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Stephen Cipes

4 BC Wineries to Discover at the Vancouver International Wine Festival

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

SummerHill Vineyard

3 Story Starters

1. Industry disruptors, who carve a path for BC wine, then and now Christine Coletta | Stephen CipesHarry McWatters

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...

1) Haywire 


Discover The ‘New’ Okanagan | @Haywirewine | @OKCrushPad

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

Stephen Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winer

Leading the Organic Movement | @SummerhillWine

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

Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, Evolve Cellars

Welcoming Wine Country with Celebrational Approachability | @EvolveCellars

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

4) TIME Winery

Harry McWatters

Complete Winery Experience in Downtown Penticton | @TimeWinery

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.

To arrange interviews with the winery principals, for images and more information, please email Genevieve Dufresne or Amy Chen or call the Town Hall Brands office at 604-321-3295


Meet Haywire Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery at the 2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival

By Leeann Froese Oh it's on!


Haywire and Summerhill will showcase their wines

Vancouver International Wine Festival runs from February 24 to March 2, 2014. Our Town Hall team is attending various events throughout the festival, and we have two winery clients that are exhibiting: Haywire, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Both will have amazing VQA wines and bubbles you HAVE to try!

Now we will share the details on what you can expect from each of our BC winery clients during the festival, and we have some handy image downloads at the end.

Haywire Winery, Summerland BC

Of special note:

• Haywire will be making its inaugural appearance at this festival

• Meet the Bub herself, Alison Scholefield, who is likely the youngest winery principal in the room (25)

• Haywire is co-owned by Christine Coletta, who is an iconic Canadian wine marketer

The Vancouver Sun has a table and they will also be featuring Haywire at their table

Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire and Switchback Vineyard

Wines you will find at the Haywire table:

• Haywire Rosé 2011 - $20 New release! #365 days of rosé indeed

• Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012 - $23 Taste the difference of a wine that has been Raised in Concretetm

• Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2011 - $35 Critically-acclaimed, concrete-aged Pinot

• Link to Global Focus: the Bub 2012 - $25 taste why everyone loves this crisp sparkler

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…

Bonus events where you will taste Haywire wines:

BC PAIRED: INDULGE YOUR SENSES - Gamay Noir 2012, Gewürztraminer 2012

25 UNDER $25 - The Bub Traditional Method Sparkling Wine 2012

About Haywire

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.

For more information see – like Haywire on Facebook or follow on twitter @haywirewine

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC

Of special note:

Stephen Cipes is a pioneer of the BC wine industry and the grandfather of BC’s organic wine movement, and you can meet him

Summerhill Cipes Ariel• You are lucky, lucky, lucky that Summerhill is pouring Cipes Ariel at this festival. In late 2012 Summerhill Pyramid Winery held a tasting at Hawksworth where in this fascinating tasting event, celebrated sommelier instructor, wine judge and journalist DJ Kearney guided guests through the taste experience of the lovely Cipes Ariel, side by side with France’s iconic Champagne, Krug Grande Cuvee. The wines were accompanied by a unique tasting menu that celebrated British Columbia ingredients as inspired by the tradition of French degustation, prepared by Chef David Hawksworth and his talented team.

The idea to pour the Ariel beside Krug was sparked by a wine shop host and tour guide from Epernay, (who has worked at both Moët and Krug), who suggested the wine reminded him of the Krug style. Winery CEO Ezra Cipes was inspired to conduct his own research. The media in attendance thought putting the Ariel beside the richness, layered complexity and elegance of the Krug was very brave, and while this was never intended to be a competition, the idea was to illustrate how this special sparkling wine can stand alongside the world’s best. And it did. And it does.


• Bonus: taste the Cipes Rose and Cipes Ariel over at the special Vancouver Sun table as well

• Bonus 2: the BC Wine Institute will be pouring Cipes Brut at their table

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Kevin Trowbridge photo

Wines you will find at the Summerhill table – All link to the Global Focus of bubbly wines!

• Cipes Brut - $26.95 The winery’s flagship bubble, which has won gold medals internationally every year since its release in 1991

• Cipes Rosé - $26.95 Gold Medal, Top 10 Sparkling Wines of competition - 2013 Effervescents du Monde

• Cipes Blanc de Noirs 2008 (pre release) Sneak peek! Say no more...

• Cipes Ariel 1998 - $85 Gold Medal - 2012 World Wine Awards, Chicago, Illinois; 92 points - Anthony Gismondi; 90 Points: Beverage Testing Institute

Who you might meet:

Founder Stephen Cipes moved to Kelowna in 1987 after a successful real estate career in New York. Ready for a career move to get in touch with the earth, Stephen was horrified when he saw the pesticides sprayed on his new vineyard and immediately transitioned to organic growing. With his jovial, convivial personality, Stephen Cipes is the spiritual guide and visionary behind Summerhill Pyramid Winery. He has so much to share.

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.

Bonus events where you will taste Summerhill wines:

BC PAIRED: INDULGE YOUR SENSES - 2011 Baco Noir, 2010 Cabernets


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.

For more information, visit find Summerhill on Facebook or follow the winery on Twitter @summerhillwine.

Enjoy and use these downloads:

Need an image you don't see here, or more info? Contact our media team or

Haywire Rosé 2011

Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012

Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2011

Haywire The Bub 2012

Haywire Gamay Noir 2012

Haywire Gewürztraminer 2012

Photo of Okanagan Crush Pad - home of Haywire, credit Lionel Trudel

Do you like the group photo of bottle above? Download a copy.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Rosé

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Ariel 1998

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2011 Baco Noir

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2010 Cabernets

Photo of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, credit Kevin Trowbridge