May 30th, 2020- David Farran Pres.  Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley & A Revisit to Tofino Food and Wine



David Farran Pres.  Eau Claire Distillery, Turner Valley & A Revisit to Tofino Food and Wine



 For years, a huge percentage of the grains that were grown by farmers in Alberta were shipped to The UK to make Scotch. 80% of all that Scotch was made with Alberta Barley.

The distillers who did make spirits in Alberta , made  whisky in bulk.

Then David Farran  left his management position at Big Rock Brewing and began the dream of starting Alberta’s  first ever craft distillery. Eau Claire was born in Turner Valley South of Calgary.

David Farran

David partnered with brewer and distiller Larry Kerwin in 2014 to launch the first micro distillery in Alberta,  Eau Claire Distillery.

The spirit maker?  Caitlin Quinn, Glaswegian and very talented.

Eau Claire can be found in beautiful Turner Valley..on Sunset Blvd.  Yup.  The old movie theatre and dance hall building built in 1929.

eau claire single malt

I love the fact that they harvest with Percheron horse teams, trained by The Amish. The only people still harvesting by horse.

Does it make for better spirits?  You tell me.

Parlour Gin. Ploughman’s Rye, Cherry Gin, Saskatoon Honey Gin, Dill Pickle Vodka,  Three Point Vodka and Alberta’s first single malt whisky.

Prickly Pear equinOx and many more.

They open their Tasting Room first week in June.

Local farmers. Local grains.

“from farm to glass”


Remembering The Tofino Food and Wine Festival  (2019)

The Tofino Food and Wine fest was always one of the outstanding events on the calendar.

The Gardens

Sure there were lots of other food and wine gatherings,  in ballrooms, basements and  convention centres. None of them could match holding a wine festival in a beautiful community garden and a RAINFOREST.

Welcome to Tofino

It was organized by Kira Rogers and a wonderful team of volunteers.

We covered the event as part of our Tofino food and craft special.

The Music

Months later a press release arrived from Kira cancelling future events.

“For the past 16 years, our experience in working with the British Columbia LCRB has been positive, constructive, helpful and supportive. In 2019, our 17th year producing this well-loved event, our experience was the opposite: obstructive, hostile, intimidating and rude. We felt like an opponent.”  

Way to go LCRB.

 While we wait for the possible return of this wonderful gathering, I thought I’d offer the interviews we did last year.

Kira Rogers – organizer

Sara Triggs – Culmina Sales and Marketing Manager

Rob Hammersley – Owner Black Market Wines

Chris Smith – Island rep for Way West Wines

David Gouge – Owner Sea Star Wines. Pender Island

Paul Gardner –  Co-Owner Pentage


Block Party at The Birth Block Vineyard – a series.



Row 14 at Klippers

The Hatch

Road 13

Valeria Tait and Ian Sutherland – 2Houses

BC Wine Lovers Cookbook

Ned Bell





First things first – we hope this finds you safe and well.

I’m sure you heard that BC’s restaurants are being allowed to re-open.  Be forewarned – they won’t look or feel like what you’re used to.


(the BC Governments document here)

Here are  the words that keep popping up under General Considerations:











…and for the restaurants..directions such as

Remove, used multiple times





Here’s a link from Scout Magazine that breaks down the original document and gives you the info you need to know.

Tasting Room Radio reached out to three leaders in the Food and Beverage industry to get their opinions and reactions.

Andrew Morrison – Editor in Chief  www.ScoutMagazine.Ca

andrew morrison

Scott Ward – President/COO Brown’s Restaurant Group

Scott Ward

Ian Tostenson – President and CEO of BC Restaurant & Food


Services Assn

We‘ll keep going back to this story  as it unfolds.

Julius Markarewicz  – Founder of Nude Beverages

julius-makarewicz- in the beginning…


The press release was one of many that day. It said something like “ Nude Beverages is shipping more product to Ontario because in their debut they:


Nude is Canada’s original sugar free Vodka Soda Brand.

It all started in 2013 when Julius thought he saw a gap in the adult beverage market. Right then he  started his plan to launch an RTD (ready to drink) beverage.

But first, he had to convince the BC Liquor Board to sell his discovery in their stores.

Nude was sugar, sweetener, gluten and carb free.

48 hours before the window of opportunity was closed, he sat opposite their headquarters in a Starbucks and drank a lifetime of coffee and let the decision makers across the street know  that he was “right there:” if they had a questions.

At the last minute they called and he/they were in.

Nude sold 1Million cans in 2019 with a 30% market share.

It’s been a blur every since.  They have now sold 44 Million cans across Canada and in a growing number of US States.

Nude comes seven flavours now with more to follow.  Besides the original vodka soda, there’s gin soda, iced tea, tequila soda etc.

Nude feels it’s important to give back to the community and are developing relationships with animal rescue groups as part of their company expansion plans with more charities and movements added every month.

They have also committed to the covid relief efforts.

Julius will bring us up to speed with this two part interview.


Rolf de Bruin  – co-founder of Fort Berens Wines


With his wife Heleen, they moved from Holland to BC, eventually choosing Lillooet to plant and grow their own dreams, in the form of a vineyard and winery. On a day-to-day basis, Rolf helps lead the Fort Berens team by example and by inspiration. He also manages the sales and marketing for the business. Eleven owners show great teamwork.

Rolf takes us through tasting notes and price points of their new releases

2019 Pinot Gris – 10% barrel age.  Yummy! Apples, lemon, vanilla

2019 Riesling – blend of 3 vineyards. Classic honey- grass notes. Apple, pear ,citrus

2019 Rose – 5 clones all from estate. floral nose & strawberries in the mouth


2018 Pinot Noir – from estate, Similkameen & West Kelowna. French Oak. Cherries. berries. Pepper around the edges. (perfect with salmon)

2017 White Gold Chardonnay. Dry Creek Vineyard, Fort Berens Estate.

Aged in French Oak until blending. Texture, acidity, apples and orange. Pasta/chicken

2017  Red Gold– Dry Creek Vineyard.67% Merlot & 33% Cab Franc.(passimento style)

Aromas of blackberries & plums,  sage & liquorice. Flavours of spice, dark fruit, oak.

Great with game, beef, hard cheese and a hammock.


Block Party – a series.

Eau Claire Distillery

Noble Ridge

Unsworth. Orofino. Row 14.The Hatch. Road 13

(a virtual road trip)

Lock and Worth

Anthony Buchanan

Mt Boucherie

Bartier Brothers

May 15th, 2020 – The WHISKY SPECIAL, featuring Davin de Kergommeaux, Eau Claire & Shelter Point


The WHISKY SPECIAL, featuring Davin de Kergommeaux, Eau Claire & Shelter Point


Davin De Kergommeaux – The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

“There is a movement stirring in Canada’s spirits world”

  “There was a time, in the decades after Prohibition, when Canadian whisky was all the rage in America, when a bottle of Crown Royal sat on the bar cart of any serious imbiber. But by the time the renaissance in whiskey making and drinking began in the early 2000s, the Canadian product had long ago been dismissed as bland and bottom-shelf.”  (NY Times 2018)

 Davin has been featured on Tasting Room Radio a number of times.

He is the voice, face and author who best represents Canadian Whisky.

Check out his bio….

DAVIN DE KERGOMMEAUX is an independent expert who has been writing, talking, and teaching about whisky in all its forms and flavours for two decades. He is the world’s leading authority on Canadian whisky, and has been called “Canada’s unofficial whisky ambassador” as well as being named one of the most influential Canadians in Food and Drink by The Globe and Mail in 2016.

Davin de Kergommeaux

He is a former contributing editor to Whisky Magazine, and has contributed to or co-authored eight other books about whisky, spirits, and cocktails. He now writes full-time, and is regularly featured in many websites and publications, including Whisky Advocate.

De Kergommeaux is the founder and chairperson of the prestigious Canadian Whisky Awards and publishes comprehensive tasting notes on his website,

Penguin Random House has released his landmark book The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries with co-author Blair Phillips.

It begins:

“There is a movement stirring in Canada’s spirits world”

Davin de Kergommeaux is acknowledged as the man leading the movement.

When I first met him I admitted right away that I had no history with his spirits world.  (Lemon gin does not count)

So he became my teacher and I hope  through Tasting Room Radio he became yours as well.

This book is a huge read. There are over 200 distilleries mentioned…  it may take you many months and many sips  to read the whole book but what a journey.

Davin talks about tasting and discovering these fine craft Distilleries

Eau Claire – Turner Valley, Ab

Forty Creek – Grimsby. On

Two Brewers – Whitehorse, Yukon

Shelter Point – Campbell River, BC

Rheault – Hearst,  On

IronWorks – Lunenburg, NS

Black Velvet – Lethbridge, Ab

Dairy – Almonte, On

Crown Royal

And others…

Two distilleries are featured in the last half of this week’s “Room”

 Eau Claire Distillery  –  Turner Valley , Alberta – just south of Calgary.

Caitlin Quinn Eau Claire

They were the first hand crafted whisky in Alberta.  Noted for old school horse farming, a wonderful single malt now in its third batch and their very popular Parlour Gin  . Our guest is Glaswegian  Caitlin Quinn, Master Distiller.

Eau Claire Single Malt

 Shelter Point –  Campbell River, BC

When we first started Tasting Room Radio  years ago  we heard about “this guy on Vancouver Island making whisky”

Shelter Point

That guy turned out to be owner/farmer  Patrick Evans.  He has 155  hectares to work with and a great team that includes Head Distiller Leon Webb and our guest Distillery Manager Jacob Weibe

Shelter Point


FYI – when asked by officials,  they quickly turned their spirits into hand sanitizer for all of us to use.  It’s a  safeguard  against the virus. That commitment alone should solidify OUR commitment to tasting their whiskeys, Gin and  Vodka.


Fort Berens

Nude Beverages.  On a big time roll

David Farran – Founder of Eau Claire Distillery

Unsworth/Orfofino/Row 14/The Hatch/Road 13  – The virtual Road Trip

May 9th, 2020 – Zooming with Jason and Naomi Priestley!


Zooming with Jason and Naomi Priestley at Home




Jason Priestley. Naomi Priestley  – At Home in North Hollywood, Ca.

The Priestleys

 I’ve been very happy to call them friends for a long time.

Jason Priestley and I would see each other at auditions for TV and film roles in Vancouver.

Then he headed for LA and the rest you know.

Jason and TDM

We created and co hosted Hollywood and Vines TV. 3 years of shows from vineyards and kitchens in Italy, USA (California, Washington and Arizona), Mexico  and across Canada.

He met Naomi while acting in London. Jay didn’t know it yet but he was “done, like dinner”.

Naydog is a force… We had lots to get caught up on.  The kids, the USA and it’s pandemic and political crisis.

Plus three wines. The Rose they were drinking and my two – both with stories attached. Winemakers Cut and “The Mulligan” from Berens and Hitchcock.

Nay asks about returning to The Guadalupe Valley outside of Ensenada Mexico. It was just waking up to the possibilities of winemaking there when we visited over 10 years ago. Now it’s just exploded.

We talk about the status of his current series Private Eyes, thoughts on shooting film and tv down  the road and how their  family, their  neighbours and fellow Californians are handling 2020.







Its casual but a lot of fun. It gets serious a couple of times because it’s a serious time we’re all living in.  Cheers.  Enjoy!!


Mark Wachtin and Mich Pambrun   (Storied Wines and Spirits)

These two interviews were left over from our coverage of Swirl and Untapped in Parksville earlier this year.

Parksvilles gorgeous beaches!

I like these guys and I really like their portfolio. They represent – check this out –

(Vancouver Island)

Rathjen, Unsworth, Wayward Distillation


Anthony Buchanan


Lock and Worth

Desert Hills


Nagging Doubt

Nichol Vineyard


Ursa Major

Skaha Vineyards

Scenic Road Cidery

Tall Tale

That is an impressive list of clients.

You can tell these guys know their wines and winemakers.

Mark Wachtin

Mark Wachtin

Founder – Storied Wines & Spirits

It’s all about the people—conversations, stories and histories. Vancouver Island raised (free range) with a lifetime in hospitality, Mark’s drawn to smaller, family-run operations, sustainable farming and handcrafted production methods.

Motivated by both the traditional and the new wave of producers, Mark has paired wine and food in world-class hotels, restaurants and eateries. Mark’s commitment is best expressed in his strong relationships with sommeliers, chefs, bartenders, servers and retail product consultants.

Mich Pambrun

Mich Pambrun

North Island Sales & Marketing Representative

Michel Pambrun, former DJ and hospitality pro from Manitoba, is an

Internationally accredited sommelier. Michel celebrates natural, sustainable terroir-driven wines and their environments.

His many distinctions include participation in multiple Gold Medal Plates events curating pairings and perhaps his finest harvest, the raising of  two incredible daughters.


Fort Berens

Davin de Kergommeaux

(The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries)

Nude Beverages.  On a big time roll







April was BC Wine Month.

Wine Master Rhys Pender (Little Farm Wines) set out to remind all wine fans why BC has such great wines and celebrate all of the choices we have.

Part one took us from April 1 -15..with musical interludes via his ukulele.

Now we present almost all of part two , including the Ukulele jam

(We had TRR  edited and done, when his  last rant and his wrap up was released…a tad too late for this)

Rhys rants us through cellaring BC wines, 2019 Vintages, bottle aged BC wines, Riesling, single vineyards, organics and Syrah ( a tricky wine to sell but maybe the best wine we grow)

Rhys Pender MW is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Working in the wine trade since age 14, Rhys’ career has included experience in the vineyard, cellar, wine retail, education and hospitality – providing knowledge in all facets of the business. In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW)

Rhys Pender

Rhys instructs the Okanagan WSET® and educational programs for Wine Plus+.

Enjoy the rants..Rhys knows what he’s talking about.

Breaking Bread and Doing The Hospitality Hustle

 All of us are going through these “strange days indeed”!

Nobody more so than the men and women of the culinary, wine and hospitality industries. Tasting Room Radio knows a lot of these fine people having done interviews with them for over 12 years.

Thing is, there are 1000’s who we haven’t met and they’re all out of a job and having to pay rent, feed themselves,  take care of families and of course,

That’s why we’re doing feature stories and interview on events and social movements that have the potential to help.

Shelley McArthur

The first press release for Breaking Bread came in from at SMC Communications  March 13th

VANCOUVER, BC (March 13, 2020) — Members of Vancouver’s hospitality community are uniting in solidarity to urge the public’s support of the local independent restaurant and service industry as well as those whose livelihoods rely on them, by offering myriad ways to show support during this unprecedented time of COVID-19.

Comprising 23 local restaurants and counting, this newly formed collective wants to reassure the public that they remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health, safety and well being of their guests and staff.

They will continue to implement all guidelines set out by such regulatory bodies as Vancouver Coastal Health, the World Health Organization and Centres for Disease Control.


You’ll happy to know that it was such a hit that Breaking Bread has gone National.

THIS Press Release came in April 28th

Founded on March 13, 2020 by hospitality communications agency SMC Communications, Breaking Bread was born out of a collective of 23 restaurants in the Greater Vancouver area that came together to urge public support in response to COVID-19. Since then, the website has expanded to more than 1,500 listings nationwide and is growing in new features and businesses by the day.

For more information or to stay up to date on all the latest news, visit, follow @breakingbreadnow on Instagram and become a fan of /breakingbreadnow on Facebook.  #breakingbreadnow

Way to go Shelley (and teams)

Hospitality Hustle  Dana Lee Harris (Exec. Dir. BC Hospitality Foundation)

Dana Lee Harris

…. and then there’s the powerhouse Dana Lee Harris. Also in the communications business but recently has become the voice and face of BC Hospitality Foundation.

This was her press release.  May 31 @ 6:00 am – 7:00 pm

#HospitalityHustle (a virtual event)

 The original plan for the Hospitality Hustle was for the event to be an in-person 5km walk/run around Burnaby’s Deer Lake, followed by Sunday brunch at Hart House Restaurant. The event was intended to raise funds, as well as raising awareness of the importance of mental and physical health.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the initiative has expanded into a province-wide virtual event:  hospitality workers, as well as foodies who have missed getting out and dining, can get moving by training for a province-wide #HospitalityHustle that will take place on May 31, 2020 anytime from sunrise to sunset.

Keeping SOCIAL DISTANCING front of mind, we encourage participants to join this FREE event.

Pick your activity – walk or run 5km, dance for an hour, skip, prance, skateboard or take a 10km bike ride – and start your training today!!  Then on Sunday, May 31st our entire community will virtually get their ‘Socially Distant Hustle’ on for hospitality.

Dana Lee Consulting



Davin de Kergommeaux

Jason Priestley – Hunkering down in Hollywood

Fort Berens – New Releases

Nude Beverages – on a roll






 Stay safe and well.  Please watch over each other and Be Kind.

 We start with the headlines.

During this pandemic restaurants and wineries have been shuttered. The hospitality business has been struck a dark blow.  Staff and employees of every description are now sheltered  at home, unable to work and watching their saving disappear. There’s bills to pay and families to feed.

This week we spotlight the first of  two support movements.

The HOPE Fund has been organized by the 44 wineries of  Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country!

Following the closure of tasting rooms, Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country launches the HOPE Fund (Helping Our People Eat), which will support up to 200 family meals per week for members of the region’s hurting hospitality industry, who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

In partnership with Oliver-based deli Oliver Eats Ltd., the fund will help them to produce fresh and frozen family meals that will help support those that are usually employed by wineries,  restaurants and other hospitality businesses in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country (McIntyre Bluff to the Border) but are out of work due to the pandemic.

Oliver Eats

The organization’s 44 member wineries range from some of the largest winemaking brands in the Okanogan Valley to small, independent family run estates. All are donating to this cause in a unified offering of support to the people that help make this area so special.

One of our guests Derek Uhlemann, founder of Oliver Eats said:

“From farm hands to dishwashers, cellar hands to servers, these people are the backbone of our region and it would be shockingly different if they weren’t around.  The pandemic is a shared hardship and we wanted to support our workers with nutritious, delicious family meals.”

Derek Uhlemann

Guests are:

Jennifer Busmann – Executive Director of Oliver/Osoyoos Wine Country

Derek Uhlemann – Founder of Oliver Eats

Jeff van Geest – Executive Chef Miradoro Bistro at Tinhorn Creek


Sosima Olivera – Mezcal Master (Oaxaca)

photo by :Kate Siobhan Mulligan

Sosima Olivera                                                 photo  credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan

Mezcal FaneKantsini (@fanekantsini) 

Mezcal FaneKantsini – Home | Facebook

Our featured guest is Sosima Olivera. A Mescal Master in Oaxaca.

mezcal  tasting                                               photo credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan,

Mezcal is the distant cousin of Tequila. For fans, the search for real mescal starts in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico  (wa-hawka)

The tasting session with Sosima in Oaxaca was a Christmas present from our daughter Kate.

Kates husband Pete was along for the tasting, to take some photos and make sure I found my way  home!

Sosima is a  third generation mezcal master from San Miguel Suchixtepec, Olivera’s grandfather and her father brought Sosima and her six brothers into the world of making mezcal from a young age. She was taught the art  by  her Grandmother and Aunt.

She’s proud of her chontal ancestry—the indigenous people of Oaxaca—and explains that her people are a peaceful and united group that continues to make mezcal in the traditional approach: not only for drinking, but to sustainably cultivate the plant for future generations to come.

Beautiful Oaxaca!                                        photo credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan


I wanted to know about the nuances of mezcal.. much of what we see is industrially made by large distilleries.

How do we know what’s in the bottle?

Sosima takes us through the test you can do with any bottle of mezcal right in the store.

Watch the bubbles, not the label. The bubbles tell you the quality.

There’s a saying in Mexico about Mescal:

“When something is bad..the answer is mezcal

When something is good..the answer is mezcal”

FYI – In Mexico if you are about to go into labour ..the nurses pour you a ½ glass of mezcal to INDUCE LABOUR!!

The mezcals that Sosima poured for us were up to 8 years old. Glorious nose and taste.

                                                                              photo credit: Kate Siobhan Mulligan

Forget that sense of pepper hitting you between the eyes…

Deep flavours of caramel and spice. Vanilla and citrus. Wonderful texture.

No ice..just Mezcal very neat!

Her primary label is:

Sosima and tdm


Sosima Olivera  works with a collective in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca and sells to bars, restaurants, and mezcalerias in Oaxaca.

colours of Oaxaca!

Our interpreter is Jennifer Furlong from the company Tlayudona.  She specializes in “cultural experiences”

“Tlayudona provides unique and authentic experiences in Oaxaca based upon intercultural learning and mutual respect. The idea is that our hosts design the experiences that they offer, and our visitors are their guests.

Pete and Jennifer

We thank her for the support and knowledge.

Please enjoy this..because we sure did.


Jason and Naomi Priestley – at home LA on Zoom

Hospitality Hustle with Dana Lee Harris

Exec Director of BC Hospitality Foundation

Checking in with Fort Berens. (Lillooet)

Winemakers Cut – someone to watch.






 April is BC Wine Month!

Rhys Pender, Master of Wine, Wine Plus Education  and co-founder of Little Farm Winery in the Similkameen Valley decided to celebrate the wines of BC by starting an on line video series called Rhys Pender MW-Drink Local. Found at IGTV at Instagram. One feature a day for the whole month.

Rhys Pender Little Farm

Basically he sets up a camera in his kitchen and talks to wine fans  about “everything”

Sperling Foch, Haywire Rose, Figaro, Little Farm Riesling, aging of BC wines, Niche Pinot Noir, wine regions and sub GI’s, Fort Berens, Tantalus Chardonnay, all The Benches, the price of BC wine, Culmina Rose, Joie Gamay,  and he also finds time to pick up his Ukulele and sing a called drinking and cooking.

I asked Rhys for permission to take the audio from his videos and make a special out of it.

And that’s what starts this week’s TRR.

These are the first dozen shows but Rhys is still doing a show every day..which means there’s more than a dozen more  to go.

He usually gets around to posting them after dinner..around 7PM

Instagram IGTV Drink Local –  Rhys Pender MW

The Ukulele moments  are  the highlight of the year and my Life.


Swirl and UnTapped.  Uncorked in Parksville

Parksville sea walk

It’s the annual  gathering of wine, cider makers, craft beer brewers and distillery artisans on Vancouver Island.

This year it was craft beer etc at Beach Club Resort and the Wineries at Tigh-na-Mara.

Obviously these interviews were done before the entire World shut down and stayed home.

Because you can tell by the noise exactly when they opened the doors.

Very popular events these.

Love Shack Libations

Pouring  guests this week are:

 Terence Fitzgerald – COO and partner in Sheringham Distilling and his new venture Lumette Distilled non-alcoholic spirits.    Shirley, BC

Dave Paul – Co-Owner. Brew master of Love Shack Libations Qualicum, BC

Michael Abbott – Raisin Rancher & Vineyard Manager Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard  Cowichan Valley

Lorin Inglis – Manager of Enrico Winery  Mill Bay, BC

Mark and Linda Holford – Owners of Rocky Creek Winery Cowichan Valley

Jack Eubank  – Co-Founder of Cliffside Brewing  Nanaimo.

Chef Eric Edwards – Executive Chef Tigh-na-Mara   Seaside Resort. Parksville

Dave Woodward – Mt Arrowsmith Brewing Parksville



Tasting with a Mescal Master in Oaxaca Mexico (Next)

Ann Sperling – Sperling Vineyards

Davin De Kergommeaux – The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distillers

BC Spring Releases

How to support  Artisans and Culinary Teams.





 Hello all:

We started April by showcasing the wine events that would have happened in early 2020 except for the fact that the Earth was fighting a pandemic.

First was event was  –

 Locals Only.  Vancouver Islands  best showcase of  distillers, winemakers, brewers and cider makers.

Then Okanagan Falls &  Skaha Lake Wine Assn  pour in Vancouver. They were shut down. So we went back to 2019 and talked to the very same wineries. When people could shake hands and stand next to one another.

This week its Top Drop Vancouver/Victoria.

Top Drop is simply one of the best small wine festivals anywhere.

They ask of applicants to be sustainable, honour the fruit, don’t mess with the winemaking and be true to the land.

Unsworth Cowichan Valley



It’s become an astounding collection of “must taste” wineries.

We go back to years 4 and 5 to relive the interviews.

To salute BC Wine Month, we have collected only interviews with BC wineries.

Naramata beauty


Our guests are:






Mescal Master in Oaxaca

swirl and untapped in Parksville

Unsworth. The Hatch. Orofino. Row Fourteen Restaurant at Klipper’s.

Road 13 Winery

Ned Bell –  back on The Bench

catching up with Ann Sperling





April 4th, 2020-The 9th annual Okanagan Falls Spring Releases


The 9th annual Okanagan Falls Spring Releases  in Vancouver

(Over a dozen  winery interviews and lots of new releases)


For 9 Years the Okanagan Falls Winery Assn has gathered in Vancouver to pour their Spring Releases

NOT THIS YEAR  – Because of the Pandemic,  2020 has become  a dark period in our World

We wanted to support our friends in the wine world so this is a repeat of last years pour with two new Wineries’s added Black Market and Echo Bay.

The group is now called The Okanagan Falls/Skaha Lake Winery Association. THE HEART OF WINE COUNTRY.

Last year we found them at The Terminal City Club on Hastings. A grand heritage building. Funds raised go to BC Hospitality Foundation.

The whole Group

From the northern tip of Skaha Lake to the hills above Vaseux Lake the Okanagan Falls wine region in the South Okanagan was blessed with the land that the  ice age left behind.

When  the huge glacier came through and formed the valley, it managed to created  pools and hollows. Each one today has become its own growing terroir. A combination of silt and rock. Each vineyard can have a completely different expression of wine.

Best of all, the days are hot and bright and the nights are cool. Possibly the best growing combination that nature can provide.

In 2018, the B.C. Wine Authority gave Okanagan Falls their own sub-region designation.  Followed by The Skaha Bench.


We welcome back –

Leslie D’Andrea – Owner of Noble Ridge & Chair of Assn (

Blasted Church – John Bayley Vineyard Manager (

Crescent Hill – Tysha  Pope – Family member (

Liquidity –  Ruth Hanbury President (

Wild Goose – Leslie Matheson  marketing manager (

Pentage – Julie Rennie  co-owner  (

Bonamici Cellars – Mario Rodi  owner/partner (

Noble Ridge – Jim D’Andrea Owner/Chair  (

Stag’s Hollow – Linda Pruegger  Owner (

BC Hospitality Foundation – Dana Lee Harris Exec Director


Meyer Family – Chris Carson  winemaker/viticulturist (

Nighthawk – Christy Bibby  co-owner  (

Black Market  – Rob Hammersley   Owner (

Echo Bay – Kelsey Rufiange. Winemaker. (





Mescal Master in Oaxaca

swirl and untapped in Parksville

TopDrop Vancouver & Victoria

Unsworth. The Hatch. Orofino. Row Fourteen Restaurant at Klipper’s.

Road 13 Winery

Ned Bell –  back on The Bench

catching up with Ann Sperling





March 28th, 2020-Locals Only 3.0


LOCALS ONLY – 13 Artisans from Vancouver Island and The Gulf Islands.


We live in CRAZY times. 

The COVID19 Virus has shut all wine events down, including The Locals Only gathering which was hoping to take place March 23.

 In order to support these wineries in this demanding time, over the next couple of weeks we’ll be replaying last year’s coverage of Top Drop, Locals Only and OK Falls Spring pour in Vancouver.

We also ask you to consider ordering wines, cider &  spirits from the businesses  below and also please consider supporting your local markets, food trucks  and restaurants.  Tough times my friends. Lets help each other out.

 13 guests for The Annual “Locals Only 3.0″The Artisans of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands.





It was an afternoon exploring the diversity & creativity of our coastal producers.

Through the interviews below we get to meet the farmers, fermenters and distillers that define our cool climate coastal appellation.


Event photos by @socialtyvr


This is Locals Only 3.0 

No fancy marketing campaigns or graphic trickery.  Just an opportunity to taste clean honest products from the producers who are defining our cool climate coastal appellation. 

  • Speak with the producers who were natural before it was fashionable
  • Learn more about distilling while speaking with a Master
  • Meet and taste with the people who planted the vines and then made the wine

Locals Only is about keeping it real, real honest and really local.


Organic estate farming , clean winemaking , neutral barrels & vessels, amphora, orange wines, concrete, spontaneous ferments, dry farming + way more. Discover the next destination you just have to check out.

Off Shore craft makers.


Guests include:

 Massey Wines –  Louise Fedyk.  Co-Organizer of event

 Mike Rathjen – Rathjen Cellars

Mike Nierychlo –  Emandare Vineyards    

Dave Brimacombe – Wayward Distillery (Unruly Gin/Vodka)

Jason MacIsaac – Sheringham Distillery

Andy Johnson  – Averill Creek

Loretta Zanatta – Zanatta Vineyards

Chris Turyk – Unsworth

Bailey Williamson – Blue Grouse

Dan Dragert – Kutatas Vineyards ( Koo Tah Tass) You’re on your own. Well worth The Search.

Brenda Hetman-Layne – 40 Knots   

Marilyn Venturi –   Venturi-Schulze Vineyards

Julia Powell – Alderlea Vineyards






Okanagan Falls Spring pour 2019

Top Drop 2019

Mescal Master – Oaxaca

Swirl and untapped in Parksville

Ann Sperling – Spring tastes

Where the Hell is Ned Bell?