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Here’s to a Sparkling 2018: A Bonanza of Bubbles

By |December 30th, 2017|

Sparkling wine time is here. And I’m late to the party. My apologies. We’re a tad backed up here in the executive suite at Hired Belly HQ. Plus most of the staff has been down with the flu... Sparkling has evolved. These days—from Cava to Sekt, Prosecco, Crémant (and, yes, Champagne) you can pretty well [...]

David Enns and Partners Announce Naramata Wine Vault

By |December 5th, 2017|

David Enns and partners Mik Ball, Robert Gritten and Steven Jaeger have announced plans to establish the Naramata Wine Vault. The Naramata based group has purchased the BC Tree Fruits packing house, which sits on 4.6 acres in the heart of the Village of Naramata. They plan to revitalize the structure. It has been dormant [...]

Why Laughing Stock Vineyards Sold to Arterra Wines

By |December 1st, 2017|

The sale of Laughing Stock Vineyards to Arterra Wines Canada was announced this week. The sale, for an undisclosed amount, closed  November 30th. It's the latest in a string of high profile Okanagan winery deals. Arterra is the reincarnation of what used to be the Canadian division of Constellation Brands (formerly Vincor). It's owned by the [...]

Lisboa — Portugal’s ‘Other’ Wine Region Surprises

By |November 5th, 2017|

  (Map: Wines of Portugal) Lisboa is 'Lisbon' in Portuguese. But it refers also to the wine region to the north and west of the city (known until recently as 'Estremadura'). Lisbon itself is 29 kms, inland from the coast, which sports a rugged landscape, with a mountain range running parallel, north to [...]

Natural Wines Blossom in Canada’s Okanagan

By |October 3rd, 2017|

Natural wines. Coming to a glass near you, soon. Natural Wine Defined What’s a natural wine, you might ask? It means the wine in your glass is in the purest possible form. It's the closest it can be to the fruit that was in the vineyard, preferably organically or bio-dynamically farmed. Most likely it’s made with [...]

“Judgment” Tastings Put BC Wines on World Map

By |September 4th, 2017|

Judgment: The process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing. (Merriam-Webster) How do BC wines stack up beside the rest of the world? It’s a question we used hear a lot, though, nowadays not so much. That BC wine has come of age is old news (at least to Canadians). After all, [...]

How to Tour the Okanagan Valley in VIP Style

By |September 2nd, 2017|

VIP Tours: Are they worth it? At the height of summer, wine touring in the Okanagan can get pretty busy. But as the region evolves, so does the range of tasting options. A nominal tasting fee is now the norm—almost always refunded with a purchase. Yet, at a few wineries you can escape the crowds by spending [...]

Sea Star Spreads its Wings on Saturna

By |August 22nd, 2017|

Sea Star Rising A handful of wineries has sprung up on BC’s Gulf Islands over the last few years. Yet, none have impressed as much as Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards. The picturesque winery is perched on a bluff on North Pender Island (between Vancouver and Victoria). Its vines seem to march right down [...]

Argentina: Work Horse Wines Deliver Value

By |August 17th, 2017|

  Argentina in the spotlight Argentina is this month's focus at BC Liquor Stores. Special deals and free tastings celebrate the South American producer through September 2nd. It’s interesting how Argentina continues to broaden its appeal beyond Malbec—although, there’s no arguing with the success of the country’s favourite grape. Known for producing soft and supple [...]

How a New Canadian Discovered and Appreciated BC Wine

By |July 1st, 2017|

In honour of Canada's 150th! My good friend Rick Van Sickle (winesinniagara.com) asked me to contribute to his #CanadaWINE150 project. I was happy to oblige ...   When I first arrived in Montreal, I was amazed to see how liquor was sold. Going to the SAQ in those days was more like going to an [...]

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