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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

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!

It’s Merlot Day! #internationalmerlotday

By Leeann Froese

Since the runaway hit movie Sideways came out in 2004, where the character Miles held nothing back in his hatred of Merlot, this noble varietal has been struggling to find its place once again, after previous years enjoying a huge wave of popularity.

Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlot wines are easy-drinking wines that can be enjoyed on their own or with food. Merlot is a very approachable grape with a medium to full-bodied palate presence.

Aside from being a very reliable standalone varietal wine, Merlot is commonly used by winemakers to blend into other red wines, as it gives a nice fruity softness that is sometimes required to even out a blend.

According to the British Columbia Wine Institute, by acreage planted, Merlot is the number one red wine varietal planted in BC. We are proud to work with BC winery clients that make delicious Merlot (or Merlot blended) wines for you to enjoy.

Evolve Cellars

2016 Cabernet Merlot

Soft, supple, and complex mouth-filling flavours of plum, cherry, and wild red berry dominate from start to finish.

$19.99

 

Pipe’ Dreams

2015 Merlot

Ripe and rich with aromas of dark chocolate, vanillin oak, sun ripened plum and black cherry along with a refreshing note of dried wild herbs in the background.

$22.02

 

Pipe’ Dreams

2014 Reserve Merlot

Lush black cherry, dried plum, fig and cocoa, a full body, and a lingering finish.

$41.40

 

TIME Winery

2016 Cabernet Merlot (Calgary Flames)

A spicy nose with cassis and cedar and a palate filled with plum, cherry, and wild red berry.

$19.99

 

What do you think of Merlot? Are you like Miles in Sideways who says ‘no effing way’? Or are you ‘fill my glass, please'?

Happy National Publicist Day 2017

Today is apparently National Publicist Day. It seems you can choose any day of the week and there’ll be some reason to celebrate but for me I really DO want to celebrate this day.

I’ve been working in media relations for 20 years this year, and it has been a very interesting and wild ride so far. With a saturated market for content, and shrinking media outlets it’s more important than ever to have someone there to help you find your voice and then to have that voice be shared to the right audiences. That’s where we PR people come in.

We are thoughtful in finding ways to get your stories into the news, we're creative with budgets, and we're great connectors of people. It’s a unique skill set that makes a good PR person, and I am proud to employ a talented few, and know many more.

I never set out to be a PR person. I went to business school and studied marketing, but then when I landed my first marketing job with the BC Wine Institute, doing media relations and PR and sending press releases became part of what I had to do in my daily scope of work. (So I went back to school and got my PR certificate on evenings and weekends while I was working, and made sure that my education could meet the skill set for actual work I was doing.) Two decades later, I am so proud of the body of work I have produced.

Thanks to PR I have made numerous relationships across North America - some that I’ve turned into long-lasting friendships; and I have found myself among the cohort of other publicists in Vancouver that we love to collaborate with on an almost weekly basis. Here at Town Hall Brands I am lucky to have killer personalities working on our PR team: Amy Chen, Genevieve Dufresne, Maddie Clerides, and Mr. Sujinder Juneja, who each continually advocate on behalf of our clients to make sure their stories get told across different mediums each and every day.

To all my fellow PR people, and to my own team - Happy National Publicist Day; #gogetit!

What the Canadian Wine Industry has done for me

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By Leeann Froese

Having been in the industry for 20 years, the Canadian Wine Industry has been instrumental in my career. Without the support of Canadian wineries hiring us to do what we do, our boutique marketing agency, Town Hall Brands, would not have started, and evolved to where we are now, (helping wineries and wine regions from all over, as well as all the other lifestyle work we do).

We are grateful. We know that our livelihood depends on the health of these businesses, and we have made a donation. I also challenge anyone who works in the industry to do the same.

So I am asking you to stand by me, my fellow wine friends, and the whole industry, to help.

Canadian wineries want to be able to ship directly to you, no matter where you live in Canada. If markets outside the wineries' home provinces (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec anbd BC is where wine is made in canada) do not become available to premium Canadian wines, many predict the industry will struggle over the long term.

Here's how you can help:

  1. GIVE to the fundraising page via GoFundMe. Funds will be used for legal costs the Supreme Court of Canada.

  2. Download the I Love Canadian Wine toolkit for strategies on how to spread the word.

  3. Share this post online. Ask your friends to share.

The Canadian wine industry has thrived over the last three decades with wineries and grape growers working to create quality wines and build a loyal following.

It employs 38 thousand people, contributes billions to the Canadian economy and is a cornerstone of tourism. Wineries add richness to the culinary scene and buy local movement, and are a shining example of value-added farming and what can be achieved when we work together.

Collectively, we are committed to moving the bar even higher and to leaving a strong wine community for the next generation.

Please give what you can.

Thank you!

R.v. Comeau Media Clippings

Below are some samples of the media attention this case has received.

there are more than 300 media mentions to date.

 

Wine advocate Sandra Oldfield shows how it’s easier to order a gun online from another province than it is a case of wine. - Global Okanagan Evening News

Canadian Man Sues Airline for not Serving Champagne

By Leeann Froese

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A lack of knowledge in the wine world has landed Sunwing Airlines into some trouble. As reported in dozens of news outlets, and also in the Drinks Business, the airline is being sued by a man from Quebec who was served sparkling wine instead of champagne, which was promised in the promotional materials for the flight, that listed 'Champagne Service'.

At the time of this news share this lawsuit was not certified yet, so it'll be interesting to see where this goes. Aside from the litigious nature of this action that is creating a big reaction in the wine world and also all over the web, it made me think.

The heart of this issue is mainly about truthful advertising, but the use of the word Champagne in the airline’s marketing materials also could just be a copy writer’s mistake.

Anyone educated in wine knows that only wines produced in the Champagne region in France can be called Champagne just like only fortified wines made in Portugal can be called Port, and there are other examples that go on, including the capitalization and one-word writing of Icewine here in Canada. (As a marketing agency with a specialization in packaging & marketing wine, we know these things and would never let something like that get to print or into promotional materials.)

The word Champagne has become generic over time for any bubbly wine, just like Band-Aid for bandages or Kleenex for facial tissues, but what we need to remember is that these are all registered names for brands.

But how would a marketing person outside the wine industry know about the legality of Champagne? I guess the lesson here is if you're going to be talking about wine in relationship to your business, make sure that you know what wording to use.

This is creating a reputation hit to Sunwing, who now must defend itself in controversy, instead of promoting holiday vacation packages. Never fun for a PR team.

After the lawsuit was filed, Sunwing's website has been updated and now states that the passengers instead of 'Champagne service' will receive 'a welcome glass of sparkling wine'.

 

Raise a glass to these two women who balance motherhood and winery work

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FacebookCover-MothersDay2017

There is no one more brave, strong or influential in our lives than our mother. We know how much mothers do for us. They wear many hats. Our mothers are teachers, housekeepers, rule enforcers, book keepers, landscapers, nurses, chefs, counselors, taxi drivers and more. Not only are they all of these things, but their job never ends. 

We checked in with two amazing ladies we work with, to learn what motherhood means to them and how their role at the winery may be similar to their role as a Mom...

Laura Preckel of Singletree Winery, and her family
Laura Preckel of Singletree Winery, and her family

Laura Preckel, Singletree Winery, Abbotsford, BC

Our Q: Is your role at the winery anything like motherhood?

Laura: Yes. I take care of the weddings and events. Each bride and groom that comes and books with us is like having a new baby. My job is to guide them, just as I would in motherhood. My brides need to know what rentals they need, what deadlines to meet. I try to ensure all my brides have everything they need from me to have the most magical wedding and the best experience possible. In motherhood, I try to ensure my kids have a memorable childhood. I provide them with the tools to have a successful, fulfilled and happy life. 

Our Q: What is your favourite thing about being a mom?

Laura: Being a mom is scary! I say to myself all the time, am I doing this right thing? My favourite thing though is when I get hugs, cuddles and they say "I love you." Nothing makes my heart melt more. When my son reaches up to hold my hand, I know I made the right decision to become a mom. I never really knew how motherhood would change my life. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. I love my little creatures and family more than anything in the world. 

Jenny Garlini, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and her family
Jenny Garlini, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and her family

Jenny Garlini, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, Duncan, BC 

Our Q: Is your role at the winery anything like motherhood? If so, how?

Jenny: Yes. I’m behind the scenes making things happen.  There are so many things that I do in my role at the winery that no one knows that I do.  From ordering lunch for a team meeting to keeping track of inventory at four different locations, to submitting PST returns.  

It is the same as motherhood – all the behind the scene jobs….making lunches, signing up kids for camps, getting rid of the outgrown clothes and toys, etc. 

Making the home and winery run smoothly- that is my job.  

Our Q: What is your favourite thing about being a mom?

Jenny: Knowing I can always make my kids feel better.  They come to me for hugs, cuddles, kisses on ouchies, or a talk.  My words and comforts make their tears go away.  Nothing is better than that.

#

These two ladies provide only a small window into the work of working moms, all over the world. Happy Mother’s Day to all the super awesome, inspirational, hard working moms out there.

And to the dads who are raising children by being both a Mom and Dad, Happy Mother’s Day to you too! 

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Offers Bed & Bottle Retreat

Client News Grouse House now open for reservations

Blue Grouse Estate Winery announces the highly-anticipated opening of Grouse House, an exclusive 'Bed & Bottle' retreat for wine lovers, exquisitely set within the heart of the historic estate vineyard.

Grouse House at Blue Grouse Winery

Located within minutes from the quaint seaside community of Cowichan Bay and less than an hour from downtown Victoria, the Cowichan Valley wine experience has never been better.

The two-bedroom suite sleeps four, making it ideal for couples or a small family. A modern kitchen is the perfect place to create meals made from the treasures picked up at the Duncan Farmers Market. The panoramic outdoor patio space offers a barbecue and a place to lounge while enjoying a complimentary bottle of wine from Blue Grouse Estate Winery.

Other amenities include luxurious linens and towels, a gas fireplace, air-conditioning and complimentary WiFi. The Grouse House is perfect for wedding and honeymoon stays, family adventures, or small corporate retreats. Escape today and enjoy the very best that Island wine country has to offer.

For available dates and rates, email stay@bluegrouse.ca

Book online at www.vrbo.com/997490

Photos of the Grouse House for media found here.

Grouse House accommodation on Vancouver island

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 portfolio of award-winning wines, but also for evens, picnics, and family adventures.

The inspired winery facility was but 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.

The Blue Grouse tasting room is open year round with season hours. For the hours when you plan your visit, visit bluegrouse.ca.

If you have any additional questions about Grouse House, please feel free to contact us at Town Hall Brands. 

 

 

Call for aid to victims of Peru flooding

Posted by Leeann Froese Lend a Heart for Peru

Town Hall Brands is based on the west coast of Canada in a rain forest environment, and so we are no strangers to seasonal rain. At times the precipitation can be heavy and we sometimes see some flooding, but never even close to the scale of what is happening in Peru.

It's with that shocking reality of how good we have it here and those that need our help so much, we must share this news from our BC one clients and also share that they are inspiring others to take action - Leeann

Blue Grouse Estate Winery appeals to the public to help those affected by the rains and flooding in Peru. People are encouraged to donate here: gofundme.com/DonationsForCrisisInPeru

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An Island Winery with Strong Peruvian Ties

Peru is special to the owners of the winery. The Brunner family, who purchased the pioneering Island winery in 2012, call Peru home for half of the year. Cristina Brunner is Peruvian and has deep roots, with many family members there. Paul and Cristina's daughter Paula, 22 and currently studying in Scotland, has established the online fundraiser with the goal of raising £5,000.

Paula, having experienced a mudslide or "hauyco" first hand, knows how terrifying the experience can be. She has leaped to help; saying "Peru is a poor country; it is my country, and from my heart I want to help."

Effective immediately, and until the end of April, all Blue Grouse Estate Winery tasting room fees collected will be donated to the cause, and the Brunner family will match those donations.

A State of Emergency in Peru

Due to the effects of 'El Niño', which have been exacerbated by climate change, the country of Peru has seen some of the heaviest rains in its history since December. Over the last two weeks, flooding has intensified. Torrential rains have triggered destructive mudslides along the coast of Peru from north to south, and the death toll has reached at least 75 people. A state of emergency has been declared across half the country and at least 100,000 people have been left homeless.

The highly unusual rains follow a series of storms that have struck hard along Peru's northern coast. This has damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes, collapsed 117 bridges and paralyzed countless roadways. The running water treatment systems are clogged, leaving people with limited access to safe drinking water.

The Brunner family's GoFundMe proceeds will go directly towards helping families and communities affected by the floods to overcome the challenges they are currently facing in the areas of food, water and clothing.

The damage is tough to grasp. The sheer volumes of water that whip away the hillsides, railways, roads and bridges,is captured for the world to see live.

This video from Climate State provides a compilation of video footage of the disaster:

Mobilizing a Community

And the Brunners have inspired action in others.

When Summerhill Pyramid Winery owner Stephen Cipes saw what Blue Grouse was doing, he too leaped into action.

Cipes has a long history of being a friend to people from all over the globe. He says, “Let's do something wonderful for those brothers and sisters who need it most! Rapidamente!”

At the Kelowna winery, watch for wine and dessert features, with partial proceeds collected to go to Peru as well.

Heavy rains expected until the end of April

Blue Grouse Estate Winery owner Paul Brunner notes “Let's get some perspective on the seriousness of this problem. If you were to superimpose Peru over Europe there would be continuous floods, landslides and heavy rains from Amsterdam all the way down to Rome. That’s the Pacific Ocean side of Peru’s tragedy!

Now let’s look at the Amazon (Brazil) side of Peru. These same events are affecting an area from Munich down to Sarajevo, with heavy rains are expected to last well into April. Your help is needed and appreciated!”

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Notice from Global Affairs Canada

And as a last note, and public service announcement:

Global Affairs Canada shares the following notice to Canadians

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the departments of Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Piura and Tumbes due to flooding, landslides, and mudslides resulting from heavy rains.

The Government of Peru has created an interactive map indicating the affected areas. Widespread damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, is causing disruptions to transport and communications. The Government of Peru has declared a state of emergency for the main highway (Carretera Central) connecting Lima to the east. All major airports in Peru are operating; however commercial flights could be suspended without warning.

Free evacuation flights from some affected areas are being offered by the Peruvian Air Force; consult their Facebook page for flight schedules. There are shortages of food, potable water and fuel in the affected areas. Other regions of Peru, including Lima, are rationing potable water or have limited access to water. Water- and insect-borne diseases may also become a threat. Medical facilities in affected regions are overburdened. There remains a high risk of further flooding throughout the region, as rainfall is predicted to continue until mid-April.

If you are in the affected area, ensure you have adequate emergency supplies and an emergency kit. For assistance, contact the Embassy of Canada in Lima or local authorities at IPeru (01-574-8000; iperu@promperu.gob.pe). Monitor local media for the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities. Verify your travel plans with your airline or tour operator.

We encourage you to stay connected with the latest travel advice and advisories, via the web at http://travel.gc.ca, our mobile TravelSmart application, available at http://travel.gc.ca/mobile, and our RSS feeds at http://travel.gc.ca/rss. You may also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/travelGoC or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/travelGoC.

For emergency assistance after hours you may communicate with the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa (EWRC) by calling the Embassy and following the instructions. You may also reach the EWRC directly by dialing (collect call where available), +1-613-996-8885 or toll free 001-800-387-3124 or by email at sos@international.gc.ca

Canadian citizens requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada in Lima at 319-3200 or lima-cs@international.gc.ca.

 

Celebrating International Women's Day #WithTownHall

Happy International Women's Day! 

With a number of our clients and team members being women, we want to celebrate International Women’s Day by highlighting the leadership and dedication of the women in Town Hall Brands' circle. Most of all, we invite you to help us celebrate and recognize these incredible women for their hard work and achievements.

Thank you ladies for everything that you do! Here is what the women #WithTownHall had to say about being a woman in the work force, what International Women's Day means to them, and why it's important to celebrate this day together.


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"To me, the meaning of this day is as diverse as the individuals who celebrate it. It's about giving recognition to the women who inspire us, reflecting on our past struggles and achievements, planning for positive change in the future, and making the commitment to invest in the untapped potential and opportunities for future generations of women."


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"The biggest challenge is the pressure I put on myself to exceed my own expectations in all aspects of my life. Trying to not only balance, but exes, in the multiple businesses, industry boards, volunteer activities, and family obligations, sometimes leaves very little time to take care of myself."


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Can you imagine not being able to vote? No, me either! International Women's Day reminds us where we've been and how far we've come, it celebrates all women, especially those that blazed the trails and fought for gender equality."


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"International Women's Day is hugely important to me because it acknowledges that the fight for women's equality is far from being over. The community that has risen from today's feminist movement has not only inspired me to lift up other women, but to never stop learning about women's struggles around the world instead of focusing on issues solely on issues solely in my own line of vision."


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"International Woman's Day is a remind that our fight is not over, and that we cannot take our rights for granted. I think this is incredibly important, especially in today's political climate. Women around the world still do not have social, political, and economic equality. Violence against women is not only a problem abroad, it is also not being adequately addressed in our own country. I believe it is essential to have a day dedicated to confronting and finding solutions to these issues."


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"International Women's Day is a day to celebrate all women - all of the accomplishments we have made, as well as the work that still needs to happen to be seen as equals." 


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"My biggest challenge of being a woman in the workforce has been having my voice heard and sticking to a good work/life balance."


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"I find it disheartening at times that we still need a day to call attention to our worth. That said, it means we have an official day to gain attention and celebrate women and their accomplishments the world over. It is a time to reinforce the love for the sisterhood."


THB-IWD-2017-Headshots-Amy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"International Women's Day is a celebration of every step that we have taken in bringing equality to not only women but every individual in our society. As well, a reminder that together, we are stronger and we can make a positive difference in each other's lives."