Despite what Miles said, Merlot is a wonderful grape. Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety that is used as both a blending grape, and for some of the most extraordinary and expensive varietal wines from all around the world.
Ready or not, fall is here! That means it is time to dust off the winter coat, find the woolen socks that have moved to the back of the drawer, and prepare for Thanksgiving.
Celebrations are around the corner, so it’s time to figure out who’s doing the cooking, what is going to the served, and which wine will pair well with turkey! We’ve gathered the best Thanksgiving tips from wine writers, and food and lifestyle specialists to cure any seasonal concerns.
There’s no Thanksgiving without a well-prepared turkey and stuffing. Angie Quaale, seasonal food expert, owner of Well-Seasoned Gourmet Food Store and turkey lover will guide home cooks through the whole process of choosing a bird, preparing, stuffing, cooking and cleaning up the mess after. According to her, it is very important to learn how to prepare the bird correctly otherwise there can be a risk of cross contamination with other things in the kitchen.
This is the perfect opportunity to set a beautiful table for your family and loved ones, and it does not necessarily mean spending hundreds of dollars to do it! Natalie Langston, lifestyle specialist has great ideas that will make your table IG-worthy: fresh seasonal flowers, candles, a simple and elegant printed menu, and delicious and affordable Evolve Cellars wines.
With the turkey in the oven and the table set, it’s time to think about the beverages. Pairing a tender and juicy turkey or glazed ham with wine is not as hard as it seems. There are a number of varieties that offer a flavour profile that will match well with both. From rich whites to fruit-forward reds, BC wine has so many options to choose from, and buying local has never been easier. British Columbia is also producing amazing sparkling wines and Chardonnays that will hit the mark for this year’s celebration.
To start the party, pop the cork of a tasty sparkling wine. If wine lovers are feeling extra confident, Tim Pawsey even gives tips on how to saber the bottle: chill it in ice and hit at the exact spot for the correct cut, but make sure to do it outside to minimize the mess. Among the great recommendations in his article, some highlights are the 2018 TIME Brut from Time Winery in Penticton, the 2017 Free Form Ancient Method and 2016 Haywire The Bub from Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland, the 2016 Merryfield from Singletree in the Fraser Valley and Naramata, and the 2014 Paula Sparkling from Blue Grouse Estate Winery on Vancouver Island.
4. Thinking about Chardonnay?
Perhaps the most common pairing for Thanksgiving turkey is white wine, most specifically Chardonnay. A herb crusted bird pairs well with the buttery taste of most oak aged Chards, and other more fruit-forward wines offer crisp flavours. Wineries in BC are offering high quality Chardonnay with distinct flavour profiles that can please every palate. In the two round ups above, Jennifer Schell and Karl Kliparchuk recommend a stellar line up for this weekend’s celebration. Some of the best bets include TIME Winery’s 2014 Chardonnay from Penticton and the 2016 Coolshanagh Chardonnay from Naramata.
We hope you give some of these suggestions a try, and tag @townhallbrands in social media. We’d love to see how your Thanksgiving is going!
We wish everyone a safe and joyful celebration.
New Vision Statement Guides the Winery Team and invites the World In
[Kelowna, BC] The team at Summerhill Pyramid Winery announces its new brand vision.
To arrive at this new vision, the winery management team and the family members took a deep look at their purpose, and along the journey the winery achieved certified B Corp status earlier in 2019, the first Canadian winery to do so.
The team arrived at seven guiding principles to inform the way they make wine, their business practices, and the way they interact with the world. The winery is rolling out a new logo and later a new package, but the way forward is also about how they present themselves as a whole.
Ezra Cipes took over as CEO of Summerhill Pyramid Winery in 2012, and over the past seven years he has worked hard with his family to corral and determine the way forward for the pioneering BC winery. His father, and Summerhill founder Stephen Cipes, revolutionized organic wine production in BC, as one of the first BC wineries, and is being recognized for his leadership at the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame in October.
Today, the team shares their newly written vison document, inviting their team, customers, and community to embrace it, and live out the practices and values that has always made Summerhill special and loved.
Ezra Cipes, CEO shares the following public statement:
“Summerhill has always been a purpose-based organization founded on and driven by spiritual precepts. The purpose has always been to live as one with nature, to bring forth beautiful products of nature, and to foster community, connection, meaning, and a worldview of oneness and wholeness.
This vision has been held by my dad, Summerhill’s founder and proprietor Stephen Cipes, since he moved my family to beautiful British Columbia in 1986. It has made Summerhill a singular winery and has been responsible for the incredible success we have enjoyed.
This vision has always been implicit, but never quite stated so boldly. Now we are introducing a newly written Vision of Gratitude and Abundance for People and Planet so that we can fully invest ourselves in what has always made Summerhill so unique and special.
The intent of this vision statement is not only to guide us as a company, but also to share our values publicly, so that we are transparent about our values, can be held accountable to them, and can invite everyone to see the world as we see it and to join us in this vision of gratitude and abundance for people and planet.
Along with the new vision is a new logo, which communicates reverence for the soil and for the sacred order of creation as symbolized by the pyramid.
There will be more changes coming soon that stem from this newly articulated vision. Stay tuned!”
---- Ezra Cipes, CEO, Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Suggested Social Caption
@SummerhillWine took a deep dive into their business purpose and is inviting the world to learn more about their seven guiding principles. Read more https://bit.ly/2poajnS
Photos here: Dropbox
About Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Kelowna’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery welcomes thousands of visitors onto its farm from all over the world. The founding vision to bottle among the very finest wines in the world has been achieved, with trophies from the highest levels of competition in France, England, and around the world to show for it. But the greatest legacy is the change that the team strives to nourish daily. The winery’s greatest goal is an ongoing one of service to humanity, engendering a culture of gratitude for people and planet with every heavenly sip of its organic wine. Learn more at summerhill.bc.ca
Summerland winery to join sibling winery in downtown Penticton
[Penticton, BC] To 'evolve' means to change or develop slowly, step by step, one day at a time, ideally into a better, more complex, more advanced, and more progressive state of being. This is the core value and inspiration for the Evolve Cellars brand.
Now, Evolve Cellars, the winery that celebrates transformation and growing with its fan base, is going to literally live out its brand stance and relocate.
Evolve Cellars' new home will be at 361 Martin St., in downtown Penticton BC, sharing a roof with sibling TIME Winery.
Evolve Cellars was established in 2015 by the McWatters family as a label created by their company, ENCORE Vineyards, to offer fresh, fruit-forward, crisp, approachable, well-balanced and affordable wines that can be enjoyed by anyone, and at every occasion. This, the winery team believes, is the natural essence of Okanagan wine today.
And now it is time for Evolve Cellars to change. Encore Vineyards' past president and CEO Harry McWatters passed away peacefully but suddenly this past summer. Christa-Lee McWatters is the new president and CEO, as per the family's succession plan. Harry had been in the wine business for 51 years and mentored Christa-Lee in the business from the time she was a child. Evolve Cellars is a project led by Christa-Lee, noting that the brand values of celebrating the Okanagan and living as the best version of herself is something she aspires to.
The original home of Evolve Cellars was on leased property, and the lease is up, so the decision was made to consolidate the company's labels into one enhanced guest experience. With the McWatters family changes, evolutions in company roles, and harvest all happening at the same time, the team agreed this is the perfect time to pivot, focus, and, well, evolve the brand.
"It's been an exciting challenge as I take over managing the company," notes Christa-Lee. "I miss my dad and his mentorship, and moving ahead without him is a struggle some days, but I know he would want us to carve out our own way to carry on the family legacy."
Christa-Lee's first significant change as leader is to unite the brands. As of September 16 Evolve Cellars has a new residence in the refurbished Pen-Mar theatre that is home to TIME Winery & Kitchen, and the new location will especially showcase Evolve Cellars' popular sparkling wine collection.
And for those who cant get to Penticton, Evolve Cellars wines are always available online.
Under construction over the fall and winter of 2019 for opening next spring is the new Evolution Lounge, where visitors will be able to enjoy Evolve Cellars' fresh whites, luscious reds and popular sparkling wines, and then move next door for a taste of TIME Winery wines, plus enjoy some of the many delicious and creative options from the celebrated menu created seasonally by Chef AK Campbell and his culinary team.
This decision is in accordance with the brand's core values. "After all, Evolve was founded under the principles of embracing change and moving ahead," says Christa-Lee. "Every time a person reads one of the Evolve wine labels, they are reminded how important it is to take a step forward, to try to accomplish more and strive to achieve their best. Well, now we need to 'walk the talk' and keep changing and growing ourselves."
Evolve Cellars will continue to offer quality BC VQA wines made by Graham Pierce, and the team looks forward to having the continued support of fans and the Okanagan community as they #RaiseAGlassTo change, and establish a new tasting location at 361 Martin Street in downtown Penticton. An opening date for the Evolution Lounge will be announced in 2020.
Suggested social caption
A new home for @evolvecellars is in downtown Penticton! Go to @timewinery and taste #bcwine
Photos here: Dropbox
About TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and McWatters Collection
TIME Winery & Kitchen is a fully operational winery, tasting bar, restaurant and guest experience centre located in the heart of wine country in downtown Penticton.
The McWatters Collection is a small, exclusive offering of wines; a legacy label that celebrates the McWatters family and its role informing the BC wine industry, and Evolve Cellars offers approachable, bright, delicious and affordable wines from its welcoming location at TIME Winery in downtown Penticton.
About Christa-Lee McWatters
Christa-Lee McWatters is the president and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards, a progressive Okanagan-based wine company that owns and manages TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and the McWatters Collection. In the wine industry with her family from childhood, Christa-Lee is involved in numerous industry initiatives, including as chair of the British Columbia Wine Institute and as an executive committee and board member of the Canadian Vintners Association.
Exclusive opportunities to access Black Hills Estate Winery's Iconic Red Wine
From the startup days in the late 1990s when a hand-painted "sold out" sign hung outside a Quonset hut, to today's ultra-modern Wine Experience Centre on Black Sage Road, wine lovers congregate at Black Hills Estate Winery for their chance at a case of Nota Bene. Made by Black Hills Estate Winery since the 1999 debut vintage, Nota Bene dazzles palates with its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend.
Now as the beloved British Columbia winery celebrates its 20th anniversary year, the public release of the 2017 Nota Bene ($59.99) is imminent.
While Black Hills wine club members gain first access to the releases, the winery sets aside a small allocation of cases for the public and retail partners. In early September, winemaker Ross Wise will visit Vancouver for a series of events featuring the beloved flagship wine.
The public release and celebration of the winery's 20th anniversary commences with a public tasting at Everything Wine Morgan Crossing on September 3, followed by a ticketed dinner at Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar. On September 4 and 5, additional opportunities to taste and Nota Bene occur at Legacy Liquor Store, Swirl Wine Store and Marquis Wine Cellars. [Full details follow at end of release.]
The winery team has had an overwhelming response to the pre-release of this vintage, and critical accolades include a 95-point score. The 2017 Nota Bene vintage is now sold out online. Only available at the limited September release to restaurants and select fine wine stores, the 2017 Nota Bene is expected to sell swiftly.
The Latest Vintage of Nota Bene
Black Hills Estate Winery senior winemaker Ross Wise has assembled the final blend of the 2017 Nota Bene. Unmistakably Nota Bene on the nose, the 2017 vintage shows cassis, dark berry and cherry aromas, alongside notes of cedar and dark chocolate. Fresh berry fruit and French oak flavours shape the palate, with additional complexity coming from hints of mint and sage. Silky and elegant tannins and a creamy texture result in a wine that is approachable in its youth, while its impressive richness and concentration will allow evolution and further complexity over the next 12-15 years. Ample fresh acidity frames a long, fruit-driven finish.
"2017 was a great vintage for Okanagan wines," notes Wise. "The warm and dry summer resulted in concentrated and ripe berries, while cool August and September helped retain crisp and natural acidity and high aromatic intensity. Red wines from this vintage are richly concentrated and have an impressive aging potential."
2017 Nota Bene Release Events
Tuesday, September 3
Everything Wine - Morgan Crossing
Nota Bene Tasting
Time: 2 PM - 4 PM
Address: 15735 Croydon Dr #112, Surrey, BC
Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar
Join winemaker Ross Wise at Barrique for a paired
six-course menu prepared by chef Josiah Tam.
Time: 6:30 PM
Address: 15333 Pacific Av., White Rock, BC
Price: $120 per person (gratuity and taxes included)
Limited tickets remain. For tickets please call 604 385 3311
or email email@example.com
Wednesday, September 4
Legacy Liquor Store
Nota Bene Long Table Tasting
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Price: $20 per person
Address: 1633 Manitoba St, Vancouver, BC
For tickets go to this LINK or
Swirl Wine Store
Nota Bene Tasting
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Price: $39.99 per person with $10 credit for any Black Hills wine purchase
Address: 1185 Mainland, Vancouver, BC
For tickets in store or online here:
Thursday, September 5
Marquis Wine Cellars
Nota Bene Tasting
Time: 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Address: 1034 Davie St, Vancouver, BC
About Black Hills Estate Winery
Founded in 1999, Black Hills Estate Winery produces exclusively from its estate vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, north of Osoyoos, British Columbia. The vineyard microclimate is one of the hottest, driest, and sunniest sites in the South Okanagan, allowing the vines to yield flavourful grapes of balanced intensity. Using sustainable vinicultural techniques and thoughtful winemaking practices, the winery is well-known for its signature blend: Nota Bene, an age-worth Bordeaux-style red blend produced in limited quantities from select barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Black Hills also produces a selection of stunning ultra-premium blends, such as Addendum, Per Se, and Ipso Facto, and varietally-labelled Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Syrah, Tempranillo and Carménère.
Surrounded by panoramic vineyard views, the Black Hills team welcomes wine lovers to visit their Wine Experience Center in Oliver. This stylish facility provides a unique, sit-down wine tasting experience guided by highly trained wine professionals. Annual summer events held at the facility are bold, exciting and fun. Members of the Black Hills Wine Club enjoy front-of-line access to limited-releases and wines not available to the public.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!