To say that Harry McWatters is a legend in the Canadian wine industry would be an understatement. Harry, who celebrated his 51 vintage in 2018, is widely considered to be the foundation of the BC wine industry, the ‘grandfather’ of BC wine.
To do in the Okanagan this summer…
LIVE music every Thursday night at Okanagan Crush Pad !
Live at Crush Pad - Summer Music Series
Okanagan Crush Pad - Summerland, BC
16576 Fosbery Rd Summerland, BC
from July 4 to August 29 – From 7-9 PM attend Live at Crush Pad and listen to a variety of live music performances while you drink locally-made wine at Summerland’s Okanagan Crush Pad. Tickets are just $25 per person. Gates open at 6:30 PM.
Okanagan Crush Pad’s wine brands (Narrative, Free Form & Haywire) will be available for purchase. Guests can also buy food from on-site food trucks.
View the upcoming musical acts and purchase your tickets online HERE.
Find more information and RSVP to Live at Crush Pad on Facebook.
Well Seasoned hits Milestone of Food, Education, and Generosity to the Community
To show appreciation for 15 years of support, Well Seasoned owner Angie Quaale & her team invites the community to join them in celebration on August 13!
Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store is celebrating its 15th birthday!
Join the party during the Hot August Nights Open House tasting event on Tuesday, August 13 from 6-8 PM, at the Well Seasoned store (#117-20353 64 Ave, Langley BC).
This FREE, giant open house is where you will sample and shop tons of delicious local products, meet with the makers, and wish Well Seasoned a happy 15th birthday. The more the merrier!
Check out the event on Facebook or visit http://www.wellseasoned.ca/happybirthday.
From its humble beginnings on the Langley Bypass in 2004, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has not only established itself as the go-to for foodies in the Fraser Valley, but it has also gained recognition across the country for its vision, trendy food creations, and championing the support of eating local.
From the start, owner Angie Quaale’s goal was to make Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store a launch pad for small scale food producers and locally grown items. Over the last 15 years, Well Seasoned has supported hundreds of brands and even created many of its own. Now it’s time to celebrate all they have accomplished.
On the celebration of the store opening with the launch of the Well Seasoned Store sign, a customer says “I hope you know the debut of your sign was just the start of something more than just a business. You inspire, encourage and support so many of us business owners. You have set an example of authenticity, loyalty and integrity.”
Read below to learn more about how Angie Quaale and Well Seasoned came to be.
The BIG Back Story
There is No Well Seasoned without Angie Quaale
Her titles range from trusted food expert, businesswoman, BBQ champion, and municipal leader (to name a few). Not many accomplish even one of these goals in a lifetime, let alone all of them - yet these are just a fraction of the triumphs of Fraser Valley’s gourmet gem, Angie Quaale. Quaale, a true foodie, has dedicated her entire working life to the food and hospitality industries, elevating every year.
Establishing her Place in the Culinary Landscape
Before opening Well Seasoned, Angie enjoyed a successful career in the food service sector, specifically working for manufacturers on specialty food distribution and menu development throughout North America.
She opened the doors to her little gourmet food retail store off the Langley Bypass in 2004 and brought a new food culture to Langley. At Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store, in Langley BC, she and her team combine her expertise in menu development and retail food distribution to bring food lovers the latest in food products and cookware from across the globe. (They relocated to a larger space in 2014 on the store’s 10th birthday.)
Quaale established cooking classes presented by local chefs and a catering arm for her store; both of which remain at capacity; educating the public and serving their party needs. She has innovated many recipes and introduced them to the western Canada market, such as chocolate salami, grab-and-go casseroles, and the bacon chocolate chip cookies that Vancouver Magazine listed on its 101 things to eat before you die!
Kicking off Summer 2019 Well Seasoned was just named Best Specialty Gift Store, and Best Caterer from the Langley Advance Reader’s Choice Awards.
More Than a Store Owner
Outside of Well Seasoned, Quaale enjoys sharing her insights on food trends as a sought-after culinary trend expert and recipe developer. She is a regular guest with cooking segments on Global BC, City TV, and CTV Vancouver, is a contributing culinary expert on CBC Radio and also for Black Press. Quaale can also be seen doing cooking demos at various events and shows throughout the region.
And she demonstrates strong industry-leadership: she is past president of the BC chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, past president of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, past chair of Tourism Langley, and founder of the Langley Community Farmer's Market. Angie was also named the George Preston Memorial Business Person of the Year by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce. She has also been recognized by Women’s Enterprise Centre as one of BC’s 100 New Pioneer Women Entrepreneurs. In 2006 Angie was recognized by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce as the Entrepreneur of the Year, and in 2007 as the Small Business of the Year.
A BBQ Queen Too!
If her store ownership and community involvement isn’t enough, Quaale also spent many years practicing and mastering the art of Low & Slow, traditional Southern Style BBQ, and a decade competing in BBQ competitions all over North America. She and her partner David Gassaway represented Canada at the Jack Daniels World Invitational BBQ Championship in Lynchburg, Tennessee where they won first place awards for "Home Cooking from the Homeland" and the "BBQ Desserts" categories.
They also competed in the American Royal Invitational BBQ Championships and won multiple Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion awards at prestigious BBQ competitions throughout Canada and the US.
Spring boarding off this, Quaale brought BBQ home to Langley. She hosted and produced “BBQ off the Bypass”, a sanctioned competition that saw entries from throughout the Pacific Northwest, and ran for 11 years. She also produced the “Barn Burner BBQ” competition in Chilliwack.
Today, Quaale and Gassaway have stepped out of the competitive spotlight. They still have a passion for BBQ, but now they spend more time cooking for friends and less time on the competition scene.
Eating Local in the Fraser Valley
Giving up BBQ made room for Angie to pick up where she left off after co-founding the Langley Farmers Market and continue her advocating for all things local. Highlighting the strong relationships with the farmers, producers, and chefs who live there, Angie wrote her best selling cookbook Eating Local in the Fraser Valley, published by Random House in 2018.
Featuring more than 70 locally-inspired recipes, this combination cookbook/guidebook is the perfect companion to one of Canada's most celebrated food and wine regions. At the time of this writing, her cookbook has been shortlisted in the nominations for the 2019 Taste Canada Awards.
Bringing the Community Together
For the past two years, Quaale has hosted a community potluck at her store. “Project Potluck” is inspired by her friend Julie Van Rosendaal who made a call to action for people to gather and share food in opposition to hatred. More than 100 people have come to Well Seasoned each year to break bread, share some laughs and get to know their community.
A Deserving Foodie to Celebrate
Quaale is connected to food trends and takes tremendous pride in her ability to teach home cooks how to make better food at home. Her fun, commonsensical approach, passion for reducing food waste and working with as many local, seasonal ingredients as possible is just part of what makes Quaale’s cooking style relatable.
Quaale is a true foodie, businesswoman, and trailblazer due to the pioneering nature of her work that she chooses to share with her community and beyond.
With Well Seasoned turning 15 this year, it’s the perfect time to celebrate all these accomplishments and those yet to come.
The team at Well Seasoned looks forward to seeing everyone on August 13!
Although we’re just coming off the long weekend, don’t cap those bubbles yet – It’s Sparkling Wine Week!
Sparkling Wine Week is HERE! Don’t worry if you didn’t get the heads-up, we’ve got you covered! Here are six bubbly ideas to help you celebrate with BC wine all summer long:
Summerhill Pyramid Winery – Cipes Brut
Straight from the Okanagan Valley, the Cipes Brut is organic! With aromas of apple, lime, pear, almond and grapefruit, it has just enough zest to compliment any outdoor summer meal. Buy online here for $26.50.
Singletree Winery – 2018 Merryfield
Named after one of the original families to homestead Singletree Winery’s Abbotsford location, this wine is made in the champagne style with 50-50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It has strong notes of citrus and a creamy mousse. For those that want to indulge during Sparkling Wine Week, try the Merryfield for $34.70, buy online here.
Narrative Okanagan Crush Pad – XC Method 2018
with grapes from vineyards in Oliver and Summerland, the Narrative XC Method is for those that want to make their Sparkling Wine Week eXCiting! Bubbly, exuberant and filled with creamy toasty notes. The XC Method can make a festive start to a night out or slowly sipped by the campfire. Buy online here for $24.90.
Evolve Cellars – Pink Effervescence 2017
Back by popular demand for Sparkling Wine Week, the recently sold-out (and now re-stocked) Pink Effervescence is flirty, fancy and fun! Made almost entirely from Pinot Blanc, the Pink Effervescence gets it light rose colour from a hint of Merlot Blend. If you like ripe peach and rich berry flavours, the this is the bubbly for you! Contact the winery at email@example.com or call 778-516-7728 to purchase this wine.
Haywire –The Bub 2016
The Bub is a must-have for Sparkling Wine Week. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, it has toasty notes that complement its vibrant citrus taste. This bubbly has no sugar added and pairs perfectly with oysters or soft cheese. If you’re planning on crafting up an Instagram-worthy charcuterie board, add the Haywire Bub to your meal and turn your photo into #GOALS (make sure you tag @townhallbrands in your post!) Buy online here for $29.90.
How the BUB got its name…
This sparkling wine is a true labour of love and is a tribute to the lovely Alison Scholefield, known as the Bub, Bubba, Bubster, or Alibubba in her early days.
Alison is the sales ambassador for Summerland winery, Okanagan Crush Pad, representing her family’s wines Haywire, Narrative, and Free Form. Perhaps her future was fated at an early age. Visitors to the Canadian booth at Vinexpo in 1992 might have seen Alison happily colouring under the table while Mom, Christine Coletta, poured Icewine..Very few mothers get the pleasure of naming a wine after their child. But when your kid happens to have a childhood nickname “Bub” that just seems to fit with “bubble," Coletta looked no further when exploring name ideas for the Haywire sparkling wine.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery – 2016 Paula Sparkling
Last but definitely not least, this Brut style traditional method sparkling wine from Vancouver Island has aromas of green apple, toast, and a dash of earthy mushroom. A nicely balanced bubbly that can transform any summer meal. Pair it with a light seafood dinner, citrus dessert, or have it compliment a delicious cheese snack. This wine is a go-to no matter what the occasion is! Buy online here for $32.00.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery owners (Paul and Cristina Brunner) hold the Paula very near and dear to their hearts It was named after none other than...their daughter Paula Brunner!
After designing more than 50 wine labels, the Town Hall Brands design team is thrilled to share our first cider branding project. In celebration of World Cider Day (June 3) meet BC’s newest craft cidery: Woodward Cider Co.
“Don’t get killed.”
That’s the sage advice from Giulia Sa Barreto from our communications team, when asked for her thoughts on biking in Vancouver.
Timely comments, on Bike to Work Week.
In order to do our part for the health of ourselves and our city, the Town Hall Brands team members do what we can. We all want to be part of the change to help make Metro Vancouver a happier, healthier place to live, work and play. Living this, some of our team members are taking part in Bike to Work Week from May 27 – June 2, 2019.
Biking to work is a great way to get healthy, active and energized at work, and reduce your carbon footprint. Giulia, from our communication team, and Sam Parker from our design team ride their bikes to the office when they can and are each happy to take part in Bike to Work Week.
For those reading this who are not sure about riding to work, they both share their tips.
In addition to her life-preservation comment above, Giulia says, “Always use the hand signal. This is not a big deal in Brazil where I am from, but it is helpful when you turn left here in Canada.”
“Also,” she continues, “always wear a helmet. Safety is sexy,” she suggests. Her final thought is to be careful, but don't let fear stop you from biking in streets without bike lanes. “You are a vehicle too,” she says, “and it is your right to be there just like the cars.”
Sam, who is an experienced city cyclist, has other thoughtful pointers to share.
“First of all, use bike-lanes whenever possible,” he notes, agreeing with Giulia’s stance on safety.
“Be thrifty and get involved,’ Sam continues. “Consider building your own bike or purchasing a used bike and fixing it up at a community bike center (i.e. Our Community Bikes).”
If you have been to our studio and met Giulia and Sam, you would notice that they are both upbeat and generally happy people. Could it be the bike riding?
Sam adds, “If you're interested in biking for exercise, bike to work every day - it will go a long way and put you a good mood first thing in the morning.”
Blue Grouse is the official winery of a Vancouver Island Summer!
If you’re looking for enjoyable events that pair well with a staycation or Vancouver Island visit, Blue Grouse Estate Winery has you covered from sophisticated evenings to family fun.
Summer Kick Off Party!
May 18 & 19
Celebrate warmer days ahead with music, food, wine slushys, and new vintages!
· May Long Weekend (Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19)
· 11-5pm each day
· Live Jazz both days from 2-4pm
· Wine Slushys made from Blue Grouse wines
· 2016 Paula Sparkling Release
· Charcuterie and food specials all day
· New vintages and a brand-new label look!
Friday Night Flights
June 7 – August 30
· Winery open until 7pm on Fridays – just drop in
· Order a flight of 3 wines only, or a food-paired flight from a rotating calendar of chefs
· Our winemaker Bailey Williamson kicks off, by cooking June 7 – also on July 12 and August 2
· Farm’s Gate Foods creates the pairings June 14, July 5 and August 23.
2nd Annual Father's Day Bocce Tournament
Spend the day with dad drinking wine and overlooking the vines, all while supporting the community.
· Sunday June 16th from 12-3pm
· Bocce balls provided
A Jazz Evening with Misha Piatigorsky
New York resident and famed jazz pianist Misha Piatigorsky will be gracing Blue Grouse with a cabaret-style piano concert in our upstairs lounge. You won’t want to miss this intimate show.
· Saturday June 15, 7-9pm
· Doors open at 6 pm
· Tickets are $35 + GST
· Charcuterie, cheese and vegan boards; wine by the glass or bottle are available to purchase all evening.
Concert in the Vines with Heartwood
Heartwood is the new and perfect pairing of award-winning singer-songwriters Jack Connolly and Genevieve Charbonneau from our own Cowichan Valley. Jack and Genevieve are outstanding performers in their own right, but when their songwriting talents, charisma and musical chops are combined, the result is roots and folk magic. The duo are joined by a band for this special evening of music.
Saturday August 17 from 7:30 to 9:30pm
Doors open at 6:30pm
Tickets are $20 + GST
Wine by the glass and bottle available for purchase all evening.
Cowichan Wine Festival
The Cowichan Valley Wine Festival is a tasting and touring event showcasing the best of Vancouver Island wine from 11 local wineries.
Kick-off Event, August 23rd: Start the weekend off right and join all the wineries for our evening tasting event at Shawnigan Lake School.
Winery Touring, August 24th - 25th: Spend the rest of the weekend self-touring Cowichan's fabulous wineries with map and passport in hand. Visit the wineries and collect stamps to fill the passport. Collect all the stamps and you can enter the draw for a grand prize!
Tickets will be available for purchase on the Tourism Cowichan website closer to the event date, or simply purchase a festival glass and passport at your first stop and keep it with you. This glass is your ticket and entitles you to 3 free tastings at all 11 participating wineries!
Visit bluegrouse.ca for wine festival happenings TBA!
About Blue Grouse Wines:
In the heart of Vancouver Island is Blue Grouse Estate Winery, a family-owned Cowichan Valley gem.
The estate-grown wines are made by winemaker Bailey Williamson from transitional-organic vineyards, and a second label, Quill, incorporates Island fruit and Okanagan fruit. Varietal wines include Ortega, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and a traditional method sparkling wine, "Paula" named after winery owners Paul and Cristina Brunner's daughter. The wines are bright, crisp, and well-balanced, showcasing where they are grown.
Visit and pass by a pond with birds, tadpoles, and beehives in the background as you approach the winery. A bright, airy, sustainably-constructed tasting room opens onto a sun-drenched patio; the perfect spot for charcuterie and a glass of rosé.
The mezzanine and its romantic views make this an essential stop in your Cowichan Valley visit, while the surrounding vineyards offer the perfect setting for weddings or special events. Make a stay of it with luxurious vineyard-surrounded accommodation in the Grouse House, open year-round.
Learn more about this biodiverse, progressive, eco-conscious winery at bluegrouse.ca
ENCORE Vineyards is elated to announce that Kelley Michael Schaefer has returned to the Okanagan to join their team as hospitality manager, from April 2019.
In 2012, when Paul Brunner and his family took over the pioneering Blue Grouse Estate Winery on Vancouver island, they could not have predicted what they would undertake over the next seven years.
Investments include major upgrades to the winery and property, going organic, and now, this season, the evolution of Blue Grouse includes a label refresh
For El Viento de Lancaster, our team developed the bobblehead inspired by the popular sugar skull, a symbol of Día de Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) and its decorative box. The bobbleheads will be distributed to a thousand El Viento fans in the first Friday night game of the season (April 5, 2019). Pretty fun swag!
Hall 15 stand F21 is where you will find DOCG Prosecco Superiore wines
Attending ProWein? Make sure to check our client’s booth at the event. The consortium of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and will be celebrating with attendees at the fair.
In Düsseldorf, Germany from March 17th to 19th, the Producers’ Consortium of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG invites you to taste their vintage 2018 selection of sparkling wines from the historic area of Prosecco production, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, including Cartizze and Rive.
The Producer’s Consortium booth can be found, at Hall 15 stand F21 and is hosting 24 DOCG wineries, including small producers and big sparkling wine companies. The producers will be present on site, an opportunity to exchange knowledge about this historic area of Processo production with the specialists.
The name Prosecco Superiore DOCG signifies top quality and highest standards in the vineyard and winery, as well as concentrated flavour and balance within each sip. Their tradition has been recognized over the last five decades and we are proud to represent the Consortium and their legacy in Canada.
The Vancouver International Wine Festival is Feb 23 - March 3, 2019. Town Hall Brands is proud to do the PR for TIME Winery, as well as Okanagan Crush Pad, which has two tables: for its Free Form and Narrative labels. These are must-see BC wineries. Let our team know if you need more information or want to meet the people at these brands.
Get out your stretchy pants, Vancouver, because the 17th annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival kicks off today!
Over the next 17 days (until Feb 3) Vancouverites will be able to try dishes and drinks from the best chefs and producers in the region and we have a handful of BC winery clients whose amazing wines are featured in menus around town.