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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.

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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

Best Sommelier of BC Returns January 29

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Best Sommelier of BC Competition Returns to Vancouver

New competing category for 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier

Hosted by The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC), the fourth annual Best Sommelier of BC Competition returns to Rogers Arena on January 29th, 2018.

[Vancouver, BC] This annual competition attracts some of the best and brightest sommeliers from across the province to compete for the title of BC's Best Sommelier 2018 . This incredibly challenging competition includes both a written and practical examination. The practical exam will be held live as the top three sommeliers from the written portion compete for the 2018 title. Ticket packages available for CAPS Members and the public to view the competition and join the post-competition celebration dinner and announcements.

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The winner will be announced at the post-competition Dinner, hosted by CAPS BC, at the Encore Suite at Rogers Arena (doors open at 4:30pm).

To be eligible to compete, individuals must be accredited members of CAPS BC and must earn at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment as a sommelier. Competitors must also be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

Those sommeliers (or up-and-coming sommeliers) wishing to compete can still apply, and the entrants to date are listed here, in alphabetical order by last name:

Christina Hartigan, Botanist
Michael Hiram, AnnaLena
Matthew Landry, The Stable House Bistro
Shane Lobsinger, Sonora Resort
Adam Mehew, 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.

Esteemed judges for this year: Barbara Philip, Michaela Morris and Sebastien Le Goff. Emcee is DJ Kearney and Shane Taylor, winner of 2017 Best Sommelier BC Competition.

Competition Details

9:00am-11:00am- Preliminary competition, including written exam and blind tasting, with all candidates. This portion happens behind closed doors.

12:00pm-4:30pm- The Top 3 Competitors will be announced, and then immediately compete live for Best Somm BC 2018. This portion is open to the public for viewing.

Location: Captains Room, Rogers Arena (Gate 10, 800 Griffiths Way)

 

Champions Dinner Details

4:30pm-8:00pm- Cocktail hour, dinner served, and winners announced.

Location: Encore Suite, Rogers Arena  (Gate 10, 800 Griffiths Way)

 

Ticket Prices:

CAPS Members:
$65 - Live Competition Viewing + Reception & Dinner Package
$40 - Reception/Dinner Only

Non-Members:
$75 - Live Competition Viewing + Reception & Dinner Package
$50 - Reception/Dinner Only

For the LIVE Competition Viewing ONLY - $10 at the door (first come-first serve seating). Doors open at 12:00pm and the competition begins at 12:30pm.

In addition - for the first time, CAPS BC is happy to announce the 2018 BC Aspiring Somm Competition.

This event is open to any member of CAPS BC who earns at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment in any role as well as has an interest in participating in future Best Sommelier of BC competitions. The event mimics theBest Sommelier of BC format to give aspiring sommeliers the opportunity to understand what the competition is really all about. Competitors must also be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. This event runs concurrent to the Best Sommelier of BC, from 9:00am-12:00pm on Monday, January 29th at Rogers Arena. The 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Winner will be announced prior to theBest Sommelier of BC announcement on Monday evening.


About 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/ 

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Shares Lineup of Events for Weekend Getaway

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Shares Lineup of Events for Weekend Getaway

After the hustling and bustling of the holiday season, now is the perfect time for a weekend getaway to recharge and ease back into the year. Cowichan Valley's Blue Grouse Estate Winery offers plenty of activities for this wintery time of the year. 

On being named among those that lead and inspire

What a way to cap off the year!

I’m so flattered to be named among nine other dynamite women as one of 10 Women in PR That Lead, Inspire and Build Successful Brands, by Women in Public Relations North America

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This has been an especially exciting year for me personally, because in January I celebrated my 20th “careeraversary”.

I started doing publicity in 1997 without any formal training (as I was hired as a marketing assistant, and marketing was my education). In those days we were faxing out press releases to a (small) curated list, creating paper press kits that went into folders and were mailed, couriered or handed out at events. (Email was just starting to become adopted and I remember trying to talk my then boss and mentor Christine Coletta into using email!) After continuing to do media relations with the wine cognoscenti as a function of my role as a marketing coordinator for the BC Wine Institute, I took college courses on weekends and evenings until I earned my PR certificate.

When we left the BC Wine Institute I remained working for Christine Coletta & we started doing marketing and PR for other wineries in Canada, and for wine regions beyond. My last name was still Clemens then, and I was among maybe three other people in the country who were doing wine-related publicity. (There were other publicists at the time but there were very few solopreneurs and primarily just agencies were doing PR.)

Over the 16 years of working for and then becoming business partners with Christine Coletta, I went from doing marketing and PR, to helping create and build brands from the ground up. In 2013 when Christine and our other business partner Julian Scholefield went to run her Okanagan Crush Pad winery full time, my husband Andrew von Rosen and I opened our agency. We hired talented people to do the PR, and I am now a director of PR activities rather than doing one-on-one publicity myself.

I’m super proud of the relationships I have created with the media, but I’m even MORE proud of my PR team, who day after day reach out to establish more contacts, and forge strong relationships. These relationships are with people and outlets who support us to help us tell our client stories, and we are so grateful.

Now as we are winding down to say goodbye to 2017 we see the increasing niche publications, the dominance of the influencer (and let’s see where that goes) and then the shrinking but strengthening of many mainstream media outlets. We are refining our team, and need to remain nimble in order to get stories out there.

It remains my perpetual aspiration to inspire. I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy Holidays from Town Hall Brands

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As we close off the year, we thank you for your continuing support of Town Hall Brands throughout 2017.

Our entire team wishes you all the timeless treasures of the holiday season: the warmth of home, the love of family, and the company of good friends. 

We look forward to working with you and seeing you in 2018. 

Warm regards from the team: Leeann, Andrew, Amy, Felicia, Genevieve, Grace, Laurisha, Maddie, Whitney, and Garnet (the office dog).

Town Hall Brands Holiday Hours:
Office closes on December 23, 2017
Office reopens on January 3, 2018

Happy New Year!

2018 Vancouver Events

Want to stay in the loop for all of YVR's biggest food and beverage events this year? Look no further. We'll also be including dates and deadlines for industry-related topics. Don't forget to check back frequently as this calendar will be updated all year!

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January 1: Registration opens for IVSA New Product salons

January 19: BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch Penalty Schedule Review

January 23: IVSA New Product Salons (Vancouver)

January 23: Taste the World

January 30: IVSA New Product Salons (Victoria)

February 1: Tickets go on sale for California Wine Fair 

February 24 - March 4: Vancouver International Wine Festival

March 10: BC Uncorked Food and Wine Festival

March 20: IVSA New Product Salons (Victoria) 

March 26: IVSA New Product Salons (Vancouver) 

April 9: California Wine Fair (Vancouver)

April 10: California Wine Fair (Edmonton)

April 12: California Wine Fair (Calgary)

April 24: Bloom Wines of BC Tasting (Victoria)

May 3 - 10:  Wines of New Zealand (various activities) 

May 7: Wines of Greece (various activities) 

May 10: Wines of BC Spring Release (Calgary) 

May 17 - 18: Top Drop Vancouver

June 23: Chef Meets BC (Okanagan Falls) 

September 17: Wines of Germany Tasting

Victoria Pub Wins The Irish Pub of the Year in North America

Celebrating a Meeting Place of Friends at Irish Times in Victoria, BC

Photo Credit: Mister Pixel Photography

Winery owners Judy and Skip Stothert love celebrating their family traditions. When they started Coolshanagh Winery in the Okanagan, they didn’t hesitate to name it “Coolshanagh”, a Celtic word that belonged to Judy’s side of the family.

“Coolshanagh” means a “meeting place of friends.”

For generations, Judy’s family started using the word “Coolshanagh” under letterheads and soon enough, her cousins named their houses as Coolshanagh. This soon became a family tradition and carried through to multiple generations in celebration of the friendship between family and friends.

Although not entirely certain, the Stotherts share that the word “Coolshanagh” originated from Judy’s grandfather in Ireland and then eventually landed in Canada with his immigration to Newfoundland and Victoria.

When the Stotherts heard that Victoria’s Irish Times Pub won Irish TimesThe Irish Pub of the Year in North America (chosen from 16,000 Irish pubs worldwide), they were ecstatic! This achievement follows Irish Times’ wins from previous years: Top 10 Irish Pubs Outside of Ireland in 2015; Best Pub in the City (8 out of last 12 years).

The Stotherts are fortunate that their Coolshanagh Chardonnay is listed by the bottle at Irish Times Pub. However, that wasn’t the celebratory aspect. It was how impressive and honourable this accolade is and the perfect fit between Coolshanagh and Irish Times Pub. It’s almost serendipitous.

Tracing back to family traditions, Coolshanagh originated from Irish roots then eventually arrived in Victoria, like Irish Times. Irish pubs are known for their unique, cozy and friendly ambiance. This, like Coolshanagh, makes a perfect place for the gathering of friends.

Join us in celebrating this beautiful friendship between Coolshanagh and Irish Times by visiting the pub the next time you’re in Victoria!

How Impressive Was This Award for Irish Times Pub?

16,000 Irish pubs worldwide were screened for this award, including UK, Ireland, Europe, North America and more.

  • Irish Times Pub was shortlisted in six (6) competing categories:
  • Best Irish Pub of the Year in North America
  • Best Bar Person
  • Best Marketing Campaign
  • Best Chef
  • Best Food Experience
  • Best Craft Beer Experience

Congratulations to our friends!

- From Skip and Judy of Coolshanagh

 

Raise a Glass of Sparkles from Prosecco Superiore DOCG This Season

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[Conegliano, Italy] Sparkling wine is synonymous with holiday gatherings and good cheer. Tiny bubbles dancing in your glass immediately create a sense of celebration.

This holiday season, pop open a bottle of Prosecco Superiore DOCG, and discover why this legendary Italian sparkling wine is the modern benchmark for affordable luxury.

Not all Proseccos are the same – while all Prosecco comes from Northern Italy, the name “Prosecco Superiore DOCG” on the bottle signifies the top quality and highest standards in the vineyard and winery, as well as concentrated flavour and balance within each festive sip.

While being immensely enjoyable on its own, Prosecco Superiore DOCG is versatile enough to pair with almost any cuisine. It is produced in fully sparkling (spumante) and lightly sparkling (frizzante) styles. The wines tend to be dry, but sweeter examples are available.

The very best Prosecco Superiore DOCG grapes are grown approximately 50 km from Venice, on the cool, steep hills in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene of Northeast Italy. This area is so precious that it is a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The Glera grape is the most widely used, showing floral notes of citrus, apple and pear. The grape is perfectly-suited to Charmat sparkling wine production, the best for preserving the varietal aromas of the grapes, keeping their primary scents as unaltered as possible; translating into a wine that is fruity and floral.

Travelling to taste these wines in person?

Wine lovers, you will want to attend Vino In Villa, the most important annual event devoted to Prosecco Superiore DOCG. The 21st annual festival is set within the heart of the hilly Prosecco Superiore region, and celebrates the area’s wine, food, culture and terroir.

In the wine trade?

In 2018, ambassadors from the Consorzio Tutela Del Vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco will be pouring their wines at:

·       Prowein (Düsseldorf, Germany) – March 18-20, 2018 (Hall 15, F21)

·       Vinitaly (Verona, Italy) – April 15-18, 2018

Photo assets available here.

To find out where these wines are sold in Canada, please contact:

Amy Chen | amy@townhallbrands.com or Maddie Clerides | maddie@townhallbrands.com

Town Hall Brands 604-321-3295

Small but mighty: BC wineries fight for Canadian Wine for All

Small but mighty: BC wineries fight for Canadian Wine for All

Five small BC wineries, intervening on behalf of a coalition of more than 100 BC wineries, had their day in court on Thursday, December 7, during a rare two-day hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Send Holiday E-Cards with Style

Hard to believe that it’s already December 4th!

If you’re like us, you’re busy doing many things.

If you haven’t yet organized your holiday card outreach, fear not, you are not too late for an e-card (.jpeg image or .gif).

Our team can help you, as long as you let us know what your needs are by December 18.

Call the office at 604-321-3295 or email info@townhallbrands.com and Whitney or Leeann will help you.

A few examples of e-cards:

Examples of still .jpeg e-cards to send to friends and family.

Examples of still .jpeg e-cards to send to friends and family.

A unique and fun holiday .gif e-card that animates. 

A unique and fun holiday .gif e-card that animates. 

Blue Grouse Estate Winery ends 2017 with a new look

News Release

[Duncan, BC] Over the past five years, a lot has changed at Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and they are celebrating these changes with a new web look.

Since the Brunner family purchased one of Cowichan Valley's oldest estate vineyards and winery in 2012, they have given the Island winery a complete makeover, with more than $10 million in investments into the vineyard, the creation of a new winery and tasting room, and the addition of onsite accommodation, the Grouse House.

When paired to the lineup of highly-praised Blue Grouse wines, these onsite amenities allow for an amazing visitor experience, including a vast range of wedding and corporate event packages.

With so much happening onsite at the winery, to create what is now the crown jewel in Vancouver Island's wine country, the external web presence required the same attention.

"This new website was created specifically for our online audience of people both old and new to Blue Grouse wines," says owner and proprietor, Paul Brunner. "With a timeline of our history, a new format to highlight our latest vintages and information on our wine club and events, we are proud to present to you a website that has been one year in the making."

For more information on Blue Grouse Estate Winery and to view the new site, please visit: www.bluegrouse.ca 

Winter at BG

 

This season's holiday hours:

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am-5pm from now until Dec 23rd.

Closed Dec 24th to 31st and open by appointment only in January.  

 

FREE Shipping in British Columbia:

Take advantage of the exclusive offer for FREE shipping to anywhere in BC, Canada. Minimum six (6) bottles order; 2015 Quill Red and 2015 Quill White only.  Offer valid from November 20th to December 17th. To order or to inquire on availability of wines, please contact 250-743-3834, tastingroom@bluegrouse.ca.

 

A reminder of upcoming events:

  • Holiday Open House on December 17 from 12-4pm: Enjoy some holiday music, complimentary wine tastings for adults, and hot apple cider for kids while you stock up on holiday wines for the season. A few cases of 2014 Paula Sparkling will be available to purchase and some nibbles will be offered to enjoy. Get those last minute stocking stuffers as well! 

 

  • Soup Saturdays: From noon to 5pm, for only $14, going until December 23, visitors can enjoy a bowl of delicious homemade soup made with locally sourced seasonal ingredients, fresh True Grain bread, and a 5oz glass of wine. Some of the soup and wine pairings on the menu include: Squash and Apple soup;  2016 Quill Off-Dry White, Leek and Potato soup; 2015 Quill White, and Mushroom Beef Barley soup: 2015 Quill Red. Also, while you're there, ask to try their famous Mulled Wine Recipe.

 

  • Holiday Parties: Consider an indoor picnic in front of a large fireplace alongside catered culinary offerings and tasty Blue Grouse wines. Or the beautiful and festive upper lounge can be booked for parties from 10-35 people. For reservation requests, contact jennyg@bluegrouse.ca.

Singletree Winery Adds Artisanal Wine Jellies to Lineup

Fraser Valley treats made just in time for the holidays! 

Singletree Winery is releasing its first batch of locally-made wine jellies starting today at the West Coast Christmas Show in Abbotsford, and we're here to tell you all about it!

For only $7.50 each, try all four flavours, from Hot Siggity to Citrus Pinot Gris. Enjoy spread on a lightly toasted fresh-out-of-oven scone or make it savoury as an add-on to your charcuterie plate. With no traces of alcohol content left after production, these jellies are made to share with the whole family.

(Our design team did these cute little labels.)

Perfect wine jelly add-ons to your party platters, that also fits perfectly into a stocking.

Perfect wine jelly add-ons to your party platters, that also fits perfectly into a stocking.

Details:

  • Cost: $7.50 each
  • Flavours made with Singletree wines:
    • Citrus Pinot Gris (with lemon juice, orange rind)
    • Spicy Pinot Noir (cinnamon, star anise, clove)
    • Hot Siggity (red chili, red pepper, Siegerrebe)
    • Siegerrebe (straight up)
  • Pair with charcuterie for a gourmet touch to your dinner party, or give as a gift to a hostess or foodie
  • The jellies are produced locally in the Fraser Valley

Where to get them:

  • Tradex, Abbotsford (1190 Cornell St, Abbotsford, BC, V2T 6H5)

Not going to the Christmas show? No worries!

  • Available at the winery (while they last) starting Wednesday, November 23 (5782 Mount Lehman Rd, Abbotsford, BC V4X 1V4)

Don't be jelly! Get yours today!