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
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.
4 BC WINERIES TO DISCOVER The wine world convenes February 11-19 for the Vancouver International Wine Festival.
In 2017, the wine world celebrates Canada in its 150th year of Confederation. Meet BC wine pioneers and stars that continue to shape the industry and taste their amazing wines.
DOWNLOAD a PDF: Four BC Wineries to Discover at VIWF
3 Story Starters
2. Trends in BC Wine Sparkling Wine | Organic | On site experiences | City Winery
3. Organic Okanagan Stephen Cipes' 2020 vision - great plans for the health of the Okanagan Valley
Meet the wineries...
Industry icon Christine Coletta & husband Steve Lornie built Canada’s first custom-crush facility on Switchback Organic Vineyard. With the input of lauded international consultants Alberto Antonini and Pedro Parra, winemaker Matt Dumayne is turning heads and garnering acclaim for his natural wines made using state-of-the-art concrete tanks, native yeast and minimal additives. With the help of Pedro, the team is working hard to shape a new direction by understanding terroir.
Talk to: Christine Coletta – co-owner, one of Canada’s most astute wine marketers Matt Dumayne – winemaker Pedro Parra – internationally–lauded terroir expert
2) Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery has led the BC organic movement since the Cipes family purchased the vineyard in 1986. The winery was certified organic in 2007, with biodynamic certification for its Kelowna vineyard following in 2012. Winning national and international awards for its pyramid-aged wines, Summerhill is Canada’s foremost producer of sparkling wine and is BC’s most visited winery. A tireless change maker, founder Stephen Cipes is at the helm of the Okanagan 2020 initiative to transition the entire valley to 100% organic by the year 2020.
Talk to: Stephen Cipes - founder Ezra Cipes - CEO and a BC wine leader Eric von Krosigk - winemaker
3) Evolve Cellars
Evolve Cellars is a celebration of BC’s next generation, Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, daughter of industry pioneer, and chair of the BC Wine Institute, leads Evolve Cellars in embracing the traditions of BC wine industry to create today’s winery experience. Whether it’s a picnic on the sun-drenched patios with lakefront view or an onsite meal at E Restaurant, Evolve Cellars will leave you with an experiential journey to Okanagan Wine Country. Start yours with a glass of its approachable and affordable wines.
Talk to: Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond – oversees the winery; chair of the BC Wine Institute Nadine Allander – winemaker Tristan MacLaggan – hospitality director
Led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 50-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. Harry has done many firsts in his career: founding the BC Wine Institute, introducing VQA to BC, and bringing Meritage to Canada, for a few. Throughout his career, he has celebrated that winemaking is about time and place. Now the TIME is to innovate and do another “first”: a heritage theatre is being revitalized into a fully-functional winery and experience centre in downtown Penticton.
Talk to: Harry McWatters – president, grandfather of the industry Lawrence Buhler – winemaker
These are only a few ideas; let us help you with stories.
Would you like images, an interview, or to learn more? Contact Sujinder Juneja for assistance.
According to the BC Wine Institute (BCWI), BC’s cool-climate grape crop is on track for another excellent vintage this year. Hot and dry conditions in the spring led to the earliest bud break on record and the earliest harvest ever for some wineries in the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. The low average temperatures and high rainfall allowed BC grapes to have more time to ripen on the vine and to accumulate flavour and aromatic compounds. This contributes to wines that are fresh, complex and balanced with higher acidity that make them versatile food pairings.
Bailey Williamson, winemaker for Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Duncan on Vancouver Island, is expecting another excellent harvest at the Cowichan Valley estate. A strong growing season in April and May, followed by a cooler June and July than the previous year, led to an elongated flowering and fruit set cycle and allowed the grapes to mature and ripen to classic levels. The Blue Grouse harvest started on September 10, beginning with the popular Siegerrebe, an aromatic white varietal which tends to ripen earliest. After that, there will be a break in harvest until the end of September, when the rest of the grapes will be harvested in earnest. Compared to all the vintages since 2012, this year’s harvest started within a week of normal.
Conditions on the mainland were similar to Vancouver Island. Andrew Etsell, GM and viticulturist of Singletree Winery in Abbotsford notes that with the warm and dry August, the grapes developed beautiful flavours with balanced acids and sugars. Singletree began its harvest on August 25 – one full week earlier than 2015, and the winery’s earliest harvest on record. “We started with our Siegerrebe, which is evolving into one of our most popular wines,” Andrew shares. “We’re also keeping a close eye on our estate Pinot Noir, which we have just harvested for our first-ever estate sparkling wine. Other estate varietals, such as our Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc, will follow after that. This year’s harvest will not yield as much fruit as 2015, yet the fruit will be clean and very high quality."
After an unseasonably warm spring, followed by an early summer, Serendipity Winery’s Katie O’Kell was concerned that the harvest would take place much earlier than normal at her estate Naramata vineyard. However, the cooler, wetter weather moved in, which allowed the grapes to mature a more moderate pace.
Serendipity’s harvest started on August 29 with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and continued on August 31 with Viognier. With a dry and cool climate, the phenolics (flavour and aromatic compounds) will eventually catch up to the brix (a measure of potential alcohol) that is currently sitting in the low 20s.
Likewise, Lawrence Buhler, director of winemaking for ENCORE Vineyards, which produces wines under the TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection labels, is also in the middle of an active harvest. Compared to last year, Buhler and his winemaking team saw a two-day early start to the season on August 17. Harvest has almost been completed for the still whites, with additional harvests to take place in the next two to four weeks for red varietals.
Regarding the balance of the 2016 harvest, Lawrence says the reds are maturing well and the cooler weather is excellent for proper fruit development and sugar accumulation in the berries.
Harry McWatters, president and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards said recently to Global Television, “we had record-breaking temperatures in April and the earliest bud break that I’ve seen in my history in British Columbia. This is my 49th vintage in the wine business and I’ve never seen a harvest this early. What it does is even in the fringe areas, where the grower may be pushing their limit as far as what they’re growing or the amount of crop they’ve got, it gives them a bit bigger window to mature that fruit to its optimum level. It’s a good thing.”
Indeed it is, Harry. And although the wineries – from Vancouver Island to the Fraser Valley to the Okanagan – are right in the middle of an exciting harvest, we already can’t wait to taste the finished wines starting next spring.
Town Hall Brands: Specializing in wine, food and hospitality
Town Hall Brands, based in Vancouver BC, build brands and promotes them. We offer marketing strategy, graphic design, packaging, promotional campaigns and PR, and social media outreach.
Can we help you with a story? If it comes to a story in need in wine, we can help or send you to the right place.
British Columbia Wine Institute's Fall VQA Tasting, Colour, is on the horizon. An event for trade and media to mingle with winery principals and winemakers while tasting new releases. Later on, at "ChefmeetsGrape" the public will be able to taste the new vintages, accompanying delicious food pairings from hot restaurants.
TRADE: In order to plan your strategy for tasting your way through the day, Town Hall Brands is going to give you the inside scoop on each of our PR clients that are attending and what you can taste from them.
Since the tasting will be organized alphabetically (we hope), let's start at the top:
Evolve Cellars, located in Summerland, offers a lineup of wines that are fruit-forward and approachable. Believing every choice has intention Evolve encourages everyone to #raiseaglassto those who inspire them.
Principals attending: Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond, director of sales and marketing
Wines being poured:
Located in Summerland, Okanagan Crush Pad is home to Haywire and Narrative Wines. The winery team's aim is to produce distinct, terroir-focused super-premium wines from the Okanagan Valley.
Principal attending: Christine Coletta, owner
Wines being poured:
Nestled among the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench, a visit to Serendipity is about discovery, surprise and warmth. The journey began in 2005 following a serendipitous turn in the road made by owner Judy Kingston, and continues with each new vintage of wines crafted to be paired with food and shared with loved ones. Judy, a former lawyer, brings her smarts and wit to the wines and their labels. Each bottle has a story.
Principal attending: Judy Kingston, owner
Wines being poured:
Wine making is about time and place, and that’s what TIME Winery proves with each new vintage. As what will be Penticton's first urban winery, spearheaded by industry pioneer and icon Harry McWatters, these wines are complex yet approachable.
Principal attending: Harry McWatters, owner
Wines being poured:
We're taking a moment heading into the long weekend to #raiseaglassto one of our amazing clients and their winemaker Lawrence Buhler. The results of the NorthWest Wine Summit are in and it's safe to say that ENCORE Vineyards, parent company of Evolve Cellars, McWatters Collection and TIME Winery, and their winemaker deserve a round of applause for their recent landslide of awards.
"Best" Category - Evolve Cellars Riesling 2015
Best Value Wines: Evolve Cellars Rosé 2015, Evolve Cellars Riesling 2015
ENCORE Vineyards Ltd., is a progressive Okanagan-based company, and home to TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and McWatters Collection.
The ENCORE team is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 49-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond is the ENCORE director of sales and marketing, offering lifelong wine industry insight. Lawrence Buhler is ENCORE’s director of winemaking, who has experienced more than 16 vintages in Ontario, British Columbia, Chile, Argentina, and Australia. He will oversee the company’s growing portfolio of premium British Columbia wines.
Congratulations winemaker Lawrence; the Town Hall Brands team awaits your encore!
Town Hall Brands Client News Contact Sujinder Juneja 604-367-6745
Urban Winery Coming to Downtown Penticton
Former PenMar Theatre complex to take on new life as a winery & hospitality centre
[Penticton, BC] - ENCORE Vineyards Ltd., home to TIME Winery, McWatters Collection, and Evolve Cellars, announces it has purchased the former PenMar Theatre Complex (361 Martin Street, Penticton) and will be transforming it into an urban winery, the first in the South Okanagan.
The subjects have now been removed on the sale, paving the way for ENCORE to begin modifications on the building that will see it ready for wine production of the 2016 vintage.
The restored building will be home to a brand-new winery production facility, including a crush pad, barrel cellar, custom fermentation hall, lab, warehouse, and administrative offices. When open to the public, the visitor experience will include a tasting bar, a small plates lounge, a 40-seat outdoor patio, as well as a retail wine shop.
An onsite commercial kitchen will give the winery the ability to host public and private events. Banquet facilities and other offerings are being planned for the future.
In keeping with the community's desire to showcase local performing arts, ENCORE will maintain one of the theatres as a 75-seat movie, performance and event space for concerts, private functions and non-profit uses. Ultimately, this destination, multi-purpose winery, bistro and theatre will help to attract visitors to the area and assist with the revitalization of the downtown.
The PenMar is a historic site with a long history of arts and culture. Built in 1956, the theatre closed in 2012 after its then-current owners, Landmark Cinemas, moved into a multiplex location. An organization named the PenMar Community Arts Society attempted to raise enough money to restore the building, but was not able to raise the funds required. ENCORE Vineyards, who coincidentally contributed to the society's fundraising efforts, is pleased to be able to help preserve this historic building and contribute to the community.
Harry McWatters, president and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards says, "We are excited to share the next chapter of ENCORE Vineyards with our Penticton neighbours. Our aim is to create a downtown destination that the South Okanagan can be proud of, while preserving the legacy of this vibrant cultural landmark."
About Encore Vineyards:
ENCORE Vineyards Ltd., a progressive Okanagan-based company, is home to a number of wine brands, providing a host of wines and hospitality service. The ENCORE team has developed an unparalleled opportunity for investors to participate in the growth of its existing enterprise, substantial brand expansion, and premium brand acquisition opportunities. By consolidating certain operating, management, and marketing and sales strategies of multiple wineries, ENCORE will improve financial returns in what has the potential to be a high-margin industry. Learn more at encorevineyards.ca.
ENCORE has amassed an impressive team, poised to help define the next generation of Okanagan winemaking via its production of premium wines in the Okanagan Valley. The company is known for its labels including TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection. In 2016, ENCORE Vineyards expands, with new projects that further celebrate the spirit of the South Okanagan.
The ENCORE team is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 48-year veteran of the British Columbia wine industry. Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond is the ENCORE marketing director, offering lifelong wine industry insight. Lawrence Buhler is ENCORE’s director of winemaking, who has experienced more than 15 vintages in Ontario, British Columbia, Chile, Argentina, and Australia. He will oversee the company’s growing portfolio of premium British Columbia wines.
On September 16th, the British Columbia Wine Institute will host Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting and ChefMeetsBCGrape at Canada Place to showcase VQA wines of British Columbia. To learn more about these two events, please visit our earlier post here. On each day leading up to the events, we will to introduce you to wineries in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. Today, we would like to introduce...
Evolve Cellars, Summerland BC
Evolve Cellars was born from the concept of the celebration of self, your successes and growth in life. This winery, and winemaker Lawrence Buhler, know that the Okanagan Valley has evolved to produce some of the best wines on the planet and intends to gently transform the fruit that mother nature creates in this beautiful region to create wines that are fresh, fruit-forward, crisp, approachable, and well-balanced.
See what makes this winery, with its beautiful design and breathtaking vineyard overlooking the Okanagan Lake, the perfect place to raise a glass to friends and family and mostly importantly, yourself.
To Learn More:
What you will taste:
Who you will meet:
Lawrence Buhler, director of winemaking, and Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, director of sales and marketing, will be available to answer any questions you might have.
by Ali Harris
Celebrate the arrival of fresh, local, home grown wine and sunny spring time, with the annual Bloom: Wines of British Columbia Spring Release Tasting.
Explore more than 90 BC wineries showcasing over 360 BC VQA wines! The event is sure to provide a wonderful overview of the capabilities of BC's terroir.
We encourage trade and media who are attending to stop by the tables of our clients, and we have provided you with a bit of intel about each.
A note to Journalists: we can help you with any interview requests for the visiting winery principals.
Winery: Evolve Cellars
Who you will meet: Harry McWatters (founder), Christa-Lee McWatters Bond (founder), Steve Jones (hospitality)
What you will tast
2012 Cabernet Merlot 2014 Rosé 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
2013 Pinot Blanc
Need to know fact: Evolve is the newest winery on Summerland's Bottleneck Drive. In fact, it opened to the public on May 16th! Led by Christa-Lee McWatters Bond and Harry McWatters, their goal is to gently transform the fruit that Mother Nature creates, into wines that can be enjoyed by all.
Winery: Mt Boucherie Family Estate Winery
Who you will meet: Jim Faulkner (winemaker)
What you will taste:
2012 Pinot Noir
Need to know facts: At Mt. Boucherie Winery, there’s a wine country experience for everyone. Whether it’s a picnic, yoga or a family-style dinner in the vineyard, you’ll want to bring a friend because everything is better in two.
Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad
Who you will meet: Christine Coletta (owner), Amy Hollenbach (sales), Alison Scholefield (brand manager) and Rebeka Eriksson (sales)
What you will taste:
2014 Haywire Rose
2013 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris
2013 Haywire Pinot Noir
2012 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir
Need to know facts: Okanagan Crush Pad is the first in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks, and wines that are fermented and aged in concrete carry the Raised in Concrete™ designation. See what differences you think the use of concrete makes!
Winery: Serendipity Winery
Located: Naramata Who you will meet: Judy Kingston and Katie O'Kell (owners)
What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Grigio
2010 Devil's Advocate
Need to know facts: Judy Kingston makes her every wine with food pairings in mind. Be sure to stop by and try their wines and chat about the stories behind each wine... because there's a story in every bottle.
Winery: Singletree Winery
Located: Abbotsford Who you will meet: Andrew Etsell (owner)
What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Noir
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Pinot Gris
Need to know facts: Singletree Winery is committed to showing the world what the Fraser Valley is capable of. The winery was named for a single harness yoke that was commonly used in the late 1800s. The Singletree was an essential tool that allowed fertile land in the Mt. Lehman area to be cleared to make way for farms.
Winery: SpierHead Winery
Who you will meet: Marina and Bill Knutson (owners) What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Noir
2014 Pinot Gris
Need to know facts: This small winery flies under the radar for many, but keeps capturing accolades and awards in every competition entered. For example, the 2014 Pinot Gris was just given 90 points from Beppi Crosariol!
Winery: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Who you will meet: Ezra Cipes (CEO)
What you will taste: Cipes Brut
2012 Organic Pinot Noir (first public debut!) 2014 Alive Organic White (first public debut!) 2012 Alive Organic Red (first public debut!) Need to know fact: Summerhill Pyramid Winery is fully committed to organic practices. Ask them about their nitrogen generator or their on premise pyramid cellar which is second only to the Great Pyramid of Egypt for alignment and precision!
Winery: TIME Estate Winery
Who you will meet: Harry McWatters (founder), Christa Lee McWatters Bond (brand manager), Steve Jones (hospitality)
What you will taste:
2014 White Meritage
2013 Cabernet Franc
Need to know fact: TIME Winery is the next big winery project in the South Okanagan desert, with Harry McWatters, grandfather of the BC wine industry, coming out of ‘retirement” to make wines from the province’s most awarded vineyard. The visitor centre will open in 2016 but hard hat tours are available.
The Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine event, will be returning for its 37th year with wine tasting, performing arts and delicious food to create a super fun event from Friday, February 20 to Sunday, March 1.
The festival will showcase 170 wineries from 14 countries, pouring more than 1750 wines and hosting 53 events throughout the city. This year, the focus of the festival is Australia, with Syrah at the heart of all festivities. The event promises to be educational and entertaining for all visitors.
We encourage all attending public, trade and media to stop by the following wineries to experience what BC wine has to offer your taste buds.
Journalists and bloggers: Interview opportunities are available with visiting winery principals listed below and Alan Sacks of the BC Hospitality Foundation.
BC Hospitality Foundation
Of special note:
Who will you meet:
Alan Sacks has worked or been involved in the Hospitality Industry for over 30 years. Educated in the UK he has an Honours Degree in Hospitality Administration. His Canadian Hotel career with Delta Hotels and Resorts included positions as General Manager of three properties and Corporate Director of Food and Beverage. Alan formed his own business in 1991 and has worked exclusively within the hospitality industry providing a variety of services focused on procurement and project management. He joined the BCHF team in October 2009 and now serves as executive director.
Formed in 2006, the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation is the industry's charity of choice, providing support to individuals within the hospitality community in their times of financial need as they cope with any extraordinary health or medical conditions. The BCHF raises funds through various fundraising events in order to support the industry’s next generation by providing scholarships to selected students enrolled in hospitality, culinary and wine programs in partner post-secondary institutions in BC.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC
Of special note:
Wines to taste:
Who you might meet:
Ezra Cipes is proud to carry on the family legacy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery as CEO. Like his father Stephen, Ezra has a multitude of passions and talents. At Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ezra Cipes is responsible for day to day operations, marketing, and leadership. He is a talented musician, and has completed courses in vineyard management and in permaculture design.
Eric von Krosigk is winemaker and viticulturist at Summerhill, and as the winery’s first winemaker, has been associated with Summerhill since its inception. Leading the winery’s organic growers, von Krosigk works with some of the Okanagan’s best grapes to produce world-class wines. Despite the fact he wins numerous awards each year, Eric remains one of the most approachable and humble BC vintners. Also notable is that Eric is president of the Okanagan Wine Festival board.
About Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located in the Lakeshore district in Kelowna, BC, is Canada’s largest biodynamic and organic winery, producing more organic wine than the rest of the Canadian wine industry combined. In addition, Summerhill is Canada’s most visited winery and foremost producer of sparkling wine. Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that earned the winery the Canadian Wine “Producer of the Year” trophy at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England in December 2009 as well as a trophy for “Best International Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine” from this same competition in 2010. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to Summerhill’s organic Sunset Bistro, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including an onsite permaculture-style vegetable garden. The mission of the entire Summerhill team is to produce exceptionally good tasting wines organically, support local organic food growers in the bistro and provide unforgettable experiences for all its guests.
Haywire Winery, Summerland BC
Of special note:
Wines you will find at the Haywire table:
Who you might meet:
Alison Scholefield is arguably the youngest winery principal you will find in the room and she has been in the wine industry since birth. Now as the winery ambassador and sales team liaison for Haywire, it's her job to communicate with customers, the public and wine club members. You can ask her about where to find the wines, and anything that's happening at the winery. Also find out why she has Haywire’s Sparkling wine the Bub named after her.
Julian Scholefield is the operations manager at the winery, and also president of the Summerland area Bottleneck Drive winery association. Julian oversees the coordination in the cellar of Haywire, Bartier Scholefield, client Bartier Brothers as well as several other client wines, including bottling, deliveries, on-site activities, as well as liaising with the vineyard teams, including the team that is planting the new Garnet Valley Vineyard.
Matt Dumayne is the winemaker for Haywire. Originally from New Zealand, and with 25 vintages under his belt crafting award-winning wine in Central Otago, California, Australia, and Oregon, Matt brings unparalleled insight and passion to the winemaking program. You can speak to Matt about the ways that he is approaching the Haywire portfolio, as well as some of the special projects he's working on which *sneak peek* include an orange wine…
You can also meet their enthusiastic sales representatives including Mike West, Amy Hollenbach, Rebeka Eriksson and Whitney Law.
Haywire is an old Canadian term that refers to wire once used for baling hay, which tended to tangle in a chaotic way. It is also an apt description of Christine and Steve’s transition from the city to owning a vineyard and winery. The learning curve was steep, but as the first wines hit the market (in 2010) it became apparent that the journey was the reward. Since planting the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard, Christine and Steve have gone on to open Canada’s first purpose-built custom crush facility (Okanagan Crush Pad Winery in 2011) and are now getting ready to plant the first 20 acres of vines at their 312-acre Garnet Valley Ranch. Haywire is committed to crafting wines that tell the story of the New Okanagan.
TIME Estate Winery, Oliver, BC
Of special note:
Wines you will find at the TIME Estate Winery table:
Who you might meet:
Harry McWatters is the owner and winemaker of TIME Estate Winery and is a leader in the thriving British Columbia wine industry in which he has been involved for over 40 years. He was the founder of British Columbia's first estate winery and has been the driving force in the development of British Columbia's wine industry. In 1980 he led a group of wineries and local businesses to establish the Okanagan Wine Festival Society and acted as the founding president. Harry was also instrumental in founding VQA Canada, a trade association that spearheaded the development of national wine standards for Canadian vintners and served as the first Chairman.
About TIME ESTATE Winery:
A progressive new building is currently under construction for TIME, which will feature an extensive hospitality centre (including a commercial kitchen) and luxury guest suites, all with stunning Valley and lake Osoyoos views. When completed, the winery will focus almost entirely on Bordeaux-style premium wines created from the estate parcels. Harry's vision to create the very best wines in the Okanagan is about to be realized. Its about time.
For more information
If you are unable to attend the Vancouver Wine Festival but would like to learn more about our clients, please contact Sujidner Juneja at email@example.com or 604-367-6745