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.
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.
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.
Dawn Chubai goes Under the Covers
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.
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.
Kosher Wine from BC
Eight unique curries compete
Vancouver Dining gets Social with Serendipity
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.
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.
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.
Wine In the Garden
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.
Preparing BC wineries for Fame
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.
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.
Our Felicia had a baby! Welcome Calvin! 9lb 2 oz and 100% cute!
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.
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.
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.
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!