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.
[Summerland, BC] On September 27, Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad (OCP), has been presented the Founders Award at the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival. Coletta has been presented the award in recognition of her contributions to the BC wine industry.
When presented the award in front of industry peers by industry veteran Harry McWatters of ENCORE Vineyards, Coletta said "I was very touched to receive this award. It was emotional to see my name added to a trophy containing the names of people who have worked tirelessly to create a thriving BC wine industry over the past 30 years."
This award is a further recognition for Coletta's passion and leadership in propelling the industry forward and to rise on an international level. Coletta has worked tirelessly to advocate for and to improve the Canadian culinary scene.
Coletta started her career in hospitality as a server during her early years and it was in the 1990s that her leadership and dedication for the industry took off. As founding executive director for the BC Wine Institute, Coletta forged VQA as a standard to support the local wine industry and its various marketing activities. In addition, she co-founded Wines of Canada, the national wine standards arm. Under that umbrella, Coletta developed a roadshow that crossed Canada to encourage support for local food and wine.
After helping numerous BC wineries establish their businesses, Coletta launched her own wine, Haywire, and Canada's first purpose-built custom crush winemaking facility at OCP. Since 2011, Coletta has assisted more than 15 BC wineries in their winemaking via OCP.
Coletta has also been on the leading edge of Canada's organic farming and winemaking movement, establishing OCP as Canada's top producer of wines made from organic grapes and without additives or manipulation.
Earlier this year, when the government of Alberta held a boycott on BC wine, instead of responding with retaliation, Coletta led and set the tone for collaboration, by initiating a BC wine and Alberta food event.
And above this, Coletta doesn't keep her knowledge and ideas to herself. She shares her resources and continually offers advice and encouragement to not only her own team and people, but also her community and industry. Her most recent project is on the team that formed the Okanagan Wine Initiative, where seven leading BC wineries have united to share resources and to collaborate on various projects internationally, across Canada, and in their home market, British Columbia.
With another accolade added, Coletta will continue to innovate and propel the industry forward to become a premium wine producing region and a superb wine tourism destination.
About Okanagan Crush Pad:
Okanagan Crush Pad is Canada's first purpose-built custom crush winery facility, located on the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard in Summerland, BC. Owned by Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, Okanagan Crush Pad focuses on making wines that celebrate purity and simplicity, and aim to lead the next evolution of Okanagan wine. 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 why the team makes wine in concrete tanks, and learn how the team composes wines that are definitive expressions of their vineyards.
For more information visit: okanagancrushpad.com.
'The Okanagan Wine Initiative' Members Set to Collaborate and Raise Profile
[Okanagan Valley, BC] Seven leading BC wineries: 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Culmina Family Estate Winery, Haywire Wines, Liquidity Wines, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery, have formed a partnership, The Okanagan Wine Initiative.
The association groups together these seven Okanagan wineries to share resources and collaborate on varying projects internationally, across Canada, and in their home market, British Columbia. The members share a common passion to drive one-another to excel and adopt best business practices and to help elevate the identity of the Okanagan as a premium wine producing region and superb wine tourism destination.
The seven members found themselves working together over industry issues or attending wine trade fairs abroad and discovered common values and aspirations, most notably around export market development, sustainable business practices and a desire to create terroir driven wines that showcase the Okanagan. Over a year ago, they started informally sharing resources and more recently decided to establish The Okanagan Wine Initiative as a company. Each member has provided significant funding that will support market development and promotional activities. Once the group is firmly established and its processes and activities in place, other likeminded wineries with similar aspirations will be encouraged to join.
The Okanagan Wine Initiative is in no way a replication or replacement for any of the current trade marketing associations in BC. "We are non-partisan and will work closely with all existing trade organizations, in addition to driving our own initiatives," says Liquidity's Ian MacDonald, a key force behind the group's formation. "The Okanagan Wine Initiative is about adding to what is currently being done to elevate awareness and demand for Okanagan wine around the world."
"This group is here to challenge and build one another up to be the best we can be in all areas of our business," says Christine Coletta, co-owner of Haywire Wines in Summerland, BC.
"Collectively, we offer wines and tourism experiences from north to south, and we create a diverse portfolio, focusing on wines that are signatures of the Okanagan," Coletta continues.
Recently the group came together to host the event 'Farm Friends' following the Alberta BC wine boycott, and also held a public tasting and panel discussion for the Everything Wine tasting Lab in Vancouver. Next up is a series of events in London in mid-May and co-hosting a tour in the Okanagan for seven UK journalists.
"Each of us brings a different skill set to the group and by dividing the work between us, we hope to make fast in-roads," noted Culmina's co-owner Don Triggs. "Our end game is to build our wine region's reputation nationally and internationally."
About The Okanagan Wine Initiative
The Okanagan Wine Initiative was formalized in 2018 by a group of winery owners seeking to elevate the region's rich and diverse narrative through business excellence and the promotion of quality Okanagan wines outside of British Columbia, Canada.
Founding members include 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Culmina Family Vineyards, Haywire Wines, Liquidity Wines, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery.
Their mandate is to work together to improve all areas of viticulture, winemaking and winery operations, market development and sales, by sharing resources and expertise, and to go to market as a group under the banner of The Okanagan Wine Initiative. A collection of member wines will be selected annually to benchmark the region's style and diversity at national and international events and tastings.
Meet The Okanagan Wine Initiative Founding Members
50th Parallel Estate
50th Parallel Estate, truly one of Canada's exemplary destination wineries, is set in Lake Country on a stunning 61-acre southwest-sloping site. Panoramic lake views, a warm, dry climate, the sun, the lake reflectivity, the slope of the land, and feldspar granite soils combine to provide the perfect place to build an enclave for Pinot Noir, with the first release in 2011.
The winery building was constructed specifically to handle Pinot Noir, utilizing the natural slope of the site and gravity to gently process the grapes, rather than mechanically pumping the juice and skins.
Proprietors Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel invite you to try their internationally-awarded Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines, and in 2018, 50th Parallel opens its new winery fine dining restaurant, event hall, and 'Transparent' tasting room.
Culmina Family Estate Winery
Culmina Family Estate Winery is the result of a lifetime of experience in the wine industry for Don and Elaine Triggs. Purchasing raw land in 2007 and joined by their daughter in 2012, the Triggs began developing their new estate, naming it 'Culmina'. Latin for 'peak', they chose the name to reflect not only their lifetime of efforts in the wine industry, but also their desire to coax the highest quality grapes from their Golden Mile Bench terroir.
Culmina's vineyard and winemaking practices are grounded in precision-management and scientific tenets, stemming from a desire to make Icon quality wines that reflect the uniqueness of their terroir, as well as an underlying commitment to sustainable vineyard practices, gentle handling of fruit, and minimal intervention of wine. This philosophy has informed every decision since the project's inception, including the mapping of the vineyard's 44 micro blocks, the design of the winery's state-of-the-art production facility, and the release of a wide number of critically-acclaimed wines from the estate.
The journey began in 2006 when Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie planted a 10-acre site in Summerland with Pinot Gris and named it Switchback Vineyard. Three years later, after a lot of trial and labour, a tiny crop capable of making 168 cases was harvested. Curiosity won out over practicality, Haywire wines were launched, and there was no turning back. In 2010 consulting Tuscan winemaker Alberto Antonini arrived and the following year, his colleague Pedro Parra, from Chile joined him. The pair make regular trips to advise the winery and vineyard teams and have been instrumental in shaping a vision which includes precision viticulture, organic farming and minimal intervention winemaking.
In 2011, Coletta and Lornie opened Okanagan Crush Pad, an innovative custom winemaking facility, to give Haywire a home. Today, their venture includes 380-acres of organic vineyard and farmland. Signature wines include Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and traditional method sparkling. Haywire is recognized as making game-changing wines with New Zealander Matt Dumayne at the helm. The team is committed to farming organic wines that let the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley shine through.
Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls, uses sustainable, time-tested viticultural practices to provide the finest growing environment for the 100% estate grown vines and hand harvested grapes. 10,000 years ago, glaciers covered the landscape deposited sand and gravel soils on the south-facing property, creating the ideal growing conditions for fruit. Winemaker Alison Moyes' goal is to produce authentic, expressive wines of the highest quality. The winery's 2016 Reserve Chardonnay received the top award at the 2018 Chardonnay du Monde.
Visitors treat their senses when they visit the cutting-edge winery, bistro and gallery. All design aspects of this property have been carefully chosen by the owner, Ian MacDonald, so wine lovers may sample award-winning wines while surrounded by wonderful modern art. Visitors also enjoy delicious, locally-sourced cuisine from the Liquidity Bistro, as they take in the views of the surrounding landscape and the ever-evolving art installations throughout the grounds.
Painted Rock Estate Winery
Painted Rock Estate Winery began in 2004, on a 56-acre west sloping property, surrounded by an amphitheatre of rock bench, on the eastern shore of Skaha Lake in south Penticton. The long, hot summer days, in conjunction with ideal air flow and soil structures of the site, allow proprietors John and Trish Skinner to create terroir-driven wines and build a family legacy business.
The Skinners assembled local and international talent to realize their vision for an ultra-premium Okanagan winery, planting the single vineyard estate with Chardonnay and Syrah, in addition to the five Bordeaux varieties. Their consultant, Alain Sutre of Ertus Consulting in Bordeaux, oversees the blending and winemaking team each vintage.
At Painted Rock, John Skinner personally welcomes visitors to the architecturally-distinctive tasting room, to taste the results of his family's shared ambition to make terroir expressive Okanagan wines.
Poplar Grove Winery
One of the original five wineries on the Naramata Bench, Poplar Grove Winery was founded in 1993. Tony Holler purchased Poplar Grove and became winery president in 2007. Tony's wife, Barbara, owns and operates the Holler's 100 acres of estate vineyards, while their sons, Chris, Andrew, Matthew, and Eric, manage the vineyards with a passionate desire to bring the Okanagan's full potential into each bottle.
Poplar Grove is focused on six core wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a signature blend called The Legacy. Visit Poplar Grove and experience breathtaking views of the Okanagan Valley while sipping on a selection of these signature wines. Stay for afternoon tapas, lunch or dinner at the Vanilla Pod restaurant. While visiting, join the Poplar Grove Wine Club and their journey to make truly great wines.
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located since 1991 in the Lakeshore district of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, is Canada's largest certified organic winery, BC's first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada's foremost producer of sparkling wine. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, a 200-seat, organic restaurant featuring fresh, seasonal wine paired menus and a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake.
The winemaking philosophy is that organic and biodynamic is the royal road to producing exceptionally beautiful, authentic, terroir-based wine. The portfolio of 100% BC wines has earned the winery the title of 'Canadian Wine Producer of the Year' at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England, as well as numerous international trophies and medals at the highest levels of competition.
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.
- Natural wines that celebrate the land
- Made at Canada’s first custom-crush facility
- Award-winning leaders in innovation for BC wine
- Rock star team with international consultants who bring global perspective to Okanagan 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.
- Committed to organic and biodynamic winemaking since 1986
- Aims to transition to Organic Okanagan by 2020
- Pyramid cellar-aged wines
- Known globally for award winning sparkling wines
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.
- Bright, delicious, approachable and affordable BC wines that celebrate BC terroir.
- An experiential journey to Okanagan Wine Country.
- Breathtaking lakefront view and onsite E Restaurant.
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.
- Winery home of Harry McWatters, pioneer of BC wine industry since 1967 — this year marks his 50th vintage!
- Fully operational winery in the heart of downtown Penticton, in the former Penmar theatre.
- Makers of Meritage wines.
Talk to: Harry McWatters – president, grandfather of the industry Lawrence Buhler – winemaker
These are only a few ideas; let us help you with stories.
On each day leading up to the events, we would like to introduce you to winery clients in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. First, here is more information about the events:
Attendees will be able to thoroughly explore the world of BC wines with walk-around tastings featuring 90 of the top BC wineries (the full list can be found here) with principals and winemakers on site to guide you, as you immerse yourself in beautiful flavours.
Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting
Who: Trade and Media
Where: East Ballroom, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
When: September 16th, 2015 from 2pm to 5pm
This trade and media invite-only event will allow trade to connect with others in the industry, from winemakers to wine writers to sales specialists (the list goes on and on), all while tasting an extensive list of BC VQA wines.
More information about Colour BC can be found here.
Trade and Media registration can be found here.
Who: All wine lovers
Where: East Ballroom, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
When: September 16th, 2015 from 7pm to 9:30pm
This event is open to anyone with a passion for wine and will showcase BC VQA wines and cuisine. Attendees will enjoy a walk around tasting while 11 of BC’s top restaurants prepare small plates focused on freshly sourced ingredients from local farmers and producers. Celebrity judges of the “Small Plate Challenge” will taste and evaluate each food and wine pairing throughout the evening and at the end of the night prizes will be awarded for the “"Best Regional Wine & Food Pairing" and "Plate of the Night."
More information about ChefMeetsBCGrape can be found here.
At Town Hall we like to be prepared, and with such an amazing and extensive list of wines being showcased, we have some tips to help you make the most out of your experience:
- Find out which wineries will be at the event
- Research the wineries beforehand
- Make a list of the people, wineries, and products you want to see
- Jot down questions you have for the principals and winemaker
- Use the hashtags #BCVQA #BCWine and #ChefMeetsBCGrape to share your experience at the events
- Allocate the total amount of time you want to spent at the event and at each individual booth
- Bring your business cards, a fresh palate, and open mind to share your passion with like-minded wine enthusiasts
Today, we would like to introduce you to...
Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, Summerland BC
- Gain a deeper understanding of how Okanagan Crush Pad utilizes concrete tanks in their wine cellars to directly shape the taste profiles of their wines.
- Learn how Okanagan Crush Pad recently received their “Certified Organic” certification allowing their organic grapes to truly reflect the terroir in which they are grown.
- Enjoy tasting the 2013 Haywire Bub with 'the Bub' herself, Alison Scholefield.
Okanagan Crush Pad's commitment to making wines that celebrate the distinctive beauty and exceptional micro-climates and geology of their vineyards, makes them a true Okanagan Winery in every sense of the term. Owned by Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, the 10-acre Switchback Organic Vineyard site overlooking Lake Okanagan is home to Haywire Wines, Narrative Wines, and the Okanagan Wine Campus; where a mentorship program provides the person named Vancouver’s “Sommelier of the Year” has the chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of their choice with proceeds benefiting the BC Hospitality Foundation. As the first purpose-built custom wine making facility in the Okanagan, Okanagan Crush Pad nurtures their product from the field to the market, all while achieving winemaking excellence.
To Learn More:
What you will taste:
- 2013 Haywire Bub $29.90 - The Bub is bottle fermented and aged using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes gown on cool vineyard sites in Oliver and Summerland. A fresh and lively wine with nice warm bread aromas and a crisp green apple finish, which is a shining example of what the Okanagan does best - crisp, fresh, and delicious.
- 2013 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris $24.90 - Switchback is the winery’s home vineyard with surrounding sage, bunch grass, Ponderosa pine, and fruit trees, hallmarking the site’s aromas. Fermented in egg-shaped concrete tanks, the wine takes on minerality balanced with fruit, incredible complexity, and a round, creamy mouthfeel.
- 2013 Haywire Pinot Noir $24.90 - Loaded with lively ripe red-berry fruits, exotic spice blends, and earthy characters, this wine is best enjoyed with salmon, soft ripe cheeses, pork, or wild mushrooms.
- 2012 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir $39.90 - This wine has the hallmark cherry fruit intensity of the previous vintage, with soft, lush tannins and will continue to improve and evolve with bottle ageing. Pair with soft ripe cheeses, hearty stews and game meats.
Who You Will Meet: