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!