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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.

Chefs' Table Society of BC Takes a Stand Against Farmed Atlantic Salmon

Chefs 'walk the talk' with a wild salmon event August 25

[Vancouver, BC] While you likely have heard of their signature events in Vancouver, (the Spot Prawn Festival, the Curry Cup and more) the Chefs' Table Society (CTS) is the organization in the background making these events and other things happen.

A non-profit organization since 2004, the CTS is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative that supports innovative and sustainable programs that inspire, educate and nurture chefs, food producers, and the local food industry, all the while promoting standards of excellence with the aim of enhancing the reputation of our regional cuisine. Among its core values is to conduct its activities based on fraternity, mentorship and sustainability for its people, land and resources.

Chefs' Table Society president Robert Belcham. Photo by Chris Mason Stearns

Chefs' Table Society president Robert Belcham. Photo by Chris Mason Stearns

The CTS is making a formal statement that they are against open pen aquaculture for farmed Atlantic species in Pacific water. A land-based closed aquaculture system is recommended.

CTS president Robert Belcham says, "The Chefs' Table Society has had sustainability as one of its core values since its inception. We have always taken the stance that open net Atlantic salmon farming on the west coast is misguided, dangerous for our wild salmon stocks and negatively impacts our coastal first nations' fundamental right to clean ocean waters. We believe the future of this kind of aquaculture is better suited in closed containment, land based facilities. We need to push the government to continue the research into this kind of technology."

And the chefs practice what they preach. On Saturday August 25, 2018, from 6:30 - 9 pm, the Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia and the BC Salmon Marketing Council are hosting the 2nd annual celebration of an iconic BC product: WILD SALMON. Tickets and information here.

"By having the public come out and enjoy ocean-caught, sustainable salmon, we are showcasing the best of our coast," states Belcham. "I look forward to seeing everyone there."

Learn more about the Chefs' Table Society, its values, how to join, this event and other upcoming activities on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook.

TIME Winery Opens in Downtown Penticton

Graham Pierce joins team as director of winemaking

Photo Library: Photos of TIME Winery and winemaking team available via Dropbox.

NOTE TO THE READER: At the time of this announcement, the winery is an inspection away from opening. The plan is to open this weekend, subject to the final occupancy permit.

It is best to call the winery 236-422-2556 ext 106, or check its social media channels @timewinery for the most up to date information. 

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[Penticton, BC] TIME Winery announces the soft opening of its winery in downtown Penticton at 361 Martin St. A grand opening of TIME Winery will take place in late 2018 following harvest.

During the soft opening period, chef AK Campbell, executive winery chef, will lead the culinary program to offer a selection of daily appetizers, features, and drink options.

TIME Winery is owned by ENCORE Vineyards, and is the sister winery to Evolve Cellars and the McWatters Collection label. To coincide with the opening of TIME Winery the ENCORE Vineyard team announces the appointment of Graham Pierce as director of winemaking.

With more than a decade of experience producing award-winning wines in the Okanagan, Pierce is a local British Columbian who grew up in Horseshoe Bay and received his winemaking and viticulture education from the Okanagan College in Penticton.

Prior to joining the team at ENCORE Vineyards, Pierce worked at Black Hills Estate Winery in Oliver, BC, where he has been for the past ten years, creating a strong lineup of wines including the premium Nota Bene. Before that he was at Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery and before that, a chef at Kelowna's Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Pierce's in-depth understanding of the Okanagan wine region and extensive winery operation knowledge, combined with his viticulture and winemaking experience, allows him to maximize the freshness of hand-picked and harvested grapes to create aromatic whites and balanced, big reds that truly express the terroir of BC.

At ENCORE Vineyards, Pierce is supported in the winemaking duties by Nadine Allander, who has been recently promoted from assistant winemaker to the position of winemaker.

"We have been industry friends with Graham for many years," says Harry McWatters, CEO of ENCORE Vineyards. 

"It is great to have him join our team. His pedigree of winemaking and knowledge in handling Okanagan fruits will allow Evolve Cellars, McWatters, and TIME Winery to continue making exceptional BC VQA certified wines that is a reflection of the land where the grapes are grown and the talented people who craft them."

Pierce is also enthused by the new role. "I look forward to working with this pioneering, yet continually-innovating family team," states Pierce. 

"The fun challenge will be to oversee and make a range of wines; from fruit-forward, juicy Evolve Cellars wines, to the complex and textured wines of TIME Winery and the McWatters Collection. After crafting still wines for so many years, I am most excited about the chance to create my first small batch sparkling wine."

TIME Winery welcomes Graham Pierce as director of winemaker and Nadine Allander as winemaker. Credit: Chris Stenberg

TIME Winery welcomes Graham Pierce as director of winemaker and Nadine Allander as winemaker. Credit: Chris Stenberg


About TIME Winery:

While the literal definition of TIME may be elusive, it is an observed phenomenon which allows us to honour key moments in our shared journey through life. With 50 vintages of experience in the South Okanagan, TIME Winery is committed to creating wines that express the unique flavours of Okanagan wine country. 

Built within a revitalized historic theatre in downtown Penticton, the heart of South Okanagan wine country, the new TIME Winery offers a tasting bar, lounge and intimate outdoor patio for guests to enjoy. TIME Winery's full kitchen and event space provide a unique venue for your next public or private event.
 

About ENCORE Vineyards:

ENCORE Vineyards., a progressive Okanagan-based company, is home to British Columbia (BC) wine brands including TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars and McWatters Collection.

ENCORE Vineyards Ltd. has amassed an impressive team, poised to help define the next generation of BC wine and winemaking via its production centre in the Okanagan Valley. The company is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 50-vintage pioneer of the modern British Columbia wine industry, with daughter Christa-Lee McWatters-Bond (sales and marketing director), and son Darren McWatters (logistics and operations) who are each armed with lifelong wine industry experience and insight. Graham Pierce is the group's director of winemaking, supported by winemaker Nadine Allander, and talented hospitality and sales teams. See more on each winery at encorevineyards.ca

Vancouver's Premier Culinary Festival Returns with 37 Top Chefs

Vancouver's Premier Culinary Festival Returns with 37 Top Chefs

EAT! Vancouver introduces all new event: EAT! Fine Cognac

[Vancouver, BC] EAT! Vancouver returns to Vancouver from November 5 to 10. More than 37 acclaimed chefs from across Canada, Los Angeles and Portland will take part in this year's festival. This year's EAT! Vancouver festival offers 18 events including the all-new, EAT! Fine Cognac event. 

Net proceeds from this year's EAT! Vancouver festival will once again support Project CHEF, a local charitable organization that teaches elementary school children about healthy cooking and eating via a curriculum-based experiential program. EAT! Vancouver contributed $25,000 from last year's festival, which enabled Project CHEF to offer its program to 556 children and 350 parent volunteers.

TICKET RELEASE DATES:

June 25-27: American Express pre-sale begins. 

June 28: Ticket on sale for general public via www.eat-vancouver.com

EAT! Vancouver returns November 5 to 10 with more than 37 chefs and 18 culinary events. Proceeds from this year's festival supports Project CHEF. Photo Credit: Hamid Attie

EAT! Vancouver returns November 5 to 10 with more than 37 chefs and 18 culinary events. Proceeds from this year's festival supports Project CHEF. Photo Credit: Hamid Attie

This year's EAT! Vancouver events include:

  • NEW: EAT! Fine Cognac (Nov. 6 at 7pm, Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront)- $175 plus tax.
    • For more than 400 years, Cognac stands as one of the world's greatest spirits. Centuries of experience of the growers and the meticulous attention to detail from the producers, with only the finest ingredients, has made Cognac perfection in a glass. Many of the world's finest Cognacs will convene in one room for your hedonistic enjoyment. To heighten the experience, delight in food pairings to complement the tasting. Rare Cognacs will be available for purchase on-site from Legacy Liquor.
  • EAT! Expert Classes (Nov. 5-8 at 7pm at various locations)- $75-$105 plus tax.
    • From authentic Italian pizza making to creating your own special dry-aged salami and knowing the secret of the Turducken sandwich, each class is an educational culinary experience for you to learn tips and hacks from the very best artisans.
  • EAT! Dinner Series (Nov. 7-8 at various times and locations)- $95-$225 plus tax.
    • Each dinner is a unique and one-time culinary collaboration between a BC chef and a special visiting chef. It's a powerhouse partnership featuring the best of both chefs and is guaranteed to impress your senses. 
  • EAT! Harvest (Nov. 9 at 7pm, Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront)- $125 plus tax.
    • This signature savoury event is back and bigger than ever. EAT! Harvest features a lineup of 21 rockstar chefs who will offer bites of canapés that embody their cuisine. Carefully-selected wine pairings were chosen to complement the decadent canapés. The result is an unparalleled event highlighting some of the best chefs in the world, all in one room. Chef Antonio Park from Park Lavanderia of Montreal, chef Tyler Shedden from The Chase of Toronto, chef Neal Fraser from Redbird of Los Angeles and chef Naomi Pomeroy from Beast of Portland are only a few of the guest chefs to name. 
  • EAT! Pastry (Nov. 10 at 2pm, Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront)- $79-$99 plus tax.
    • The elite of the dessert scene unite under one roof to make EAT! Pastry a must for anyone with an appreciation for the finest in chocolate and pastry. Take a decadent journey and meet 13 award-winning pastry chefs and chocolatiers from Vancouver and beyond, including guest chefs Brett Roy from Sweet Lollapalooza of Edmonton, and Patrice Demers from Patrice Patissier of Montreal. Seasonal cocktails included.

All events are restricted to persons 19 years of age and older. ID required.

LIST OF PARTICIPATING CHEFS AND MORE INFORMATION:

Please visit www.eat-vancouver.com 


ABOUT EAT! VANCOUVER:

The 16th annual EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival is one of Canada's most anticipated premium world-class culinary festivals in support of Project CHEF. Attracting attendees throughout North America, the 2018 EAT! Vancouver takes place from November 5 to 10 and features culinary collaborations between award-winning chefs across Canada and the United States. Experience a culinary experience like none other from this year's events including: EAT! Dinner Series, EAT! Harvest, EAT! Pastry, EAT! Expert Classes, and the all new EAT! Vancouver Fine Cognac. More: www.eat-vancouver.com

Evolve Cellars' Riesling 2016 Wins BC Wine of the Year

Results are in for 2018 BC Best of Varietal Wine Awards 

[Okanagan, BC] ENCORE Vineyards is proud to share that Summerland's Evolve Cellars' Riesling 2016 ($19) has won BC Wine of the Year at this year's British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards, presented by Okanagan Wine Festival. 

A classic Riesling that is well-balanced with stone fruit, floral notes and a touch of honey, this fruit-forward and approachable Riesling 2016 stood out as The Best in a vigorous competition with 571 other BC wines that were entered for judging. 

This year's competition saw a record number of 572 wines entered into the competition that featured 34 varietal categories. A well-respected panel of 18 judges narrowed the selection down to 141 finalists with one winner titled as The Best in each category. 

While Evolve Cellars' Riesling 2016 won the overall most prestigious title in this year's competition, other wines from Evolve Cellars and Penticton's TIME Winery also took home Gold and Silver medals.

Encore-Okanagan-Wine-Festival-2018.jpg

Winning results for ENCORE Vineyards:

Full results for 2018 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards available online

"With the talent in our BC wine industry, the quality of BC wines continue to increase. This makes us especially thrilled to have won Wine of the Year in addition to other awards for both TIME Winery and Evolve Cellars. We thank the judges and our BC wine community for your support. Let us raise a glass to you!" -Christa-Lee McWatters, marketing director, ENCORE Vineyards. 

 

About Encore Vineyards:

ENCORE Vineyards Ltd. is a progressive Okanagan-based wine company that owns and manages TIME Winery, Evolve Cellars, and the McWatters Collection. The experience of the ENCORE Vineyards team is unmatched in the Canadian wine industry landscape.

TIME winery is a fully operational winery, tasting bar, and guest experience centre located in the heart of wine country in downtown Penticton. The McWatters Collection is a small, exclusive offering of wines; a legacy label that celebrates the McWatters family and its role in forming the BC wine industry, and Evolve Cellars offers approachable, bright, delicious and affordable wines at a welcoming guest experience at its stunning, lakefront Summerland location

The team is led by president and CEO Harry McWatters, a 50-vintage veteran of the BC wine industry. Christa-Lee McWatters (daughter) is the director of sales and marketing while Darren McWatters (son) oversees company logistics.

Chef Alessandro Vianello wins the 5th Annual Curry Cup

Chefs Tim Evans, Alessandro Vianello, and Elizabeth Bryan with the Curry Cup. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Chefs Tim Evans, Alessandro Vianello, and Elizabeth Bryan with the Curry Cup. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

The Chefs' Table Society of BC awards a new Curry Cup Champion

The Chefs' Table Society of BC congratulates Gooseneck Hospitality's development chef Alessandro Vianello (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, and Bells and Whistles), as the winner of the 5th annual Curry Cup.

A delightful evening in Mount Pleasant

On March 13, 2018 a crowd of 185 Vancouverites attended the 5th annual Curry Cup competition at Heritage Hall. Eight acclaimed chefs from the Vancouver culinary scene faced-off to determine which curry would reign supreme. Attendees tasted and voted for their favourite curry, and also sampled wines from Evolve Cellars, beer from R&B Brewing and a special Jack Daniels cocktail.

The sold-out fundraising event, also supported by the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area, raised $1500 to support Project Chef, a program which teaches Vancouver elementary school students about healthy food.

Vianello's lamb belly curry on pulao rice earned him the Curry Cup, yet in this year's super-close race, only 12 points separated the top three. Chef Tim Evans of The Cascade Room emerged with both the Peoples' Choice and second place, and third place winner is chef Elizabeth Bryan of Dock Lunch.

The other competing chefs were:

•             Shelome Bouvette, Chicha Restaurant

•             Andrea Carlson, Burdock & Co.

•             Karl Gregg, Colony on Main

•             Mark Hills, Hills Foods

•             Alana Peckham, Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver

Fred Lee, columnist for Vancouver magazine and CBC Radio Early Edition, emceed the event. The tough task of judging was taken on by a panel comprised of last year's Curry Cup winner, chef Felix Zhou of Heritage Asian Eatery, alongside restaurateur Vikram Vij, food and wine writer Tim Pawsey (aka the Hired Belly), TIME Winery owner Harry McWatters, and inaugural Curry Cup winner chef Taryn Wa.

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia thanks everyone for attending the Curry Cup and invites everyone to save-the-date for the 12th annual Spot Prawn Festival, taking place on Saturday, May 12.   

 

Curry Cup chair Neil Wyles of the Chefs' Table Society of BC and Mount Pleasant BIA presents Barb Finley of Project Chef $1500. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Curry Cup chair Neil Wyles of the Chefs' Table Society of BC and Mount Pleasant BIA presents Barb Finley of Project Chef $1500. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Learn About the Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia is a non-profit society comprised of BC's leading chefs and culinary professionals. It is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals.

The Society supports innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture BC chefs, producers and the local food industry. The Chefs' Table Society secures apprenticeships for and bestows bursaries to emerging local chefs and finances culinary education programs in BC schools.

Visit chefstablesociety.com for more information about the Chefs' Table Society of BC or to become a chef member or supporting member.

 

Town Hall Brands is proud to do the publicity for the Chefs' Table of BC. Note to media who want to schedule an interview with Curry Cup Winner chef Alessandro Vianello of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, and Bells and Whistles), please contact Jessica Napier at SMC Communications Inc. 604-839-3743

Western Canada's Largest Grocery & Specialty Food Show Returns with Expanded Show and New Lineup of Speakers Under One Roof

GSFW-Facebook Cover Photo.jpg

[Vancouver, BC] Western Canada's premier conference and exhibition, Grocery & Specialty Food West (GSFW) returns April 23 and 24 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC). 

Due to popular demand, this year's show has expanded its exhibition space and enhanced its programs to create an all-inclusive collaborative, networking and educational experience for everyone in the grocery and specialty food industries. In addition to workshops and keynotes, more than 300 booths of leading grocery and specialty food suppliers will be onsite to showcase their latest innovations and services to the 2,500 attendees.

As a fast-paced industry valued at $120-billion,  grocery stakeholders are always on the lookout for the latest innovations, insights and trends to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The GSFW show has become the trusted epicenter where thousands of key, decision-making retailers and manufacturers converge to discover insights and new products, share conversations and build relationships  

Highlights at this year's show includes, but not limited to:

  • Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
     
  • The role of artificial intelligence in grocery.
  • Technology's impact on grocery retailing.
  • Shopper marketing best practices. 
  • Market analysis: Present and future of grocery industry. 
    • Mark Petrie, consumer and market analyst, CIBC World Markets.
  • Consumer and grocery trends, such as meal kits. 
    • Katie Martin, editor, Progressive Grocer/Gourmet Retailer Magazine

Learn more about the full panel of speakers, conference details, New Product Showcasetips for attending the show and more.

"Based on positive feedback from Grocery & Specialty Food West attendees and exhibitors in previous years, we proudly say with confidence that whether you are a conference attendee or exhibitor, you will walk away with a new business insight or network. The GSFW show is thrilled to be the platform that bridges these new opportunities to ultimately support sales." - Thomas Barlow, president and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)

 

Exhibitors:

With thousands of attendees expected, this is the only grocery and specialty food show to comprehensively connect you with like-minded grocery professionals while learning about the latest industry insights that supports your business. Remember, GSF is all things grocery and specialty food retailing. If it can be utilized in the day-to-day operations of the grocery store, you can find it all right here, under one roof. Exhibit now. 

 

Retailers & Buyers: 

Bring your entire team to this one-stop shop for anyone in the grocery sector. Be sure to take full advantage of GSF's trade show only Show Specials offered by numerous exhibitors (discounts and coupons for retailers offered only at the show). 

Full conference agenda available onlineRegister now.  

 

Media: 

For media accreditation (on assignment only), photo library and interview opportunities with experts, please contact Amy Chen for more information.  

Victoria Pub Wins The Irish Pub of the Year in North America

Celebrating a Meeting Place of Friends at Irish Times in Victoria, BC

Photo Credit: Mister Pixel Photography

Winery owners Judy and Skip Stothert love celebrating their family traditions. When they started Coolshanagh Winery in the Okanagan, they didn’t hesitate to name it “Coolshanagh”, a Celtic word that belonged to Judy’s side of the family.

“Coolshanagh” means a “meeting place of friends.”

For generations, Judy’s family started using the word “Coolshanagh” under letterheads and soon enough, her cousins named their houses as Coolshanagh. This soon became a family tradition and carried through to multiple generations in celebration of the friendship between family and friends.

Although not entirely certain, the Stotherts share that the word “Coolshanagh” originated from Judy’s grandfather in Ireland and then eventually landed in Canada with his immigration to Newfoundland and Victoria.

When the Stotherts heard that Victoria’s Irish Times Pub won Irish TimesThe Irish Pub of the Year in North America (chosen from 16,000 Irish pubs worldwide), they were ecstatic! This achievement follows Irish Times’ wins from previous years: Top 10 Irish Pubs Outside of Ireland in 2015; Best Pub in the City (8 out of last 12 years).

The Stotherts are fortunate that their Coolshanagh Chardonnay is listed by the bottle at Irish Times Pub. However, that wasn’t the celebratory aspect. It was how impressive and honourable this accolade is and the perfect fit between Coolshanagh and Irish Times Pub. It’s almost serendipitous.

Tracing back to family traditions, Coolshanagh originated from Irish roots then eventually arrived in Victoria, like Irish Times. Irish pubs are known for their unique, cozy and friendly ambiance. This, like Coolshanagh, makes a perfect place for the gathering of friends.

Join us in celebrating this beautiful friendship between Coolshanagh and Irish Times by visiting the pub the next time you’re in Victoria!

How Impressive Was This Award for Irish Times Pub?

16,000 Irish pubs worldwide were screened for this award, including UK, Ireland, Europe, North America and more.

  • Irish Times Pub was shortlisted in six (6) competing categories:
  • Best Irish Pub of the Year in North America
  • Best Bar Person
  • Best Marketing Campaign
  • Best Chef
  • Best Food Experience
  • Best Craft Beer Experience

Congratulations to our friends!

- From Skip and Judy of Coolshanagh

 

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!

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

British Columbia Icewine Harvest Begins

Client News - photo downloads at end of story Header

 

 

 

 

British Columbia Icewine Harvest Begins at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Team Braves Sub-Zero Temperatures For A Sweet Reward

Suggested Tweets:

Brrrr! The #icewine harvest began tonight @summerhillwine Superb grapes will yield delicious nectar. #bcwine #organic

or

Want to learn more about #bcwine and #icewine? @summerhillwine tells us more about it in Icewine: The Essence of the Grape

Here's The Story:

 

Pickers bundled up to pick frozen grapes at Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada’s acclaimed organic and biodynamic winery, started its harvest of Icewine at their Kelowna vineyard tonight. Following an already excellent growing season and table wine harvest, the ideal weather situation occurred that allowed the team to harvest Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zweigelt from the winery’s estate vineyard.

“To make superb Icewine, the first thing you need is superb grapes,” said Summerhill CEO Ezra Cipes. “The Okanagan Valley is singularly blessed because not only have we had a growing season that produced perfect grapes, but we had the temperatures that froze our grapes on the vine to produce this delicious nectar. It’s perfection in a glass.”

Frozen grapes are poured into a bin at  SummerhIll Pyramid winery

In the previous vintage, Summerhill picked grapes for the 2012 vintage Icewine on January 12, 2013.

Vineyard manager Willem Semmelink suggested, "After a challenging growing season that saw heavy rain in June, followed by damaging hail in some parts of the Valley, the weather ultimately delivered a long, warm Autumn that produced wonderful grapes. We are pleased that the arctic express has arrived so early, allowing us to capture this amazing fruit so early in the season and avoid damage to nature's gift."

So what exactly is Icewine?

summerhillicewine

Icewine is a style of sweet dessert wine produced from grapes that have frozen naturally on the vine to a level of at least -8 degrees Celsius. Grapes left on the vine late in the season begin to lose their stored water content and start to shrivel. The sugars within the core of the grape do not freeze, which produces a concentrated grape must at time of pressing, resulting in a small yield of sweet and concentrated juice. Ice wine usually offers mouth-coating balanced with high acidity and moderate alcohol.

Frozen grapes are picked for Icewine at Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Icewines are generally more expensive than table wines for several reasons. Labour costs are higher than normal as a large group of grape pickers must be assembled with sometimes little notice, who are able to pick the entire crop within a few hours before the grapes begin to thaw, often in the middle of the night. The potential for damage to grapes left on the vine also increases due to weather, predators, rot and disease. Conditions in the cellar are also more challenging as the grapes must be pressed while still frozen and special equipment may be used. Fermentation also takes months instead of weeks and unique varieties of yeasts must be used in the process.

Since many of the world’s wine growing regions will not experience such extreme temperatures, Canada and Germany produce most of the world’s Icewine, usually sold in 375 or 200ml bottles

Summerhill Winery has produced a short video titled Icewine: the Essence of the Grape which can be viewed HERE.

Learn About Summerhill Pyramid Winery:

 

 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery  Kevin Trowbridge photo

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located for more than 20 years in the Lakeshore district in Kelowna, BC, is Canada's premier certified organic winery, BC's first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada's foremost producer of sparkling wine.

Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that suit every occasion and has earned the winery the 'Canadian Wine Producer of the Year' award at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including Summerhill's own on-site permaculture-style vegetable garden. The mission of the entire Summerhill team is to produce exceptionally good-tasting wines organically, support local organic food growers, and provide unforgettable experiences for all guests.

More background reading on Summerhill Pyramid Winery's organic and biodynamic farming practices can be found here.

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

Download photos:

1. Pickers bundled up to pick frozen grapes at Summerhill Pyramid Winery click here

2. Frozen grapes are poured into a bin at SummerhiIll Pyramid Winery click here

3. Frozen grapes are picked for Icewine at Summerhill Pyramid Winery click here

4. A bottle of Summerhill Pyramid Winery's finished Pinot Noir Icewine click here

Need something you can't find here? Email leeann@townhallbrands.com or sujinder@townhallbrands.com

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).