ENCORE Vineyards is elated to announce that Kelley Michael Schaefer has returned to the Okanagan to join their team as hospitality manager, from April 2019.
Note from Leeann Froese:
If you follow us on social media, you will note that our design team has been working on a beautiful new label with an illustration from Darrell Underschultz, for the Reimers, a lovely Kelowna couple, for their new Mirabel Vineyards Pinot Noir.
This limited release Pinot made by Matt Dumayne is both bold and silky at the same time, and with only a few cases made, is sure to go quickly.
We are very proud to also handle the publicity for this new wine, and here is the official press release.
Mirabel Vineyards Announces Debut Release Reimer Family focused on terroir-driven Pinot Noir
Doug and Dawn Reimer are pleased to launch their inaugural Mirabel Vineyards wine with the release of the 2015 Pinot Noir, sourced exclusively from their South East Kelowna hilltop estate and vineyard overlooking the Okanagan Valley.
Mirabel, meaning "of wondrous beauty", perfectly represents the Reimer family's stunning South East Kelowna hilltop estate and vineyard overlooking the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
The sustainably-farmed Reimer Family Vineyard was planted in 2006 on a steep hill with both southwesterly and northwesterly aspects. Grapes were planted at high elevations over complex soils. Analysis of the terroir suggested the estate was best planted to specific clones of Pinot Noir, to be blended together for optimum colour, flavour, acidity, tannin and length. The yield is cropped at a low 2.5 tons per acre and harvested by hand. One-and-a-half acres of Chardonnay will be planted this spring.
The family's commitment to quality is realized with this first vintage release of 237 cases of a luscious, elegant, sustainably-grown Pinot Noir.
The 2015 Mirabel Pinot Noir ($70.00 for 750ml, $160 for 1500ml Magnum) was aged 11 months exclusively in French oak (30% new). Gentle handling, including gravity transfer from barrel to bottle, helped to maintain the subtle texture, rich fruit, soft spice and generous length. As the Reimers do not yet have a winery, this wine was made at Okanagan Crush Pad by chief winemaker Matt Dumayne.
Mirabel Vineyards was founded through Doug and Dawn's shared love of travel, and the belief that the creation and sharing of wonderful food and incredible wine is one of life's greatest joys. Following a vacation to the Okanagan in 2004, the couple purchased an exclusive piece of property that was ideal for growing grapes. The fruit was previously sold to other wineries, but it will now be reserved for the Mirabel Vineyards label.
Initial praise for the Pinot Noir includes a review from noted BC wine authority John Schreiner, who described it as having "great purity of fruit". A saignée-method Pinot Noir Rosé and a Chardonnay will be released later this year.
"We believe that what is in the bottle is more than just wine; it is a place and time; a snapshot of the vineyard. We invite you to join us, as we pursue our dream." - Doug and Dawn
Those seeking access to these limited-production wines are invited to sign up at mirabelvineyards.com.
If you are a member of the trade seeking an allocation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media, or anyone who wants to know more about the Mirabel Vineyards story, download the information kit HERE.
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 Jackie Gidda.
Jackie was born into the BC wine industry as her family has been growing grapes since the early 1970s and is one of the pioneering families of the Okanagan. The Gidda family opened Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery in 2001 and have been a friendly fixture in West Kelowna ever since.
At Mt. Boucherie Jackie contributes in the tasting room as well as helps represent the winery at events. She does not do this full time, as she is an accountant and mom of two as well, and that keeps her plate very full!
Jackie's sparkling personality and friendly approach make her a joy to be around whenever you encounter her at a tasting, and with all of that said about Jackie, will you please help us give a big hello to her?
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 introduce you to wineries in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. Today, we would like to introduce two wineries to you: SpierHead Winery in Kelowna, and Serendipity Winery in Naramata...
SpierHead Winery, Kelowna BC
- Enjoy the amazing award winning wines that have made this young winery one of the best in the Okanagan.
- Learn how Bill Pierson, winemaker, and his team’s commitment to showcasing specific terriors of the central Okanagan Valley have shaped the way they produce site specific wines.
- Explore the fresh VQA wines behind this relatively new winery that has garnered international attention and an award winning wine catalog.
SpierHead Winery is named for its stunning location along Spiers Road on the benchlands in South East Kelowna. Part of the East Kelowna Wine Trail, also known as the Fab Five Wineries, SpierHead has been turning heads since opening in 2010, and was named “Best New Winery” at the 2012 BC Wine Awards. The winery’s focus is on wine produced from a combination of sustainably farmed, estate-grown grapes, and premium fruit sourced from vineyards in the Okanagan. Their focus on single vineyard Pinot Noir is paying off, with accolades from the press and public alike.
To Learn More:
Serendipity Winery, Naramata BC
- See why the international wine community has had such a positive reception of this marvelous young winery, including their success at the New York and San Francisco International Wine Conferences.
- Learn more about the mother-daughter team behind Serendipity, this is a family operated winery in every sense of the term.
- Acquire an understanding of the intriguing life stories behind each bottle of wine.
Serendipity Winery was conceived during a serendipitous moment that occurred while owner Judy Kingston embarked on a holiday wine tour of the Okanagan with the intention of finding a retirement property and instead, ended up finding an old orchard in that would become the home of Serendipity Winery.
In the spring of 2006, the orchard was completely re-landscaped to provide optimum slope and orientation and Kingston selected wine varietals to suite the micro climate and the vineyard’s four distinct soil types. All of the hard work and toil put into the land paid off when their first harvest in 2009 was of exceptional quality and cemented the winery’s dedication to producing quality of quantity, a tradition that has led Serendipity winery to be named BC Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Competition.
To Learn More:
By Leeann Froese It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #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.
If you like this post please feel free to share it so others can meet him too!
In addition to running Canada's most visited winery as its CEO, Ezra has a thriving talent as a musician, and that's what he was doing before he returned to the family business to oversee operations at the family run winery.
Earlier in his adult life, Ezra worked as a touring and session musician and became a published songwriter, but despite his love for music, he felt the call back to the vineyard. Home on the family farm, Ezra initiated a half acre permaculture garden, selling vegetables and herbs to Summerhill's onsite Sunset Bistro. After reconnecting with the winery and the land, Ezra knew he needed to assume a greater role at the winery.
Now, Ezra is responsible for day to day operations, marketing, and leadership. He has completed courses in vineyard management and in permaculture design.
And despite all of this, Ezra still creates music and performs occasional gigs on the side.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share something really cool that we saw last week: this is a music video of a song that Ezra and his brother Ari Cipes did that was created by their friend Elsie Kay (also a talented musician herself!) and I think you should just sit back and enjoy this before you take a moment and say hello to Ezra.
By Leeann Froese It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #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 we introduce you to Tarrah MacPherson. Can you please say hello?
Tarrah is the vice president of operations, at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in beautiful Kelowna, BC.
Tarrah loves her job and all that Summerhill stands for. It's her role to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that every guest that visits Canada's most-visited winery has an amazing experience.
by Leeann Froese Added: thank you to the handful of bloggers who joined us to taste the wines below in a room hosted by Soléna Estate - we know how rare a chance it is for you to taste BC wines and we appreciate them allowing us to tag along! A special shout out to the inimitable April Yap-Hennig of Sacred Drop who coordinated all!
If you enjoyed, please spread the word!
Winery: Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery
Social: Twitter / Facebook @mtboucheriewine Located: West Kelowna The Wine: Mt Boucherie Family Reserve Gamay Noir 2012 Price: CDN$15.50 | Alcohol: 13.9% What you might taste: Structured on the palate with elements of red currant, black raspberries, a hint of ground black pepper and savoury, underpinned with higher acidity and soft tannins.
Need to know facts: this winery just quietly goes about its business making incredible wines which reflect the owners’ soft personality. All of their wines are 100% family owned and grown and they hold the province’s largest acreage of family-owned vineyards – more than 300 acres. They sell their grapes to many others in BC since the 1970s, and keep a small and interesting assortment for themselves and their wine program. Mtboucheriewinery.com
Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire Social: Twitter / Facebook @haywirewine | @okcrushpad | Instagram @okcrushpad Located: Summerland The Wine: Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2012 Price: CDN$23 | Alcohol: 13% What you might taste: The wine has a crisp acidity, juicy apricot flavours and a chalky, limestone taste along with a flinty finish which is the hallmark of clone 52. It is all bundled up with a silver label to denote that it is one of the vineyard-designated wines they are most proud of this season.
Need to know facts: Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire, 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? The Summerland winery is located on the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard site overlooking Lake Okanagan. In addition to their own flagship wines, Haywire and Bartier Scholefield, Okanagan Crush Pad makes custom-crush wines for people who are seeking to start their own winery. okanagancrushpad.com
Winery: SpierHead Winery Social: Twitter @spierheadwinery | Facebook spierhead | Instagram Spierheadwinery Located: Kelowna The Wine: SpierHead Pinot Noir 2012 Price: CDN$22.00 | Alcohol: 12.4% What you might taste: medium-bodied wine consistent with its cool climate origins. Light tannins and lots of fresh red berry.
Need to know facts: This tiny relative newcomer of a winery flies under the radar for many, but keeps capturing accolades and awards in every competition entered. The 2010 vintage of this same wine captured an award for the best Pinot Noir in Canada – when the vines were even younger! spierheadwinery.com
Winery: Serendipity Winery Social: Twitter @winespiration | Facebook serendipitywineryBC Located: Naramata The Wine: Serendipity Viognier 2012 Price: CDN$19.90 | Alcohol: 12% What you might taste: Traditional Viognier notes of orange blossom and tangerine greet your nose. Sur lie contact brings out a medium-bodied wine and contributes to notes of toasted coconut. This wine has a hint of blood orange and apricot.
Need to know facts: Serendipity Winery is located in the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench. Owned by mother-daughter duo, Judy Kingston and Katie O’Kell, a visit to Serendipity is welcomed with a warm smile and a delicious glass of wine. In both 2013 and 2014 Serendipity was the only BC winery invited to showcase wine at the Calgary Stampede, and the winery was named BC Winery of the Year at a New York competition. SerendipityWinery.com
Winery: TIME Estate Winery Social: Twitter / Facebook @timewinery Located: Oliver The Wine: TIME Meritage 2011 (Red) Price: CDN$29.99 | Alcohol: 14.1% What you might taste: Classic aromas envelop the glass with red berries, black cherries and peppery nuances. Fragrant characters of rose petal and sage mingle with the darker fruit elements. This wine is rich and structured, with excellent depth and silky, well-integrated tannins.
The Wine: TIME Meritage 2013 (White) Price: CDN$25.00 Alcohol: 13.6% What you might taste: Classic aromas circle in the glass: honeydew melon, pear and a hint of tangerine. Taste graceful hints of apricot and mango, swirled with ripe gooseberry. This wine is mellowed by barrel aging, resulting in a sturdy vibrant finish with delicate traces of oak.
Need to know facts: TIME Estate Winery co-owner Harry McWatters is a Canadian wine industry pioneer, and a maverick, who performed many ‘firsts” and set the stage for many to follow. TIME is the latest venture for McWatters, who started this project after “retiring” in 2008 when he sold his previously-owned wineries to Constellation. TIME Estate Winery is located in the midst of the two-decade old Sundial Vineyard on the acclaimed Black Sage Bench in the hot, dry desert climate of the South Okanagan. timewinery.com
The Wines of British Columbia are as diverse as the places they are grown and the people who make them. We hope you enjoy this snapshot.
Client News - photo download at end of story
Best bubble! @summerhillwine Cipes Rosé named in Top 10 in the world http://bit.ly/1dSKgbY #bcwine #organic
They have done it again! The Cipes Rosé sparkling wine from Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada's acclaimed organic and biodynamic winery, has been given a gold medal and named one of the Top 10 Best Sparkling Wines in the World at the 2013 Effervescents du Monde held on November 13-15 in Dijon, Burgundy, France.
Of the 46 gold medals awarded, the Cipes Rosé is the only North American wine to win a medal, as well as make the top 10. Other countries that placed in the top 10 included France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Brazil.
The Effervescents du Monde, now in its 11th year, has established itself as the leading authority on quality sparkling wine. Utilizing strict guidelines, more than 100 international expert judges, including 50% from outside of France, sampled over 600 wines representing almost 30 countries.
The Cipes Rosé is a 100% organic Pinot Noir cuvee grown at multiple vineyard locations around the Okanagan Valley that were planted and are maintained specifically for sparkling wine production to express a crisp, bright style.
Made in the traditional Champagne method, this wine offers notes of raspberry, strawberry, kiwi, blood orange, vanilla, almond and white toast. Extremely versatile, the wine pairs well with charcuterie, salmon, grilled chicken, duck, pork, quiche, roast turkey, or with family and friends.
Perfect for the holidays!
Download the bottle shot here.
Client News Canadian Wine Culture Debated Webcast Tasting & Discussion Trended Across Canada Suggested Tweet: WATCH highlights from Canadian #wine culture panel via @plwinescanada: http://bit.ly/plwines #plwines #Kelowna
The Story: A first-of-its-kind webcast tasting and discussion on Canadian wine culture took place last week. Organized by Australia's Peter Lehmann Wines, the groundbreaking event, called The National Tasting, featured writer and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi, along with a panel of top sommeliers and wine educators gathered from across Canada.
Seven minutes of video highlights from the 1.5 hour event are now online at www.nationaltasting.ca.
The panel discussion was webcast, with queries submitted via social media. Supporting this, a conversation on Twitter was fast and lively, making the #plwines hashtag a trending topic across the country at the time.
Topics covered included how Canadians can make wine fit into their lifestyle, whether or not the Canadian wine industry is driving our food culture or vice versa, how social media is humanizing the wine business, and how Canada needs to embrace a unified national wine culture in order to make itself stand out on a world stage.
A few users noted technical issues at the time of the webcast, so if anyone missed part of the discussion, they may catch up via the key points in the summary video.
It's an incredible accomplishment that a world renowned Australian winery held its inaugural mentorship retreat in the heart of British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. The program was aimed at building bridges between Canada's thriving wine trade, industry professionals and wine enthusiasts. This gesture of selecting Canada to launch this international program, was made with the intention of giving back to the wine community and to help unite Canada's wine scene.
Due to feedback gained from the retreat, Peter Lehmann wines expects to hold regular online chats on the topic of the development and future of wine culture in Canada. Details will be announced soon.
About the Mentor Award and National Tasting:
The first-ever Peter Lehmann Wines Mentor Award was aimed at bringing together industry professionals and wine enthusiasts with an opportunity for up-and-coming Canadian oenophiles to grow and share their knowledge. A two-day retreat took place in Kelowna, BC on October 20-23 and was led by noteworthy author, internationally acclaimed wine expert and inaugural program mentor, Anthony Gismondi.
The following are the mentees for 2013: Britnie Bazylewski, student liaison & instructor, Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College, St. Catharines, Ontario Taylor Douglas, assistant manager, Kitsilano Wine Cellar, Vancouver, British Columbia Jonathan MacCalder, sommelier, e11even (Air Canada Centre), Toronto, Ontario Alex Keevil, assistant manager, Bin 905, Calgary, Alberta Michaela MacMullin, sommelier & manager, Bertossi Group, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Agostino Teixeira, sommelier & director of purchasing, 40 West Steakhouse & Raw Bar, Montreal, Quebec
This December one of the mentees willl be selected by a panel of esteemed judges to travel with Gismondi to Australia in 2014, and take part in the annual grape harvest. This five-day trip will further acquaint this year's recipient mentee with the Peter Lehmann winery and with Australia's famed Barossa Valley wine growing region - truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. For more information, visit mentoraward.ca or follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
Client News: [Kelowna, BC] October 8, 2013
Australian Wine Icon Celebrates Thriving Canadian Wine Culture
Aussie-hosted Interactive Wine Tasting Centres in Kelowna
Discuss #wine culture with renowned online panel, in the @plwinescanada www.nationaltasting.ca Oct 21, 4pm PST #plwines
Those from the wine world and beyond are summoned to be online on Monday October 21 at 4pm PST and join the conversation on wine culture in an online interactive event.
Organized by Peter Lehmann Wines, this first-of-its-kind event features writer and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi, and a panel of top sommeliers and wine educators opening the floor to wine lovers across Canada.
Pose questions to the panel and RSVP at www.nationaltasting.ca.
The Full Story:
Every industry has its pioneers. Radio had Marconi. Phones had Graham-Bell. Automobiles had Ford. You can't start a fire without a spark...
The wine industry also has those that created legacies. Champagne had the widow Cliquot and Dom Perignon. The California industry owes a debt to Robert Mondavi. And there's Australia's recently-late Peter Lehmann.
During his 50-year career, Peter Lehmann inspired countless people by sharing his talent, wit and passion for winemaking. Peter Lehmann Wines was founded in 1979 to assist the grape growers of the Barossa Valley in Australia, who at the time were facing financial ruin; now, the winery and the region mutually enjoy an international reputation for excellence in wine production.
It is this continued spirit of collaboration and inclusion that brings The Mentor Award - a first of its kind event - to Kelowna, BC, from October 20-22, 2013.
The Mentor Award, a two-day intensive retreat and seminar series to take place in West Kelowna on October 20/22, features inaugural mentor, acclaimed BC wine writer and broadcaster Anthony Gismondi, along with a panel of top sommeliers and educators.
The program, aimed at building bridges in Canada's thriving wine trade, brings together industry professionals and wine enthusiasts from cities across Canada, and provides opportunities for up-and-coming Canadian oneophiles to share and grow their knowledge. Delegates will gather to learn international perspectives from Gismondi and other leading wine experts, gaining insight to share with customers and colleagues in their home cities, ultimately helping to shape Canada's burgeoning wine culture from coast-to-coast.
While the Mentor Retreat is small, wine lovers across Canada are invited to join a highlight event: a spirited online panel discussion on the business of wine and how to foster a world-class wine culture. Conversation will touch on the value of high-quality wines and what they add to life, the current state and future of wine in Canada, as well as encourage friends and family to gather and conduct their own tastings at home while linked online.
Participants are encouraged to submit questions to the panel via YouTube and Twitter for a chance to win prizes from Peter Lehmann Wines. Online guests will also be encouraged to taste along with the panel from home using the #plwines hashtag.
The live discussion will be webcast on Monday, October 21 at 4pm (PST) and wine enthusiasts and consumers from anywhere in the world are invited to join in. Moderated by Ben Macphee-Sigurdson, wine columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press, confirmed panelists include Gismondi, Zinta Steprans, manager and sommelier of Toronto's Soho House, Harry Hertscheg, executive director of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, Samantha Rahn, wine director of Whistler's Araxi Restaurant and Matt Lane, VP Americas for Peter Lehmann Wines.
While on the surface it would seem to be only for the wine engaged, this retreat is an event to be recognized and celebrated. It's a rare honour that a world renowned Australian winery is holding its inaugural mentorship retreat in the heart of British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. This gesture of selecting Canada to launch this international program, and shoring up support for BC's rapidly-advancing wine industry, shows further leadership by Peter Lehmann Wines to propel an emerging wine region.
Aside from lively classroom-style seminars, and the webcast panel discussion on wine culture, one delegate will walk away having earned a five-day trip to Australia with Gismondi, to take part in the annual grape harvest. This will further educate this year's recipient with the Peter Lehmann winery and acquaint the mentee with Australia's famed Barossa Valley wine growing region.
"We want to give to the wine community, and help grow Canada's thriving wine scene," says Peter Lehmann's Matt Lane. "We see this program establishing lasting friendships, inspiring a new generation of wine lovers, and sharing the rich winemaking traditions of the Barossa Valley."
About the Mentor Award:
The first-ever Peter Lehmann Wines Mentor Award is aimed at bringing together industry professionals and wine enthusiasts with an opportunity for up-and-coming Canadian oenophiles to grow and share their knowledge.
A two-day retreat will take place in Kelowna, BC on October 20-22 and will be led by noteworthy author, internationally acclaimed wine expert and inaugural program mentor, Anthony Gismondi. Following the retreat, one participant will then be selected by a panel of esteemed judges to travel together with Gismondi to Australia, taking part in the annual grape harvest. This five-day trip will further educate this year's recipient with the Peter Lehmann winery and acquaint the mentee with Australia's famed Barossa Valley wine growing region - truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
In addition to the retreat, Canadians are invited to attend a spirited online panel discussion on the business of wine and how to foster a world-class wine culture. The event will be webcast on Monday, October 21 at 4pm PST.