BC’s first sub-GI: Golden Mile Bench

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Great news today for a group of wineries in the South Okanagan – BC’s first sub-GI (Geographical Indicator) has been approved! The application was submitted to the BC Wine Authority in May of last year and the final approvals from the Ministry of Agriculture were finally received.

Golden Mile Bench is the first official sub-region of six recognized GIs in the province, and can be used on wine labels. The criteria outlining the unique Golden Mile Bench GI are:

  1. Slope. Fluvial fans with an easterly-facing slope of between 5 to 15%, creating a mesoclimate and assisting with air drainage.

  2. Soil. Coarse-textured and without water table ​influence within the rooting zone, derived entirely from geological formations of Mount Kobau.

  3. Elevation or aspect. Minimum elevation is defined by the base of Hester and Tinhorn Creek escarpments, with maximum at the apex of the Reid Creek fan.

“After careful study and scientifi​c analysis, the Golden Mile Bench has been identified for the unique character of the wines made from grapes grown here,” says Don Triggs, owner of Culmina Family Estate Winery.  The scientific parameters for the Golden Mile Bench sub-GI include slope, soil, and elevation or aspect, as mapped in partnership with scientists from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre – Summerland (AAFC-PARC Summerland).

“We began working on this in 2009,” states Sandra Oldfield, CEO of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. “This sub-region has the most scientifically defensible boundaries that we (and PARC) could find.” The BC Wine Authority approved the initial application and presented it to the Minister of Agriculture in October 2014.

“Wine is as much about place as it is anything else”, states Bill Eggert, owner of Fairview Cellars. “Having a legal definition of where our wine comes from is a huge step forward for us and the entire industry.”

The Golden Mile Bench sub-GI consists of 11 voting members: Rustico Farm & Cellars, CC Jentsch Cellars, CheckMate Artisanal Winery, Culmina Family Estate Winery, Fairview Cellars, Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Hester Creek Estate Winery, Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards, Road 13 Vineyards, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, and Willow Hill Vineyards.

Gehringer Bros & Hester Creek Vineyards

Gehringer Bros & Hester Creek Vineyards

 

New to Naramata – Tightrope Winery

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I visited Tightrope Winery on an overcast winter’s day when there was still some snow in the vineyard, and certainly on the surrounding hills. However, it wasn’t hard to imagine how lovely it will be when the vines are shooting up in a few months and the sun is shining, with Okanagan Lake glistening in the distance. Tightrope Winery’s tasting room will be one of a handful of new ones opening this spring along the Naramata Bench. Their first couple of vintages have been made using the facilities at Ruby Blues Winery and wines have been available in private stores and restaurants, but now Graham O’Rourke and his wife Lyndsay have their own facilities completed and are anticipating being open at the Easter weekend.IMG_9819IMG_9821IMG_9831

photo from Tightrope Winery

photo from Tightrope Winery

Graham & Lyndsay moved to the Okanagan in 2003, after living in Whistler for several years, in order to pursue their winery dreams. After learning some basics in viticulture and winemaking in the valley, they decided to relocate to New Zealand to further pursue their education at Lincoln University, just outside of Christchurch. They returned to the Okanagan in 2007 and purchased their 10 acre Naramata property which they planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Barbera.  Graham worked as a vineyard manager at Mission Hill for six years, while Lyndsay was hired as the winemaker at Ruby Blues Winery. This gave them both the local practical experience they needed before opening their own winery. Their new building will allow their production to grow from its current 2600 to approximately 4000 cases eventually. The name ‘Tightrope’ represents the balancing act that occurs throughout the entire winemaking process – from the vineyard to the cellar. I would also venture a guess that it can be compared to well-made wines – always in perfect balance.

The tasting room is bright, warm and inviting, with a modern rustic aesthetic. The tasting bar and cash point bar are both clad in corrugated aluminum, with stone accents on the tasting bar, and a glossy white solid surface bar top. The shelves are beautifully sculptural with solid wood and iron pipe – which should showcase their products nicely. Of course no tasting room is complete without a view, and this one looks out over the vineyard, with Okanagan Lake and the hills in the distance (my photo really doesn’t do it justice).IMG_9823IMG_9824IMG_9827

Graham insists that they want to showcase the Naramata Bench and its clean fruit, really letting the grapes speak for themselves in the bottle. Graham tends the vineyard with their wine style in mind so that minimal intervention can occur during the winemaking time. As the tasting room was not yet open for business when I visited, Graham generously packed up several bottles for me to taste through at my leisure. I decided to share these with some friends who are also wine geeks when it came time to taste through for the following notes, because wine is really always best when shared with friends and good food!IMG_9825

The 2012 Riesling is pale gold in colour and has those lovely aromas that I love in a Riesling that is beginning to develop – pencil eraser and hints of diesel (yes, you all know that I am a wine geek) along with some citrus. The palate is dry with high acidity, medium body and intense flavours of apple, peach and melon. This is a very tasty, well-balanced wine with a long finish. I discovered that this Riesling pairs beautifully with jalapeno cheddar sausages – the spice brings out a sweetness in the wine and the wine conversely tames the heat of the sausages – delicious!

The 2013 Riesling is still showing as a bit tight and closed; it needs some more age on it. It is a pale lemon in colour with aromas of citrus. It is dry, with medium-plus acidity and a slightly rounder mouthfeel than with the 2012, with flavours of apple, citrus and peach, and a medium finish.

The 2013 Pinot Gris is pale lemon with aromas of citrus, apple and pear. It is dry with medium-plus acidity and medium body. It has pronounced flavours of pear with hints of almond and spice and a medium finish. This is one wine that developed nicely as it sat in my glass for a while – just kept getting better.

The 2013 Viognier is pale lemon in colour with a slightly perfumed nose at first. This is another wine that developed nicely as it sat in my glass. It is dry with medium-plus acidity, medium-minus body and flavours of citrus and apricot with a medium-plus finish.20150221_172934

L-R: 2012 P.N., 2013 P.N., 2013 Vertigo

L-R: 2012 Pinot Noir, 2013 Pinot Noir, 2013 Vertigo

The 2012 Pinot Noir is a medium ruby in colour with an earthy nose with spice, dark red fruit and a little bit of the good kind of funk. It is dry with medium-plus acidity, medium tannins that are ripe, medium body and flavours of dark red fruits, cherry, raspberry, spice and some earthiness. This is my kind of Pinot Noir flavour-wise, and is well-balanced with a long finish.

The 2013 Pinot Noir is a little bit lighter in both colour and body, with a slightly fresher nose with hints of floral aromas and bright red fruit – a slightly more feminine wine when compared with the 2012. It is dry with medium acidity, medium-minus body and flavours of cherry and raspberry and a medium-plus finish.

The 2013 Vertigo is the inaugural release of the winery’s red blend. Vertigo is made up of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 25% Barbera. Tightrope is currently one of only two wineries in the Okanagan Valley (the other is Sandhill Wines) who are growing Barbera, a varietal from northwestern Italy. Graham & Lyndsay decided to plant a small amount of Barbera after an experience with a winery in New Zealand that uses a lot of Italian varietals – Vin Alto, near Auckland. The 2013 Vertigo is medium-plus ruby in colour with a hint of purple and aromas of dark fruit and spice and a nice intensity. It is dry with medium-plus acidity, medium body and flavours of dark fruit, plums, cherry and spice and a long finish. It is well-balanced but still very young – I would like to lay this down for a few more years. Overall, these wines were all very clean and well-made – I look forward to trying more as they are released.IMG_7771

Good news for fans of craft beer, cider & spirits!

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Today, at Cannery Brewing in Penticton, the official public announcement was made about amendments to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) that benefit craft breweries, cideries & distilleries across Canada.

Patt Dyck of Cannery Brewing introducing today's guests

Patt Dyck of Cannery Brewing introducing today’s guests

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, joined by Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, today announced that Canadians will now be able to purchase beer and spirits in provinces where they don’t live and bring them home for personal use. The measure removes unnecessary red tape and is expected to benefit independent breweries and distilleries in communities across Canada by opening up regional markets and generating jobs.

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue (L) & Dan Albas, MP Okanagan-Coquihalla (R)

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue (L) & Dan Albas, MP Okanagan-Coquihalla (R)

Amendments to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) remove federal barriers and now allow individuals to move beer and spirits from one province to another for personal use. They were adopted as part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 and follow the Government’s elimination of similar barriers in 2012 in order to permit the interprovincial movement of wine for personal use.

As provincial liquor laws govern the movement, sale, purchase and possession of wine, beer, and spirits within each province, changes to these laws are often also required to allow interprovincial movement. Since the previous amendment in 2012, both British Columbia and Manitoba allow personal importations of wine. It was noted today that both Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia should be on board by July of this year. The Government of Canada is encouraging all provinces to support this measure and enact the necessary laws to facilitate and encourage interprovincial trade.

Toasting the announcement with (L-R) Josie Tyabji of Canadian Vintners' Association, Dan Albas, Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Patt Dyck

Toasting the announcement with Lakeboat Lager, from left to right: Josie Tyabji of Canadian Vintners’ Association, Dan Albas, Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Patt Dyck

“The Canadian Vintners Association continues to advocate for the removal of barriers that limit Canadians from purchasing wine from another province. We are encouraged to see the Government of Canada taking charge and removing internal barriers, first with wine and now with beer and spirits. We hope that all jurisdictions will adopt these measures so that Canadians can access a broad selection of Canadian wine products, no matter where they live.” – Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO, Canadian Vintners Association

“Breaking down trade barriers gives our local breweries and distilleries the opportunity to be competitive in national markets, thus fostering growth and creating jobs in our community. I am pleased to participate in today’s event and look forward to seeing the next steps the federal government takes to reduce red tape for Canadian businesses.” – Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, BCIMG_9864

Celebrate today…with Bella Wines!

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This spring, there will be a new tasting room opening up on the Naramata Bench. I know, there always seems to be a new winery around here and you’re probably asking what is so special about this one. Well, for starters it is the first winery in BC to focus solely on sparkling wines – Bella Wines. You may have seen their bubbly at VQA stores, in restaurants or at wine tasting events over the past three years, but this year they will complete the work on their tasting room and open their doors to the public.IMG_9808Bella Wines is the dream of Jay Drysdale, who has had an active role in the BC wine industry over the past decade. Like many people involved in the industry, wine was not his first career; Jay began in the kitchen, where he worked his way up. Cooking led to an interest and appreciation in wine, which led him to his sommelier training. Becoming a sommelier just fuelled his desire to try his hand at winemaking, which he dabbled in on a personal level before pursuing his enology studies at Washington State University. In 2011 Jay met Wendy Rose and their first date was a truffle hunting trip to Oregon, with Jay’s bulldog, Bella, as a chaperone.

Bella, photo from Bella Wines

Bella, photo from Bella Wines

On this roadtrip they discovered a shared passion for food and wine – Wendy’s mother was a chef and her father’s only hobby is wine. After all the standard “getting-to-know-you” questions, Jay decided that Wendy was “the one” and mentioned his plans to open a boutique sparkling wine house. Rather than being put off, Wendy’s response, in true California girl style, was, “Dude, that is so cool!  My family has been importing bubbles as our house table wine for decades.  I’m so in.” And so from there, Bella Wines was born.

Jay Drysdale & Wendy Rose, photo from Bella Wines

Jay Drysdale & Wendy Rose, photo from Bella Wines

Their first vintage in 2011 was done very quietly. They coincided the launch of Bella Wines and the release of their first two bubblies with their engagement party in June of 2012. I am honoured to call Jay and Wendy my friends and was happy to be included in that great day. The focus has always been on two varietals: Chardonnay and Gamay Noir. Their current releases express the terroirs of Kamloops, Oliver East & West, Keremeos and Westbank. This past June, Jay, Wendy and a group of volunteers planted their own Naramata vineyard with two and a half acres of Chardonnay and Gamay. Eventually, Jay would like to narrow the focus; instead of the terroirs of the Okanagan he’d like to perhaps explore the variation of terroir in Naramata.

Lunch for the planting crew

Lunch for the planting crew, photo from Bella Wines

Just as he has followed the path from cooking to wine, from sommelier to winemaker, he is now on his next (albeit concurrent) journey: that of farmer. With his own vineyard, large garden and soon some chickens and pigs, he is looking forward to the next chapter. His goal is to have a property that is sustainable and to create products that are, according to someone recently, “bio-licious” – perhaps not certified organic or fully biodynamic, but that are ethically delicious, produced without harming the land. “If this place can sustain us with food, friends and drink, that we don’t have to go far for our ingredients, then that is ultimately what we want. We are fortunate to live in the Okanagan where it is possible to know the names of the people we get our sustenance from.”

Jay with Gamay grapes at harvest, photo from Bella Wines

Jay with Gamay grapes at harvest, photo from Bella Wines

Although Jay doesn’t want to play favourites, he is very excited about one wine this year. With the 2014 vintage, he took a portion of the Gamay grapes from Westbank and made it as méthode ancestrale, in which the wine begins a natural fermentation (without the addition of commercial yeast strains) and then, during fermentation, is bottled so that it’s the release of the C02 from the primary fermentation (vs. secondary fermentation) that produces the bubbles in the wine. I was able to try it shortly before Christmas and it blew my socks off – so flavourful! Only 15 cases were made, to be released in March at $39.90 per 750mL bottle; well worth it for such a unique product.20141220_213159

Difference in sediment between traditional (L) & ancestral (R)

Difference in sediment between traditional (L) & ancestral (R)

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The new tasting room will be located in what was a two-car garage on their property on Gulch Road at the north end of Naramata. A visit will be an exercise in celebrating the small things in life, celebrating the everyday. On occasion Jay will change hats and become the chef for intimate dinners under the cherry trees, overlooking the vineyard and Okanagan Lake beyond. Bella’s production will always be relatively small. Every bottle is tended to by hand and, with the help of family and friends, Jay and Wendy are building the tasting room themselves. It’s a lot of work, but it helps keep the soul of Bella. Celebrate today!

Dining under the cherry trees, photo from Bella Wines

Dining under the cherry trees, photo from Bella Wines

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It’s That Time of Year Again… Wine & Dine!

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It’s that magical time of the year in the Okanagan for all those who love food and wine experiences but who may still be reeling from the post-Christmas bills – it’s Wine & Dine time! This year is the 13th Annual Wine & Dine Thompson/Okanagan, running from January 23rd through February 11th, 2015. This event is presented by the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association and the Wines of British Columbia. Over 40 restaurants from Kamloops through Osoyoos are participating, offering set 3-course menus for $15, $25 or $35 per person, and featuring BC VQA wine pairing options.WandD_logo_date

The launch event was hosted by the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, featuring menu previews from eight participating restaurants and a dozen Okanagan wineries. It was a sold-out event with just over 300 people in attendance. Unlike previous years where the restaurants featured at the launch arbitrarily chose the food on offer, this year they all had to feature something that would be available on one of their Wine & Dine set menus; I thought this was a great way to entice people to visit their restaurants during the event. Speaking with some attendees, they revealed that one of the main reasons they participate in Wine & Dine is to be able to try restaurants they have never before visited. If they enjoy their experience with the more affordable set menus, they are likely to make return visits at other times throughout the year.IMG_9792IMG_9721IMG_9751IMG_9767

The restaurants featured tonight were: 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar, Grand Bay Café, Krafty Kitchen + Bar, Match Eatery & Public House, Olympia Greek Taverna, Ricardo’s, Smack DAB & Social 242 Lounge & Grill. The wineries featured were: Bench 1775, CedarCreek, Dirty Laundry, House of Rose, Lake Breeze, Moraine Estate, Okanagan Crush Pad, Sage Hills, Tantalus, The View, Volcanic Hills & Wild Goose. I was quite impressed with all of the dishes that were on offer and I did have a hard time picking favourites. I would say that my top 3 picks (in no particular order) were:

Grand Bay Café at the Delta Grand with their 48 degree Salmon with Chorizo Cioppino Sauce and Fingering Chips, paired with the Narrative White from Okanagan Crush Pad.IMG_9765IMG_9770

Smack DAB at Manteo Resort with their House made Pork Pâté on a crisp flatbread with apple cider gelée, pickled mustard seeds, micro radish and cornichons served with a devilled egg. This paired quite nicely with the Autumn Gold from Wild Goose Winery.IMG_9739IMG_9742

19 Okanagan Grill + Bar at Two Eagles Golf Course with their pork belly slider with a horseradish slaw. I paired this with the Windfall white blend from Lake Breeze Winery.IMG_9752IMG_9759

All of the restaurants participating in Wine & Dine Thompson/Okanagan and their menus are available on the website. Information is also available on the Facebook page. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, use #okwineanddine. Reservations are certainly recommended at many of them due to the popularity of this program.

A big thanks to Christina at Impact Events for the invitation to the media launch and to the BCRFA and BC Wine Institute for Wine & Dine itself, along with the event sponsors: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Sysco, GFS Food Services, Black Press, Global Okanagan & Groupon.

Wine Tourism Done Well: Part 3

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Well, this post has certainly taken me a lot longer than planned, but I finally managed to complete it, only 9 months after the wonderful time spent in Georgia (the country, not the state). Has it really only been 9 months? It almost seems like a lifetime ago; 2014 was certainly a busy year!

Nearing the end of our intensive immersion in Georgian culture following the International Wine Tourism Conference, we set out on our final full day of the post-conference media tour. On the bus trip from the Kvareli Eden Hotel & Spa to our first destination in Napareuli, we passed so many vineyards, all with the beautiful snow-capped Caucasus Mountains as a backdrop. We also saw some historical monuments including Gremi, a brick citadel dating back to the 16th century. It is an important Late Medieval archaeological site with ruins of churches, trading arcades, baths and dwellings that is on UNESCO’s tentative site list. Up on a hilltop are the best-preserved buildings of the complex – Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel (16th century) and the Royal Tower (15th century).IMG_6408IMG_6413IMG_6416

Our first stop of the day was the Twins Wine Cellar & Qvevri Museum in Napareuli, owned by twin brothers Gia and Gela Gamtkitsulashvilis. This still-expanding facility offers the “full-meal deal” in Wine Tourism. IMG_6422Tours of both ancient and modern wine cellars are available, as well as the (at the time) not-yet-opened Qvevri Museum. This museum is the first of its kind and the brothers hoped that it would attain official museum status. In addition to the standard tours, the brothers offer hands-on experiences including picking grapes, making your own qvevri wine in the traditional method, making zavodi (vodka), baking Shoti bread, making churchkhelas (the much-loved “Georgian snickers”), and there is hotel accommodation on site as well. Upon our arrival we were greeted and shown into the ancient wine cellar that had been restored in 2002 and includes an ancient wine press, carved out of a single tree, which is still in operation today. Beside the ancient cellar is the still that is used to make chacha from the grape pomace. IMG_6435IMG_6441IMG_6446IMG_6454We were led through the more modern qvevri cellar en route to the museum, stopping for some shoti bread on the way. One must really watch their step around qvevris as it would be very easy to trip on one or, in the case of a larger empty one, actually fall in! Thankfully there were no qvevri casualties on this trip! IMG_6466IMG_6470IMG_6471The first interactive part of the museum involved actually stepping inside a massive qvevri. Once the door closed, a presentation demonstrated the fermentation process within a qvevri and the different levels achieved within the qvevri of wine and grapes from start to finish. The museum tour itself was very interesting and informative, setting out the reasons for the qvevri being the shape that it is, to the regions and grape varietals within Georgia, as well as the remaining regions still making qvevris (only 3 of 11 regions). The displays then demonstrate the life of a qvevri from start to finish, including the manufacturing, the placement in the ground, the preparation and cleaning, and finally the grapes into wine.IMG_6486IMG_6492IMG_6506IMG_6515IMG_6508IMG_6512IMG_6513IMG_6517IMG_6519IMG_6525IMG_6526IMG_6529IMG_6530IMG_6532IMG_6536 Twins Wine Cellar has patented a new “demonstration qvevri” that cuts it in half vertically, to allow visitors to see the wine during the fermentation process. Each year, white and red wines will be made in these demonstration qvevris so that it is possible to watch exactly what happens inside. It was really amazing to see how clear the wine was and to see all the grape skins and lees at the bottom of the qvevri. IMG_6538IMG_6543Following the tour, we were led up to the top floor of the museum for some wine tasting. From this vantage point, we could also watch the construction of the new wine cellar taking place, with some massive qvevris ready to be lowered into the large excavated area. IMG_6550The wines that we tasted included a 2012 qvevri-made Rkatsiteli. It was medium amber in colour, had citrus aromas, was dry with medium-plus acidity, medium tannins, with lots of complexity on the palate. I couldn’t place all the flavours but I very much enjoyed it. We also tasted a 2012 qvevri-made Saperavi with a deep ruby-purple colour. It had a nose of dark berries, was dry with medium-plus acidity and tannins with flavours of dark berries and spice with a medium-plus finish. These wines had no chemical or enzyme interference during fermentation and had very little sulphur added. We all headed back downstairs and out to the cellar for the big excitement – the opening of a qvevri of Rkatsiteli that had been sealed 6 months previous by three of the members of our group, Terry and Kathy Sullivan of Wine Trail Traveler, along with Tamta Kvelaidze of the Georgian National Wine Agency. The wine was clear, fresh, fruity and delicious, straight from the qvevri. We were able to watch as they emptied the wine, followed by the skins, seeds and lees, ready for pressing and bottling.IMG_6555IMG_6577IMG_6585IMG_6608

Our next stop of the day was at Shumi Winery which, in addition to producing wines in a European method (tanks and oak barrels), has Georgia’s first vine and wine museum. As part of the museum, the winery has a demonstration vineyard that contains 294 indigenous Georgian varietals plus 92 European varietals. IMG_6632IMG_6634Inside the museum’s exhibition hall are many wine-related artifacts dating back hundreds and thousands of years, including many wine vessels and a clay jug dating back to the 12th century BC! IMG_6645IMG_6646We noticed smoke billowing from a fire beside one of the outbuildings and could smell the most amazing aromas of grilled meat. We were led to the outbuilding, which houses the winery’s still. We were served shots of freshly-distilled chacha straight from the spout and still warm, paired with pickles and cheese. Not being a huge fan of spirits, this one was just a bit too young and fire-water-like for me. IMG_6635IMG_6659IMG_6660IMG_6662IMG_6669Passing the large skewers of pork being roasted over the grill by several men, we made our way up to the tasting room where, as per usual Georgian custom, a large table of food was prepared to go along with the wine tasting. On the table were assorted local cheeses, nuts, churchkhelas and soon the deliciously tender grilled pork. We sampled five wines, beginning with a 2012 Tsinandali appellation wine, a blend of 85% Rkatsiteli and 15% Mtsvane. This is a wine that I had tasted during the Grand Tasting at the IWINETC a few days earlier and still enjoyed it just as much. The second wine was a Mukuzani appellation 2012 Saperavi with dark ruby-purple colour and a rich ripe berry nose. It was dry, with medium-plus acidity and chewy medium-plus tannins with ripe red fruit and dark berries on the palate. Beginning in 2005, Shumi was the first company to make certified organic wines. The next wine was a 2008 organic ‘Bio’ Saperavi. It was medium ruby in colour with cherry and berries on the nose. It was dry, with medium acidity, medium-plus tannins and flavours of dark berries and savoury spice with a medium-plus finish. It was a nicely balanced wine – quite delicious! The 2013 Kindzmarauli appellation natural semi-sweet Saperavi was deep purple in colour with a bit of a closed nose (the wine was a bit cold) of dark ripe fruit. It was medium-sweet and the flavour profile reminded me more of a port-style wine, although the alcohol was only 11%. To finish our tasting we were treated to something a bit special, called “Zigu”. This was a very tasty dessert-style wine that used all 386 grape varietals in the demonstration vineyard and was then fortified to 19% alc/vol with a mix of chacha and brandy.IMG_6672IMG_6674IMG_6682

We got back on our bus to make our way to our lunchtime visit to Schuchmann Winery, which produces both European style wines (still and sparkling) as well as qvevri wines, under the Vinoterra label, which makes up about 30-40% of their total production of approximately 33,000 cases. We opted against a tour of the modern winemaking facilities as we have all seen innumerable steel tanks and oak barrels before, so instead we were shown through the qvevri cellar and the sparkling wine cave. Schuchmann produces around 12,000 bottles of sparkling wine annually, split between a Rosé Brut made of 70% Merlot and 30% Malbec, and a Blanc de Blancs that is 100% Chardonnay. IMG_6699IMG_6707IMG_6728IMG_6734IMG_6746During lunch, with the most amazing views of the Caucasus Mountains across the valley, we sampled six of the wines. The 2013 Rkatsiteli made in stainless steel tanks with no skin contact was a pale straw colour with a fresh floral nose. It was bright and fresh with flavours of citrus. In contrast, the 2011 Vinoterra Rkatsiteli made in qvevri with 6 months of skin contact was a medium-plus gold colour with aromas and flavours of citrus and dried apricot. It was dry, with medium-plus acidity and tannins and quite a complex palate. The 2011 Saperavi was fermented in stainless steel, saw no oak and was bottled, unfiltered, and aged in the bottle for one year. It was a medium ruby in colour with aromas of cherry and damson plum. It was dry with medium-plus acidity and tannins and flavours of damson plum, cranberry and cherry with a medium-plus finish. The 2009 Vinoterra Saperavi spent 6 months in qvevri, 1 year in French oak and 3 years in bottle. It was a medium ruby colour with complex aromas of dark berries, plum and dried fruit. It was dry with medium-plus body, medium-plus acidity and tannins with flavours of dried cherry, spice and dark berries, beautifully balanced with a long finish – quite delicious. IMG_6697IMG_6704IMG_6762IMG_6767IMG_6770Because most of us were curious to try the sparkling wines, they brought out a bottle of each for us to try. The sparkling Rosé had ripe berry and cherry flavours, tiny bubbles and was quite pleasant. I enjoyed it much more than the sparkling Chardonnay, which I felt was lacking acidity. After filling up on lunch and the views, we once again boarded the bus for our final destination of the media tour – the beautiful town of Sighnaghi.IMG_6779

Sighnaghi is situated high on a hilltop overlooking the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains beyond. It is considered to be the prettiest town in Kakheti, with its 18th and 19th century Italianate architecture. Interestingly, the town was originally developed in the 18th century by King Erekle II in part as a refuge for the area’s populace against Ottoman and Persian attacks. The name comes from the Turkish siğinak, which means ‘shelter’. IMG_6818We checked into Hotel Kabadoni, a lovely modern hotel with spectacular views and huge suites, before heading to our final supra, being hosted by Pheasant’s Tears Winery, located a short walk from the hotel. IMG_6831IMG_6837IMG_6838During that short walk, I noticed that just like elsewhere on our tour, there were a lot of sculptures dotted throughout the town, along with the omnipresent stray dogs. IMG_6843IMG_6860IMG_6861IMG_6868IMG_6874IMG_6882IMG_6890Once we arrived at Pheasant’s Tears we could visit the qvevri cellars in the basement, view the artwork in the Old Town Studios or just wander through the courtyard. For the supra, hosted by John Wurdeman of Pheasant’s Tears Winery, we were brought many dishes prepared from local foods, including some foraged foods. We also finally had the chance to try the much-spoken-about khinkali dumplings. IMG_6904IMG_6907IMG_6934IMG_6948IMG_6950IMG_6960IMG_6962IMG_6981IMG_7008IMG_7021Throughout the meal we were poured several natural wines. The Pheasant’s Tears 2013 Tsoulikouri from Imereti was a pale straw colour with a tropical nose. It was dry with medium-plus acidity with flavours of lemon and a long finish. The 2013 Tsitska was made from grapes that were picked in Terjola in Imereti from such a steep site that not even horses can work it. It was pale gold with an apple-cider-like nose. It was dry with medium-plus acidity, medium-minus tannins and flavours of citrus, quince and spice with a medium-plus finish. We then compared the 2012 and 2013 vintages of the Tavkveri Rosé. I must say that my favourite was the 2013. I found that the 2012 just had a bit too much funk and acidity to it for my tastes. The 2013 on the other hand had a lovely berry nose, was dry with medium-plus acid and light tannins. It had flavours of citrus and red currant – quite pleasant. Next we tasted the 2012 Kisi that had 6 months of skin contact and 20% of stems added into the qvevri. It was medium amber in colour and a bit cloudy. It had that apple cider note on the nose, was dry with medium-plus acidity and medium tannins with flavours of citrus and quite a bit of complexity and savoury notes on the palate. The 2011 Kakhuri Mtsvane came from 75-year-old vines in Manavi village in Kakheti. It was a clear pale amber with a complex honeyed nose. It was dry with medium-plus acidity and tannins. There was some salinity on the palate, along with flavours of citrus and spice. The 2011 Rkatsiteli came from an area of Kakheti that is close to the border with Azerbaijan. It had 3 months of skin contact with 10-15% stems added into the qvevri. It had some smoke on the nose along with some floral notes. It was dry with medium-plus acidity and medium tannins. Its complex palate was elegant with flavours of citrus, spice and some interesting salinity again. Next up was a 2013 blend of Rkatsiteli, Chinuri and Mtsvane that had been made by one of our young tour guides, Alex Rodzianko, who also works at Pheasant’s Tears. This had been his first attempt at his own wine and was fresh out of the qvevri, and I’d say he did a pretty good job! It was clear and pale gold in colour with apple, stone fruit and some nuttiness on the nose. It was dry, with high acidity. It was still a bit young but I think it will be lovely with a bit of age on it. Next up was a 2011 Shavkapito from the Kartli region. It was medium ruby in colour with a fresh nose and aromas of red fruit with a hint of meat and smoke. The nose reminded me a bit of a Beaujolais Nouveau. It was dry with medium-plus acidity and medium tannins with minerality, red fruit and spice on the palate. Next we were treated to a 2008 Saperavi Reserve, of which there were only 30 bottles left. It had undergone spontaneous malolactic fermentation in a second qvevri, spending a total of two years in qvevri. It had not been filtered or fined and no sulphur had been added to it. It was a deep purple with a ruby hue to it, with a bit of funk on the nose and aromas of deep red berries and cherry. It was dry with medium-plus acidity and tannins, a full body and flavours of cherry, damson plum and spice with a long finish. Next I opted to try a couple of wines that were not Georgian. The first was a Vin de Savoie from D & P Belluard made from the Gringet varietal. It was pale lemon in colour with aromas of lemon rind and orange rind. It was dry with high acidity with crisp citrus and minerality on the palate. It was a complex, elegant, well-balanced, delicious wine with a long finish. The second was the 2010 Jakot from Dario Prinčič of Oslavia in Italy, near the Slovenian border, made from 100% Friulano-Tokaj grapes. It was a medium amber in colour, slightly cloudy, with a lovely nose of tangerine. It was dry with medium-plus acidity and tannins, a complex palate with flavours of citrus, spice and orange blossom with a long finish – fabulous! Throughout the supra we were treated to traditional polyphonic signing and some wonderful dancing. Some of the guests even got up and joined in. IMG_6936IMG_6941IMG_6988IMG_7041After saying our goodbyes to our fellow tour-mates we headed back to the hotel for a bit of shut-eye before an early start in the morning. Although we were flying out of Tbilisi later the next day, my co-presenter and travel companion Allison Markin and I were going on a little side journey and parting ways with the rest of the media tour.

When the trip organizers discovered that Allison had some family history in Georgia, the Georgian hospitality gene kicked into full gear. They helped organize a car and driver/translator to take us a couple hours outside of Tbilisi to her family’s former village before bringing us back to the airport to fly home. I will post some of the photos I took along that journey to show you the changing landscapes, however I will let Allison tell her story, so please check it out on the All She Wrote blog. Overall, the time spent in Georgia was truly an experience of a lifetime and I will be forever grateful for it.IMG_7111IMG_7124The wild cows of Georgia!

The wild cows of Georgia!

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Congratulations to Corcelettes Winery!

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Urs Baessler, Barbara Baessler, Jesce Walker, Sharon Herder, Charlie BaesslerThis morning I was happy to read the following press release regarding big news for Corcelettes Winery. Congratulations to the entire Corcelettes team!

Corcelettes Estate Winery is set to start the new year off with a bang! Having recently acquired Herder Winery and Vineyards, 2015 marks the start of a new era for Corcelettes Winery. Early in the new year, the Corcelettes team will begin the move from their current location in Cawston to their new location, the previous home of Herder Winery in Keremeos.

Charlie Baessler, Co-owner and Winemaker of Corcelettes explained, “We are thrilled to announce that we will be moving our wine tasting experience and wine production facility to Upper Bench Road in Keremeos. From our passion to your palete, our new facility, which overlooks the beautiful Similkameen Valley will allow us to better serve our visitors. We are excited to soon offer a patio-style experience where we’ll encourage our guests to try their luck at the par 3 golf course or enjoy a walk through the vineyard while savouring our fine wines”.

Not only is their winemaking facility expanding, but the Corcelettes family is also growing. The Corcelettes ownership team will now include Charlie, his partner Jesce, his parents Urs and Barbara, and their new partners, Gord and Diane Peters. Long time friends of the Baesslers, Gord and Diane have worked many long nights crushing grapes with the Corcelettes team, which fueled their own passion for the wine industry.

Charlie, who worked at Herder Winery when it was first established on Upper Bench Road in Keremeos, was also pleased to announce that Sharon Herder would be staying on to help with the transition. “We are excited to be working with Sharon as we continue the legacy started here many years ago.”

Jesce Walker, Co-owner & Sales and Marketing Manager explained, “Although we are in early days, we are in discussion to brand the infamous Josephine red blend and perhaps other Herder trademarks under our Corcelettes brand.” They also aim to add some other new labels to the already familiar and notorious Corcelettes wine portfolio.

With their new winemaking facility, Corcelettes has a modest production goal of 2,500-3,000 cases in the years to follow. Charlie explained, “Corcelettes will focus on producing premium, high-quality wines from a combination of estate grown grapes as well as grapes from our local growers. With both a meticulous viticulture program and a reactive cellar style, we aim to bring this already dynamic property to its maximum potential and express what is truly Similkameen in our wines.”

Jesce continued, “Also in the new year, we’re very excited to be joining the Similkameen Wineries Association. We look forward to partnering with the other wineries in the Similkameen to help highlight the great wines coming out of this gem of a region.”

In the days, weeks and months ahead, the Corcelettes team will be busy working in their new winery and vineyard as they prepare for their official opening in late spring/early summer 2015. Stay tuned, as they have exciting plans for winemaker dinners and other special events showcasing their new property.

Corcelettes Estate Winery is a family-run, boutique winery located in beautiful Keremeos in the heart of Similkameen Wine Country. Their award-winning wines, which are a blend of traditional wine-making styles with modern processes, have been quickly gaining attention throughout BC and beyond. For more information, phone 250.535.1909, visit www.corceletteswine.ca or follow them on Twitter.

Winter Wine Events in the Okanagan & Similkameen

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winter-wine-events-okanagan-similkameen-2014-bcwineHave you ever wondered what happens in wine country once the summer has ended? Many of the wineries do shut down for the winter season (although more and more each year are staying open, some with limited hours). However, five of the winery associations throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys are hosting weekend open house events November 29th through December 7th this year. Participating winery associations include Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive, Okanagan Falls Winery Association, Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, the Similkameen Wineries Association and the Westside Wine Trail.

Light up the Vines with Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive (Nov. 29 & 30) – Spend a weekend touring your favourite Bottleneck Drive Wineries in Summerland as they “Light Up The Vines” for two special evenings this year. Visit November 29 & 30 from 3pm-7pm and enjoy complimentary wine tastings, special holiday promotions, a weekend passport to win a prize valued at over $500 and of course vines lit up! This year there will once again be both self-guided and guided tour options available as well as weekend accommodation packages.

Holiday Cheer Open House with the Okanagan Falls Winery Association (Nov. 29 & 30) – Join the wineries of Okanagan Falls this holiday season for their open house weekend in the “Heart of Wine Country”. Come visit these 12 wineries for your holiday gifting ideas, food pairings & sample their delicious wines! Join them in their decorated wine shops and vineyards while enjoying delicious holiday treats and exclusive features from each winery. Take part in their photo scavenger hunt for your chance to win a private wine tour for two with Top Cat Tours!

Winter in Wine Country with Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country (Nov. 29 & 30) – Winter in Wine Country celebrates the ethereal beauty of the winter months in the region with individual events taking place at 27 wineries including food pairings and Christmas carols, special tasting room opportunities and fabulous displays of Christmas lights. Join them to celebrate winter on Saturday and Sunday, November 29th and 30th. Back by popular demand is the Winter in Wine Country Weekend Passport. Collect stamps from participating wineries as you tour over the weekend. Once you have received 6 stamps, you are eligible to win an Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Case prize! Bonus draws for extra visits. On Saturday night, the Rosé Revolution offers guests the opportunity to taste Rosé’s from 17 different wineries with fabulous food pairing stations, live music and a people’s choice award.  Guide yourself through the weekend or make use of some of the local touring options.

Similkameen Country Christmas with the Similkameen Wineries Association (Dec. 6 & 7) – Wine tastings, food pairings, decorated wine shops, art, gift ideas and holiday joy and cheer await you in the fourth annual Similkameen Country Christmas Winery Open House Tour which runs Dec. 6th and 7th from 12-4pm daily. In traditional holiday open house style, enjoy a self-guided tour as you meander through the beautiful Similkameen and visit our 7 participating wineries. Pick up a passport at your first stop and get you it stamped at each winery along the way for your chance to win a $200 Similkameen Wineries Association wine lovers package. Rumour has it that even Santa loves to give (and receive!) amazing, award-winning wines from the Similkameen Valley!

Sip into the Season with the Westside Wine Trail (Dec. 7) – Sip some wine. See some crafts. Cross some holiday shopping off your list while enjoying an easy afternoon touring the wineries of West Kelowna. Join the wineries of the Westside Wine Trail as they celebrate the holidays with their Sip into the Season event. On Sunday, December 7th each winery will host local artisans and crafters in their tasting rooms and cellars for a wine & craft tour. This unique and one of a kind event will see visitors travel from winery to winery as they enjoy the works of the artisans and crafters at each location as well as award-winning wines, gift packages and holiday cheer. This is a self-guided tour and for added convenience, touring options are available through Distinctly Kelowna Tours. The “Sip into the Season” event takes place from noon to 4 pm at participating wineries of the Westside Wine Trail.

Visit www.WinterWineEvents.com or www.Facebook.com/WinterWineEvents for dates and links to more detailed information to the Winter Wine Events of your choice!

Wine Century Club: The final 10!! (Varietals 91 – 100)

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Yippee! I finally got my Wine Century Club Membership Certificate in the mail! Here are my tasting notes for the final ten wines that I included in my list of varietals for the submission for membership into the Wine Century Club. It has been officially recognized that I have tasted 100 different varietals, and I did it in under a year. Now to continue on with the next hundred and more…

WineCenturySeal91. Aladasturi, 2013 vintage, Makaridze Winery, Terjola, Georgia: pale salmon-pink with a watery rim, citrus, red berries and yeasty notes on the nose, dry, medium acidity, complex flavours of lemon, cranberry, with some nuttiness and a medium-plus finish. Well-balanced.

92. Tavkveri, 2013 Rosé, Pheasant’s Tears, Sighnaghi, Georgia: medium fuschia pink, clear, berry aromas, dry, medium-plus acidity, light tannins, flavours of citrus and red currant. Pleasant and well-balanced.

93. Otskhanuri Sapere, unknown vintage, Winery Khareba Monastery Wines, Georgia: deep ruby-purple in colour, ripe dark fruit on the nose – very fragrant, dry, medium-plus acidity, medium tannins, medium body, flavours of cherry, plum and berries with a medium-plus finish.

94. Shavkapito, 2011 vintage, Chateau Mukhrani, Kartli, Georgia: medium ruby with a hint of garnet, jammy red fruit with plum and spice on the nose, dry, medium-plus acidity, medium-plus ripe tannins, flavours of red cherry, plum, spice, cedar, dried herbs and dried fruits with a long finish.

95. Boudeshuri, 2007 Kakhetian Royal Red (blend), Kindzmaruli Marani, Georgia: medium-plus ruby in colour, ripe jammy aromas of cherry and plum – very fruity, dry, medium-plus acidity, medium-plus tannins, medium-plus body, flavours of cherry, dried fruit and plum.

96. Leon Millot, 2012 vintage, Pinot Rosé (blend), Mistaken Identity Winery, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada: pale salmon in colour, aromas of citrus and cranberry, dry, high acidity, flavours of cranberry and citrus.

97. Cabernet Libre (Blattner), 2010 vintage, Evolution Red, Salt Spring Vineyards, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada: medium ruby in colour, aromas of plum, raspberry and spice, dry, medium-plus acidity, medium tannins, flavours of plum, cherry, cedar, earthiness and a hint of tar, with a medium-plus finish.

98. Nebbiolo, 2009 vintage, Barolo DOCG, Batasiolo, Piedmont, Italy: pale ruby-garnet in colour, aromas of dried cherries with hints of spice, dry, medium-plus acidity, high tannins, medium-plus body, flavours of cherry, dark berry, plum, liquorice and hints of tar.

99. Goruli Mtsvane, 2013 vintage, Atenuri, Giorgi Revazashvili, Ateni Gorge, Kartli, Georgia: complex nose with aromas of apple and citrus, dry, medium body, medium-plus acidity, flavours of citrus and yeasty notes with a medium-plus finish.

100. Saperavi, 2011 vintage, Vita Vinea, Telavi, Georgia: medium ruby with hints of purple, meaty nose with pepper, dark berries and pomegranate, dry, medium acidity, silky medium tannins, flavours of dark berries and spice with a long finish – delicious!

 

Garagiste North: The Small Guys Wine Festival

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Last weekend, I attended a fantastic event that I hope will be repeated annually (if not more often). Garagiste North is “The Small Guys Wine Festival”, organized by Jennifer Schell and Terry Meyer Stone and hosted by Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls. The term garagiste (Gar-aH-jeest) was coined in France in the 1990s, referring to a group of winemakers in Bordeaux who were making wines that did not conform to the strict regulations on varietals used and wine styles dictated by the appellations. They produce small lots of wines that come from previously unknown estates without proven track record or pedigree. Garagiste North showcases many of the artisan producers of wine in the South Okanagan. All of the garagiste wineries have an annual production of less than 2000 cases, and many are only around the 500-case level or fewer.IMG_9262

I had previously had the chance to try wines from several of the garagistes but there were plenty of new wines for me to try! Some standout wines of the day (for me) included the 2012 Chardonnay and the 2012 Wildfire Pinot Noir from Anarchist Mountain Vineyard in Osoyoos. The Chardonnay has amazing flavours of pineapple, clove, lemon and spice with bright acidity and a very long finish. The Pinot Noir is elegant and well-balanced, with silky tannins and flavours of cherry, raspberry, damson plum and herbes de Provence.IMG_9293 Roche Wines is one of the newest producers at the event. Dylan Roche is currently the winemaker at Intersection Winery in Oliver. His wife Penelope grew up in Bordeaux (her family owned Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion) and is a viticultural consultant and instructor in the South Okanagan. Their 2012 Chardonnay and 2013 Pinot Gris are both elegant food-friendly wines that I would happily enjoy drinking again and again.IMG_9273 I think my favourite Pinot Noir of the day was from Carson – a beautiful Burgundian style with great earthiness. Chris Carson & Jacqueline Kemp certainly make some phenomenal Pinot Noir from the Naramata Bench!IMG_9284 Vindication Cellars is the label from Jeff Del Nin who, by day, is the winemaker for Church & State Wines. He had a Cabernet Franc Rosé and a Merlot-dominant Bordeaux blend called Blind Tiger on offer. The Rosé was nice and dry with bright red fruit and spice and the Blind Tiger was delicious, with great structure, soft ripe tannins and flavours of dark fruit and spice. I look forward to trying his Teroldego (a northern Italian red varietal) once those vines start producing fruit in his vineyard.IMG_9281 Tightrope Winery, owned by viticulturist Graham O’Rourke and winemaker Lyndsay O’Rourke, from the Naramata Bench consistently makes great wines. I have yet to try one that I don’t like. On this day, they were pouring their Riesling – crisp, dry, with lots of bright citrus and a hint of petrol, their Viognier – 50% oak-aged with lees stirring, with crisp acidity, great mouthfeel and lovely ripe apricot flavours, and their elegant Pinot Noir, with lovely earthiness and flavours of cherry, raspberry and spice.IMG_9279 Money Pit Wines does things a little differently that some of the other wineries. Owner/winemaker Scott Stefishen decided to go for a commercial winery license which, unlike a Land-Based Winery license, allows him to source fruit from wherever he chooses. He has decided to source his fruit from whichever location offers the best growing conditions each year. Some vintages that may mean the South Okanagan, other years (such as 2012) it meant Washington State. Both red wines that I tried – College Fund, a blend of Syrah & Malbec, along with Catch 22, a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec, were made from grapes that came from Yakima and Oroville, WA. Both have nice ripe fruit flavours and good structure and are at the bargain price of $16/bottle.IMG_9268 Vin Perdu was another standout at the event. They are so new that they had to draw some wine from the barrels and bottle them by hand specifically for the festival. They had a delicious 2013 Cabernet Franc available for tasting, with lovely structure and flavours of plum, raspberry and spice. (Note: I have since visited them and had a barrel sample of their Chardonnay, which is phenomenal and I can’t wait until it’s bottled and for sale!) Vin Perdu Cellars is owned by Ray Coulombe and run by him, his wife Wendy and their daughters. It will be opening on Highway 97, south of Oliver, next spring – watch for them!IMG_9297 Although I am very familiar with Bella Wines, BC’s only sparkling wine-exclusive winery, I can never pass up bubbles so stopped by their barrel to try the new releases. This year Jay Drysdale and Wendy Rose released their 2013 Sparkling Gamay Wines in the spring but held onto the 2013 Sparkling Chardonnays until the fall, allowing for some longer lees contact (10 months). I think this was a brilliant move as it really lends to some delicious toasty notes, particularly in the 2013 Oliver West Sparkling Chard (sourced from Secrest Vineyard). I compared this to the 2013 Sparkling Chardonnay sourced from Keremeos which is far fruitier, despite the exact same vinification. Love what terroir can do!IMG_9288IMG_9302IMG_9301IMG_9300IMG_9290IMG_9289Sadly I was unable to try all the wines at the event as I was on a very short timeline (I took advantage of a quiet period in the tasting room to sneak over!) but I was able to get a very positive impression of a well-planned event, where everyone was enjoying themselves (garagistes and wine-samplers) in a relaxed atmosphere and thankfully under bright sunny skies and with fabulous wines! All of the participating garagistes are listed below with links to their websites.

Anarchist Mountain Vineyard, Andrew Stone & Terry Meyer Stone

BC Wine Studio, Mark SimpsonIMG_9292

Bella Wines, Jay Drysdale & Wendy Rose

Black Cloud, Bradley Cooper & Audralee DaumIMG_9285

Carson Pinot Noir, Chris Carson & Jacqueline Kemp (contact via email: carsonpinot (at) gmail (dot) com)

Cana Vines, Mindy & Lisa Elgert

Corcelettes Estate Winery, Charlie BaesslerIMG_9271

Daydreamer Wines, Marcus & Rachel AnsemsIMG_9270

Lariana Cellars, Dan & Carol ScottIMG_9269

Money Pit Wines, Scott StefishenIMG_9266

Nagging Doubt Wines, Rob WestburyIMG_9264

River Stone Estate Winery, Ted & Lorraine Kane

Roche Winery, Dylan Roche & Penelope Furt-RocheIMG_9274

Sage Hills, Rick ThrussellIMG_9272

Seven Directions, Daniel Bontorin & Kristine WitkowskiIMG_9276

Stable Door Cellars, Dave & Susie Tebbutt, Scott & Danielle RobinsonIMG_9278

Squeezed, Michael, Christina & Nicole Ferreira

Tightrope Winery, Graham & Lyndsay O’Rourke

Vindication Cellars, Jeff Del Nin

Vin Perdu Cellars, The Coulombe Family (Ray, Wendy, Catherine & Nathalie)IMG_9277

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