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Call for aid to victims of Peru flooding

Posted by Leeann Froese Lend a Heart for Peru

Town Hall Brands is based on the west coast of Canada in a rain forest environment, and so we are no strangers to seasonal rain. At times the precipitation can be heavy and we sometimes see some flooding, but never even close to the scale of what is happening in Peru.

It's with that shocking reality of how good we have it here and those that need our help so much, we must share this news from our BC one clients and also share that they are inspiring others to take action - Leeann

Blue Grouse Estate Winery appeals to the public to help those affected by the rains and flooding in Peru. People are encouraged to donate here: gofundme.com/DonationsForCrisisInPeru

peru-floods-1

An Island Winery with Strong Peruvian Ties

Peru is special to the owners of the winery. The Brunner family, who purchased the pioneering Island winery in 2012, call Peru home for half of the year. Cristina Brunner is Peruvian and has deep roots, with many family members there. Paul and Cristina's daughter Paula, 22 and currently studying in Scotland, has established the online fundraiser with the goal of raising £5,000.

Paula, having experienced a mudslide or "hauyco" first hand, knows how terrifying the experience can be. She has leaped to help; saying "Peru is a poor country; it is my country, and from my heart I want to help."

Effective immediately, and until the end of April, all Blue Grouse Estate Winery tasting room fees collected will be donated to the cause, and the Brunner family will match those donations.

A State of Emergency in Peru

Due to the effects of 'El Niño', which have been exacerbated by climate change, the country of Peru has seen some of the heaviest rains in its history since December. Over the last two weeks, flooding has intensified. Torrential rains have triggered destructive mudslides along the coast of Peru from north to south, and the death toll has reached at least 75 people. A state of emergency has been declared across half the country and at least 100,000 people have been left homeless.

The highly unusual rains follow a series of storms that have struck hard along Peru's northern coast. This has damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes, collapsed 117 bridges and paralyzed countless roadways. The running water treatment systems are clogged, leaving people with limited access to safe drinking water.

The Brunner family's GoFundMe proceeds will go directly towards helping families and communities affected by the floods to overcome the challenges they are currently facing in the areas of food, water and clothing.

The damage is tough to grasp. The sheer volumes of water that whip away the hillsides, railways, roads and bridges,is captured for the world to see live.

This video from Climate State provides a compilation of video footage of the disaster:

Mobilizing a Community

And the Brunners have inspired action in others.

When Summerhill Pyramid Winery owner Stephen Cipes saw what Blue Grouse was doing, he too leaped into action.

Cipes has a long history of being a friend to people from all over the globe. He says, “Let's do something wonderful for those brothers and sisters who need it most! Rapidamente!”

At the Kelowna winery, watch for wine and dessert features, with partial proceeds collected to go to Peru as well.

Heavy rains expected until the end of April

Blue Grouse Estate Winery owner Paul Brunner notes “Let's get some perspective on the seriousness of this problem. If you were to superimpose Peru over Europe there would be continuous floods, landslides and heavy rains from Amsterdam all the way down to Rome. That’s the Pacific Ocean side of Peru’s tragedy!

Now let’s look at the Amazon (Brazil) side of Peru. These same events are affecting an area from Munich down to Sarajevo, with heavy rains are expected to last well into April. Your help is needed and appreciated!”

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Notice from Global Affairs Canada

And as a last note, and public service announcement:

Global Affairs Canada shares the following notice to Canadians

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the departments of Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Piura and Tumbes due to flooding, landslides, and mudslides resulting from heavy rains.

The Government of Peru has created an interactive map indicating the affected areas. Widespread damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, is causing disruptions to transport and communications. The Government of Peru has declared a state of emergency for the main highway (Carretera Central) connecting Lima to the east. All major airports in Peru are operating; however commercial flights could be suspended without warning.

Free evacuation flights from some affected areas are being offered by the Peruvian Air Force; consult their Facebook page for flight schedules. There are shortages of food, potable water and fuel in the affected areas. Other regions of Peru, including Lima, are rationing potable water or have limited access to water. Water- and insect-borne diseases may also become a threat. Medical facilities in affected regions are overburdened. There remains a high risk of further flooding throughout the region, as rainfall is predicted to continue until mid-April.

If you are in the affected area, ensure you have adequate emergency supplies and an emergency kit. For assistance, contact the Embassy of Canada in Lima or local authorities at IPeru (01-574-8000; iperu@promperu.gob.pe). Monitor local media for the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities. Verify your travel plans with your airline or tour operator.

We encourage you to stay connected with the latest travel advice and advisories, via the web at http://travel.gc.ca, our mobile TravelSmart application, available at http://travel.gc.ca/mobile, and our RSS feeds at http://travel.gc.ca/rss. You may also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/travelGoC or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/travelGoC.

For emergency assistance after hours you may communicate with the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa (EWRC) by calling the Embassy and following the instructions. You may also reach the EWRC directly by dialing (collect call where available), +1-613-996-8885 or toll free 001-800-387-3124 or by email at sos@international.gc.ca

Canadian citizens requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada in Lima at 319-3200 or lima-cs@international.gc.ca.

 

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 

OCP-Christine-Coletta-6-Credit-Lionel-Trudel

Discover The ‘New’ Okanagan okanagancrushpad.com | @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 summerhill.bc.ca | @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.com | @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.com | @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

 

What a year of personalities #withTownHall

  By Leeann Froese

Welcome to the #withTownHall #2015recap!

If you are a regular reader, you will know that each week we introduce a person we have encountered #withTownHall!

So as we end the year, let’s re-meet some amazing people:

Featured-in-2015-allDid you miss a post, or are you curious to know more about someone above? Click their posts to read about them:

Ezra Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Crystal Kwon, Citizen Relations & Vancity Buzz

John Biehler

Alison Scholefield, Okanagan Crush Pad

Welbert Choi, Forage

James Melendez, James the Wine Guy

Mark Hicken, Vintage Law Group

Bailey Williamson, Blue Grouse Winery

Tyler Harlton, TH Wines

Hootsuite Owl, Hootsuite

Annika Reinhardt, Social Bites

Clement Chan, Torofuku Modern Asian

Degan Walters, SmokySweet

Cristina Brunner, Blue Grouse Winery

Jeff Kralik, Drunken Cyclist

Glen Korstrom, Business in Vancouver

Julie Van Rosendaal, Dinner With Julie

Darnelle Moore, Eastside Fitness

Sam Hauck, My Vancity

Blue Grouse Estate Winery, team

Jim Irving, BC Hospitality Foundation

Jeremy Schacht, Ampersand Distilling

Tori Klassen

Mijune Pak, Follow Me Foodie

Brian Webb Homoculture

Chris Pritchett, UBC Thunderbirds Baseball

Swearing Minion, Despicable Me

Christine Campbell, Girls Go Grape

Kayla Koroush, Barrel Thief

Joshua McVeity, Photographer and Fred Lee, Man About Town

Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, Local Lounge | Grille, Encore Vineyards

Kristina Manning, Monthlyclubs.com

Frank Morgan, Drink What You Like

Courtney Buryta, Vancouver Canucks

Natalie Langston, Freelance Media

Eagranie Yuh, Edible Vancouver and Wine Country

Crystal Henrickson, University of British Columbia

Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly

Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine

Jennifer Schell, BC Food and Wine Trails Magazine

Amy Chen, Town Hall Brands

Ann Luu, CTV Morning Live,

Jackie Gidda, Mt Boucherie Estate Winery

William Ho, Fairchild Radio

Skip & Judy Stothert, Coolshanagh

Mary Halpen, Best of Bridge

Ron Wilson, Cheap and Cheerful

Justin Darnes, Drinks Undressed

 

Do you know someone who we should feature #withTownHall? Introduce us. And leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter

 

Newly released: What makes Riesling a “BC” Riesling?

By: Amy Chen XEFP_hiE_400x400

As the world’s 20th most grown grape varietal, Riesling is said to have originated from the Rhine region of Germany during the 15th century. Over time, Riesling made its way to Canada, where it is most commonly used to produce stunning Icewine in Ontario and table or sparkling wines, like the Summerhill Cipes Brut, in British Columbia (BC).

Every wine lover knows the importance of terroir in influencing the taste and flavour of a wine. Even if BC is a relatively young wine region, it still has its unique terroir that defines this region.

According to the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI), there are currently 440 acres of Riesling grapes planted throughout vineyards in BC. Regardless of the winemaking style, BC’s Riesling is fairly balanced and acidic.

The general flavour profile for Riesling ranges from fruity flavours of pear, apple, stone fruits, to herbal, citrusy, and floral notes. Minerality and petrol is occasionally tasted in older vintages. It’s also dry to sweet with a light to medium body.

This seems like a wide spectrum of tasting notes for Riesling. So, is there a more specific and distinct flavour profile that is unique to BC Riesling? What makes BC Riesling special?

Acclaimed wine, food and travel writer, Karl Kliparchuk of MyWinePal began to explore this question from the angle of soil. Karl collected BC Riesling (mostly from 2014 vintage) from 35 wineries in various wine regions of BC, including samples from our clients: Evolve Cellars, and Haywire / Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland, Monte Creek Ranch in Kamloops, Mt. Boucherie Winery in West Kelowna, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna.

Evolve 2014 Riesling

Evolve 2014 Riesling ($16.99)- Lime juicy with floral notes and a touch of honey sweet. Well balanced citrus and peach, smooth and full-bodied with a seamless palate. Pairs well with crab cakes, other seafoods, Asian cuisine (think red curry), or sweet and spicy dishes.

OCP Mike Bernardo Riesling Cabinett 2014

Mike B Riesling Cabinett 2014 ($25.00)- This Riesling was made in a stainless steel tank and a concrete egg to build complexity and showcase a bright acid and mineral style. This wine stopped fermentation naturally, leaving a touch of sweetness which balances the wine magically. Lemons, lime, and pure fresh Okanagan minerality all lead to a bracing zing that only Riesling can deliver.

Monte Creek Ranch 2014 Riesling ($16.99)- This classic Riesling beauty entices with a brilliant green gold colour and aromas of kiwi, lime rind, wet stone, and honey. Mouth watering acidity and a long, flavourful finish that will make you crave more. Harvested October 13th, 2014.

Mt Boucherie 2013 Riesling

Mt. Boucherie Winery 2013 Riesling ($16.00)- An off-dry white. Refreshing stone fruit, apricot, peach and a hint of citrus and green apple on both the nose and the palate. Pair with smoked salmon, fish tacos or a broccoli and apple salad.

Summerhill 2014 Organic Riesling

Summerhill 2014 Organic Riesling ($22.95)- This classic version under-went a cold stabilized stop of fermentation resulting in a balanced, off-dry wine with low alcohol. Pair with egg dishes such as quiche, frittata or omelette. Also try pairing with seafood, salads and tapas style meals or just enjoy as a sipping wine with friends.

His months-long analysis included an extensive comparison of the tasting notes, soil and geographic region of Riesling throughout BC.

The body of work that Karl developed is unlike anything done in the past, and is such a gift to both the wineries who have been evaluated, as well as the industry at large.

To better guide you through understanding BC Riesling, Karl divided his research into several parts, all of which offer an impressive and comprehensive insight into this aromatic varietal in BC.

What’s your experience with BC Riesling? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet us @TownHallBrands to start the discussion.

Colour BC and ChefMeetsBCGrape To Showcase Summerhill Pyramid Winery

In case you missed it, on September 16th, the British Columbia Wine Institute will be hosting Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting and ChefMeetsBCGrape 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 would like to introduce you to a winery in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. Today, we would like to introduce:

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC

SummerHill Pyramid Winery Vineyard

  • Understand the biodynamic and organic practices that allows this winery to shape a diversified and healthy ecosystem that promotes healthy crops and balanced wines.
  • Become fascinated by the history behind the Summerhill Pyramid Winery, including their award winning sparkling wine and the enchanting story behind the pyramind.
  • Try the 2012 “OM” Organic Meritage, which just won the gold medal at the 2015 InterVin International Wine Awards.

Founded in 1991, the Okanagan Valley’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery is Canada’s largest certified organic winery, BC’s first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, as well as Canada’s foremost producer of sparkling wine. Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that have earned the winery the title of ‘Canadian Wine Producer of the Year’ from the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England. From the vine to the finishing process within the pyramid cellar, a space designed with precision sacred geometry and aligned to the stars to create a structure of stillness and harmony, these wines are crafted with love and great attention.

To Learn More:

www.summerhill.bc.ca | Twitter: @summerhillwine | Instagram: @summerhillwine

 What you will taste:

  • Cipes Brut $26.95 - Aromas of apple, lime, pear, almonds and grapefruit. On the palate Cipes Brut exhibits crisp acidity, a soft, creamy mousse, and a long finish.
  • Cipes Rose $26.95 - 100% 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. Notes of raspberry, strawberry, kiwi, blood orange, vanilla, almond, and white toast.
  • 2014 Summerhill Vineyard Riesling $29.90 - Based on biodynamic principles, this wine was fermented with the ambient yeasts that came in from the vineyard, resulting in an absolutely beautiful natural wine.
  • 2012 "OM" Organic Meritage $65.00 - The conditions in 2012 were perfect for the growth and ripening of Cabernet Franc grapes, which was nature’s hint to produce a meritage blend that showcases this under-appreciated grape. A blend of 56% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 2% Malbec, aged in French and American oak barriques.

Who you will meet:

Summerhill's sales manager, Tom Walmsley, will be on hand to answer all of your questions about this majestic winery and their fantastic wines.

Fall Events to Plan For in the Lower Mainland

What’s Happening this Fall We have been trying to find dates to plan activities for our clients and it has become obvious to us how BUSY the schedule is and everyone's calendar is.

We find the best way for you to know about a client or project is to meet them in person, and the best way to do that is to hold an event, so everyone is hosting something.

42-18155351-hi Vincor

We like to use PlanitBC which has a public face as well as an industry planning back end, so we advise anyone who both wants to plan or attend something look there. It's not expensive and helps keep everything in one spot, and then has a way to publicize the events that are public.

For whatever reason, we have found that not everyone is signing up for Planit, so we have gathered everything we know of as of the beginning of August.

Note: this is for planning purposes and will change - check back often.

September 10, Top Drop Vancouver (featuring Town Hall clients Blue Grouse and Haywire)

September 10, Design Event (Story PR)

September 11, Top Drop Vancouver (featuring Town Hall clients Blue Grouse and Haywire)

September 13, BBQ off the Bypass (hosted by Town Hall client Angie Quaale of Well Seasoned)

September 14, Chile Sommelier Challenge (Trade only)

September 15, IVSA New Product Salon (Vancouver)

September 16, Colour BC Fall VQA Tasting (Industry)

September 16, ChefmeetsBCGrape Signature Tasting

September 18, 5th Annual Fraser Valley Cork and Keg, Wine, Beer and Food Festival

September 19, Lilloet Beer and Wine Festival

September 21, Invite Only Trade Wine Event

September 22, Sparkling Wine Event (invite only featuring Town Hall clients Summerhill Pyramid Winery)

September 22, Kate Colley PR Event

September 22, IVSA New Product Salon (Victoria)

September 23, Lifestyle, Fashion, Fitness Event

September 25, Victoria Wine Festival

September 26, Victoria Wine Festival

September 27, Slow Fish Dinner (hosted by Town Hall clients The Chefs' Table Society of BC)

September 27, Victoria Wine Festival

September 30, Lifestyle Event

October 1, Discover BC VQA Tasting (Calgary)

October 1, Lifestyle and Fashion Event

October 1-11, Fall Okanagan Wine Festival (featuring Town Hall clients Summerhill, SpierHead Winery, Mt. Boucherie, TIME, and Okanagan Crush Pad.)

October 5, Town Hall media event-by invitation only

October 5-9, Tourism Vancouver Open House

October 7, Town Hall trade event - by invitation only

October 8, Home and Lifestyle Event

October 15, Town Hall wine media event- by invitation only

October 15, Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour

October 17, BC Uncorked (featuring Town Hall clients Summerhill and Mt.Boucherie)

October 18, CONNECT Food + Drink + Lodging Expo 2015

October 19, CONNECT Food + Drink + Lodging Expo 2015

October 21, Vancouver Magazine Judging

October 22, Vancouver Magazine Judging

October 22, Vancouver Home + Design Show Opening Party (invite only)

October 22, 2nd Annual Tea Sparrow Tea Festival

October 23, Vancouver Magazine Judging

October 26, A Taste of Wines from Italy (Trade)

October 28, Wine, Food & Lifestyle Tasting

October 29, Design & Lifestyle Event

November 7, 26th Annual Fraser Valley Wine Festival

 

Celebrating Canadian Cuisine on Food Day Canada

By Kathleen Beveridge Saturday is Food Day Canada, which means we get to celebrate by eating delicious Canadian cuisine.

And we share it @FoodDayCanada with #CanadaISFood #FDC2015

BG-FoodWine

Canada is known across the globe for a variety of things: saying “sorry” and “eh”, maple syrup, and being cold (although that idea is out the window lately), but what is often forgotten is how delicious and diverse our local food is across the country. And let’s be honest, that’s silly, considering we eat every single day.

At Town Hall we couldn’t be more proud to have clients that are a part of this movement, from Langley’s Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store’s owner and local food queen, Angie Quaale, who buys local whenever she can and uses it in her recipes; to the members of the Chefs’ Table Society who all stand behind sustainable and local foods, to our winery clients who produce wine sourced from BC grown grapes.

We also have some clients who source locally and sustainably for their restaurants, including Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Sunset Organic Bistro, the new restaurant at Evolve Cellars, and the soon-to-open Perch Restaurant, located in the beautiful new AMS building at UBC. These restaurants support local farms and are Ocean Wise.

Top this list off with our client, the BC Hospitality Foundation, who supports those working in the Food and Beverage industry with financial support for industry workers when the need arises, keeping the Canadian food and beverage movement on its feet.

It’s more important than ever to buy local and support Canada’s economy, but more importantly the people, who put so much into growing and creating nutritious food to fuel us through each day.

Now I’ll go celebrate by picking local blackberries and raising my glass (full of BC wine) to Canadian cuisine.

Summerhill-Gardens-Tomatoes-Credit-Kevin-Trowbridge-500x500

How will you celebrate Food Day Canada? In Kelowna, celebrate at Summerhill Pyramid Winery's Sunset Organic Bistro, one of the 250 participating restaurants in Food Day Canada.

Try wine from one of these BC wineries this Food Day Canada:

Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Coolshanagh

Evolve Cellars

McWatters Collection

Monte Creek Ranch

Mt. Boucherie Winery

Okanagan Crush Pad

Serendipity Winery

Singletree Winery

SpierHead Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

TIME Estate Winery

Look out for these BC Wineries at Bloom

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 photo
Located: 
Summerland
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 WineryMTB-Patio
Located: Kelowna
Who you will meet: Jim Faulkner (winemaker)
What you will taste:
2013 Riesling
2013 Gewürztraminer
2012 Pinot Noir
2012 Merlot
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
Located: Summerland
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 IMG_1843
Located: Naramata Who you will meet: Judy Kingston and Katie O'Kell (owners)
What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Grigio
2013 Rose
2012 Voignier
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 View More: http://typeaphotography.pass.us/onetree Who you will meet: Andrew Etsell (owner)
What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Noir
2014 Siegerrebe
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
Located: Kelowna
Who you will meet: Marina and Bill Knutson (owners) What you will taste:
2013 Pinot Noir
2013 Chardonnay
2014 Riesling 
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 WineryIMG_2646
Located: Kelowna
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. Summerhill-Pyramid-Credit-Aaron-BarrAsk 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
Located: Oliver
Who you will meet: Harry McWatters (founder), Christa Lee McWatters Bond (brand manager), Steve Jones (hospitality)Time-Harry
What you will taste:
2012 Meritage
2014 White Meritage 
2013 Cabernet Franc
2013 Sundial
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.

 

Looking ahead to the Wine Blogger's Conference

By Leeann Froese We are looking forward to sending two members of our team (myself and Sujinder Juneja) to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Finger Lakes, New York this August. This will be my 4th consecutive conference, and Sujinder's third.

Wine Bloggers Conference

Being named Wine Enthusiast's wine region of the year in 2014 made me very curious about what this region has to offer, because as world wine regions go the Finger Lakes Region is still relatively unknown.

This is not meant as a slight towards the region because I feel like our own home wine region here in British Columbia is also off the radar, and this is something we have in common. That same Wine Enthusiast article also named Canada / British Columbia / Okanagan as one of the gems to discover in the world. What will New York have to offer? In my minds eye it's not as hot as it is here in the west, and I have never traveled into this particular area south of Ontario so it will be new territory for me

Adam Strum, publisher and editor of Wine Enthusiast, writes "The New York wine industry has made a remarkable comeback in the past 30 years in terms of the quality of wines, number of wineries, and economic impact."

The Finger Lakes Wine Country boasts over 100 wineries centered around the region’s four main lakes: Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua.

Vineyards at Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars - photo credit - Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars

British Columbia has more than 200 wineries, but like Finger Lakes, the Okanagan wine region is centered around Okanagan, Skaha, Vaseaux, Tuc el Nuit, and Osoyoos Lakes.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery's vineyard in the Okanagan Valley, BC

In both cases, these bodies of water offer a moderating effect to the landscape and allows for premium grape growing. Is this where the similarities end?

I am sure that both regions offer people who love what they do, and I look forward to learning what kind of tourism infrastructure and hospitality the Finger Lakes region offers. What other compare and contrast points will we find? I am feeling confident the wines will not be the same!

More on the Wine Bloggers Conference and the Finger Lakes region to come!

Meet Town Hall's participating BC wineries and more at the International Wine Festival

 

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

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Of special note:

  • Visit the BCHF booth to get your digital caricatures done courtesy of Cruelty Free Cartoons, available throughout the trade tasting days: Thursday 1:30-5pm, Friday 1:30-5pm.
  • In 2014, with the support of a number of dedicated volunteers and partners, the BCHF raised more than $85,000 to support current and future industry members.

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. 

About BCHF:

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.

For more information, visit bchospitalityfoundation.com, Like on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna BC

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Of special note:

  • Summerhill Pyramid Winery will pour Cipes Brut, awarded Best Sparkling Wine in Canada at the All Canadian Wine Championship. 
  • The winery is known for organically and biodynamically growing grapes from the pristine Okanagan Valley.

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.

For more information, visit summerhill.bc.ca, Like on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

 

Haywire Winery, Summerland BC

Of special note:

  • Okanagan Crush Pad is the first winery in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks during fermentation, and carry the raised in Concrete designation.
  • The Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2012 was recently featured in Wines in Niagara and was awarded 92 points by wine expert Rick VanSickle.
  • Haywire is co-owned by Christine Coletta, who is leader in BC's wine industry.

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.

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 visit haywirewinery.com, Like on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

TIME Estate Winery, Oliver, BC 

Of special note:

  • All TIME Estate wines are grown and made on Canada's most-awarded, Sundial Vineyard in Oliver, BC.
  • Harry McWatters, owner, will launch the inaugural TIME Estate Syrah at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Only 100 cases of the Syrah have been produced.

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 on TIME Estate Winery, visit timewinery.com, Like on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

 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 sujinder@townhallbrands.com or 604-367-6745

 

The year that was 2014 With Town Hall - Part 2

By Leeann Froese Picking up from last week's Wine Wednesday, today I finish a recap of what we did in 2014.

I repeat how grateful we are for the support we receive from our clients, colleagues and the trade. You all bring the awesome, and I can't wait to see what 2015 unfolds for us all.

Here we pick up the last half of the year...

August

Road Trip #withTownHall

As our team grew throughout 2014 two new people with no previous wine experience joined us (Laurisha Bardal and Amy Chen) so a tour & learn was in order. We visited Okanagan Valley clients SpierHead winerySummerhill Pyramid WineryMt. Boucherie Family Estate WineryOkanagan Crush Pad and Serendipity winery.

Each winery client welcomed our team with open arms and in addition to learning a lot, we had a lovely time!

Laurisha makes her selections in the cozy and welcoming Mt. Boucherie wine shop

Of course a #selfie with Laurisha, Summerhill's Ezra Cipes and Amy

...and a #selfie with barman extraordinaire Gerry Jobe and Globe and Mail columnist Alexandra Gill. Alexandra was on assignment to cover the winery's truly innovative cocktail menu being led by Gerry (using ingredients grown and foraged on site, as well as Tibetan singing bowls)

It is so relaxing at the cute outdoor area at Spierhead winery in Kelowna

We arrived at Okanagan Crush Pad just in time to have the girls star in a video with winery owner Christine Coletta and 30 day Adventures travel blogger Marc Smith

Okanagan Crush Pad's Garnet Valley Ranch

Serendipity's Judy Kingston showed us the ultimate in hospitality. Not only did we get a great tasting, she had the three of us as guests in her home. The next morning, she made us an incredible breakfast before we hit the road.

September

BBQ OFF the Bypass

Our client, the amazing Angie Quaale, hosted the 9th annual BBQ On The Bypass (it became OFF the bypass after Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store moved to a new location). The free public event offered music, unique displays, tasty vendors and delicious BBQ samples.

15 teams gathered and the winner was House of Q, who then went on to win for the World’s Best Ribs from the World Food Championships in Las Vegas!

House of Q

A free family event, the BBQ OFF the Bypass offers everyone's fave: bacon!

A few thousand BBQ lovers gathered on a beautiful day in Langley for the BBQ OFF the Bypass 2014

 

Celebrity Dim Sum

Raising funds for Aids Vancouver was the annual Celebrity Dim Sum. What fun it was to have politicians, media, and other personalities from Vancouver serving up yummy dim sum to an enthusiastic crowd.

Haywire was the official wine sponsor and sneak previewed its next release of the Lunar New Year wines.

Celebrity Dim Sum

 

Jurgen Gothe Celebration

Our team was proud to help organize the event to celebrate the 70th birthday and achievements of Jurgen Gothe’s lifetime. Many in the industry came together with wine, food, and stories. Our team was thrilled to be part of the planning, event execution and friendship for a memorable afternoon with an unforgettable man and those close to him.

Jurgen 70th birthday

 

Fall Colours

The British Columbia Wine Institute held its annual fall tasting event Colours. A few of our lovely BC winery clients were in town to showcase their newest releases to an enthusiastic crowd of trade and media.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery CEO Ezra Cipes shows off his latest releases to the trade

Amy Hollenbach and Alison Scholefield offer tastes of Haywire wines

October

Let's hear it for the Girls!

In time for breast cancer awareness month was the promotion of The Girls wine - a rosé and a red - with 100% sales proceeds of to charity. Note these wines are available year-round and make a wonderful choice for gifting or entertaining, knowing that all proceeds go to a great cause. The red would could be a nice Valentine wine.

Let's hear it for The Girls Wine - 100% proceeds to charity

The Girls Wine founder Bill Lui and CTV's Lynda Steele

 

November

Meet Monte Creek Ranch

We were pleased to announce that the wines are now available from Canada's next wine region and the newest winery in Kamloops, Monte Creek Ranch. Stay tuned for summer 2015 when this winery opens its doors.

With a hat tip to the area history, Monte Creek Ranch will open in 2015 in Canada's newest wine region: Kamloops

 

Monte Creek Ranch

 

Samanatha Syrah

Each year Vancouver’s sommelier of the year is invited to make 100 cases of wine through Okanagan Crush Pad’s Okanagan Wine Campus program. From this $5,000 is donated annually to the BC Hospitality Foundation to support wine education scholarships. 2013 Sommelier of the year Samantha Rahn of Araxi in Whistler created a delicious Syrah. Our team was proud to do the packaging and the publicity.

Samantha Rahn

Samantha Rahn launches her Okanagan Crush Pad wine at CinCin

SamanthaBottle We are thankful to the media for the great press for sommelier Samantha Rahn's wine project. This has been the most publicity we have received to date for one of the Okanagan Crush Pad Wine Campus wines. Girls rule!

Previous Wine Campus releases include Kurtis Semillon 2011 (Kurtis Kolt), Owen Cabernet Franc 2011 (Owen Knowlton) and TNT Chardonnay 2012 (Terry Threlfall). In progress and up next is Mike Bernardo (2014).

 

Skills n Spills

The second Skills N Spills competition benefiting the BC Hospitality Foundation took place. Hospitality trade teams competed for bragging rights and more. Our team's role was media communication and coordinating the amazing media judges.

Skills N Spills 2014 Judges

Skills N Spills 2014

A New Look for an Older Wine

We were proud to bring to life the new packaging for Cipes Ariel 1998 premier cuvée.

This critically lauded wine now looks as beautiful as it tastes. The artwork and calligraphy were done by Helen Menyes, who also hand painted each of the original Cipes Gabriel 1991 bottles. The layout and design were led by our Andrew von Rosen, and inspiration for the design also came from the winery's winemaker Eric von Krosigk. The artwork depicts the archangel Ariel (lion of god), descending down the cone shaped bottle. On the back, two ethereal lions are nose to nose, creating the impression of angel's wings.

Andrew and I had a bottle of this wine on New Year's Eve (thank you team for the gift!) and it was absolutely delicious. No other way to put it. A truly special BC wine.

Cipes Ariel

 

December

One Faith Vineyards

Our team announced the newest project in British Columbia wine: One Faith Vineyards, and not without controversy, so with this project we will expand...

In the past I have been lucky enough to do media work in Canada with Penfolds Grange and Mondavi's To Kalon Vineyard, and I was proud to be the publicist to launch Osoyoos Larose. These wine labels are all bold, high end, aspirational projects. Those in the Canadian wine media might recall that when Osoyoos Larose was launched it was met with skepticism before it earned fanfare. Critics said it showed promise but were slow to get 100% behind the project. In the case of One Faith Vineyards I am suggesting the case is the same. However today, the conversation is more rapid, as in 2001 there was no online platforms for social dialogue. And a tempest in a decanter is taking place because Bill Lui dreams for One Faith Vineyards, an expensive wine, to become a first growth wine for Canada.

Sujinder Juneja from our team, a French Wine Scholar, assembled this text:

"Let’s first talk about what First Growth actually means. Translated as “Premier Cru” in France, the First Growths were established in 1855 when Napoleon III classified the best wines of Bordeaux for the Exposition Universelle de Paris, based at the time on selling price and overall reputation. The top-ranked wines, named the Grand Crus Classés (Great Classified Growths) were placed in one of five categories from first to fifth, each of which carried a high mark of prestige and suggested a higher quality product.

The fact that these classified growths were now perpetually allowed to charge more per bottle than their close neighbours meant that greater financial resources could be potentially allocated to produce the best possible wine, year after year, even in challenging vintages.

Even inside France, the term First Growth is not a regulated term, but remains a title that lends distinction and perceived quality to the associated wine. Premier Cru is now also used in other appellations in France, including Burgudy, Alsace and Champagne, for example. More often than not, the term merely means the top wine (price and quality) of a particular estate.

Outside of France, the term has been used by other wineries who hope to establish a connection to old world traditions or perhaps build a higher reputation for quality in their home country.

In Canada, there is not yet a legal or binding definition for First Growth but it is the vision and the goal of One Faith Vineyards to produce a First Growth-level wine in the Okanagan Valley, an exceptional wine of unparalleled quality. Everything to do with the wine, from vineyard to winery, from grapes to bottle, must be only the very best.

To be fair, Bill Lui, the proprietor of One Faith Vineyards has never said that his wines are Canada’s First Growth. It is only his goal. His ambition. And only time will tell if that honour is given to One Faith in a formal way. And to be sure, Bill Lui has never once suggested that One Faith Vineyards is above the other great vineyards or wineries of the South Okanagan, but rather that the wine represents the fully-realized potential of excellent quality Bordeaux grape varietals, which have been growing in that site for more than 20 years."

Interestingly, many people talking about this wine and Bill Lui have an opinion when they have not met Bill, (a generous, humble, husband and father), or tasted the wine. Bill has invested his retirement resources to the project. Despite this, whatever does not make the final blend of only 144 cases is used in the 100% charitable The Girls Wine project.

How does the 2012 wine show? People might expect a big, extracted, tannic and masculine wine, as it is made from Bordeaux varietals, but the inaugural release of the wine is a delicate, fruit forward blend that expresses the south Okanagan terroir beautifully. With the meticulous care, attention, hand crafting and detail that go into production and the resulting limited quantity made, the wine retails in a custom made bamboo box of three for $495. At the time of this post the wines had been selling steadily, but a few cases remained.

One Faith Vineyards founder and aspirational vintner, Bill Lui

 

Wild Sweets

Also in December we were proud to welcome Wild Sweets by DC Duby as a client. I worked with them when I was at Coletta & Associates back in… let's just say it was more than a decade ago. It's fun to reconnect with these two passionate chocolatiers and pastry artists. I encourage you to take a look at their website as their chocolate creations are truly remarkable.

At the Atelier in Richmond, DC Duby's pop up retail space, Cindy and Dominique Duby (in the white coats) are joined by Michael, Rebecca Coleman, and Regina Chen

Dominique and Cindy make an appearance on Global TV to make creme brulée with Jay Durant and Lynn Colliar

 

#30 Days of Kindness

Our last project of 2014 was a team one: we took part in #30DaysofKindness

Our team met 30 Day Adventures chief adventurer Marc Smith at the Skytrain station to take part in 30 Days Of Kindness by surprising 20 lucky strangers with the gift of a smile, a positive note and a free ride on Translink. (Just so you know no transit laws were broken in the committing of this act of kindness as we had full approval from Translink.)

This is our 2nd year in a row participating in 30 Days Of Kindness. I am so proud of my hard working and generous-spirited team. Check out our little video and the post with detail on Marc's site

Sujinder, Amy, Laurisha, me, Ritika, Andrew

Act of Kindness 04

 

Wrapping Up

Whew!

It was so nice to end the year on a kind note, making people smile, and spreading good will.

Let me know how YOU enjoyed 2014. Did you attend any of these highlighted events? What were the highlights of your year?

2015 already promises some projects and exciting events to emerge so stay posted. Things are already getting busy in the industry with tastings and events.

If you do not already follow us on social media, we'd love for you to join us. Or sign up to receive updates to see what we are getting up to with our clients. You can do this at the top of the website.

We can't wait to share what else our clients are going to be up to, keep all dialogue going, and I hope we see you in person very soon!

Happy New Year - and on behalf of myself, Andrew, Sujinder, Amy, Laurisha, Felicia, Lindsey, Ali and Ritika, let’s all #gogetit!

Meet Ezra Cipes With Town Hall

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 #withTownHall please meet the CEO of Kelowna's Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ezra Cipes.

If you like this post please feel free to share it so others can meet him too!

Here I am in paradise at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna on a summery sunshiney day with the amazing Ezra Cipes #withTownHall

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.

Can you please say hello to Ezra with a comment – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter so more people can meet him too!

 

The year that was 2014 With Town Hall - Part 1

Starting the New Year with a look at the year that was… 2014 in review - part one of two long posts... By Leeann Froese

It is remarkable that it is already the first Wine Wednesday of 2015!

2014 had been quite the amazing year for our team at Town Hall. The saying that ‘it takes a village’ is certainly true, especially as you apply it to what we're doing here. It takes a committed team and also a supporting cast of characters to really make all that we accomplish on behalf of our clients possible.

We feel blessed to have a cohesive team that really enjoys each other's company both while at and outside the office, and we love our clients, because as well as quality offerings, they carry so much passion and personality.

Also in the village we rely heavily on social thought leaders, bloggers and journalists to support our efforts to help spread the word on behalf of our clients, and we can't thank everyone enough for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for everything that we're doing here.

There is too much to detail, so to follow are a few highlights from what was an incredible year.

January

Wine for the Year of the Horse

Haywire Lunar wine launched… and sold out in days. This was an unprecedented program to create a wine for the local market specifically crafted to pair with Asian cuisine, and this wine symbolized the Year of the Horse. Our team did the packaging and PR. The program was a huge success and will be repeated for this year, the Year of the Sheep.

Haywire was the 1st BC winery to release a wine specific for the Lunar New Year

 

Wines of France educational seminar

On behalf of Sopexa Canada our team coordinated three days of training for the senior managers and product consultants of the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch, highlighting Alsace, Beaujolais, Bourgogne, Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhône Valley wines. On the heels of this, it was so exciting having Wines of France be the theme region for the Vancouver International Wine Festival in 2014.

French Wines Event

 

Dawn Chubai goes Under the Covers

14 years after her award-winning début album, vocalist turned TV personality Dawn Chubai releases Under the Covers. Our design team was proud to do the layout on her album cover.

Under the Covers by Dawn Chubai

 

February

Pure Chablis

An exclusive dinner format never done before in Vancouver: three up-and-coming sommeliers (Brooke Delves, Jason Yamasaki and Roger Maniwa) competed to pair wines from Chablis to a menu created by chef Jefferson Alvarez of Secret Location. Invited guests to #PureChablisYVR voted by private individual electronic ballot, and the winner was Roger Maniwa.

Roger Maniwa of Hawksworth is the winner of the Chablis wine pairing competition

Christophe Cardona and Françoise Roure of Chablis congratulate winner Roger Maniwa

 

The International Wine Festival

The 2014 International Wine Festival featured 178 wineries from all over the world, and the theme country was France. Mike Bernardo of Vij's was named the Sommelier of the Year. The wine world gathers to taste and connect. Selfies were taken.

The darling trio from Summerhill Pyramid Winery at their booth: winemaker Eric von Krosigk, founder Stephen Cipes and CEO Ezra Cipes

Star-studded sommelier lineup includes (back row) Mark Taylor, Neil Ingram, Brent Hayman, Jason Yamasaki, Terry Threlfall, Mike Bernardo and Emily Walker (front row) Barb Philip, Mark Davidson, Kurtis Kolt and Tom Doughty

Ellen's has nothing on this sommelier-#selfie!

2012 Sommelier of the Year Terry Threlfall (left) and 2014 Sommelier of the Year Mike Bernardo (third from left) stop by the Okanagan Crush Pad table to say hello to Christine Coletta, David Scholefield, and Alison Scholefield

My #selfie with the Okanagan Crush Pad team: Matt Dumayne, Alison Scholefield, Julian Scholefield, Mike West and Whitney Law

March

Kosher Wine from BC

Canada's first uncooked Kosher wine was created by Summerhill Pyramid Winery with the release of Tiferet (loosely translated, means beauty).

Tiferet

wax sealing

 

Eight unique curries compete

In another first, the inaugural Curry Cup took place on behalf of the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia; eight chef teams competed and the winner was chef Taryn Wa of Savoury Chef.

Taryn Wa of Savoury Chef  is the inaugural Curry Cup Winner

 

April

Vancouver Dining gets Social with Serendipity

Serendipity Winery is the exclusive wine partner for the second annual #DinnerpartyYVR. Hobby chefs prepared meals in their homes with all proceeds to charity.

Annika Reinhardt and Crystal Henrickson of #dinnerpartyyvr

 

May

Dish n Dazzle

The BC Hospitality Foundation and Wines of New Zealand presented Dish N Dazzle with proceeds to support those in the hospitality industry in dire financial need. The event featured New Zealand Wines, a spirits competition and food from top Vancouver restaurants.

Dish N Dazzle offfered great food options  from top chefs and suppliers, all for a good cause

 

Lauren Mote, Sophie Lui and Natalie Langston enjoy Dish N Dazzle

Spotlight on Portuguese Wines

For the first time in 20 years (maybe more) vintners from Portugal arrived en masse - 27 in all - to Vancouver, many displaying wines that were not available in Canada yet. We were proud to implement this program, which was a guided tasting led by Treve Ring, followed by a walk-around tasting. We were delighted to see how engaging the vintners are, how well the wines showed and how much the trade appreciated these wines.

Portuguese wines are on the rise globally, and we can see why.

Treve Ring leads an entertaining and educational tasting of Portuguese wines to the delight of  Michaela Morris, Judith Lane, Park Heffelfinger and Tim Pawsey

 

27 vintners from Portugal wowed the Vancouver trade

 

Spot Prawn Festival

Presented by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, the 8th annual Spot Prawn Festival took place at Fisherman's Wharf. The Spot Prawn Festival celebrates the start of spot prawn season in BC's coastal waters. The event involves many local chefs, and more than 2000 people attend this celebration of sustainable seafood.

Chefs Chris Whittaker of Forage and Robert Clark of the Fish Counter lead the charge in sustainable seafood.

Chefs Table Society member chef Vikram Vij of Vij's serves Spot Prawns

 

Wine In the Garden

The Bottleneck Drive Winery Association from Summerland held their first event in Vancouver: Wine in the Garden, at the beautiful VanDusen Gardens.

 

Bottleneck Drive wineries in Vandusen Gardens

 

June

Provence Rosé

We were delighted to present a program on behalf of Wines of Provence, celebrating the wonderful wines and flavours from the south of France. the program included media appearances by Provence's François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska and a tasting for retailers.

François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska

IMG_2669

 

Preparing BC wineries for Fame

I was joined by DJ Kearney and Kathy Michaels to present a media training session to the BC Wine Institute member wineries.

Media training BC wineries

 

Finding the Best Canadian Wines

The Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada judging took place in Penticton, BC. It was a thrill to see the judges, many of whom I have worked with for more than 15 years (!) but never get to see, and help host them at Okanagan Crush Pad.

Christine Coletta and Styeve Lornie, Okanagan Crush pad Winery owners, welcome the Wine Align judges

#selfie time with Okanagan Crush Pad winemaker Matt Dumayne and Brad Royale, wine director for Rocky Mountain resorts, and Wine Align judge

A huge highlight for me as well was meeting Jamie Goode, a visiting wine author from the UK. He is a marathon runner and kindly slowed down enough for me to join him for a run in paradise.

Run #seflie with Jamie Goode #gogetit

 

Welcome Calvin

Our Felicia had a baby! Welcome Calvin! 9lb 2 oz and 100% cute!

Our team welcomes Calvin

July

#WBC14

The Wine Bloggers Conference took place in Santa Barbara California, following a pre-excursion to Paso Robles. While there we presented a handful of BC wines in a hotel suite, exposing the wines to leading bloggers. We also got to see parts of California wine country and taste some incredible wines from the region, not to mention meet amazing people we now remain in touch with throughout the year.

I get a #selfie with Sujinder at the top of the world in Paso Robles

Tasting BC Wines with the bloggeratti

 

Golfing to help the industry

The British Columbia Hospitality Foundation’s annual golf tournament took place in Vancouver. Amazing support was shown from the industry.

darryl Weinbren Anthony Gismondi, and BCHF chair Richard Carras

 

Joining Us

In July we were also pleased to welcome the Blue Grouse Vineyards and Winery team as well as financial consultant Judy Poole of Raymond James into our roster of clients. Wonderful people with lots to share.

 

Cristina, Paula and Paul Brunner, owners of Blue Grouse Estate Winery

A #selfie with the smart and lovely Judy Poole of Raymond James

 

Next week I will finish off from August onward, this post is lengthy enough!

Did you attend any of these highlighted events? What were the highlights of your year?

2015 already promises some projects and exciting events to emerge so stay posted.

We can't wait to tell you what else our clients are going to be up to and I look forward to seeing you very soon!

 

Happy New Year - let’s all #gogetit!

Meet Tarrah MacPherson With Town Hall

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 MacPherson

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.

Can you please say hello to  with a comment – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Lorne Eckersley With Town Hall

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 Lorne Eckersley. Can you please say hello?

Lorne Eckersley

Lorne Eckersley, seen here at the beautiful Summerhill Pyramid Winery publishes the weekly Creston Valley Advance. He is a wine enthusiast and columnist, contributing writer for Wine and Food Trails magazine, opera, theatre and music lover, foodie and traveller. Join him as he searches for the sweet life, or la dolce vita, and chronicles his efforts in weekly columns, blog entries, magazine articles and photographs.

Visit Lorne's own website, La Dolce Vita.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Gerry Jobe With Town Hall

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 they could be). 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 Gerry Jobe. Can you please say hello?

Jerry Jobe

 

This summer, Gerry Jobe, acclaimed Okanagan-based bartender, joined Kelowna's Summerhill Pyramid Winery as consulting bartender to create a cocktail program that puts the spirit back in spirits.

After a massive lobby (and much patience), Summerhill has been granted the license to add spirits and craft beer to the wines already on the menu in its Sunset Organic Bistro. As the first BC winery in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) to have this new license, they are taking advantage of this in a way that expresses the winery’s unique personality.

The winery has linked up with Gerry to oversee their spirits menu, and take their cocktail program to an unparalleled level. Having been recognized by Western Living magazine as one of their “Top 40 under 40″, and winning several prestigious cocktail creation awards, Gerry is an award-winning and passionately creative bartender.

As a lifetime resident of the Okanagan, Gerry feels the need to establish a vibrant and stylish cocktail culture in Okanagan, the #‎okanagancocktailmovement‬.

All Summerhill cocktails created by Gerry utilize speciality techniques and ingredients hand-foraged on the sweet aromatic land of Summerhill’s own biodynamic permaculture gardens, including wildcrafted medicinal herbs and syrups aged in the Pyramid.

Unconventional cocktail techniques are applied to the creation of each drink, including employing vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls, intentionality and biodynamic rhythms.

In addition to the work that Gerry does for Summerhill, Gerry is a wine and spirits representative, and he consults to other restaurants to help them create their cocktail lists.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

BC Wineries to Watch For at the Vancouver Bloom Trade Only Tasting

Trade: celebrate the arrival of fresh, local, home grown ingredients and gentle weather, with the annual Wines of British Columbia Spring Release Tasting.With more than 80 BC wineries showcasing more than 300 premium BC VQA wines, the event is sure to provide a wonderful overview of BC VQA wines!

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.

Journalists: we can help you with any interview requests for the visiting winery principals.

Mount Boucherie's beautiful South Okanagan Vineyards

Winery: Mt Boucherie Family Estate Winery Located: Kelowna Who you will meet: Winemaker, Jim Faulkner and representatives Don Pfeffer and Mario Rodi What you will taste: 2013 Pinot Gris 2012 Family Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Family Reserve Gamay Noir 2009 Summit Reserve Syrah Need to know facts: this winery just quietly goes about its business making incredible wines which reflect their soft personality. All of their wines are 100% family owned and grown. Mt. Boucherie holds 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.

The Patio at Okanagan Crush Pad

Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad Located: Summerland Who you will meet: Alison Scholefield and Rebeka Eriksson What you will taste: 2012 Haywire Syrah 2011 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2012 Haywire The Bub Sparkling Wine 2012 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 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. The Haywire sparkling wine, the Bub, is named after Alison Scholefield, who will be at the table.

SpierHead Winery's Gentleman Farmer Vineyard

Winery: SpierHead Winery Located: Kelowna Who you will meet: Owners, Bill and Marina Knutson What you will taste: 2013 Rosé 2013 Pinot Gris 2012 Chardonnay 2011 Persuit 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 enetered. For example, the Rosé, which the owners will pour at the table, was just granted 90 points from DJ Kearney in Wine Align.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery's tasting room, overlooking Okanagan Lake

Winery: Summerhill Pyramid Winery Located: Kelowna Who you will meet: CEO, Ezra Cipes and Winemaker, Eric VonKrosigk What you will taste: 2013 Organic Riesling 2013 Ehrenfelser 2011 Organic Pinot Noir Need to know fact: The Cipes Brut just captured the Best Sparkling Wine in Canada at the All Canadian Wine Championships. The winery recently released its first lower sulphite wines, on account of the use of a nitrogen generator in the cellar. Ask Eric and Ezra about it.

 

And... if you are NOT attending Bloom, but want to meet or know more about any of these clients, then contact us info at townhallbrands dot com.

 

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 www.haywirewinery.com – 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

ALL ABOUT BUBBLY! - Cipes Brut

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 www.summerhill.bc.ca 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 leeann@townhallbrands.com or sujinder@townhallbrands.com

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

Master The Public Wine Tasting Like a Boss: 7 Tips for the Vancouver International Wine Festival

  by Leeann Froese

Winefest_Logo_Reverse

The Wine World Is Here So says the tagline, for the upcoming Vancouver International Wine Festival. And given our 17 years of involvement in the wine industry, of course we are involved too! Canada’s premier wine festival runs from February 24 to March 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues across the city. The spotlight is on France as the 2014 theme country, with a global focus on Bubbly wines. The festival will feature 178 wineries from 14 countries, attracting 23,000 participants to 54 events over eight days. For full program details, visit VanWineFest.ca

#withTownHall – our firm’s involvement Our Town Hall team will be 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! We will also be onsite in the festival tasting room representing the BC Hospitality Foundation. If we see you in the room, we are happy to take you over to these tables.

Also, we have recently been doing some behind-the scenes work with Wines of France. They return as theme country for the 2014 festival, with 52 wineries representing France’s diverse wine regions: Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Champagne, Loire, Rhône, South of France and Southwest France. All 52 wineries will be highlighted in the France Bon Appétit section of the tasting room, grouped by region, with three regional tasting stations—Alsace, Rhône and the Languedoc-Roussillon—providing guided flights and showcasing their unique wine styles.

tastingroom

When you read the amazing, free tasting booklet you receive when you attend the festival tasting, you will see the section on France, which our design team had the pleasure of doing the design and layout for. (Speaking of, there are numerous other printed materials, invitations, and tasting booklets that will find their way into festival goers hands at various events, all created by our design team.)

Get Your Tickets Dinners with international vine stars at some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, seminars with wine experts, access to the Acura International Festival Tasting Room and other exciting events are available. All ticket sales support VanWineFest’s charitable partner, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Tickets may be purchased online at VanWineFest.ca, in person at 305-456 West Broadway, or by phoning the box office at 604-873-3311 or toll-free at 1-877-321-3121.

Behave Yourself - 7 Tips to Master the Tasting Like a Boss

With the Vancouver International Wine Festival coming up in week, there are many of you that are going to put on your finest, head on downtown, and get ready to taste as many wines as you can... well let me stop you right there! There are certain rules, how-tos, and etiquette that you should know before you encounter a wine tasting. So, let me walk you through how to taste wine, from when you arrive at the convention center all the way through until the end of the night… check out these seven tips to keep in mind so you can take on the tasting room with confidence:

1. Before You Go Make sure that you have eaten something substantial before you even head to the tasting. Alcohol is absorbed more slowly on a full stomach than an empty one, and you want to make sure that you are prepared for the tasting that lies ahead.

2. What to Wear? Anything goes when it comes to these tastings but let's just keep in mind that the room this tasting is taking place in contains 178 wineries, and is a large room to navigate. You're going to be on your feet for a while, so this is not the time to wear your Manolos; this is the time to wear something a little bit more practical a lot more comfortable on your feet.

NoHeels

Also keep in mind that you may be bumped into by other people or there might be some splashes that happen; this is a wine tasting event after all, so we do not recommend that you wear something very light in color or something that you're going to be super disappointed by if you get splashes of wine stain on it. We suggest darker clothing here and something that is not made in a fabric that is too precious.

 

3. Don't Stink! Don't wear perfume, or smoke a cigarette and go into the tasting room. Tasting wine is an olfactory and sensory experience; you want to keep things as neutral as possible. There's nothing more sensitive to a winemaker who is trying to check the aromas of his wines to make sure that they have traveled soundly all the way from France, than to have you step up to his table and overpower his nose with your stinky eau de whatever. Wear deodorant, but not stinky deodorant; you don't want to smell like BO either, because again, crowded room, lots of people…

3. One Glass, Many Wines When you enter the room you will be greeted and handed a wine glass. This is your glass to use for the entire tasting, so hang on to it; don't set it down and lose it. If you are concerned about flavours of wine mixing from one tasting into the next, each table has a convenient pitcher of water on it. which you can rinse your class out with between tastings.

5. Spit or Swallow? Now let's talk tasting. When you're approaching the winemaker or the representative from the winery they will pour a small amount of wine into your glass; this is when you are to take a step back from the table to let the person waiting patiently behind you have access to the same precious liquid. At this time you take that wine, put it in your mouth swish it around to taste it, and then spit it out into the provided spit bucket.

Spit? Did I say 'spit'? That seems like sacrilege to many, but let's just understand that you are being poured a tasting pour. (You're not going to get a full glass of wine and it's not proper etiquette to ask for more wine, because the expectation is that you're going to swish and spit out this wine like a responsible wine taster).  You might find as you taste along that some of this juice is just too delicious to spit out, so you may want to enjoy one or two samples that you actually drink, but trust me, if you start drinking every single wine you taste, you'll be blotto before you even make it through the first few tables, and that is going to ruin the experience for you, as well as everyone around you.

Also, on the note of tasting, to make sure that your palate doesn't become fatigued it's also a good idea to spit; and I would not suggest that you chew gum or breath mints during the wine tasting because they will alter the taste of the wine.

6. Offer Positive Feedback If you have an opinion on the wine that is less than positive, please keep it to yourself although if you really enjoy it please do let the winery (who is putting at least a year of effort into that bottle in front of you) know how you enjoy having them visit us from however far away they've come, and that you like tasting their wine.

7. Take the Experience Home Now we've covered spitting and how you should try not to get tipsy at the wine tasting (or ‘sloshed’, as Ali from our team likes to say), but I leave the most important tip for now: at the end of all this tasting, make sure that you have a designated driver, or transit, or cab, so you get home safely.

Lastly, as you're leaving the tasting room, make sure that you pick up something in the onsite store on the way out. Many special bottles that are not regularly available in stores are available for a limited time for the festival, right there in the tasting room. Grab something special and re-live your tasting experience again later at home.

Are you planning to attend? Come back to this post and tell us how you enjoyed your festival experience.

Or talk to us about it on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Wins Gold in France and Rosé is Named in World's Top 10 Sparkling Wines

  Client News - photo download at end of story

Header

 

Suggested Tweet:

Best bubble! @summerhillwine Cipes Rosé named in Top 10 in the world http://bit.ly/1dSKgbY #bcwine #organic

The News:

Cipes Rosé Brut

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.