Meet Steven Spurrier #withTownHall

By Leeann Froese It’s a new week to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #withTownHall!

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are).

We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them. This week #withTownHall, we introduce you to Steven Spurrier.

Steven Spurrier - Decanter Magazine

Steven Spurrier, Decanter magazine’s consulting editor and chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards, has been a leader in the global wine industry for 50 years. Spurrier’s introduction to wine was through his grandfather on Christmas eve in 1945 when he was poured a Cockburn’s 1908 port after dinner. It was at this point that Spurrier knew he would make wine his profession; starting in cellars of Christopher and Co, he would go on to start his own wine shop, Les Caves de la Madeleine and then L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school, he now is the proprietor of a 10-hectare vineyard, Bride Valley, at his farm in Dorset. This lifelong passion for wine has led Spurrier to be at the forefront of the international wine industry.

This August, Spurrier visited BC to judge in a blind tasting event organized by the BC Wine Institute and Vancouver wine luminary DJ Kearney. The event, aptly named the Judgment of BC, was fashioned after Spurrier’s 1976 Judgement of Paris event which pitted California Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons against their French counterparts and concluded with a shocking decision in which the French judges scored Californian wines highest in each category.

The Judgement of BC put local Chardonnays and Syrahs beside a world class selection from around the globe.  While the 2013 vintage from the Okanagan’s C.C. Jentsch topped the list of Syrahs, the BC Chardonnays did not fair as well with the top B.C. vintage Okanagan Falls’ Blue Mountain Reserve 2013 in sixth place.

After sitting down for a tasting with Kurtis Kolt, he left him with these words: “My message to British Columbia is that I think you undervalue yourselves: your wines are sensational.”

Both the Judgement of B.C. and Spurrier’s commentary on BC wines have been a reaffirmation that the industry is continuing to move in the right direction and has the ability to produce world class vintages. The Somm Journal has just published an article by Spurrier entitled "The Best of British Columbia", in which he gives these encouraging words; "For me, wine is the three Ps: the place, the people and the product. British Columbia ticks all three boxes with exuberance, elegance and conviction." It was an honour and pleasure to have Spurrier visit BC and taste what our region has to offer.

With all of that said about Steven, will you please help us give a big hello to him?

For more coverage of Spurrier’s visit and the Judgement of BC please visit:

“I think that was a very successful tasting,” Spurrier remarked to the Westender, “There wasn’t a dud wine in there. Syrah always has a wonderful exuberance and a wonderful expression and I found that the British Columbia Syrah were very expressive.”

“You’re not an emerging wine region but a deserving wine region” - Check out Tim Pawsey's coverage of Spurrier's visit over at Hired Belly.

John Schreiner's coverage of Judgment of BC and the C.C. Jentsch Cellars' vintage that topped the list of Syrahs during this momentous blind tasting event.  

Kurtis Kolt sat down with Spurrier for a tasting of BC wines at Chambar, learn about their conversation on the BC wine industry and their tasting notes from the evening.

Check out Kurtis Kolt's coverage of the Judgment of BC and the full listing of Chardonnay and Syrah results over at The Georgia Straight.

Daenna Van Mulligen, one of the judges at the Judgment of BC, writes a very interesting article on her experience as well as covering Spurrier's visit and remarks on her website Wine Diva.

Read Treve Ring's coverage of and thoughts on the Judgment of BC over at Anthony Gismondi On Wine.

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