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Bike to Work week With Town Hall

“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 Estate Winery Releases Event Calendar

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.  

Blue Grouse visitors enjoy a glass in the sun. Photo by Derek Ford.

Blue Grouse visitors enjoy a glass in the sun. Photo by Derek Ford.

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

·      All registration fees and $5 per bottle of wine will be donated to Nourish Cowichan. Tickets can be purchased here online or at the tasting room.

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!

Wine Slushys at Blue Grouse are incomparable!

Wine Slushys at Blue Grouse are incomparable!

Visit bluegrouse.ca for wine festival happenings TBA!

For further questions about these events or summer at Blue Grouse, contact jenny@bluegrouse.ca or look at the event calendar online.

 

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

TIME Winery Captures Big Regional Win

TIME Winery Captures Big Regional Win

TIME Winery Captures Big Regional Win

Best of Varietal and Inaugural Best of Show  awarded to Riesling 2017 in Okanagan Wine Festivals BC Best of Varietals

BC Wine & Restaurant Legend Wins 2019 Trailblazer Award

BC Wine & Restaurant Legend Wins 2019 Trailblazer Award

Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, has been honoured with the 2019 Trailblazer Award by the BC Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier during the Where magazine Where to Dine Awards celebration.

Vancouver Island Winery Continues to Lead the Way

Vancouver Island Winery Continues to Lead the Way

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

When El Viento Comes to Town, it’s the Fans that Win 

When El Viento Comes to Town, it’s the Fans that Win 

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!

At Prowein? Taste Prosecco Superiore & Raise a Glass to 50 years of Heroic Viticulture

Hall 15 stand F21 is where you will find DOCG Prosecco Superiore wines

Heroic viticulture refers to the challenge cultivating vines in regions with hillsides and steep slopes - like Conegliano Valdobbiadene

Heroic viticulture refers to the challenge cultivating vines in regions with hillsides and steep slopes - like Conegliano Valdobbiadene

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.

 

Must-Visit BC Wineries at the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2019

Must-Visit BC Wineries at the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2019

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.

Go Haywire with Pink Bub this Valentine's Day

Go Haywire with Pink Bub this Valentine's Day

To mark Valentine's Day, Okanagan Crush Pad sparkling winemaker Lynzee Schatz made a very limited quantity of delicious Haywire Pink Bub using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

Fantastic BC Wines to try during Dine Out Vancouver 2019

Fantastic BC Wines to try during Dine Out Vancouver 2019

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.

Blue Grouse Kicks Off the New Year as Best Island Winery

Blue Grouse Estate Winery is starting the new year with tremendous recognition for its quality! 

In late December, they captured a double platinum award for the 2016 Quill Pinot Noir at the 19th Annual Wine Press Northwest Platinum Competition. To add to that, the winery ended 2018 with the coveted spot for Best Island Winery from Times Colonist readers.

"We are honoured to be given such recognition by our Vancouver Island customers," remarked winery owner Paul Brunner. "My thanks to our winery team who have worked so hard for this accolade. It's a hell of a great way to start the new year!"

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In the heart of Vancouver Island is Blue Grouse Estate Winery, a hidden Cowichan Valley gem. Family-owned, sustainably-farmed and multi-award-winning, the winery and surrounding vineyards are a sought-after destination not only for sampling the winery's portfolio of top-quality wines, but also for events, picnics and family adventures. The tasting room is open 11 months of the year for visits and tastings. 

Visit bluegrouse.ca, for the winery's upcoming events such as Soup Saturdays, pruning workshops, long table dinners, concerts, and more!

Make Your Weekend Retreat at Grouse House

Book your next weekend retreat at the Grouse House. The quietude of the surrounding vineyard and natural serenity is the place to be for a weekend relaxation and recharge.  Contact jennyg@bluegrouse.ca

NEW BG-DoublePlatinum-WinePressNorthwest-2018.jpg

Tasting Room Hours

January: by appointment only, 11am - 5 pm

February to April: 11am - 5pm, open Wednesday to Sunday

May to October: 11am - 5pm, open daily

November to December: 11am - 5 pm, open Wednesday to Sunday.

For the hours when you plan your visit, see bluegrouse.ca or 250-743-3834.

Inspiring Children's Theatre Gears up for 2019

Following the success of Aladdin last year, and The Little Mermaid Jr. in fall 2018, The Children's Theatre of Richmond Association is prepared to step into the spotlight in 2019. 

We now have dates for two of their productions: Cinderella G2k and Mary Poppins Jr. and e would love for you to help us spread the word for this burgeoning theatre company.

Cinderella G2K

Date: May 17th - 20th, 2019 

Location: Granville Island Stage, Vancouver, BC

Booking details: Please pay attention to ctora.ca official website 

Fun fact: director Heather Ondersma has worked on Broadway!

Mary Poppins Jr.

Date: November 22 and November 23, 2019

Location: Massey Theatre, New Westminster, BC

Booking details: Please pay attention to ctora.ca official website

Fun fact: director Emma Swords was the creative director for The Little Mermaid Jr. (photos below)

Founded by Lily Yuan, the Children's Theatre of Richmond Association(CTORA) is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities to support young artist and youth in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver community.

Youth Performers are cast each year to perform in annual musical productions that showcase their artistic talent and passion, while providing an opportunity to learn from some of the best artists and musicians in British Columbia. Past musical productions include: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid and more. Learn more at CTORA.ca

Media: please email us at info@townhallbrands.com if you want more information or interview opportunities.

New Year, New Winemaker for Black Hills Estate Winery

[Oliver, BC] Black Hills Estate Winery (Black Hills) is excited to announce its new head winemaker, Ross Wise.

Wise brings with him a breadth of expertise to the role of head winemaker at Black Hills Estate Winery. Originally from New Zealand, Wise holds a Bachelor of Viticulture and Advanced diploma in Wine Science from Charles Sturt University in Australia. He has worked with renowned producers in New Zealand and Ontario before the cool climate wine industry in British Columbia drew his attention. 

After 16 years of winemaking, viticulture and consulting experience, Wise and his family settled in Oliver, British Columbia. Prior to Black Hills, Wise was head winemaker and general manager at Phantom Creek Estate. Wise holds a WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits and is pursuing his Master of Wine.

Ross Wise at Black Hills Estate Winery - Lionel Trudel Photo.

Ross Wise at Black Hills Estate Winery - Lionel Trudel Photo.

"We are thrilled have Ross join us at Black Hills," enthuses Glenn Fawcett, chief wine evangelist. "We conducted a wide-ranging international search for our new winemaker that resulted in several outstanding candidates, and Ross stood out for us."

Fawcett continues, "His passion for the craft and our Black Sage Road terroir, combined with his extensive experience, academic credentials, and endearing personality, made his selection a natural for us."

Wise is keen to assume the new role. "I'm really looking forward to joining the Black Hills team in January," he notes. "This is a great opportunity to be part of the next chapter of one of the Okanagan's most recognized and respected wineries. The ability to focus on making premium red wines such as Nota Bene," he continues, "is a big draw for me."

Wise is eager to get to know the Black Hills Estate vineyards intimately to make wines that clearly reflect their origins. "I hope to continue to elevate the outstanding quality of Black Hills wines, using precision and high attention to detail in the vineyard, combined with gentle and thoughtful winemaking," he shares.

Fawcett is equally excited. "We are extremely confident that Ross Wise is the perfect person to carry the winemaking torch at Black Hills and help us continue our journey to the next level." 

Wise joins the winery team effective January 7, 2019.

Photo Library:

Photos of Ross Wise and Black Hills Estate Winery available via Dropbox.

Haywire Makes Decanter’s Most Exciting Wines of 2018 List

[Summerland, BC] Okanagan Crush Pad winery announces its Haywire Free Form White 2016 has made Decanter magazine’s Most Exciting Wines of 2018 list, placing in the top 10, with a score of 94 points.

In the January 2019 issue, Decanter’s experts from around the world named the top 50 bottles under £60 that impressed them most this year, with Oz Clarke calling the Haywire an “astonishing Canadian Sauvignon Blanc”.

This is the fist time a Canadian winery has made Decanter’s Top 10

This is the fist time a Canadian winery has made Decanter’s Top 10

The winery, while no stranger to UK wine circles, is beyond excited to have these kudos.

“We are so proud of our team, in particular the work of our chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, and growers Terry Waters and Cathy Banks,” notes winery owner Christine Coletta. “Our mission is to have Okanagan wines stand proudly next to a global selection of respected brands. This recognition shows us we are well on our way to demonstrating that our region can compete on the world stage.”

The focus at Okanagan Crush Pad is on authenticity and quality. Free Form wines are made using organic grapes, native yeast, extended skin contact, are free of commercial additives, have little to no sulfites added, and are unfiltered.

“We found the best way to achieve authenticity of place is to not manipulate or add anything to wine, including oak influence,” remarks Dumayne. “While you need to give up some modern conveniences, with a highly-skilled team with global viticulture and winemaking experience, you can get it right.”

Coletta credits consulting winemaker Alberto Antonini and terroir consultant Pedro Parra for their guiding influence. “Their vision for what the Okanagan is capable of has driven our work.”

While the 2016 Haywire Free Form White is now sold out, customers seeking to experience Free Form wines can visit okanagancrushpad.com.

Okanagan Crush Pad has quickly built a reputation as a premium producer and has received many awards and accolades since its launch in 2011 with chief winemaker Matt Dumayne at the helm. Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie created Okanagan Crush Pad as a purpose-built custom crush facility. Increasingly, the facility is used to craft the team’s own wines and now produces 45,000 cases annually.

From here, their own wines, Haywire, Narrative, and Free Form are made. Located in beautiful Summerland, BC, the winery overlooks Switchback Organic Vineyard, a site that is also home to chickens and ducks. Dumayne and his cellar team craft wines using concrete wine tanks, native yeast and minimal winemaking intervention. The wines reflect the region’s unique high mountain/northern desert setting noted for its intensely hot, short growing season with hallmark cool evenings and winters that bring a protective covering of snow.

Visitors to the tasting lounge, set in the heart of this state-of-the-art facility, get a rare glance into the art of winemaking. Watch the cellar team in action, discover concrete tanks, and learn how the team composes wines that are definitive expressions of their vineyards.

For more information visit: okanagancrushpad.com.

L-R: Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie Credit: Lionel Trudel

L-R: Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie Credit: Lionel Trudel