To say that Harry McWatters is a legend in the Canadian wine industry would be an understatement. Harry, who celebrated his 51 vintage in 2018, is widely considered to be the foundation of the BC wine industry, the ‘grandfather’ of BC wine.
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.
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.
Graham Pierce joins team as director of winemaking
Photo Library: Photos of TIME Winery and winemaking team available via Dropbox.
NOTE TO THE READER: At the time of this announcement, the winery is an inspection away from opening. The plan is to open this weekend, subject to the final occupancy permit.
It is best to call the winery 236-422-2556 ext 106, or check its social media channels @timewinery for the most up to date information.
[Penticton, BC] TIME Winery announces the soft opening of its winery in downtown Penticton at 361 Martin St. A grand opening of TIME Winery will take place in late 2018 following harvest.
During the soft opening period, chef AK Campbell, executive winery chef, will lead the culinary program to offer a selection of daily appetizers, features, and drink options.
TIME Winery is owned by ENCORE Vineyards, and is the sister winery to Evolve Cellars and the McWatters Collection label. To coincide with the opening of TIME Winery the ENCORE Vineyard team announces the appointment of Graham Pierce as director of winemaking.
With more than a decade of experience producing award-winning wines in the Okanagan, Pierce is a local British Columbian who grew up in Horseshoe Bay and received his winemaking and viticulture education from the Okanagan College in Penticton.
Prior to joining the team at ENCORE Vineyards, Pierce worked at Black Hills Estate Winery in Oliver, BC, where he has been for the past ten years, creating a strong lineup of wines including the premium Nota Bene. Before that he was at Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery and before that, a chef at Kelowna's Summerhill Pyramid Winery.
Pierce's in-depth understanding of the Okanagan wine region and extensive winery operation knowledge, combined with his viticulture and winemaking experience, allows him to maximize the freshness of hand-picked and harvested grapes to create aromatic whites and balanced, big reds that truly express the terroir of BC.
At ENCORE Vineyards, Pierce is supported in the winemaking duties by Nadine Allander, who has been recently promoted from assistant winemaker to the position of winemaker.
"We have been industry friends with Graham for many years," says Harry McWatters, CEO of ENCORE Vineyards.
"It is great to have him join our team. His pedigree of winemaking and knowledge in handling Okanagan fruits will allow Evolve Cellars, McWatters, and TIME Winery to continue making exceptional BC VQA certified wines that is a reflection of the land where the grapes are grown and the talented people who craft them."
Pierce is also enthused by the new role. "I look forward to working with this pioneering, yet continually-innovating family team," states Pierce.
"The fun challenge will be to oversee and make a range of wines; from fruit-forward, juicy Evolve Cellars wines, to the complex and textured wines of TIME Winery and the McWatters Collection. After crafting still wines for so many years, I am most excited about the chance to create my first small batch sparkling wine."
About TIME Winery:
While the literal definition of TIME may be elusive, it is an observed phenomenon which allows us to honour key moments in our shared journey through life. With 50 vintages of experience in the South Okanagan, TIME Winery is committed to creating wines that express the unique flavours of Okanagan wine country.
Built within a revitalized historic theatre in downtown Penticton, the heart of South Okanagan wine country, the new TIME Winery offers a tasting bar, lounge and intimate outdoor patio for guests to enjoy. TIME Winery's full kitchen and event space provide a unique venue for your next public or private event.
About ENCORE Vineyards:
ENCORE Vineyards., a progressive Okanagan-based company, is home to British Columbia (BC) wine brands including TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection.
ENCORE Vineyards Ltd. has amassed an impressive team, poised to help define the next generation of BC wine and winemaking via its production centre in the Okanagan Valley. The company is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 50-vintage pioneer of the modern British Columbia wine industry, with daughter Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond (sales and marketing director), and son Darren McWatters (logistics and operations) who are each armed with lifelong wine industry experience and insight. Graham Pierce is the group's director of winemaking, supported by winemaker Nadine Allander, and talented hospitality and sales teams. See more on each winery at encorevineyards.ca
Chef AK shares preview of menu in advance of winery opening
[Penticton, BC] TIME Winery is pleased to announce the appointment of chef, Alexander Keith Campbell (chef AK). As the newest creative force behind TIME Winery, chef AK oversees the small plate program at the highly-anticipated downtown Penticton location, along with the culinary program at Evolve Cellars.
With more than 15 years of experience in the kitchen, chef AK's humble culinary adventure began back home in Nova Scotia, where he spent much of his time in the kitchen with his parents and grandmother.
After graduating from the Culinary Arts Program at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown PEI, chef AK moved west to pursue his love of cooking. With his talents and passion, chef AK led culinary teams in boutique hotels and ski lodges such as the Naramata Heritage Inn and Spa, Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lodge, and Heather Mountain Lodge Resort. Prior to joining TIME Winery, chef AK was assistant director of culinary operations for Vintage Hospitality.
Chef AK's passion and his charismatic personality shines beyond his food. He has a full sleeve tattoo that consists of pinup girls in chef clothes paired with bountiful fruits, vegetables, eggs and bacon. This speaks to the dedication and wit that chef AK has put into his career and passion.
"My culinary approach is simple. I cook food that is big on flavour, bold, and fun. However, the most important is that no matter what I prepare, the experience that I deliver for guests will be one that I want to receive." shares chef AK.
At TIME Winery, chef AK will collaborate with Harry McWatters and Christa-Lee McWatters to develop pairings on both winery menus that achieve a sense of balance and harmony, while ensuring both the wine and food enhance one another to showcase the best components of each.
"TIME Winery could profoundly change the food scene in Penticton. I'm excited to work with the team because there is a unified vision and a heritage of quality and dedication that I want to be a part of."
With that in mind, chef AK shares a sneak peek of what you can expect on the menu at the new TIME Winery, set to open in downtown Penticton this summer.
"Grab a glass of wine and order one of the 'breads and boards' which consist of local and international cheeses, breads, charcuterie and antipasti. If you like variety, try a selection of small plates, such as Chickpea Frites with charred onion salt, basil and garlic yogurt sauce; or a short rib hush puppy complete with roast corn batter and a spicy tomato jam."
With construction nearing completion, the TIME Winery and kitchen is counting down to its opening. Follow TIME Winery on Facebook for exact opening date.
About TIME Winery:
While the literal definition of TIME may be elusive, it is an observed phenomenon which allows us to honour key moments in our shared journey through life. With 50 vintages of experience in the South Okanagan, the team knows that our unique terroir can offer the right wine to celebrate any occasion. TIME Winery is committed to creating wines that express the unique flavours of Okanagan wine country.
Built within a revitalized historic theatre in downtown Penticton, the heart of South Okanagan wine country, the new TIME Winery opens in 2018.
Sip the latest vintages, which offer expressive and elegant flavours of Okanagan terroir while you explore the inner workings of a fully-functional winery. Complete the experience at the tasting bar and lounge, or with your guests on the intimate outdoor patio. TIME Winery's full kitchen and event space provide a unique venue for your next public or private event.
For more information, visit timewinery.com.
By Leeann Froese
Since the runaway hit movie Sideways came out in 2004, where the character Miles held nothing back in his hatred of Merlot, this noble varietal has been struggling to find its place once again, after previous years enjoying a huge wave of popularity.
Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlot wines are easy-drinking wines that can be enjoyed on their own or with food. Merlot is a very approachable grape with a medium to full-bodied palate presence.
Aside from being a very reliable standalone varietal wine, Merlot is commonly used by winemakers to blend into other red wines, as it gives a nice fruity softness that is sometimes required to even out a blend.
According to the British Columbia Wine Institute, by acreage planted, Merlot is the number one red wine varietal planted in BC. We are proud to work with BC winery clients that make delicious Merlot (or Merlot blended) wines for you to enjoy.
Soft, supple, and complex mouth-filling flavours of plum, cherry, and wild red berry dominate from start to finish.
Ripe and rich with aromas of dark chocolate, vanillin oak, sun ripened plum and black cherry along with a refreshing note of dried wild herbs in the background.
2014 Reserve Merlot
Lush black cherry, dried plum, fig and cocoa, a full body, and a lingering finish.
A spicy nose with cassis and cedar and a palate filled with plum, cherry, and wild red berry.
What do you think of Merlot? Are you like Miles in Sideways who says ‘no effing way’? Or are you ‘fill my glass, please'?
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.
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.
On Vancouver Island
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.
In the Fraser Valley
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."
In the Okanagan - Naramata Bench
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.
Okanagan – South
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.
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 Dino Pascoa.
After more than 20 years in the restaurant business Dino joined the wine industry in 2007 and trained through the ISG Sommelier certification as he made the move to sell wine from all over the world. He is a sales representative with Vancouver-based agency The Wine List.
Next year Dino will celebrate his 10th year in wine sales. Over the past decade he has proven his expertise in wine, food and service, and has a strong reputation for loyalty and a desire to go above and beyond for his customers. He prides himself on the solid relationships he has created.
A side note about these wineries - their wines are featured all weekend at the 10th Anniversary of the Chefs' Table Society of BC Spot Prawn Festival.
With all of that said about Dino, will you please help us give a big hello to him?