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Go Haywire with Pink Bub this Valentine's Day

Go Haywire with Pink Bub this Valentine's Day

To mark Valentine's Day, Okanagan Crush Pad sparkling winemaker Lynzee Schatz made a very limited quantity of delicious Haywire Pink Bub using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

Haywire Makes Decanter’s Most Exciting Wines of 2018 List

[Summerland, BC] Okanagan Crush Pad winery announces its Haywire Free Form White 2016 has made Decanter magazine’s Most Exciting Wines of 2018 list, placing in the top 10, with a score of 94 points.

In the January 2019 issue, Decanter’s experts from around the world named the top 50 bottles under £60 that impressed them most this year, with Oz Clarke calling the Haywire an “astonishing Canadian Sauvignon Blanc”.

This is the fist time a Canadian winery has made Decanter’s Top 10

This is the fist time a Canadian winery has made Decanter’s Top 10

The winery, while no stranger to UK wine circles, is beyond excited to have these kudos.

“We are so proud of our team, in particular the work of our chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, and growers Terry Waters and Cathy Banks,” notes winery owner Christine Coletta. “Our mission is to have Okanagan wines stand proudly next to a global selection of respected brands. This recognition shows us we are well on our way to demonstrating that our region can compete on the world stage.”

The focus at Okanagan Crush Pad is on authenticity and quality. Free Form wines are made using organic grapes, native yeast, extended skin contact, are free of commercial additives, have little to no sulfites added, and are unfiltered.

“We found the best way to achieve authenticity of place is to not manipulate or add anything to wine, including oak influence,” remarks Dumayne. “While you need to give up some modern conveniences, with a highly-skilled team with global viticulture and winemaking experience, you can get it right.”

Coletta credits consulting winemaker Alberto Antonini and terroir consultant Pedro Parra for their guiding influence. “Their vision for what the Okanagan is capable of has driven our work.”

While the 2016 Haywire Free Form White is now sold out, customers seeking to experience Free Form wines can visit okanagancrushpad.com.

Okanagan Crush Pad has quickly built a reputation as a premium producer and has received many awards and accolades since its launch in 2011 with chief winemaker Matt Dumayne at the helm. Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie created Okanagan Crush Pad as a purpose-built custom crush facility. Increasingly, the facility is used to craft the team’s own wines and now produces 45,000 cases annually.

From here, their own wines, Haywire, Narrative, and Free Form are made. Located in beautiful Summerland, BC, the winery overlooks Switchback Organic Vineyard, a site that is also home to chickens and ducks. Dumayne and his cellar team craft wines using concrete wine tanks, native yeast and minimal winemaking intervention. The wines reflect the region’s unique high mountain/northern desert setting noted for its intensely hot, short growing season with hallmark cool evenings and winters that bring a protective covering of snow.

Visitors to the tasting lounge, set in the heart of this state-of-the-art facility, get a rare glance into the art of winemaking. Watch the cellar team in action, discover concrete tanks, and learn how the team composes wines that are definitive expressions of their vineyards.

For more information visit: okanagancrushpad.com.

L-R: Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie Credit: Lionel Trudel

L-R: Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie Credit: Lionel Trudel

Christine Coletta Receives Founders Award at Okanagan Fall Wine Festival

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[Summerland, BC] On September 27, Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad (OCP), has been presented the Founders Award at the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival. Coletta has been presented the award in recognition of her contributions to the BC wine industry. 

When presented the award in front of industry peers by industry veteran Harry McWatters of ENCORE Vineyards, Coletta said "I was very touched to receive this award. It was emotional to see my name added to a trophy containing the names of people who have worked tirelessly to create a thriving BC wine industry over the past 30 years."

This award is a further recognition for Coletta's passion and leadership in propelling the industry forward and to rise on an international level. Coletta has worked tirelessly to advocate for and to improve the Canadian culinary scene. 

Coletta started her career in hospitality as a server during her early years and it was in the 1990s that her leadership and dedication for the industry took off. As founding executive director for the BC Wine Institute, Coletta forged VQA as a standard to support the local wine industry and its various marketing activities. In addition, she co-founded Wines of Canada, the national wine standards arm. Under that umbrella, Coletta developed a roadshow that crossed Canada to encourage support for local food and wine.

After helping numerous BC wineries establish their businesses, Coletta launched her own wine, Haywire, and Canada's first purpose-built custom crush winemaking facility at OCP. Since 2011, Coletta has assisted more than 15 BC wineries in their winemaking via OCP.

Coletta has also been on the leading edge of Canada's organic farming and winemaking movement, establishing OCP as Canada's top producer of wines made from organic grapes and without additives or manipulation.

Earlier this year, when the government of Alberta held a boycott on BC wine, instead of responding with retaliation, Coletta led and set the tone for collaboration, by initiating a BC wine and Alberta food event.

And above this, Coletta doesn't keep her knowledge and ideas to herself. She shares her resources and continually offers advice and encouragement to not only her own team and people, but also her community and industry. Her most recent project is on the team that formed the Okanagan Wine Initiative, where seven leading BC wineries have united to share resources and to collaborate on various projects internationally, across Canada, and in their home market, British Columbia.

With another accolade added, Coletta will continue to innovate and propel the industry forward to become a premium wine producing region and a superb wine tourism destination. 


About Okanagan Crush Pad:

Okanagan Crush Pad is Canada's first purpose-built custom crush winery facility, located on the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard in Summerland, BC. Owned by Christine Coletta and Steve LornieOkanagan Crush Pad focuses on making wines that celebrate purity and simplicity, and aim to lead the next evolution of Okanagan wine. Visitors to the tasting lounge, set in the heart of this state-of-the-art facility, get a rare glance into the art of winemaking. Watch the cellar team in action, discover why the team makes wine in concrete tanks, and learn how the team composes wines that are definitive expressions of their vineyards.

For more information visit: okanagancrushpad.com

Okanagan Crush Pad Launches New Free Form Brand in Celebration of its Newly-Certified Organic Winery Cellar

Okanagan Crush Pad (OCP) proudly announces the launch of a new label, Free Form, in conjunction with the winery earning organic certification for its cellar.

Five Reasons to Love Okanagan Crush Pad Winery

Okanagan Crush Pad is Five today!

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1. Summerland

This winery is located in beautiful Summerland, heart of the Okanagan Valley, and is one of the Bottleneck Drive wineries. The surrounding views are breathtaking and the hospitality and community are so welcoming in this small town.

The view from Okanagan Crush Pad.

2. Respecting history to make wines of today

Since constructing its state-of-the-art winemaking facility and visitor center in 2011, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery has been regarded as one of the most innovative wineries in Canada. One of these reasons is because of its return to yesterday's wine making techniques using the science and knowledge of today. The use of concrete tanks and clay amphorae really work to bring out the terroir of their Haywire and Narrative wines, which personify where they are grown.

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3. International insights

The Okanagan Crush Pad Winery team has pulled in consulting minds from Alberto Antonini and Pedro Parra, who have used their global perspective to help the Okanagan Valley shine.

 

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4. For the love of the earth and all of its animals

Switchback Vineyard, where Okanagan Crush Pad Winery is located, is certified organic. Garnet Valley Ranch, where vines are grown for Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, is also organic from day one. There are animals onsite, including chickens, ducks, dogs, sheep, cows, worms and bees, which help to keep the biodiversity alive.

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5. A dream team

Owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie have assembled an amazing team around them: Christine, Steve, David, Alison, Matt, Julian, Jordan, Megan, Tyler, Theo, Duncan, Kristina, Mike, Lisa, Rebecca, Amy, Rebeka, Paula, Alberto, Pedro, and many more, and we are proud to be part of it!

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Congratulations to the entire team at Okanagan Crush Pad Winery on your fifth birthday; we are so proud of all of you.

2016 BC Grape Harvest In Full Swing

  Would you like images, an interview, or to learn more? Contact Sujinder Juneja for assistance.

According to the BC Wine Institute (BCWI), BC’s cool-climate grape crop is on track for another excellent vintage this year. Hot and dry conditions in the spring led to the earliest bud break on record and the earliest harvest ever for some wineries in the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. The low average temperatures and high rainfall allowed BC grapes to have more time to ripen on the vine and to accumulate flavour and aromatic compounds. This contributes to wines that are fresh, complex and balanced with higher acidity that make them versatile food pairings.

On Vancouver Island

Bailey Williamson, winemaker for Blue Grouse Estate Winery in Duncan on Vancouver Island, is expecting another excellent harvest at the Cowichan Valley estate. A strong growing season in April and May, followed by a cooler June and July than the previous year, led to an elongated flowering and fruit set cycle and allowed the grapes to mature and ripen to classic levels. The Blue Grouse harvest started on September 10, beginning with the popular Siegerrebe, an aromatic white varietal which tends to ripen earliest. After that, there will be a break in harvest until the end of September, when the rest of the grapes will be harvested in earnest. Compared to all the vintages since 2012, this year’s harvest started within a week of normal.

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In the Fraser Valley

Conditions on the mainland were similar to Vancouver Island. Andrew Etsell, GM and viticulturist of Singletree Winery in Abbotsford notes that with the warm and dry August, the grapes developed beautiful flavours with balanced acids and sugars. Singletree began its harvest on August 25 – one full week earlier than 2015, and the winery’s earliest harvest on record. “We started with our Siegerrebe, which is evolving into one of our most popular wines,” Andrew shares. “We’re also keeping a close eye on our estate Pinot Noir, which we have just harvested for our first-ever estate sparkling wine. Other estate varietals, such as our Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc, will follow after that. This year’s harvest will not yield as much fruit as 2015, yet the fruit will be clean and very high quality."

It's harvest time at Abbotsford's Singletree Winery.

In the Okanagan - Naramata Bench

After an unseasonably warm spring, followed by an early summer, Serendipity Winery’s Katie O’Kell was concerned that the harvest would take place much earlier than normal at her estate Naramata vineyard. However, the cooler, wetter weather moved in, which allowed the grapes to mature a more moderate pace.

Serendipity’s harvest started on August 29 with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and continued on August 31 with Viognier. With a dry and cool climate, the phenolics (flavour and aromatic compounds) will eventually catch up to the brix (a measure of potential alcohol) that is currently sitting in the low 20s.

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Okanagan – South

Likewise, Lawrence Buhler, director of winemaking for ENCORE Vineyards, which produces wines under the TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection labels, is also in the middle of an active harvest. Compared to last year, Buhler and his winemaking team saw a two-day early start to the season on August 17. Harvest has almost been completed for the still whites, with additional harvests to take place in the next two to four weeks for red varietals.

Regarding the balance of the 2016 harvest, Lawrence says the reds are maturing well and the cooler weather is excellent for proper fruit development and sugar accumulation in the berries.

Harry McWatters, president and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards said recently to Global Television, “we had record-breaking temperatures in April and the earliest bud break that I’ve seen in my history in British Columbia. This is my 49th vintage in the wine business and I’ve never seen a harvest this early. What it does is even in the fringe areas, where the grower may be pushing their limit as far as what they’re growing or the amount of crop they’ve got, it gives them a bit bigger window to mature that fruit to its optimum level. It’s a good thing.”

Indeed it is, Harry. And although the wineries – from Vancouver Island to the Fraser Valley to the Okanagan – are right in the middle of an exciting harvest, we already can’t wait to taste the finished wines starting next spring.

evolve-vineyard

 

Town Hall Brands: Specializing in wine, food and hospitality

Town Hall Brands, based in Vancouver BC, build brands and promotes them. We offer marketing strategy, graphic design, packaging, promotional campaigns and PR, and social media outreach.

Can we help you with a story? If it comes to a story in need in wine, we can help or send you to the right place.

BCWI Colour 2016

British Columbia Wine Institute's Fall VQA Tasting, Colour, is on the horizon. An event for trade and media to mingle with winery principals and winemakers while tasting new releases. Later on, at "ChefmeetsGrape" the public will be able to taste the new vintages, accompanying delicious food pairings from hot restaurants.

TRADE: In order to plan your strategy for tasting your way through the day, Town Hall Brands is going to give you the inside scoop on each of our PR clients that are attending and what you can taste from them.

Since the tasting will be organized alphabetically (we hope), let's start at the top:

Evolve Cellars

Evolve Cellars

Evolve Cellars, located in Summerland, offers a lineup of wines that are fruit-forward and approachable.  Believing every choice has intention Evolve encourages everyone to #raiseaglassto those who inspire them.

Principals attending: Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond, director of sales and marketing

Wines being poured:

  • Pink Effervescence - NEW bubbles!
  • Effervescence - NEW bubbles!
  • Pinot Blanc 2015
  • Riesling 2015
  • Cabernet Merlot 2015

Okanagan Crush Pad

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Located in Summerland, Okanagan Crush Pad is home to Haywire and Narrative Wines. The winery team's aim is to produce distinct, terroir-focused super-premium wines from the Okanagan Valley.

Principal attending: Christine Coletta, owner

Wines being poured:

  • Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2014
  • Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2013
  • Narrative XC Method NV
  • Narrative Rosé 2015

Serendipity Winery

Serendipity-Vinessmall

Nestled among the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench, a visit to Serendipity is about discovery, surprise and warmth. The journey began in 2005 following a serendipitous turn in the road made by owner Judy Kingston, and continues with each new vintage of wines crafted to be paired with food and shared with loved ones. Judy, a former lawyer, brings her smarts and wit to the wines and their labels. Each bottle has a story.

Principal attending: Judy Kingston, owner

Wines being poured:

  • Next Step 2012
  • Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Rosé 2015

TIME Winery

Wine making is about time and place, and that’s what TIME Winery proves with each new vintage. As what will be Penticton's first urban winery, spearheaded by industry pioneer and icon Harry McWatters, these wines are complex yet approachable.

Principal attending: Harry McWatters, owner

Wines being poured:

  • Cabernet Franc 2014
  • Meritage (white) 2014
  • Meritage 2013
  • McWatters Collection Chardonnay 2013

Okanagan Crush Pad partners with PNE Prize Home Lottery

Okanagan Crush Pad is proud to partner with the PNE Prize Home Lottery to raise funds for variety of non-profit programs. This year’s Grand Prize Home features one of the biggest Prize Homes yet, with a large open concept and patio space perfect for entertaining. It is adorned with stylish furniture, modern appliances, an outdoor hot tub and sauna and a floor-to-ceiling wine cooler.

Global TV's Kristi Gordon infant of the home's wine cooler

This West Coast modern home will be perched on a breathtaking lake view property right on the Naramata Bench, looking across Okanagan Lake to Summerland.

Overlooking Summerland from across Okanagan Lake

How fitting that Okanagan Crush Pad, a Summerland winery, located on a 10-acre Switchback Organic Vineyard, is playing a role in the grand prize package. The winner and new neighbour will receive a personalized VIP tour and tasting at the winery to welcome them to the community and give them a chance to fill their wine cooler.

In Summerland, the winner will get a chance to enjoy a unique winery experience. At Okanagan Crush Pad, a spectacular guest center and private upstairs tasting lounge are built into the heart of the winery, offering an in-depth view into the art of winemaking. Visitors wander past large concrete tanks, clay amphorae, sparkling wine cages, barrels and a small still, to learn how vineyard inspired natural wine and spirits are made. Here time-honoured, generations-old winemaking techniques are married with the most advanced technology with stunning results.

And the wines: the critically-acclaimed Haywire and Narrative wines celebrate the distinctive beauty and exceptional growing region.

The PNE is on now until September 6 and the exhibition’s crowd favourite has people dreaming of what life would be like if their winnings swept them away to the rich landscape of valley vineyards and desert hills of the Okanagan.

Tickets can be bought at the fair, or onsite here.

Looking Ahead to the Grape Harvest in BC

By Leeann Froese As we ease back into our work week after a long weekend to celebrate this great province, we reflect on how it has been a long, warm spring and summer across BC.

Weather, growing conditions, watering restrictions and threat of fire all could impact the upcoming grape harvest, depending on which grape growing region you are in.

Could this be one of the earliest harvests on record in BC? How are things looking so far?

Laura Kittmer, media relations manager at the British Columbia Wine Institute states “It's been a very hot summer in BC this year; many wineries are reporting their grapevines to be about two weeks ahead right now, which could mean early wine harvest.”

We checked in with our clients in different parts of the province for an update, which follows.

Let us know if you need more info, photos, or wish to interview anyone quoted below. Amy @ townhallbrands.com / 604-321-3295

 

Okanagan - Summerland - Okanagan Crush Pad - Christine Coletta, owner

OCP-Christine-Coletta-4-Credit-Lionel-Trudel“At Okanagan Crush Pad we are more than half way into yet another great season in the Okanagan. But as we like to remember, it isn’t over until it’s over, and the next three months are the most crucial to shaping vintage. Will we get those cooler fall days with cold nights that allow for hang time that creates the phenolic* ripeness and natural acidity that we all crave? Or will there be a quick, sharp finish to the growing year that leaves us with high sugars, resulting in wines with higher than normal alcohol levels? Time will tell.

An early spring and unseasonably warm summer has challenged viticulturists throughout the valley. We did not get the typical rainfall we expect in June and the rest of the summer has been dry and hot. A careful watch on irrigation levels has been required.

Bountiful crop sets with large cluster formations and small berry size should result in some excellent wines next year. The early spring start will guarantee that most crops will finish on time and viticulturists will surely be pleased about that. With veraison** starting we anticipate a late September /early October harvest. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that the weather continues to co-operate as we eagerly anticipate yet another outstanding year.

As far as water use goes, vineyards used significantly less water than tree fruits, and vineyards with drip irrigation, even less than vineyards with overhead irrigation. Our home organic vineyard, Switchback Vineyard, used seven inches of irrigation water a year compared to the standard 19 inches. At this point the Okanagan is on water restrictions, but this is an annual occurrence and nothing out of the ordinary as is being experienced in the lower mainland.

From the forest fire situation, there has been absolutely zero impact from fires and smoke in our area. A few people have said on social media that they are concerned that the smoke can impact the harvest. This kind of talk is a little on the sensational side as smoke would have to be within close proximity (not 50 km away) and for an extended period of time (not a day or two) to have any impact on grape quality.”

 

Vancouver Island - Blue Grouse - Bailey Williamson, winemaker

_DerekFord_BlueGrouseportraits1505218765"Many in the Cowichan Valley have long stood by the ideology of dry farming, and this year they may reconsider this dogma.

At Blue Grouse we hope to have drip irrigation throughout the whole vineyard by next season; we have been irrigating where we can, and it shows a marked difference in the vine health.

Smoke has not been an issue for us as the fires are not burning close by or the smoke is blowing the other way.

Our issue is that vineyard labour has always been a huge issue and will be for the foreseeable future. In a small grape growing region it is even more of a challenge because there is no labour pool to draw from: seasonal, foreign or otherwise.

Very often we pick the grapes based on disease pressure, and hope for phenolic ripeness. At this moment the extreme heat has given way to more seasonal averages which could very well have us harvest a bit early, but not super early. If the rain holds off and the grapes are a week ahead of usual we could be picking in the sun rather than the rain. This would be a great boon for both quality and morale.

I generally don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, and Mother Nature always has a trick or two up her sleeve, so I am cautiously optimistic, and hopeful."

 

Okanagan – Naramata – Serendipity Winery – Judy Kingston, owner

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“At Serendipity we are lucky that there are no water restrictions on agricultural properties in the Naramata bench.

The smoke cover here was far less than in most parts of the province, almost to the point that it was less than normal. We had maybe five days of smoke, and the kind of smoke damage that CedarCreek and St Hubertus had in 2003 is not anticipated at this time. That was a rare occurrence.

We have seen few if any 40 degree days on the Naramata bench, we had a few that were kissing 40 degrees. The south valley has seen a few. We haven’t seen the vines shut down yet, but we have in past seasons. At this point, veraison is just kicking in, showing up in our Pinot Noir field and our Syrah field. Southern regions have veraison in full-swing.

Everyone needs to take a reminder that grape vines are one of the most adaptive species out there. They can withstand stress or difficult conditions.

This year’s harvest looks great. We knew at the beginning of the season that it was going to be an early start to the growing year and a hotter year, so we have taken measures to make sure that the grapes mature properly and not too quickly. Without careful farming practices, there could be a risk that the brix*** accumulate in the berries faster than the phenolics do. This year’s harvest could be fantastic, but it is impossible to say how the harvest is going to be until the grapes are in the press. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

We look forward to picking the Pinot for bubble in the last week of August. Katie is looking forward to harvesting in shorts and a tee shirt, as we anticipate harvest for our regular table wines to start in early September, well ahead of schedule.”

 

Fraser Valley - Singletree - Andrew Etsell, viticulturist

View More: http://typeaphotography.pass.us/onetree

"This year has the potential to be the best year I have seen in a decade. The grapes are 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. At Singletree our Siegerrebe is already at verasion and the lack of rain has made mould a non-issue. This is the first year I have seen the Fraser Valley grapes keeping pace with the Okanagan. The only issue I foresee is that with so little rain our tonnage will be down from last year, but the quality of grapes will be far superior to what we have seen in the past from the Valley."

 

Kamloops - Monte Creek Ranch - Galen Barnhardt, winemaker DSC_8036 copy"The 2015 at Monte Creek Ranch season got off to a roaring start, bud break arrived 10 days early and an unbelievably hot start to the summer has pushed us 2.5 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule at veraison. The period between veraison and harvest is the most crucial by far, we are hoping for more moderate temperatures so that phenolic ripeness will occur before sugar levels get too high.

Though there have been many water restrictions in the province, we are fortunate that grapes are quite drought resistant. We practice deficit irrigation within our own vineyards and typically only use 20% of our water license in any given season. We have also been quite lucky and have avoided any smoke taint so far - a bit of recent rain should help matters. If Mother Nature can play nice for another six weeks then we should have a phenomenal harvest."

 

So there you have it; no one has a crystal ball, but things are looking good so far for the 2015 BC grape harvest.

 

*Phenolic - are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in grapes, which give a wine its profile; includes tannins that occur in grape skins, seeds and stems as well as other complex chemical compounds that will help to define a wine’s character

**Veraison – a grape-growing term meaning when the grapes change colour – the onset of ripening in the grapes.

***Brix – the measure of sugar

 

Meet Tyler Harlton With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese It's Saturday - that means it's time to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #withTownHall

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are).

We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them.

This week #withTownHall we introduce you to Tyler Harlton.

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Tyler is the owner and winemaker of Summerland's TH Wines.

Relatively new to wine, first Tyler was a pro hockey player (drafted by the St. Louis Blues), then a lawyer, and now, as a winemaker he is winning over palates one at a time with his BC wines made, by hand, starting in the vineyard.

We are really proud of Tyler on his journey as a BC wine producer, and we invite you to help us congratulate him, as he was just named one of the Western Living magazine 2015 Foodies of the Year!

Whether you know Tyler already or not, please help us congratulate him and say hello.  Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Meet Alison Scholefield 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 Alison Scholefield.

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

alison scholefield

Alison Scholefield is the sales ambassador for Summerland winery, Okanagan Crush Pad, representing her family’s wines Haywire and Narrative.

Perhaps her future was fated at an early age. Visitors to the Canadian booth at Vinexpo in 1992 might have seen Alison happily colouring under the table while Mom, Christine Coletta, poured Icewine.

Back in those days Alison's nickname was 'Bub' and now Haywire's much loved sparkling wine carries her name. (Look for the Bub where fine wines are sold.)

Alison loves being a part of her family's business and and having the opportunity to be involved in Vancouver’s amazing wine and food culture

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

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!

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 Jordan Kubek and Matt Dumayne 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 two people: Jordan Kubek and Matt Dumayne, winemakers at Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland. Can you please say hello?

Jordan Kubek  and Matt Dumayne, winemakers at Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland

We've interrupted them in the middle of their hard work at harvest.

Jordan makes the sparkling wines at Okanagan Crush Pad, including the Bub and Baby Bub. Every time you enjoy a glass of that delicious sparkler you can envision the winemaker.

Matt, the chief winemaker, makes Haywire wines as well as the wines for the winery's custom crush clients.

A NOTE ABOUT MATT

According to one wine critic, Matt puts the 'wild' in Haywire's 'wild ferment'. Matt is originally from New Zealand, so he sports a nice accent, and he also has a bushy blonde beard and many tattoos. Is this why he is 'wild'? Maybe. Or it could be because of the work he is doing in the cellar - things not yet done in the Okanagan, with natural winemaking, orange wine, and the use of clay amphorae, to name a few...

MEET MATT! 

Wine and dine with Chief Winemaker, Matt Dumayne, at Swirl Wine Store in White Rock for a winemakers dinner.

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Time: 7pm to 9pm

Place: Swirl Wine Store White Rock – 15222 North Bluff Road, White Rock, BC

Tickets: $99 | purchase tickets by calling Swirl Wine Store White Rock at 604.531.0038

MENU

Tasting Menu Catered by Uli’s Restaurant with the help of Beast & Brine

To start: Butter Roasted Squash Tartlet with Crispy Schinkenspeck paired with Haywire The Bub

First course: Curried Bacon Broth with Clams and Whitefish paired with Bartier Bros Semillon

Second course: Smoked Chicken Crepes Rainbow Carrots & Leeks paired with Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris

Third course: Crouque Monsieur paired with Haywire Rosé

Fourth course: Elk and Onion Ravioli paired with Haywire Gamay Noir

Fifth course: Honey Ginger Poached Pear paired with Haywire Baby Bub

To finish: Lieutenant Governor’s Award Winning Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir with a little treat

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

A Taste of British Columbia #withTownHall

by Leeann Froese Added: thank you to the handful of bloggers who joined us to taste the wines below in a room hosted by Soléna Estate - we know how rare a chance it is for you to taste BC wines and we appreciate them allowing us to tag along! A special shout out to the inimitable April Yap-Hennig of Sacred Drop who coordinated all!

If you enjoyed, please spread the word!

Thanks to all of you amazing enthusiastic folks who joined us! Here's a few of your we managed to rope into a pic.

Winery: Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery

Social: Twitter / Facebook @mtboucheriewine Located: West Kelowna The Wine: Mt Boucherie Family Reserve Gamay Noir 2012 Price: CDN$15.50 | Alcohol: 13.9% What you might taste: Structured on the palate with elements of red currant, black raspberries, a hint of ground black pepper and savoury, underpinned with higher acidity and soft tannins.

One of the beautiful family-owned Mt Boucherie Vineyards, located in the Okanagan Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to know facts: this winery just quietly goes about its business making incredible wines which reflect the owners’ soft personality. All of their wines are 100% family owned and grown and they hold the province’s largest acreage of family-owned vineyards – more than 300 acres. They sell their grapes to many others in BC since the 1970s, and keep a small and interesting assortment for themselves and their wine program. Mtboucheriewinery.com

 

Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire Social: Twitter / Facebook @haywirewine | @okcrushpad | Instagram @okcrushpad Located: Summerland The Wine: Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2012 Price: CDN$23 | Alcohol: 13% What you might taste: The wine has a crisp acidity, juicy apricot flavours and a chalky, limestone taste along with a flinty finish which is the hallmark of clone 52. It is all bundled up with a silver label to denote that it is one of the vineyard-designated wines they are most proud of this season.

OCP original concrete fermenters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to know facts: Okanagan Crush Pad, home of Haywire, is the first in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks, and wines that are fermented and aged in concrete carry the Raised in Concrete™ designation. See what differences you think the use of concrete makes? The Summerland winery is located on the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard site overlooking Lake Okanagan. In addition to their own flagship wines, Haywire and Bartier Scholefield, Okanagan Crush Pad makes custom-crush wines for people who are seeking to start their own winery. okanagancrushpad.com

 

Winery: SpierHead Winery Social: Twitter @spierheadwinery | Facebook spierhead | Instagram Spierheadwinery Located: Kelowna The Wine: SpierHead Pinot Noir 2012 Price: CDN$22.00 | Alcohol: 12.4% What you might taste: medium-bodied wine consistent with its cool climate origins. Light tannins and lots of fresh red berry.

SpierHead Winery's Gentleman Farmer Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to know facts: This tiny relative newcomer of a winery flies under the radar for many, but keeps capturing accolades and awards in every competition entered. The 2010 vintage of this same wine captured an award for the best Pinot Noir in Canada – when the vines were even younger! spierheadwinery.com

 

Winery: Serendipity Winery Social: Twitter @winespiration | Facebook serendipitywineryBC Located: Naramata The Wine: Serendipity Viognier 2012 Price: CDN$19.90 | Alcohol: 12% What you might taste: Traditional Viognier notes of orange blossom and tangerine greet your nose. Sur lie contact brings out a medium-bodied wine and contributes to notes of toasted coconut. This wine has a hint of blood orange and apricot.

Serendipity Winery's Naramata Vineyard, with Okanagan Lake in the background Credit-Johann Wessels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to know facts: Serendipity Winery is located in the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench. Owned by mother-daughter duo, Judy Kingston and Katie O’Kell, a visit to Serendipity is welcomed with a warm smile and a delicious glass of wine. In both 2013 and 2014 Serendipity was the only BC winery invited to showcase wine at the Calgary Stampede, and the winery was named BC Winery of the Year at a New York competition. SerendipityWinery.com

 

Winery: TIME Estate Winery Social: Twitter / Facebook @timewinery Located: Oliver The Wine: TIME Meritage 2011 (Red) Price: CDN$29.99 | Alcohol: 14.1% What you might taste: Classic aromas envelop the glass with red berries, black cherries and peppery nuances. Fragrant characters of rose petal and sage mingle with the darker fruit elements. This wine is rich and structured, with excellent depth and silky, well-integrated tannins.

The Wine: TIME Meritage 2013 (White) Price: CDN$25.00 Alcohol: 13.6% What you might taste: Classic aromas circle in the glass: honeydew melon, pear and a hint of tangerine. Taste graceful hints of apricot and mango, swirled with ripe gooseberry. This wine is mellowed by barrel aging, resulting in a sturdy vibrant finish with delicate traces of oak.

Harry McWatters of TIME Estate Winery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to know facts: TIME Estate Winery co-owner Harry McWatters is a Canadian wine industry pioneer, and a maverick, who performed many ‘firsts” and set the stage for many to follow. TIME is the latest venture for McWatters, who started this project after “retiring” in 2008 when he sold his previously-owned wineries to Constellation. TIME Estate Winery is located in the midst of the two-decade old Sundial Vineyard on the acclaimed Black Sage Bench in the hot, dry desert climate of the South Okanagan. timewinery.com

 

The Wines of British Columbia are as diverse as the places they are grown and the people who make them. We hope you enjoy this snapshot.

 

 

 

Going Haywire Organically

Okanagan Crush Pad sign

By Leeann Froese

I recently made a vineyard visit to one of our clients, Okanagan Crush Pad, in Summerland British Columbia, and share some of the updates.

For full disclosure: this is a special place to me personally, in that I have been a part of this company’s team since the vineyard was planted, and I even have a row named after me: Row 38! (If you visit – take a #selfie with ‘my’ row and send it to me!)

The vineyard, called Switchback Vineyard, provides Pinot Gris grapes for Haywire wines. In 2007 winery owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie planted the 10 acre vineyard to one clone, all Pinot Gris, with the idea that they were going to value add to their land and sell all of their grapes to one buyer. They were not planning to be winery owners or get into the business of making wine.

Leeann #selfie at Row 38

What actually happened over the next few years is that they did create their own wine: Haywire. First, virtually, then eventually under their own brick-and-mortar winery Okanagan Crush Pad, which has been constructed adjacent to the Switchback Vineyard.

In the time since becoming grape growers the couple has learned a lot more about how they want to farm their property, and now Switchback Vineyard is on its way to becoming certified organic; yet it did not always start out that way. Under consulting Italian winemaker Alberto Antonini’s guidance, the winery team changed the way they farm and stepped up its game to make better wine. After conventionally farming the vineyard for its first few years, the team switched to organic growing practices, and applied for certification in spring of 2014.

They’ve said goodbye to herbicides. Instead, they’re controlling weeds with tilling, beneficial cover crops and the addition of baby doll sheep to graze in between rows. Also, they have stopped mowing the grass between rows. While this makes the vineyards look “weedy”, it lets ground cover grow and it reduces vigour on the vines.

Chickens in a dust bath

Ducks & chickens have been added, and they live in the “Okanagan Chicken Pad”, which has got to be the nicest chicken coop one has ever seen. Made by winery owner Steve Lornie, the chicken, sheep and ducks happily coexist in a beautiful wooden coop that has incorporated repurposed wine barrels.

 

 

 

 

peek a boo sheep

These critters are charming, but they have jobs. Chickens provide beautiful and delicious eggs, provide manure to fertilize and they eat insects.  The ducks do the same. Baby doll sheep graze ground cover and also provide manure - all animals contributing to a whole farm approach.

The winery is also practicing integrated pest management, inviting beneficial insects to take up residence so they can eat any insects that eat grapevines. Recently a swarm of bees was discovered on one of the grapevines, so they were harnessed and put into a hive. Now the vineyard has built-in pollination (and perhaps honey one day soon?) and in addition to the bees, ‘insect hotels’ have been erected: a few cute small ones, and one large one, created as a DIY project involving children.

Indian Runner Ducks

The overarching idea is to have minimal intervention between the growing and winemaking, to keep things as natural as possible to make the wines without any chemical intervention. This practice requires a lot of attention and despite all the focus, the vineyard rows look rather wild and unkempt. It's interesting and cute to see the animals running around between the vines, but these animals, insects as well as the many birds in the area all show that there's a very alive ecosystem in play and that the grapes are being tended for lovingly.

 

It has been a three-year process to get to the point of being able to seek certification, but the result is amazing wine that is gentler on their land.

 

 

 

Baby Pinot Gris grapes at Switchback Vineyard in Summerland, BC

 

I raise a glass to that.

 

Okanagan Crush Pad's Latest Wine Release is Dynamite

Client NewsOkanagan Crush Pad's Latest Wine Release is Dynamite

TNT, the 3rd Wine From Okanagan Crush Pad's Okanagan Wine Campus Series, Released

Suggested Tweet:

The wine from Sommelier @terry_threlfall is released by @OKCrushPad #bcwine

The Story: November 6, 2013 [Summerland, BC] BC's Okanagan Crush Pad, producer of Haywire and Bartier Scholefield announces the release of 150 cases of BC TNT ($22.90) made by 2012 Sommelier of the year, Terry Threlfall.

TNT is the third wine release from the winery's Okanagan Wine Campus program. Threlfall's Chardonnay is named TNT after Terry Nicholas Threlfall, but of course the wine's name does offer a fun play on words.

Okanagan Crush Pad chief winemaker Michael Bartier and Terry Threlfall

Threlfall shares, "Yeah, that's a little cheeky, hey? First of all, my initials are TNT and a favourite reference for me from those that know me well. Secondly, do not expect an oak-bomb here - this wine is aged in steel and concrete. Where it does detonate is with its exuberant pure fruit, minerality, and vibrant natural acidity."

The TNT Chardonnay is pale yellow with a tinge of green; this wine has aromas of bright citrus fruit and apricot, with hints of green apple and a chalky minerality. Multiple layers of complexity from concrete and native fermentation keep this wine changing every time one smells it. The weight is amazing, with a lively, tangy acidity that is bolstered by a lovely, gentle creaminess and elegant fruit. A salty mineral character helps round out the refreshing finish. TNT cries out for a plate of freshly shucked BC oysters. Dynamite, one might say...

Okanagan Wine Campus, created in 2011 by Okanagan Crush Pad, is a mentorship program that provides the person named Vancouver's Sommelier of the Year a chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of wine they wish. In 2012 Vancouver Magazine, Vancouver International Wine Festival and California's Sunset Magazine each named Terry Sommelier of the Year. So when harvest 2012 occurred, Threlfall visited Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland and worked alongside chief winemaker Michael Bartier to create the wine.

"It was an absolute pleasure to work with Michael," says Threlfall. "His patience in describing some of the more technical parts of the process was legendary. I learned a huge amount about the winemaking process and the difficulties of trying to make a wine in as natural a way as possible. Also, I picked up so much while spending time with Michael and Alberto Antonini (who was in town), touring various vineyards of the Okanagan -- they were both inspirational in sharing their thoughts and experiences about the history, current state and future of viticulture in the Okanagan."

The TNT Chardonnay is released from Okanagan Crush Pad.

The proceeds from the sale of TNT Chardonnay will be given to the BC Hospitality Foundation wine scholarship fund to support students who are pursuing their higher level wine education certification. To date, $10,000 has been awarded to 11 individuals with further scholarships. Okanagan Wine Campus projects to date include Kurtis Kolt (2010), Owen Knowlton (2011), Terry Threlfall (2012), and Samantha Rahn (2013).

As of the time of this notice, TNT Chardonnay is available by contacting the order desk at 250-494-4445 ext 2 or orderdesk@okanagancrushpad.com

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, located in Summerland, BC, is home to Haywire and Bartier Scholefield wines, and also makes wines for other BC vintners who are seeking to establish their own wineries. Haywire wines are directed by winery owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, while Bartier Scholefield is a collaboration between OCP's chief winemaker Michael Bartier and wine advisor David Scholefield. The winery team focuses on crafting natural wines that are pure expressions of the vineyards they were grown on.  The winery is open seasonally June 1 to September 15 and by appointment off season. For more information visit www.okanagancrushpad.com.

Need a bottle image for TNT Chardonnay? RIGHT CLICK HERE, then save to your computer to download.

View the TNT information kit here. (To download the kit, RIGHT CLICK on the link).