GOODS from Laughing Stock Vineyards
Naramata, BC | In the investment industry, you aren’t really taken seriously as a money manager until you can post 10 year performance numbers. Portfolio, our flagship Bordeaux inspired blend, has now achieve that status. For the past decade, Portfolio has routinely won top accolades from wine competitions and wine critics alike.
The 10th vintage will be a chart-topper from the stellar 2012 growing year. Portfolio 2012 has already been awarded a gold medal at the 2014 InterVin International Wine Awards.
This vintage was one of the best growing seasons we’ve had in the Okanagan. The blend of 45% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot shows a suppleness, opulence and intensity of fruit that will be hallmarks of this great vintage. A stunning wine to cap a decade of winemaking.
It’s been quite a journey…full of lots of learning and just plain hard work this last decade. But most of all, thanks for enjoying our wines. Get all the details and the Top 10 things to know about Laughing Stock Vineyards after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from JoieFarm
Vancouver, BC | Ever wonder what really goes on at the JoieFarm crush pad during harvest without the filter of awards and medals? Follow Joey Rose’s hilarious and slightly belligerent Instagram feed @rosetsunami. It really fills in the blanks of what inspires JoieFarm wines on and off the crush pad. The action is really going to get going this week and you’re invited. Read more
The GOODS from Maenam
Vancouver, BC | The Okanagan’s Miradoro restaurant (Best Winery Restaurant, 2014 Vancouver Magazine Awards) welcomes Maenam’s Chef Angus An (Best Thai, 2014 Vancouver Magazine Awards) on Friday, October 10th for City Lights Meet Country Nights, an exceptional five-course dinner. Chef An’s spice-laced sensibility meets Chef Jeff Van Geest’s refined Italian fare in this unprecedented collaborative menu paired with wines from Tinhorn Creek’s premier Oldfield Series. Guests enjoy this spectacular meal surrounded by vineyards at the award-winning restaurant in the Okanagan valley, as part of Tinhorn Creek’s 20 Events for 20 Years anniversary celebration. Menu and details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Painted Rock Estate Winery
Okanagan Falls, BC | Painted Rock is greatly honoured to have been named Winery of the Year at the 2014/2015 InterVin International Wine Awards. This years’ InterVin Wine Awards featured nearly 1,350 entries from 16 countries, with 63 wines earning Gold Awards and 199 Silver. Our wines performed extremely well, making Painted Rock the top-scoring winery overall.
Our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Red Icon and 2011 Syrah all earned gold medals. Our 2010 Syrah and 2011 Red Icon were awarded silver medals, and honours went to tour 2012 Chardonnay.
When we created Painted Rock our express intent was to craft superlative wines from 100% estate-grown fruit, unlocking the unique potential of our terroir. We firmly believe that wines from the Okanagan can compete with the best in the world and this award is wonderfully encouraging.
While we celebrate and understand vintage variation we’ve continued to learn about our site, refining farming methods for balance and ripeness and winemaking for style and nuance. As proprietor, John Skinner says, “We are getting better and so are the wines.” Read more
The GOODS from Lake Breeze
Naramata, BC | Garron Elmes, President and Winemaker at Lake Breeze Vineyards, is pleased to announce the current wine releases for this fall which are now available – the 2012 Merlot, 2012 Seven Poplars Pinot Noir and 2012 Meritage, see production notes below. And, harvest has arrived at Lake Breeze Vineyards.
After 19 harvests at Lake Breeze, Garron comments, “This year has been one of the best growing seasons that I can remember. Temperatures were warm but not scorching and we have had very little rain or pest pressure. We are kicking harvest off with picking the Sauvignon Blanc this week and from there I anticipate that the rest of the harvest will progress swiftly. The fruit is ripening beautifully and it is now up to the winemaking team to turn that into great wines. We look forward to the release of these wines starting in spring 2015.” Details after the jump. Read more
by Treve Ring | Boutique is almost too big to describe Little Farm, a family owned and operated winery in the striking Similkameen Valley. Unmarked by road signage, down a quiet road off the Crowsnest Highway in Cawston, you’ll come across four acres of organic vineyards, abutted by steep, rocky slopes and marked by the sole mulberry tree in the middle of the riesling block. A child’s chalkboard sign signals when their hand-built winery/tasting room/storage facility is open, a structure recently constructed next to their century-old farmhouse.
Rhys Pender MW works the estate vineyard while his wife Alishan Driediger makes the wines. They do everything themselves — sustainably, small-scale, without compromise but with minimal manipulation and intervention. Their first vintage in 2011 was more than some large wineries spill in a harvest – just 56 cases. The quantity has fluctuated with each vintage since, but the quality remains paramount. They produce only three wines: Riesling, Rosé, and this characterful, singular Chardonnay.
The wine opens with an intriguing wild herb and stone, earthy lees and floral thistles. A textured mid-palate hints to the low yields, whole cluster press and partial wild ferment that Alishan utilized, while the slicing, savoury minerality communicates the chalky, mineral-rich soils. Pressed apple, lees, hazelnuts and citrus unite through the lingering finish. Only 68 cases of the 2013 Chardonnay were produced, so scoop it if you spy it so you can glean a sense of their Similkameen. I asked Driediger to share its Message In A Bottle…
Little Farm Winery Chardonnay 2013 | Similkameen Valley, BC | $30 +841783
Straight up – why did you make this wine? I love Chardonnay! In all its incarnations. And we’ve been really interested in Chards that come from soils that are chalky and calcium carbonate-rich because we also have a high amount of calcium carbonate in our soils. I think it’s really interesting to taste the minerality in Chards from places like Chablis and Limarí, Chile. We wanted to make a Chard that shows the mineral influence of our soil and the unique terroir of the Similkameen Valley, so our winemaking is very minimal and light-handed.
Where are the grapes from? The grapes are from our 5 acre property in Cawston. We have 2 acres of Chardonnay and 2 acres of Riesling. We’re growing organically and trying to encourage lots of biodiversity in it. It’s a happy, healthy, sunny place – full of birds, insects, indigenous plants and windflowers.
Your ideal pairing with this wine would be…? Freshly shucked oysters! Or a delicious rotisserie chicken from our friend’s farm, stuffed with lemons, and really crispy skin…
Favourite BC wine, other than yours? We share a lot of meals and good wine with John and Virginia from Orofino and we love their wines. In particular, I really enjoy their Chardonnay and Home Vineyard Riesling. I think you can really taste the Similkameen in them. It’s really interesting to taste some distinct flavour similarities from our shared terroir!
What do you drink when you’re not drinking BC wine? I kind of default to Chardonnay, Riesling and Rosé when I go wine shopping. I love them and it’s interesting to see what’s going on with these wines internationally and where we fit in the scheme of things. And I also love fizzy water. We got a Soda Stream a couple of years ago and I’m always drinking fizzy water with lots of lemon in it.
The GOODS from Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Kelowna, BC | Like no other winery, Kelowna’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery has been a gathering place for wine enthusiasts, artists, farmers, environmental advocates and progressive thought leaders to come together and share their stories and ideas, while thinking outside the bottle. This summer, Gerry Jobe, acclaimed Okanagan-based bartender, joined Summerhill Pyramid Winery as consulting bartender to create a cocktail program that puts the spirit back in spirits.
After a massive lobby (and much patience), Summerhill can now add spirits and craft beer to the wines already on the menu in its Sunset Organic Bistro. As the first BC winery in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) to have this new license, they are taking advantage of this in a way that expresses the winery’s unique personality.
The winery has linked up with Jobe to oversee their spirits menu, and take their cocktail program to an unparalleled level. Recognized by Western Living magazine as one of their “Top 40 under 40″, Jobe is an award-winning and passionately creative bartender.
As a lifetime resident of the area, Jobe feels the need to establish a vibrant and stylish cocktail culture in Okanagan. At Summerhill, he is teaching and empowering the team to create “outside the bottle” cocktails that include a unique story as an essential ingredient.
All Summerhill cocktails created by Jobe utilize speciality techniques and ingredients hand-foraged on the sweet aromatic land of Summerhill’s own biodynamic permaculture gardens, including wildcrafted medicinal herbs and syrups aged in the Pyramid. Unconventional cocktail techniques are applied to the creation of each drink, including employing vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls, intentionality and biodynamic rhythms. Read more
The GOODS from Okanagan Crush Pad
Kelowna, BC | As Okanagan Crush Pad celebrated its 3rd anniversary on September 28th, owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie are excited to announce changes within the winemaking team. Michael Bartier will transition his role as chief winemaker to Matt Dumayne which will allow Michael Bartier flexibility and the time required to continue to build his own wine portfolio, Bartier Family Vineyards. Michael will continue to consult to Okanagan Crush Pad indefinitely, continuing his work in developing and managing the vineyards. Jordan Kubek will continue her role as sparkling winemaker. The change in responsibilities will allow for a smooth transition through harvest and the critical time of fermentation.
“The past few years have been a whirlwind of activities, with the team at Okanagan Crush Pad experiencing many firsts and some outstanding accolades in a short period of time. None of this would have been possible without the support of our team,” noted Christine Coletta. “We have some of the most talented and passionate people in the wine industry working with us and take great pride in the personal steps and achievements of each.”
Michael has been a key influencer at Okanagan Crush Pad and his work ethos and personal values have driven much of our vision. He and his brother Don have been diligently working to build their Bartier Family Vineyards wine portfolio and the time has come for Michael to devote more time to growing this brand.
Matt Dumayne joined Okanagan Crush Pad in February 2013. Originally from New Zealand, with over 25 vintages under his belt, Matt has crafted award-winning wines in Central Otago, California, Australia, and Oregon. He has proven to be an invaluable asset to the team with a particular passion for Pinot Noir, organics, and natural winemaking. In addition to making OCP’s house wine Haywire, Matt will oversee winemaking for clients including 40 Knots Estate Winery (Comox, BC), Singletree (Abbotsford), Coolshanagh (Naramata), and Vibrant Vines (East Kelowna). Read more
The GOODS from Hester Creek Estate Winery
Oliver, BC | Get to know garlic all over again at the third annual Garlic Festival, to be held Saturday, Oct. 4, from 11am to 4pm at Hester Creek Estate Winery near Oliver.
A member of the onion family, there are hundreds of varieties of garlic used widely around the globe for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Find out all about it when local growers share their aromatic wares at Hester Creek’s Garlic Fest. Held in conjunction with the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival, the festival features samples and sales of garlic and other local products; wine and food pairings from Hester Creek and Terrafina Restaurant; live, local entertainment; and much more.
Admission is by donation to the Farm to Table Lunch Program at nearby Oliver elementary school. Twice a week between October and May, students are treated to lunch made with ingredients from local farms, including plenty of fresh, seasonal vegetables. “It’s a terrific program, one that we’re very proud to support,” says Mark Sheridan, General Manager of Hester Creek Estate Winery. “It promotes the use of ingredients from our local producers as well as healthy eating. It also helps raise awareness in the next generation of Okanagan Hester Creek Estate Winery is located at 877 Road 8, in Oliver, B.C. Visit Hestercreek.com for more information about the winery, about dining at Terrafina at Hester Creek and about the Third Annual Garlic Festival. Read more
The GOODS from CedarCreek Estate Winery
Kelowna, BC | Join us under the starlit Okanagan sky on Saturday, October 4th at 6pm to enjoy a tasting menu paired with our ‘Vineyard Designate’ wines. Wines that truly reflect the very soil they come from. Pairing menu is created by our Chef Jeremy Tucker who follows our Farm to Table philosophy of serving local, seasonal ingredients at their freshest. This will be a rare experience you will cherish, on that you have our word. Tickets are $75 plus tax. To purchase yours and get more information, please contact Heather Courtney at 778.738.1022 or hcourtney [at] cedarcreek.bc.ca.
A few vintages ago, we began a shift toward block-designation in our Platinum wines. We felt our vines had arrived at an age where they could really tell the story of our land. And what a story they’re telling. The difference between our Block 2 and Block 4 Pinot Noirs, made identically from grapes grown only meters apart, is so striking we had to go into the vineyard and dig ten-foot trenches to see what was down there. And you can too if you drop by our website and watch the video. It’s pretty interesting stuff. On that, you have our word. Read more
The GOODS from Forbidden Fruit Winery
Cawston, BC | On the banks of the Similkameen River near Cawston, Forbidden Fruit Winery has been welcoming guests to its tasting room for ten years. The winery gets its fruit from the family-owned Ven’Amour Organic Farms, which encompasses 142 acres of orchards, vineyards and natural habitat. The farm is bounded to the east by pine and sagebrush slopes, and to the west by a cottonwood riparian forest nestled into a bend in the river.
The tasting room is in a modest bungalow. Open the door, and the character and passion of the owners Steve Venables and Kim Brind’Amour are immediately evident. Kim’s brilliant-hued paintings, mosaics designs and jewellery glow from walls and shelves, reflections of the fruits, flowers and natural landscapes of the farm.
Steve purchased the property in 1977 and by 1984 it was a certified organic farm. On most summer days, Steve is behind the tasting-counter so visitors can hear first-hand how the wines are made and how the winery developed. Forbidden Fruit is best known for its stellar fruit wines with cheeky titles such as “Crushed Innocence”, “Adam’s Apple” and “Pearsuasion”. “Caught”, an apricot mistelle, recently won a Gold Medal at the 2014 WineAlign National Wine Awards. Read more
The GOODS from Cannery Brewing Company
Penticton, BC | It was a long and busy summer for our nation’s wildland firefighters and emergency service workers that bravely fought so many forest fires in our region this year. As a tribute to those that work so hard to fight these fires, Cannery Brewing has brewed another limited release batch of Wildfire IPA.
Patt Dyck, owner of Cannery Brewing explained, “This unique dark IPA (India Pale Ale) started as a one-time limited release, but due to ongoing requests for this beer, it has now become an annual tradition that many look forward to. We are pleased to launch our 2014 Limited Release Wildfire IPA as we again thank the firefighters and emergency service workers that we desperately rely on each summer. We had so many fires burning in our region this year and we are so grateful for all that they do to keep us safe.”
As in previous years, to further acknowledge the work of these brave men and women, Cannery Brewing has partnered with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (www.cfff.ca) and will provide a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Wayne Jasper, Director / LODD Application Committee Chairman for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation is thankful to partner with Cannery Brewing again this year. “The partnership between Cannery Brewing and the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation is a partnership that I am pleased to help grow each year. We appreciate both the financial support and the awareness that Cannery Brewing’s Wildfire IPA brings to the hardworking firefighters across our country and to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Our mission at CFFF is to honour and remember firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty and to support their families. Partnerships like this help us to deliver on these goals.”
Patt describes the Wildfire IPA as “intensely dark, but with malts that are subtle and smooth. While this beer has all of the hop bite that is expected of an IPA, that bite has been tamed by the addition of dark malts. It features both Simcoe and Amarillo hops. The dark colour is surprising and the layers of flavour are rewarding.”
The 2014 Limited Release Wildfire IPA is available now in Penticton at Cannery Brewing and at select liquor, craft beer stores and restaurants throughout BC. For a full list of locations carrying the Wildfire IPA, click here. This limited release is sure to fly off the shelves again very quickly. Once it’s gone, it’s gone again for another year. Read more
THE GOODS FROM Le Vieux Pin
Oliver, BC | With past reviews giving the Èquinoxe Syrah and Cabernet Franc 90 points plus, this year’s highly anticipated release of both wines has the Le Vieux Pin team very excited. For the Èquinoxe Syrah, most of fruit grown was grown from a single vineyard in North Oliver on an extension of the Black Sage Bench. This flagship wine captures the unique characteristics of the South Okanagan, with the heat of the desert days marrying the cold of desert nights. It’s an intensely aromatic wine with a refined elegance. The Èquinoxe Cabernet Franc was produced from just one row in the Feuille D’Or vineyard, resulting in a single barrel. More vines have been planted but won’t be included until they reach the same levels of maturity and flavour profile as the already established old vines. Le Vieux Pin will release these wines on September 20th to their wine society members first, before it is available to the public. However, all pre-release orders are now being accepted at sales [at] levieuxpin.ca. Learn more about the wine after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited the Similkameen Valley’s Clos du Soleil to join the Wine & Spirits section of our GOODS program as a recommended local winery. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making BC a more delicious place to be.