT PRAWN FESTIVAL, REINVENTED

On Saturday May 12, 2018, join the Chefs' Table Society of British Columbiafor a celebration of iconic, local delicacy at the 12th Annual Spot Prawn Festival.

Available online: Get your 2018 Spot Prawn Festival tickets.

 

READ ABOUT THE NEW FESTIVAL FORMAT

This year, there are three ways to enjoy the Spot Prawn Festival:

  1. FREE - access to the docks, view cooking demos and more
  2. $10 - Spot Prawn Chowder - to go if you want.
  3. $60 - A grazing style tasting menu with a selection of 6 delicious spot prawn dishes. 

The same family-friendly festival remains with live cooking demos featuring some of Vancouver's top chefs, live music, kid-friendly fun and more! While this part of the festival is free, to enjoy any of the delicious food prepared by our chefs, tickets are required. 

This event is the Chefs' Table Society's main fundraising event so it can continue to provide education, mentorship and sustainability initiatives across the province.

 

 Fresh off the boat BC Spot Prawns. Photo Credit: Frederique Niel

Fresh off the boat BC Spot Prawns. Photo Credit: Frederique Niel

NEW FOR 2018

Instead of a prawn boil, a delicious bowl of decadent Spot Prawn Chowder served with bread from Terra Breads will be available for guests to enjoy.

Tickets $10.00 a bowl (plus tax and service) and is available to go!

Choose to enjoy your Spot Prawn Chowder in one of the following time slots:

  • 11 am to 12 pm (noon)
  • 12 pm (noon) to 1 pm
  • 1 pm to 2 pm
  • 2 pm to 3 pm 

 

NEW: A TASTING MENU OF 6 SPOT PRAWN DISHES

A wonderful idea for Mother's Day weekend: a grazing event to enjoy six delicious spot prawn dishes that showcase the many ways this delicacy can be served.

Dishes will be prepared by some of BC's finest chefs, a nice way to sample various creations and for you to say hello to the chefs as you move between the food stations and savour samples of wine from Evolve Cellars, beer and coffee from Mogiana Coffee.

Two services are available:

  • 11:30 am to 1 pm
  • 1:30 pm to 3 pm

Tickets for the grazing event are $60.00 per person (plus tax and service fee) and include a delicious tasting menu consisting of six spot prawn dishes, wine and beer samples, bread from Terra Breads, and a coffee and treat to end your meal.

The Spot Prawn Festival is made possible due to the generosity of the following sponsors:

 

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Note:

Tickets always sell out and space is limited, so to avoid being disappointed the public is encouraged to buy their tickets as soon as possible.

Photos available here: https://bit.ly/2FiLgd3 

Please stay tuned for the announcement of headlining chefs taking part in this year's festival. 

Groundbreaking (Literally) News from Abbotsford's Singletree Winery

Special Note to Media and Calendar Listings

Singletree Fraser Valley will hold its Spring Release April 14 and 15.

Last year their spring release was so popular that this year they are doing it over two days. Everything will be open for you to taste and try including past vintages. Mark your calendar as this is the event not to miss!

Where: Singletree Winery (5782 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford)

When: Saturday, April 14 and Sunday April 15 (12-6:00pm)

Cost: FREE and open to all. 

For more information and the latest updates, visit Singletree Winery on Facebook.

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Abbotsford's Singletree Winery Opens A Second Location in the Okanagan

'Singletree Naramata Bench' celebrates the home of their red wine grapes

April 6, 2018 [Naramata, BC] The Etsell family, owners of Singletree Winery in Abbotsford British Columbia (BC), proudly announce that they have purchased a property in order to open a second Singletree Winery location in Naramata, BC.

The property they purchased was formerly called Ledlin Family Vineyards and had been open at 1435 Naramata Road, for less than a year before being purchased by the Etsell family for an undisclosed amount.

With some minor renovations to take care of over the coming months first, the Etsells hope to have Singletree Naramata Bench ready to open in time for the summer touring season. They received the keys over the past weekend and were delighted by how friendly and welcoming the Naramata community is already.

Singletree Winery opened in Abbotsford in 2015 after the Etsells decided to expand upon their family's farming operations and make the move into the wine industry. The winery is named Singletree after the single harness yoke which was an essential tool for pioneering farmers from all over the province.

In under three years the winery has established itself as a leader in the Fraser Valley winery community, where they offer a focused lineup of estate-grown wines, and red wines made from grapes grown in Naramata. By purchasing the property in the Okanagan, it allows them to be closer to the vineyards there and also reach wine loving customers in a different part of the province.

"It's a thrill to be able to open a tasting room where we acquire some of our fruit already," remarked winemaker and second-generation owner Andrew Etsell. "The reception has been incredible for the fresh, juicy Fraser Valley white wines we produce, and the luscious reds we make from Okanagan fruit," he continues. "We are excited to offer our whole lineup of Singletree wines to Naramata locals, and visitors too."

As the family has just received the keys and have renovations to make, there are no current photos of the new property. The winery invites people to follow their journey on social media and to sign up for their newsletter at singletreewinery.com to be in the know for all of the winery's official activities.

When the winery opens to the public there will be a ribbon cutting. Media stay tuned for details or contact Genevieve Dufresne or Amy Chen  at Town Hall Brands 604-321-3295 for interview opportunities.

About Singletree:

Singletree Winery Fraser Valley is in the Mt. Lehman area of Abbotsford, and Singletree Naramata Bench opens in 2018. The Etsell family has deep roots in the agricultural community.

With careful attention to their land, they are committed to showcasing the best of British Columbia: the Fraser Valley, which provides a lineup of aromatic, crisp, and juicy wines that showcase this unique terroir; and Naramata Bench in the Okanagan, where the glacial soils and warm climate produces luscious red wines.

Their portfolio includes Siegerrebe, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Late Harvest Kerner, Pinot Noir Rosé, Wild Ferment Siegerrebe, a white blend called Homestead, and Harness, a Bordeaux-style red blend. A traditional-method sparkling wine will be released in 2018. The wines are made by second generation family member Andrew Etsell, under the guidance of consulting winemaker Matt Dumayne.

The Fraser Valley winery is open for visitors Wednesday through Sunday, from 12 noon to 5:30pm.

Visit singletreewinery.com to join the wine club and for more information on picnics, events, weddings and much more.

Cannabis Education at Town Hall Brands with Flower & Freedom

At Town Hall Brands we hosted (possibly the first ever?) cannabis lunch and learn…

Last year when we decided we wanted to pivot our business and extend our services into the cannabis industry, we knew that we had services to share, but we also knew we had knowledge that we need to gain first.

Over the last six months we’ve been working to gather knowledge and meet as many people as we can in the industry. This helps to build up our understanding so that when we put our experience forward with graphic design and publicity, we have a basis to put cannabis-related companies into the spotlight when legalization comes forth. In order to help our educational journey, we had maybe the first-ever lunch and learn for cannabis, for our team, hosted by Bethany Rae from Flower & Freedom.

Flower & Freedom is the brain child of Bethany, a fitness enthusiast and Australian living in Canada. When Bethany rediscovered cannabis as a health and wellness supplement in her early 30s she was inspired to create consumer education, build positive change, and promote a new approach to understanding cannabis. Bethany‘s mission is to educate people so that when they enter into the cannabis world they do so from a place of education, and they start slow and low, with micro doses, and try to go for the products that are going to be right for what they want, whether it be euphoria, relaxation, or pain management.

All nine members of our team attended the session, and we listened with rapt attention and notebooks out as she went over more than 10 different ways to consume cannabis and gave us a show and tell of the methods that are employed for consumption in the medical cannabis world. Many of these things will cross over into the recreational world when legalization occurs. No consumption took place; that is not the intention here. Bethany was very non-judgmental, and patient with the many, many questions we had.

There is still a huge stigma around cannabis, and much education (just like we received) is required. Letting people who are new to cannabis or afraid of it understand that it’s not all about getting blitzed out of your mind and going on a high trip, but rather can be part of a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you’re having deep anxiety, there's something to help you feel more calm; or if you have some pain in your knee or your hip, there are topicals you can apply on the spot; or if you’re looking to have some giggles, there’s ways to do that too.

Here is what our team had to say about the session:

“I want to thank Bethany for coming in and sharing her breadth of knowledge about cannabis with us. The presentation was thoughtfully executed, starting with the science behind this plant, to the different ways cannabis can be used, and then concluding with weighing out some pros and cons. I would recommend this presentation to anyone who is interested in learning more about this subject matter – I wish she could talk to my family! Bethany was able to break down a lot of stigmas around this industry within our team and inspired me to open up the conversation with those around me. Thank you, Bethany.” - Whitney

“I really enjoyed Bethany’s presentation! I would feel totally comfortable having Bethany speak to someone like my mom or nana about cannabis. I also enjoyed learning about some of the science behind cannabis. Bethany is very kind and relatable, and most importantly she dispels a lot of the misconceptions about cannabis culture.” - Maddie

“Bethany was knowledgeable, approachable and gave a fantastic overview of a beginner’s intro to cannabis. I liked her well-rounded self-care approach, that cannabis can be part of the solution to a healthier you, not THE solution. Starting small and slow was great advice. And I trusted her opinion as she seemed to very experienced with all the products she was talking about – good and bad. I appreciate her honesty and openness on this new and rather nerve-wracking topic.” - Felicia

For many people who are unsure about cannabis and don’t know where to start, having an in-home party hosted by Bethany or hiring her to come to your place of work like we did, offers a great way to learn and to demystify what cannabis is about.

 Leeann Froese, Town Hall Brands; Bethany Rae, Flower & Freedom; and Whitney Law, Town Hall Brands celebrate cannabis education

Leeann Froese, Town Hall Brands; Bethany Rae, Flower & Freedom; and Whitney Law, Town Hall Brands celebrate cannabis education

Local Food Expert Angie Quaale Publishes Eating Local in the Fraser Valley

New book is a food-lover's guide to British Columbia's culinary rich region

 

News Angles: Local food guide, explore BC, family fun, places to explore, local farms, road trips, seasonal highlights, new book release, food and drink, Fraser Valley, eat and shop local, gift guide, spring gifts.

Note to Media:

Photo assets for Eating Local in the Fraser Valley and Angie Quaale available: bit.ly/2FX6n41 

To schedule an interview with Angie Quaale, contact Amy Chen, 778-998-0036. Preview copy of Eating Local in the Fraser Valley available upon request. 

[Langley, BC]  With decades of culinary experience in the Fraser Valley, local food expert and author, Angie Quaale of Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store, releases her first book, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley, that celebrates the bounty of Canadian food. Details below.

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Book Name: Eating Local in the Fraser Valley
Release Date: May 15, 2018 (Available in Canada)
Retail Price: $29.95 (CAD)
Details: A cookbook and guidebook combined that highlights the best of the culinary scene in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, a region located east of Vancouver and north of the United States. 

Pre-Order & Advance Pick-Up: Pre-order from Well Seasoned's online store and enjoy advance in-store pick-up on May 6. Pre-orders for in-store pick-up also receive 10% off. Angie will be onsite to sign your pre-ordered copy of the book. 

Book is available to order via Amazon.ca and Chapters Indigo starting May 15, 2018.

Save-the-Date: Book launch party at Langley's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store onSunday, May 6. Angie and select producers from Eating Local in the Fraser Valley will be onsite for book signing. Details to be released.

More about the book:

Featuring more than 70 locally-inspired recipes and 100 culinary destinations in the Fraser Valley, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley invites us to discover the culinary richness of the Fraser Valley that has been built by the dedicated farmers, producers and chefs who live in the region.

This book is not only a celebration of Angie's passion for local food and community, but also a way to connect us to the farmers, producers and chefs that bring food to our tables each day. Angie has opened the door for us to get to know the wonderful array of food and beverage makers that are in the community. 


Highlights of the book include, but are not limited to:

  • Road trip ideas to visit 100 food growers, providers and a vast array of culinary destinations in Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Surrey, Mission, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge.
    • Such as: Local farms and orchards, chocolatiers, bakers, artisan cheesemakers, hidden gem restaurants, farmers' markets, breweries, wineries and more. 
  • A taste of home: More than 70 unique recipes from the farmers', chefs', and producers' home kitchens. 
    • Such as: Krause Berry Farms' Bird's Nest Cookies, Township 7 Winery's Lobster Mac and Cheese, Chef Tracey Dueck's Bumbleberry Pie and more.

Open this book and take a road trip with Quaale to the Fraser Valley. From Langley to Abbotsford to Chilliwack, with stops in Surrey, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and Mission, Quaale will guide you through this undiscovered food-lover's paradise to share stories and anecdotes that introduce you to the people behind them. There's no doubt that you will fall in love with the people and food of the Fraser Valley. 

Suggested Tweets:

It's a #food lover's guide to #ExploreBC! Local food expert @AngieQuaale of @WellSeasoned1 releases book on "Eating Local in the Fraser Valley". PRE-ORDER & SAVE: bit.ly/2DIaj3I

Until May 6: SAVE on all pre-orders of book: "Eating Local in the Fraser Valley" by #food expert @AngieQuaale of @WellSeasoned1. A must read for every #food lover in #YVR. PRE-ORDER NOW: bit.ly/2DIaj3I

Inside secrets for a better tasting room experience

Now’s the time to start thinking about what you need to create memorable experiences for your winery visitors this summer! Below are some tips on giving your guests the best winery experience:

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1.     Highway signage: Don’t expect that a sign itself will lead customers to your door. Make sure the print is big enough, the directions are clear enough, and use symbols if necessary.

2.     Winery signage: Entice customers to your door. Use clever design and marketing content to drive traffic to your winery. What sets your winery and vineyard apart from others?

3.     Creative added-bonuses for non-wine drinkers: Is your winery dog-friendly? Perhaps you have a colouring table for kids while adults taste or you offer free non-alcoholic beverages for the designated driver. Make sure this is communicated clearly within your winery with signage or other marketing materials.

4.     Tasting Bar: Speak intelligently about your wines. Do you have a tasting sheet, or do you offer free tastings? Do you have a wine club and supporting materials to convert your customers?

5.     Wine Purchases: Marketing materials go beyond just paper and signage printing. Think about branded bags or something more that would enhance your customers’ experience. Maybe you offer free shipping. Make sure that is communicated in your materials. Or perhaps offer a promo card for their next visit.

There are many ways to both attract and retain customers. It’s imperative to think of a guest’s whole experience rather than just focusing on what’s happening in the tasting room. When it gets busy, not everything can be communicated verbally to every guest, so make sure you have the materials to support you. And don’t forget about your designers and printers! They need lead times to ensure you get your materials ready for the busy season.

Contact Town Hall Brands today for more great tasting room experience tips, or to start using the power of design to transform your visitor's experience.

Chef Alessandro Vianello wins the 5th Annual Curry Cup

  Chefs Tim Evans, Alessandro Vianello, and Elizabeth Bryan with the Curry Cup. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Chefs Tim Evans, Alessandro Vianello, and Elizabeth Bryan with the Curry Cup. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

The Chefs' Table Society of BC awards a new Curry Cup Champion

The Chefs' Table Society of BC congratulates Gooseneck Hospitality's development chef Alessandro Vianello (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, and Bells and Whistles), as the winner of the 5th annual Curry Cup.

A delightful evening in Mount Pleasant

On March 13, 2018 a crowd of 185 Vancouverites attended the 5th annual Curry Cup competition at Heritage Hall. Eight acclaimed chefs from the Vancouver culinary scene faced-off to determine which curry would reign supreme. Attendees tasted and voted for their favourite curry, and also sampled wines from Evolve Cellars, beer from R&B Brewing and a special Jack Daniels cocktail.

The sold-out fundraising event, also supported by the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area, raised $1500 to support Project Chef, a program which teaches Vancouver elementary school students about healthy food.

Vianello's lamb belly curry on pulao rice earned him the Curry Cup, yet in this year's super-close race, only 12 points separated the top three. Chef Tim Evans of The Cascade Room emerged with both the Peoples' Choice and second place, and third place winner is chef Elizabeth Bryan of Dock Lunch.

The other competing chefs were:

•             Shelome Bouvette, Chicha Restaurant

•             Andrea Carlson, Burdock & Co.

•             Karl Gregg, Colony on Main

•             Mark Hills, Hills Foods

•             Alana Peckham, Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver

Fred Lee, columnist for Vancouver magazine and CBC Radio Early Edition, emceed the event. The tough task of judging was taken on by a panel comprised of last year's Curry Cup winner, chef Felix Zhou of Heritage Asian Eatery, alongside restaurateur Vikram Vij, food and wine writer Tim Pawsey (aka the Hired Belly), TIME Winery owner Harry McWatters, and inaugural Curry Cup winner chef Taryn Wa.

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia thanks everyone for attending the Curry Cup and invites everyone to save-the-date for the 12th annual Spot Prawn Festival, taking place on Saturday, May 12.   

 

  Curry Cup chair Neil Wyles of the Chefs' Table Society of BC and Mount Pleasant BIA presents Barb Finley of Project Chef $1500. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Curry Cup chair Neil Wyles of the Chefs' Table Society of BC and Mount Pleasant BIA presents Barb Finley of Project Chef $1500. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Learn About the Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia is a non-profit society comprised of BC's leading chefs and culinary professionals. It is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals.

The Society supports innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture BC chefs, producers and the local food industry. The Chefs' Table Society secures apprenticeships for and bestows bursaries to emerging local chefs and finances culinary education programs in BC schools.

Visit chefstablesociety.com for more information about the Chefs' Table Society of BC or to become a chef member or supporting member.

 

Town Hall Brands is proud to do the publicity for the Chefs' Table of BC. Note to media who want to schedule an interview with Curry Cup Winner chef Alessandro Vianello of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, and Bells and Whistles), please contact Jessica Napier at SMC Communications Inc. 604-839-3743

Creating a Professional Brand for Your Winery

Do you know what you need to position your winery as a reliable brand? Here are some common starting points for a successful brand identity.

 

Brand DNA

The Brand DNA is the backbone of your brand. What is your main objective? What are your values? What kind of person identifies with your brand? This document communicates your brand’s story, and determines how your brand interacts with the world.

 

Brand Guide

The Brand Guide helps your brand stay consistent across different channels and touch points. It specifies what fonts, colours, language, and images should be used to represent your brand.

 Brand Usage Guide for Mirabel Vineyards

Brand Usage Guide for Mirabel Vineyards

 

Logo Usage Guide

The Logo Usage Guide explains how to properly display the logo. How much space should be around the logo? How small can it be before it begins to lose legibility? The Logo Usage Guide ensures that no matter where your logo is placed, it always looks consistent and professional.

 

Creating a Professional Brand can be an overwhelming task, especially when you’re focused on the business side of running a winery. We can transform your grassroots/ homemade products into a streamlined brand. We can also determine gaps in preexisting brands, bring alignment, and determine your next marketing steps. Let us help you meet your brand vision and goals.

 

Contact us at today at info@townhallbrands.com to set up a free 30-minute consultation.

Farm Friends Event Raised $6,000 For BC Hospitality Foundation

Farm Friends, an event that was organized in response to the recent boycott on the importation of BC Wine to Alberta, raised $6,000 for the BC Hospitality Foundation on Thursday, February 22, 2018. The boycott has now been rescinded, fortunately and coincidentally so, on the day of the event.

Mastermind behind Farm Friends and BCHF chair, Christine Coletta (also owner of Okanagan Crush Pad Winery & Haywire Winery), noted that the BC Hospitality Foundation was a natural fit to donate proceeds to, "As one of the founders of the BCHF, I am passionate about the work we do. I urge other industry businesses to think of ways they can help. In this case funds will be used to support the next generation about to enter the hospitality sector through scholarships".

This event was proof that businesses working side by side to find solutions over political grand standing is the way forward. With attendees which included the public, trade, and media, guests enjoyed Alberta foods such as beef and bison made by chefs at Granville Island’s Edible Canada, paired with wines from some of BC’s top wineries listed below.

  Participating wines at Farm Friends event.

Participating wines at Farm Friends event.

50th Parallel Estate Winery

Culmina Family Estate Winery

Dames Wine

Liquidity Wines

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery

Painted Rock Estate Winery

Poplar Grove Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Each winery generously donated $500 to the BC Hospitality Foundation, in addition to attending the event and pouring for guests. Owner of Edible Canada, Eric Pateman, proudly hosted this event to support the industry.

Congratulations to the brave hearts of our industry for reminding everyone that BC loves Alberta, and that we should always react with warmth rather than hate and opposition.  

  Christine Coletta, organizer of Farm Friends and owner of Okanagan Crush Pad winery, with Lauren Skinner from Painted Rock Winery and Harriet Whitecross from Edible Canada, enjoying local BC wine while discussing details of Farm Friends event.

Christine Coletta, organizer of Farm Friends and owner of Okanagan Crush Pad winery, with Lauren Skinner from Painted Rock Winery and Harriet Whitecross from Edible Canada, enjoying local BC wine while discussing details of Farm Friends event.

Western Canada's Largest Grocery & Specialty Food Show Returns with Expanded Show and New Lineup of Speakers Under One Roof

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[Vancouver, BC] Western Canada's premier conference and exhibition, Grocery & Specialty Food West (GSFW) returns April 23 and 24 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC). 

Due to popular demand, this year's show has expanded its exhibition space and enhanced its programs to create an all-inclusive collaborative, networking and educational experience for everyone in the grocery and specialty food industries. In addition to workshops and keynotes, more than 300 booths of leading grocery and specialty food suppliers will be onsite to showcase their latest innovations and services to the 2,500 attendees.

As a fast-paced industry valued at $120-billion,  grocery stakeholders are always on the lookout for the latest innovations, insights and trends to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The GSFW show has become the trusted epicenter where thousands of key, decision-making retailers and manufacturers converge to discover insights and new products, share conversations and build relationships  

Highlights at this year's show includes, but not limited to:

  • Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
     
  • The role of artificial intelligence in grocery.
  • Technology's impact on grocery retailing.
  • Shopper marketing best practices. 
  • Market analysis: Present and future of grocery industry. 
    • Mark Petrie, consumer and market analyst, CIBC World Markets.
  • Consumer and grocery trends, such as meal kits. 
    • Katie Martin, editor, Progressive Grocer/Gourmet Retailer Magazine

Learn more about the full panel of speakers, conference details, New Product Showcasetips for attending the show and more.

"Based on positive feedback from Grocery & Specialty Food West attendees and exhibitors in previous years, we proudly say with confidence that whether you are a conference attendee or exhibitor, you will walk away with a new business insight or network. The GSFW show is thrilled to be the platform that bridges these new opportunities to ultimately support sales." - Thomas Barlow, president and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)

 

Exhibitors:

With thousands of attendees expected, this is the only grocery and specialty food show to comprehensively connect you with like-minded grocery professionals while learning about the latest industry insights that supports your business. Remember, GSF is all things grocery and specialty food retailing. If it can be utilized in the day-to-day operations of the grocery store, you can find it all right here, under one roof. Exhibit now. 

 

Retailers & Buyers: 

Bring your entire team to this one-stop shop for anyone in the grocery sector. Be sure to take full advantage of GSF's trade show only Show Specials offered by numerous exhibitors (discounts and coupons for retailers offered only at the show). 

Full conference agenda available onlineRegister now.  

 

Media: 

For media accreditation (on assignment only), photo library and interview opportunities with experts, please contact Amy Chen for more information.  

Plan a Perfect Vineyard Wedding

Trends and Tips from the Experts on Planning the Perfect Vineyard Wedding

[Duncan, BC] A vineyard wedding offers the perfect earthy-chic ambiance, tied together with old-world charm. Planning it all can be daunting, so we spoke to seasoned professionals who frequently work with Blue Grouse Estate Winery for their tips and trends on how to host a dream wedding set among the vines. Follow these ideas for how to style your own.

Please browse our Blue Grouse Estate Winery photo gallery with photo credits to: Sweet Heirloom Photography

  The Bride and Groom   share   a sweet moment on site at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit: Sweet Heirloom Photography  

The Bride and Groom share a sweet moment on site at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit: Sweet Heirloom Photography 

Food:

Taryn Stewart of Truffles Catering says to impress with cheese cake.

No, we're not talking about any creamy, sweet Cheesecake Factory confections. Cutting-edge, food-loving couples today are opting for fanciful, multi-tiered cakes made out of gourmet cheeses such as chèvre, gouda, and a host of savoury charcuterie board staples.

"The trend is ideal for those that are looking to incorporate unique and distinctive wedding elements to their special day," Stewart shared. The opportunity to pair this with an array of award-winning Blue Grouse wines is surely the topping on the "cake".

  Charcuterie from a wedding at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Jeffrey Bosdet photo.

Charcuterie from a wedding at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Jeffrey Bosdet photo.

Rentals:

If you are getting married on Vancouver Island, the tenting, glassware, and more can be arranged by Dave Willie at Black and White Rentals. With more than 25 years of experience supporting Island weddings, Dave notes that gold cutlery, textured ceramic plates, chiavari chairs, and harvest tables are popular. 

  Blue Grouse offers indoor and outdoor settings for a ceremony and reception. Here, Blue Grouse Estate Winery's Quill White awaits wedding guests. Sweet Heirloom Photography.

Blue Grouse offers indoor and outdoor settings for a ceremony and reception. Here, Blue Grouse Estate Winery's Quill White awaits wedding guests. Sweet Heirloom Photography.

Event Planning and Florals:

Most couples today choose to have their ceremony and reception at the same venue. This is affordable, and allows a seamless transition from the ceremony to photos, mingling with cocktails, and dinner into dancing. "Staying in one spot allows more time with guests, and less stress for all by reducing travel and logistics," discloses Christine Smart of Smart Events. With a venue as vast and versatile as Blue Grouse Estate Winery, transitions are simplified and complicated coordination is eliminated. 

"Blue Grouse Estate Winery offers a stunning contemporary building which allows traditional table settings and florals to become a focal point", she adds.

The colour tones of the setting at Blue Grouse Estate Winery are natural and very easy to complement. With this in mind, those getting married have creative freedom for picking floral arrangements that are true to their style. Pantone's colour of the year for 2018 is ultra-violet, so purple lavender and pink or cream-coloured roses or peonies are on trend, but any one of your favourite flowers can be incorporated beautifully. 

  Rich, jewel-toned blooms blended with cream-coloured peonies and natural greenery carry an air of vibrant sophistication and elegance. Thorn & Thistle photo.

Rich, jewel-toned blooms blended with cream-coloured peonies and natural greenery carry an air of vibrant sophistication and elegance. Thorn & Thistle photo.

Venue

Next to engagement rings and the bride's dress, deciding on a venue is one of the biggest aspects of planning a wedding. Boasting 65 acres of stunning property, Blue Grouse Estate Winery is the ideal venue to make the dream of a vineyard wedding become a reality.

  Sweeping valley views on the ceremony grounds at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit Sweet Heirloom Photography.

Sweeping valley views on the ceremony grounds at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit Sweet Heirloom Photography.

An outdoor ceremony at Blue Grouse Estate Winery can accommodate up to 130 guests, and can be tented. Alternatively, if you want to be indoors, the inside tasting room of the winery can accommodate up to 80 guests for a seated dinner reception.

Concerned about accommodations? The Grouse House offers a luxurious two-bedroom suite that is a convenient location to rent for pre-ceremony wedding party preparations and a beautiful post-ceremony rest. Upon booking your wedding, you will receive $100.00 off of your stay per night at Grouse House

For inquiries about booking a wedding at Blue Grouse Estate Winery and/or a stay at the brand new Grouse House, contact Jenny.

 

About Blue Grouse Estate Winery:

Family-owned, sustainably-farmed and award-winning, Blue Grouse Estate Winery is located in Duncan, in the heart of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The winery and surrounding vineyards are a sought after destination not only for sampling the winery's award-winning portfolio of wines, but also for events, picnics and family adventures.

The inspired winery facility was built with many sustainable elements including locally-sourced construction materials, the use of geothermal energy, onsite water collection and treatment, as well as other features that reduce energy consumption.

More information, including tasting hours and upcoming events: www.bluegrouse.ca/ 

Farm Friends: BC Wineries respond to Alberta's BC Wine Boycott with Love

Wineries to host public "Farm Friends" event with BC wine and Alberta beef

And call for supporters to make March 2018 BC Wine Month

Feb 8, 2018 [Summerland, BC] Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced an immediate boycott on all imports of wines from British Columbia Tuesday, in what is becoming a growing inter-provincial spat over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Instead of reacting with hate and opposition, a group of BC wineries has decided to remind everyone that they love Alberta.

Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, makers of Haywire wine, is calling for people to support their local wine industry during the month of March, while continuing to purchase Alberta products. 

The idea kicks off with a walk around food and wine evening featuring BC wine and Alberta food at Edible Canada on Thursday, February 22nd. Tickets, $55 are available here, and are expected to sell quickly. All proceeds will be donated to the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Participating wineries include 50th Parallel Estate WineryCulmina Family Estate WineryHaywireLiquidityPainted Rock Estate WineryPoplar Grove Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery; as well as Mireille Sauvé with the Dames Wineproject. Winery principals will be on hand to showcase their wines and talk to guests and celebrate the gains that the industry has made over the past two decades.

Their wines will be showcased along with Alberta foods such as beef and bison, and made by Edible Canada and guest chefs. 

For the past decade, farmers, wineries and food producers have worked hard to create an identity for Canadian cuisine across the country and take that message to the international world whenever possible to promote culinary tourism. 

"We want everyone to see that we are better together," says Coletta. "We do not want to do anything that could potentially hurt farmers or small family businesses, no matter where they live. "Working side by side to find solutions is ideal over political grand standing," she continues. "There are so many links and synergies between the two provinces that we need to remember and embrace."

Edible Canada is located on Granville Island in the heart of a thriving public market. The restaurant exclusively serves Canadian cuisine using local products and offers a gourmet artisan retail store. Owner Eric Pateman has been a tireless champion of Canada's culinary community and is proud to be able to host the event. 

 

SHARING IS CARING

Here's the Farm Friends tool kit you need to spread the word.

 

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Summerhill's Organic Bistro Opens for 2018 with New Flavours

Summerhill Pyramid Winery's Sunset Organic Bistro Opens for 2018 With New Flavours and a Featured Culinary Team

[Kelowna, BC] The Summerhill Sunset Organic Bistro reopens this month with a new team and menu. Lauded British Columbia chef Jeremy Luypen joins Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Summerhill) as executive winery chef. 

Luypen is excited to be building plant-based menus focused on the abundance of local vegetables, especially those featuring ingredients from the winery's biodynamic gardens. 

"While we will definitely continue to serve Oceanwise products from Codfathers Seafood Market and grass-fed meats from Two Rivers Specialty Meats, we fundamentally believe a plant-based diet with better, not more meat, is the way to go", says Luypen.

"Always focusing on protein as the centre of the plate leaves vegetarians with the short end of the stick, so at Summerhill, we are doing the opposite."

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More Information:

A seasoned chef with both extensive hotel and restaurant experience, many in the Okanagan recognize Luypen as the Okanagan Chefs Association president; and he comes to Summerhill from Predator Ridge, where he spent four years working closely with local farmers and growers. With extensive food and beverage experience across the Okanagan, he was executive chef at Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna, and Spirit Ridge Resort in Osoyoos.

As the original owner and executive chef of Terrafina at Hester Creek in Oliver, Luypen pushed Terrafina to be named Top 20 Winery Restaurants in the World by Wine Access Magazine. 

Outside of his paid work, Luypen frequently gives back to his community. He is passionate about training and education and also works as a culinary instructor in the Okanagan College's Culinary Arts Program, where he has developed classes of talented cooks and apprentices. Chef of the Year 2016 (from Okanagan Chefs Association) and BDO's Top 40 Under 40 in 2015 are only some snippets of Luypen's culinary accolades.

To book an interview with chef Jeremy Luypen, please contact Amy Chen, 778-998-0036.

 

About Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located since 1991 in the Lakeshore district of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, BC, is Canada's largest certified organic winery, BC's first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada's foremost producer of sparkling wine.

Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that have earned the winery the title of 'Canadian Wine Producer of the Year' from the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, a 200-seat, organic restaurant with a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including Summerhill's own on-site permaculture-style biodynamic vegetable garden.

More background reading on Summerhill Pyramid Winery's organic and biodynamic farming practices can be found here.

For more information, visit www.summerhill.bc.ca.

Help your sales team sell more wine with a sales tool kit

Are you and your importer/distributor both eager to tell your story in a way that translates into sales? Consider equipping your sales team with consistent and professional materials (a sales tool kit) that tell your authentic story.

A sales tool kit is a toolbox, containing the items that make it easier for your customer to understand your wine, and make room for it on their shelves.

What’s in a sales tool kit? At the minimum it should include a portfolio sheet listing all of your wines, but a great sales tool kit will include several items that make it easier for the buyer to sell your wine to consumers.

Sales Tool Kit Checklist:

  •   Portfolio Sheet/Booklet
  •   Technical Information Sheets
  •   Sell Sheets
  •   Shelf Talkers
  •   Neck Tags
  •   Business Cards
  •   Tasting Cards
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So, how can you create a sales tool kit? Here’s the process we go through to create one:

1.     Strategy – The first step is to have a strategy and determine which pieces of information will be used where (such as what accolades or reviews you’ll want to use and if you want them on shelf talkers or neck tags). This will help inform which items you will need to make.

2.     Gather – The next step is to gather the content you’ll need to create the tools: your brand story, wine technical info (pH, RS, TA, alc%), harvesting information, awards/reviews, and product photos (bottle shots).

3.     Create – The last step is to create the materials. Portfolio sheets, tech sheets, and sell sheets, shelf talkers, business cards, and tasting cards.

Creating these materials in a professional, consistent and compelling way will help your brand stand out and make it easier on your sales reps and retailers to sell your wine.

Are you stuck in the steps to create your own kit? Maybe you don’t have all the content you need, like a compelling brand story, or you lack professional bottle shots. Or maybe you need help creating professional looking tech sheets and shelf talkers. Let us help un-stick you, and help you create a really successful sales tool kit.

We are Town Hall Brands, and have more than 21 years of industry experience, creating content and marketing materials for winery clients, successfully elevating their brands and helping their sales soar. We would love to do the same for you.

5 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas that are NOT a Box of Chocolates

Canada's food trend expert shares gifts that fill your heart and belly

Canada's food trend expert shares gifts that fill your heart and belly

News Angles: Valentine's Day gifts, gluten-free food, cooking classes, gourmet food.

Note to Media: To schedule an interview with food expert Angie Quaale, contact Amy Chen, 778-998-0036.

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[Langley, BC] Angie Quaale has done it again. Quaale's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store  has you covered for Valentine's Day with five gift ideas that will keep you and your plus one happy, full, and wanting more. Gluten-free ideas are also plentiful without having to compromise the flavours. 

 

1. STAY IN for a Romantic & Hassle-Free Dinner for Two ($75 per order): New this year, food expert Angie Quaale has put together the perfect dinner IN. Skip the busy Valentine's Day restaurant reservations and pre-order your gourmet and gluten-free dinner set between February 8th-14th via Well Seasoned's online store. Have it delivered within 24 hours of ordering or pick-up at the Well Seasoned Store. Portions are extremely generous and will last until the next meal. Everything is gluten-free, super convenient, gourmet quality, and best of all, choose your favourite wine and Netflix show in the comfort of your own home! 

Each order ($75) includes a four-course dinner for two people:

Appetizer

A Cheese and Charcuterie Board for two featuring products from Winecrush with all of the appropriate accompaniments.

Salad

Organic Designer Greens with Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans and a Housemade Champagne Vinaigrette 

Main Course

Red Wine Braised Beef, Butternut Squash Puree & Rosemary Garlic Smashed Baby Potatoes  

OR

Sous Vide Chicken Breast, Mushroom Farro & Roasted Cauliflower
 

Dessert

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pot de Creme 


2. Feb 14 Cooking Class ($225 per couple): A special collaboration of food and wine on this special night. Chef Carl will prepare the perfect meal and the KIS Consulting team will match each course with a hand-selected wine. Learn new skills, dine at Well Seasoned, take home recipes, and plan the perfect unforgettable date. 

Each class is $225 per couple (limited to 10 couples). Call to book: 604-530-1518. More information available on Well Seasoned's website - scroll down and select Feb 14. 

 

3. Ready-to-Eat Cookie Dough: Curl up on the couch and slowly devour spoonfuls of this delectable treat with your loved one. This special Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough allows food-lovers to safely consume the "raw" dough. There are no raw eggs or unpasteurized ingredients - they are designed to satisfy the cookie dough craving without the risk. Now with the gluten-free recipe, those with dietary restrictions don't have to take a risk, either. Available for $6.99 ($7.99 for gluten-free version) in-store at Langley's Well Seasoned or online (ships Canada-wide), each dough is packaged in a single-serve container with a pair of accompanying wooden spoons.

 

4. Bacon Jam: The perfect blend of savoury and sweet flavours. Hand made by Chef Mari, with Johnston's Thick Cut Double Smoked Bacon. This delightful spread is the perfect addition to your cheese and charcuterie platters, spread on a burger or sandwich, and even mixed into your mac and cheese. Available for $7.99 in-store, or online (ships Canada-wide). 

 

5. Cooking Class Voucher: Memories last a lifetime, so give the gift of an experience. With demo and hands-on cooking classes happening almost daily, it won't be hard to find a time that works for you and your date. See you soon.

 

BC's Best Sommelier Named for 2018

2018 Best Sommelier of BC Crowned in Vancouver

Note to Media:

Photos from the competition available online here: http://bit.ly/2DOjC2S
For a web version of the press release, view it here: http://bit.ly/2DPlRmu 

News in Short:

[Vancouver, BC] The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC), announces the Best Sommelier of British Columbia 2018 is Sean Nelson, sommelier at Vij's restaurant. This is a hard-earned win for Nelson, who also was awarded "Best Taster" of the day.

  Sean Nelson of Vij's crowned   Best Sommelier of BC 2018. 

Sean Nelson of Vij's crowned Best Sommelier of BC 2018. 

Additionally, Nelson will be formally recognized at the VIWF Trade Luncheon in February.

In a very tight finale, Nelson outscored second place winner Matthew Landry of the Stable House Bistro and 3rd place winner Todd Prucyk of Hawksworth Restaurant to claim the 2018 Title. All three of the finalists were gifted with a personalized Canucks jersey on behalf of Rogers Arena.

CAPS BC president Lesley Brown says, "A huge congratulations Sean, and to both Matt and Todd; and, all of the 13 competitors today."

More Information:

The annual competition, emceed by Shane Taylor, winner of 2017 Best Sommelier BC Competition, attracted sommeliers from across the province to compete in the Captains Room at Rogers Arena for the title of  Best Sommelier of British Columbia. The competition included an intense written exam in the morning, with the top three scoring sommeliers from the written exam advancing through to a series of practical tests, such as opening and pouring sparkling wine perfectly, spotting errors in a written wine menu, and blind tasting and identifying wines; all in front of 100 spectators. 

This year's competition judges were Barbara Philip, Michaela Morris, and Sebastien Le Goff.

The full list of competitors:

Christina Hartigan, Botanist
Calen Macdonald, Blue Water Cafe
Michael Hiram, AnnaLena
Matthew Landry, The Stable House Bistro
Shane Lobsinger, Sonora Resort
Adam Mayhew, Yew at Four Seasons Hotel
Scott Mitchell, AnnaLena
Sean Nelson, Vij's
Jayton Paul, Hawksworth Restaurant
Todd Prucyk, Hawksworth Restaurant
Tereza Roux, Wedgewood Hotel
Peter Van de Reep, Campagnolo
Jesse Walters, Burdock & Co.  

New Aspiring Sommelier Competition:

New and as a first in Canada this year, CAPS BC hosted the 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Competition. This event was for any member of CAPS BC who earns at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment in any role, and who has an interest in participating in future Best Sommelier BC competitions. The event mimics the Best Sommelier BC format in order to give aspiring sommeliers the opportunity to understand what the competition is all about.

Winner of the inaugural Aspiring Sommelier Competition is Ian Wharton of Blue Water Cafe. The runner up: Alex Anderson of Tap Restaurant.

Also competing were:

Jason Yamasaki (Wine Director of the Joey Restaurant Group and Best Sommelier in BC 2015) and Mark Shipway (Director of Professional Development, CAPS - BC) oversaw the new competition. Jason mentioned as part of the awards announcement that "BC is leading the way with this competition. The sommelier community continues to build in BC and it is truly something special."

Suggested Tweet: The @CAPS_BC #BestSommBC is @sommwineguy of @eatdrinkvijs 


About The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers:
Established in 1989, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) is a pan-Canadian association, which brings together individuals within the sommelier profession, restaurant services, and other sectors of the wine industry.

As a not-for-profit organization, CAPS aims to promote and educate the sommelier profession through professional development and networking events related to the wine and spirits industry. Visit: http://sommelierscanada.com/ 

Champion Vancouver chefs are set to compete for the coveted Curry Cup

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Lineup of leading Chefs announced for 2018 Curry Cup

Few tickets remain to the event. Get yours now.

[Vancouver, BC] On March 13, 2018, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, The Chefs' Table Society of BC's fifth annual Curry Cup returns to Heritage Hall (3102 Main St., Vancouver). 

$69 + taxes & fees gets you a ticket which includes delicious samples of curry from each team, canapés, and cocktails.

More delicious additions include wine samples from Evolve Cellars, beer samples from R&B Brewing, and fresh dessert doughnuts from Cartems Donuts. It's the best ticket in town for an intimate, tasty, and entertaining evening that also benefits Project Chef, a program which teaches young students about healthy food.

Meet this year's competing chefs:

Hosted once again by the inimitable Fred Lee of The Province and CBC Radio, he will be joined by the following judges:

Felix Zhou, Heritage Asian Eatery - last year's winner!
Alexandra Gill, The Globe and Mail
Vikram Vij, Vij's Restaurant

The Chefs' Table Society of BC also proudly acknowledges the generous supply of rentals from Lonsdale Event Rentals for the 5th consecutive year.

For more information about the fifth annual Curry Cup visit here

Photo assets available on Dropbox: here.

 

About the Chefs' Table Society:

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia is a non-profit society comprised of BC's leading chefs and culinary professionals. It is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals. 

The Society supports innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture BC chefs, producers and the local food industry. The Chefs' Table Society secures apprenticeships for and bestows bursaries to emerging local chefs and also finances culinary education programs in BC schools.

Visit  chefstablesociety.com for more information about the Chefs' Table Society of BC or to become a chef or supporting member.

Gluten-Free Version of Ready-to-Eat Cookie Dough Arrives at Langley's Gourmet Food Store

[Langley, BC] Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has released a gluten-free version of their freshly made and fully pasteurized Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough in the popular flavour, Classic Chocolate Chip- a true classic that brings back childhood memories. 

Available for $7.99 in-store at Langley's Well Seasoned or online (ships Canada-wide), each dough is packaged in a single-serve container with two accompanying wooden spoons.

Well Seasoned's Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough has been gaining viral attention and is barely staying on the shelves. To meet customer demands, it was only fair to create a gluten-free version so everyone can enjoy. 

As seen on outlets such as Vancouver is Awesome and The Georgia Straight (and many others), the Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough is unsurprisingly catching fire all around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. It also continues to be at the top of each year's food trends. 

This special Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough allows food-lovers to safely consume the "raw" dough. There are no raw eggs or unpasteurized ingredients - these treats are designed to satisfy the cookie dough craving without the risk. Now with the gluten-free recipe, those with dietary restrictions don't have to take a risk, either. 

 Langley's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has released a gluten-free version of the Classic Chocolate Chip  Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough .

Langley's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has released a gluten-free version of the Classic Chocolate Chip Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough.

FAQs: 

  • Can I bake the Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough into cookies?
    • No, our cookie dough is made especially for consuming unbaked. It doesn't include ingredients necessary for making baked cookies.
  • Are there added preservatives in your cookie dough?

    • No, the cookie dough is made with fresh ingredients and immediately frozen or refrigerated.
       
  • How should I store my Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough?
    • Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough will last up to 10 days at room temperature or 6 weeks in the refrigerator. If you would like to save your Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough for later, it can be frozen for about 1 year. Just thaw it for 20-30 minutes and it will be ready to eat again.
  • Is your cookie dough safe to eat raw?
    • Yes, all of the ingredients in our homemade recipes are safe to consume unbaked.

Don't miss another important deadline by following our lead times

Ever feel so overwhelmed trying to plan for the year that you’re often getting things done last minute? Don’t stress, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a timeline to help you stay on track.

Remember that creating marketing materials takes time. Allow three to four months for a wine label design from start to finish (and don’t forget the bottle shots images!). Get ready for your wine shop opening for the season with signage and point-of-sale materials. And start thinking about your holiday needs at the end of summer.

Below is a graphic for a visual representation. Text to follow.

For questions and/or graphic design help, contact us at info@townhallbrands.com.

WIN-LeadTimes-Infographic.jpg

Winter (December, January, February)

  • Advertisements: You should have your advertisement budget planned for the year. Now’s the time to get those campaigns and ads created.
  • Wine Labels & Bottle Shot Images: Whether you are refreshing your labels, updating the vintages and back labels, or designing a whole new label – it’s time to start this process to prepare for your spring release.
  • Prepare for updated press materials for media queries.
  • Tasting materials: Below are some materials you may need for your tasting room opening:
    o  Highway signage for visitors
    o  Shelf talkers
    o  Portfolio list
    o  Signage for winery (tasting fees, etc)
    o  Tasting cards
    o  Neck tags
    o  Shelf tags

SPRING (MARCH, APRIL, MAY)

  • This is the time to make sure all your labels are done in time for your spring release.
  • Bottle Shot Images: With the labels finalized, this is a great time to get bottle shot images made. They can be used in your sell sheets, online store, advertisements, or to fulfill media requests.
  • Is your press kit up to date?
  • With the busy tasting season coming up, is your wine shop ready for visitors?

Summer (June, July, August)

  • Wine Labels & Bottle Shot Images: Whether you are refreshing your labels, updating the vintages and back labels, or designing a whole new label – it’s time to start this process to prepare for your fall release.
  • Packaging: Wine cases, bottle cap enclosures, prep for bottling
  • Holidays: It’s not too early to think about your holiday offerings, and this is actually the best time to do it! Below are some materials you may need, for your clients and for your sales team.
    o  Shelf talkers
    o  Technical sheets
    o  Portfolio booklets
    o  Holiday offerings sell sheets
    o  Wine club offers sell sheets
    o  Advertisements
    o  Holiday cards – printed or ecards
    o  Tasting cards

Fall (September, October, November)

  • Holidays: Finalize your holiday pieces to make the most of your year-end sales
  • Point-of-sale materials: Need updates to your current marketing materials?
    o  Business cards
    o  Rack cards
    o  Brochures
    o  Banners