Christine Coletta

March 11th, 2023- Okanagan Crush Pad becomes Haywire Wines. Guest is Christine Coletta.


Headline – Okanagan Crush Pad becomes Haywire Wines. Guest is Christine Coletta.



Tasting Room Radio began in 2007 in a studio in a barn on the Naramata Bench.

I announced to myself and the audience that I had a lot to learn but each interview and tasting would take me closer to the promised land.

One of the very first interview friends I made was Christine Coletta who had just launched Okanagan Crush Pad with her husband Steve Lornie.

Christine Coletta


I knew of Chris because of her leadership at Coletta and Associates.   Her specialty was to market new and established wines to an ever-growing base of wine fans. The wineries needed a voice to speak for them. Christine was that voice.

In our first interviews, Christine talked about Okanagan Crush Pad and the need for small Indy wineries to have a facility to access when harvest came. It was a huge success and much-needed in the Okanagan.

At the same time, Chris and Steve (and their wine friends) started to groom, plant, and plan for their own wines under the Haywire label starting with the Switchback Vineyard in Summerland. Certified Organic in 2015.

The first 6 concrete tanks arrived in 2011 well ahead of the concrete “movement” in the valley.

Pinot Noir, Gamay, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay love the Okanagan soil and the concrete allows them to be the lively & vibrant style of wine the Haywire team aims to make. Key to the popularity of Haywire wines is the winemaker Matt Dumayne.

Matt and Christine

So, now we come to 2023 and lots of changes at Okanagan Crush Pad.

First, the name is now changed to Haywire. The look of the Haywire release has changed as well… New labels and colors.

A modern tasting room has been constructed right next door to the crush pad and the cellar.

The Haywire winemaking facility is also the home for other unique wine labels that found a place at Okanagan Crush Pad.

Free Form, Narrative, Bizou & Yukon, and the new Garnet Valley Ranch. (more on Garnet Valley  later)

While it was great talking to Chris about the name changes and new facility at Haywire it also gave us an opportunity to do what we most love doing…tasting and talking about new Haywire releases.  Here’s the line-up!!

  • 2021 Haywire Pink Bub
  • 2021 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris
  • 2021 Haywire Chardonnay 2021 Haywire Gamay Rosé
  • 2021 Haywire Gamay          
  • 2021 Haywire Pinot Noir


Check out the new Haywire website – for all the experiences available.



Sons of Vancouver/Davin De Kergommeaux

Van Wine Festival

Lt. Governors Awards

New releases from


Mt Boucherie

Moon Curser




July 31st, 2021- BC Women in Wine with Sandra Oldfield and Rathjen Cellars


More BC Women in Wine with Sandra Oldfield and Rathjen Cellars





Sandra Oldfield – Elysian Projects


Sandra Oldfield

Sandra Oldfield is one of the founders of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in Oliver, BC.  She was its winemaker for 20 years and CEO and President for 8 years until its sale in the fall of 2017.  Sandra now runs her own consultant company with her husband Kenn.

Elysian Projects helps BC wineries with a wide variety of issues including business and finance, marketing, human resources, social media, sustainability, and health and safety.  She is a member of the  BC Tourism Engagement Council for the Minister of Tourism and was named one of Canada’s Top 100 powerful women in 2016. You can find her most Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. PT on Twitter hosting the hashtag #BCWineChat, which she founded in 2010.

She drives a 1957 DeSoto.

Her blog is

Sandra Oldfields Desoto

This is the second feature special we’ve done called BC Women in Wine.

Keeping in mind that the wine business has always been a male-dominated industry, Sandra shines a light on three women who rise above the fray and stand out as leaders.


Sandra has lots of choices but seems to intuitively know which ones belong together.  This time they are

Christine Coletta – Okanagan Crush Pad/Haywire. Narrative etc.


Christine Coletta is one of the founding members of the BC Wine Institute and the BC VQA program, and she has helped to mentor a number of professionals in the food and wine industries over the last 30 years.

Through her crush work at Okanagan Crush Pad, she has also been involved in the start of a number of new wineries in BC. Her guidance, support, and mentorship have landed her the nickname, “Godmother of BC Wine.”


Keira LaFranc  – Winemaker at Stags Hollow


Keira LeFranc’s young winemaking career was made possible through being at the right place at the right time.  BUT she came prepared with education, talent, passion & skill!

LeFranc earned a biology degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and then headed to New Zealand to earn a post-graduate diploma in viticulture and enology.

Back home, she landed a job as a cellar hand at Stag’s Hollow in 2017 She was promoted to assistant winemaker under winemaker Dwight Sick.

When Dwight moved on to Moraine Winery on the Naramata Bench in  2018,  Keira was finally promoted to winemaker.


Paula Cooper  – winemaker at CC Jentsch

Paula worked by the side of Sandra Oldfield as winemaker at Tinhorn Creek for 10 years. She took that experience to CC Jentsch on the Golden Mile Bench.  When Chris Jentsch passed away Paula became the link between winemakers.

Paula considers herself a cellar master as well.  Taking care of Chris’s craft.

(a future guest on Tasting Room Radio)



Michael Rathjen  –   Rathjen Cellars (Saanich. Vancouver Island)

Mike Rathjen moved to Vancouver Island in 2011 with a passion for wine, farming, and food culture. Over the next five years, he honed his winemaking skills in his basement (AKA the ‘Wine Bunker’) while building relationships in the local farming community.

Together with his friend and business partner Colin Mann, Mike founded Rathjen Cellars in 2016 with a business model based off leased farmland and a focus on supporting the local food system.

Bunker Red from Rathjen Cellars

Mike prefers the title ‘winegrower’—seeking to diminish the variable of winemaking to allow further exploration and expression of Vancouver Island as an emerging wine region.

Rathjen Cellars source all of their fruit from six vineyards on the Saanich Peninsula and two vineyards in the Cowichan Valley.


I’ve always been impressed with the wines I’ve tasted from Mike and I think you will be too!  Tasting and talking about their Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir.  Yum.



The Okanagan Re-Connect

15-20 wineries from North to South

Summer Spirits with Davin de Kergomeaux



March 14th, 2020- The 42nd VanWineFest: A look back!





The 42nd Vancouver International Wine Festival has come and gone. I’m told it was a huge success.

It was the first festival I had missed in 12 years of TRR.

Thing is,  I was in Oaxaca Mexico visiting family and getting closer to the story of Mescal.

Several weeks from now we’ll bring you the conversation we had with one of Mexico’s  very best Female Mescal Masters

Sosima Olivera…

Instead of doing 30-40 interviews at VanWineFest,  I ended up doing just one. But what a one.

Sosima and Terry in Oaxaca

This week’s edition of Tasting Room Radio looks back at some of the highlights and serious talking points from the 42nd VanWineFest.



Our Guests are:

 Christine Coletta – Okanagan Crush Pad.


real Key Wine Influencer. Maker of Freeform. Haywire. Narrative. The Bub.

What started as a Crush Pad has become a true farming leader in the Okanagan.

She was founding executive director of the BC Wine Institute, creator of the VQA and co-founder of Wines of Canada.

Christine’s most  recent honour was being named One of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2020 by Wine Industry Advisor.

Rather than ask CC about what she tasted at VanWineFest, I thought it best to get an overview of where we are as a wine region and where we’re headed.

One place we’re headed is Europe. Christine and friends  have been pouring in Europe for years now and they’re starting to notice.


Harry Hertscheg – Executive Director Vancouver Wine Festival.


It’s Harry’s show.  He spends his entire year leading a great creative team.

If anyone can give us a wrap up of the entire festival is Harry.

If you find yourself looking at sold out signs when you got to get tickets every year..Harry has the key to making sure that doesn’t happen again.

Michelle Bouffard   Sommelier. Educator. Journalist. Founder of Tasting Climate Change

Michelle Bouffard

One of the very busiest and committed participants at VanWineFest was Michelle.

She hosted panels and discussions on Climate Change and Wine.

Packaging, transport, extremes in temperature, water usage, tips for consumers  to buy wine with a lower carbon footprint.

This conversation was so engaging, the complete interview will be a podcast on Mulligan Stew Podcasts in several weeks. Details at

Michelle also has recommendations on Canadian and French wines she tasted.

Bernard Duseigneur – Domaine Duseigneur . Family member  and Manager.

Bernard Duseigneur

Domaine Duseigneur was founded by Jean Duseigneur in 1967.

In those formative years, Domaine Duseigneur was in rough condition and needed extensive work in the cellar and more importantly, in their vineyards. In 1992, his son Frederic along with his brother Bernard took over managing their Southern Rhone property.


They changed their vineyard management techniques starting with the 2004 vintage and became certified biodynamique three years later. They are also a member of Biodyvin, the International Bio-dynamic Vine growing Syndicate. in 2007, they brought in Philippe Cambie to consult on the vineyards and wine making.

They now manage 13 estates in the Languedoc/Roussillon Regions .

I wanted to present Bernard with several of his famous quotes about wine and perhaps see if he’d changed his mind.

Please enjoy the fine French winemaking manager of Domaine Duseigneur  Bernard Duseigneur


Ned Bell – back in Naramata

OK Falls wineries  pour in Vancouver

Locals Only – artisans from Van Island to Vancouver.

Swirl and Untapped in Parksville

Chef Lee Cooper – L’Abattoir

Sosima Olivera – Fanekantsini Mescal Cooperative

December 16th, 2017-Jan Arden-Feeding My Mother


More than just  a  cookbook from Jann Arden.  Plus The Comeau Case  with Christine Coletta, Rob Summers & Chef Rod Butters.



Jann Arden – Feeding My Mother: Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as my Mother Lives with memory loss.

 “Jann Arden is one of the most honest and talented women I’ve ever met, and her love for her mother is so rich.” —Chef Lynn Crawford

Even though Jann and I have known each other for 30 years it didn’t make the book any easier to read.

The pain of watching her Mother fade away commands each and every page of this cookbook and then you turn the page and it’s

a recipe for split pea soup.

We talk about dealing with the slow loss of her Mother and Candy Grams for Mongo.

That’s exactly what a Jann Arden concert is like..crazy fun one moment and heart wrenching  the next.

As each day steals more and more of her Mother’s  memory, it’s her  kitchen  and the food in it that connects her Jann and her Mother.

Amazing book.

Fascinating performer.

Wonderful friend.


Christine Coletta – Co-Founder of Okanagan Crush Pad. The Comeau Case

 Christine calls in from Ottawa where she was a very involved by-stander in the Supreme Court of Canada discussion about Canadian Wine laws. It was The Comeau Case. Forty Seven lawyers in one courtroom. It was a big deal.

Supreme Court Justices

We all have  7 months to wait for the Court’s decision on how wine moves throughout Canada and why it hasn’t moved since 1927.

Most of those lawyers were representing Greed. The remaining legal’s were speaking on behalf of you and I.

Good Luck.

In the meantime, here’s Christine’s take.


Rob Summers – Senior Winemaker/Hester Creek Vineyards

 Great guy.  Loves what he does.

And what he does is blend some of BC’s best wines.

If you haven’t tried “The Judge” I urge you to charge your glass. One of Canada’s best red blends..

Rob takes us through his Character Red and White, his singular Trebianno and the Lieutenant Governors awarded Reserve Merlot Block 2.

One of Canada’s best wineries – Hester Creek. On the Golden Mile. South Okanagan.


Chef Rod Butters – Terrafina (at Hester Creek)/ Raudz/Micro/The Okanagan Table!

Rod Butters

Rod is on a roll.

A year ago he partnered with Hester Creek to turn their tasting room and patio  into Terrafina, an Italian leaning bistro with a much to like menu.

Terrafina was added to his other properties Raudz and Micro in Kelowna.

Then came his first cook book.

The Okanagan Table. The Art of Everyday Cooking

( I get a sense he’s not done yet)

It all seemed to start in 1996 when he became the opening chef at the glorious Wickaninnish Inn,  Tofino.

Chef and I talk about all of those properties and passions plus  what’s ahead.

Rod and his team won 7 awards in the 2017 Okanagan Life Best Restaurant Awards.


His cookbook is in the running for a world cookbook award.

What’s not to like?



Nothing. Zero. Its Christmas time.

We’ll head back to New Zealand for a

Two parter.



January 16th, 2016- Wine expert Christine Coletta


Tasting Room Radio Post Banner

Our feature interview is with Christine Coletta..from helping to launch the BC wine industry to actually making and releasing her own wines at Okanagan Crush Pad. It’s  been quite a journey for Christine.

And the story behind Argentine winery Chayee Bourras and it’s Canadian owners.




Wine expert Christine Coletta began her career working at some of Vancouver’s most notable fine dining restaurants.

Christine Colletta

Christine Colletta

When Christine began working with the Society of Wine Educators and the Vancouver Wine Festival, she knew she had found her calling. With her opinion and expertise often being sought out, she was quickly regarded as one of the most respected authorities on wine marketing. As the word quickly spread, she was promptly introduced to founders in the BC wine industry – including the late Tom Capozzi of Calona Wines, George Heiss of Gray Monk Cellars, and Harry Mcwatters the founder of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.  She soon became executive director of the newly formed BC Wine Institute in 1990, and asked her to help develop and launch the new VQA program.

Christine  was instrumental in defining Okanagan wine country, putting VQA wines on the map and convincing BC restaurateurs to carry BC wines.

Christine also created marketing and branding programs that built awareness for BC wines across Canada and in international markets. As a result of her numerous contributions to the industry, Christine was recognized at the 30th annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival where she was awarded the “Spirited Industry Professional” award.

Christine Coletta then  reinvented herself as co-owner of Summerland’s Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, a custom winemaking facility that is home to the Haywire and Narrative labels as well as wines made for other vintners. Since opening the facility in 2011, Coletta and husband Steve Lornie have already received numerous accolades and recognition for their unique business model and phenomenal wines. They were  named Innovator of the Year for 2013 from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and were also celebrated by BC Business Magazine as one of the Top Innovative Companies in BC for 2013.

She was inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.


But what CC is REALLY doing is stretching the boundaries of BC winemaking.

Working with concrete tanks, natural wines that are unlike anything being made in BC.

The new tanks

The new tanks

We’ll also talk about the Garnet Valley Pinot Noir plantings above the Crush Pad that will be the talk of the valley in the near future.

If you’re at all interested in the direction BC wines are headed, then look no further than Christine Coletta and those working with her at Okanagan Crush Pad.



Chayee Bourras – Argentina

Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan and  winemaker Jose Gomez


Chayee Bourras - The Portfolio

Gordon Ryan believes that the next popular star in red wines from Argentina, where Malbec dominates now, will be wines from a grape called Bonarda.

In fact, Gordon is so convinced that he and Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan, his wife, have invested in an Argentine winery called Bodega Chayee Bourras.

The Ryans, who now live in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, tell a remarkable story about the development of their love of Bonarda.

Gord and Katrina O

Gord and Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan

Both were born in Newfoundland in the mid-1960s.

Gordon grew up a beer drinker. The first of his wine epiphanies came when he was best man at a wedding for a friend of Italian heritage. The Valpolicella flowed freely and the flavours were a revelation to his palate.

The second epiphany came in 1999 when the couple took a sabbatical to Australia and New Zealand, volunteering as vineyard workers in McLaren Vale in return for room and board. After doing the harvest in Australia, Gordon decided that he wanted a vineyard. “That’s where the wine ideas came,” Gordon says. “We tasted some good red wines down there.”

“We worked on a couple of vineyards,” Katrina recalls. “It was in your face, right from the growing to harvesting to watching the wine being made.”

After several years of looking, Gordon found a vineyard in the Cuadro Benegas district near the city of San Rafael, about two hours south of Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital.

Much of Gordon’s vineyard consisted of 40-plus year old Bonarda vines. “We ended up with one of the best Bonarda vineyards in Argentina,” he believes. “The Malbec is what I thought I would be producing but we happened on the Bonarda. It is going to be the next niche wine from this area.”

Jose Gomez Winermaker

It’s our pleasure to welcome to TRR Katrina O’Reilly-Ryan and winemaker Jose Gomez.



Uwe Boll – film director and restaurant owner

Tony Stewart – Quails Gate partners with Benziger in Sonoma

The Late Alan Rickman on Hollywood and Vines

Vancouver Wine festival kick-off