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Does Gewurztraminer start with the letter 'S'?

Date: Tue, Jul 8, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

No, children, it does not.
But today I am participating in something called Wine Blogger Wednesday. For the first time.
It's been going on for about four years but I've never been able to get my sh*t together and participate.
One Wednesday a month, bloggers taste a wine and comment. There's a theme as set by the host. So today it is "Brought to you by the letter S".
The 'S' in my Gewurztraminer is the fact that I made it at Township 7, which has an S.
It's crisp, assertive, slighty spicy and full of fresh pear and apple. We blended three vineyards to get the depth and dimension. To me, as much as I like Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, this Gewurztraminer tastes like summer in the Okanagan Valley.

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Winery Vineyard Supervisor Wanted

Date: Tue, Jul 8, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Based in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. Growing operation requires experienced vineyard worker to maintain small winery's vineyard properties and enhance grower relations. Knowledge of annual and seasonal viticultural practices essential. Experience in people management, budgeting, planning and site development definete assets.

Contact me directly for more information.

cooper.bradley@gmail.com

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Vinifico! is Magnifico!

Date: Sun, Jul 6, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

You can spend a long time looking for a wine site, based in BC, that day-in, day-out provides the same kind of quality wine reviews as Sean Calder's Vinifico. Actually, you'd be hard-pressed to find one this good outside of BC.

Sean acts like my point man in the market place. He's out there tasting and giving his two cents worth and that helps me find wines that are helping me compare and contrast my own projects. He has a liver of heroic description.

In the past, Sean has been assisted by fellow wine buff Graham. Not sure if that arrangement still exists but, nonetheless, they both have great palates.

Check out Vinifico before your next trip to the bottle shop.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Wine and a Hike in the redwoods

Date: Sun, Jul 6, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business



It's not news to most people but here it is anyhow: California is full of things to do. For wine lovers, California is a diverse growing region with thousands of wine-related activities. But to return home after a truly rewarding experience in wine country is not always an easy achievement.


A lot of the time there is a cookie-cutter feel to many attractions. There pre-packaged tours and winery visits that start to look pretty typical. Most of the big name tours could be lifted from anywhere. Just insert different names where applicable.


Among the packed tasting rooms, the parade of buses and the drunk-filled limousines is a California wine country experience that really stands out as unique and fun. California Wine Hikes takes two great activities and combines them for some special memories and genuinely exclusive glimpses of the Golden State.


I've talked about California Wine Hikes in this space before as being something different I had heard about. Back in late May, I got to experience it firsthand.


My wife and I have our best hiking years behind us. We weren't looking for a death march with tough technical sections. So we were delighted with the trail chosen for us by Russ Beebe, owner, operator, guide and all-round great guy. We spent about half a day in the mountains at the south end of the San Franciscan peninsula, somewhere between San Mateo and the ocean. We saw huge redwoods, quiet ravines and an array of wildflowers. The traditional fog off the coast started the day. We ended it in full sun for our mid-afternoon lunch.


Of course, our walk was punctuated with visits to wineries like Thomas Fogarty and Savannah-Chanelle.




Russ' knowledge of the area, his running commentary on the flora and fauna and his contacts within the wine business makes for a memorable day out. Nowadays, I can't think of a trip to California without a wine hike in the itinerary.


(top photo: me and a redwood. Sorry about the focus. bottom photo: Me (left), my wife Audralee and Russ Beebe at Savannah Chanelle)
It's only a matter of time that this kind of thing shows up here. I'm sure BC is ready for one of these businesses dedicated to showing off the scenery and the wines in the various regions of the province.
Until then, make sure you book one of these hikes on your next trip to California.

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Two Buck Chuck, Trader Joe's and a Dead Field Worker

Date: Sat, Jun 28, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The saga continues as this diligent blogger does a little investigation.

Click here.

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Wine Revelations: Inspired By Tom Wark

Date: Thu, Jun 26, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

One of the most popular wine blogs is Tom Wark's Fermentation.

Lately he's posted some revelations that I think would be good reading for anyone in the wine business (or just a wine lover) who is taking stock or just looking back on their life and wine.

It's here.

Have a read, grab a bottle of Rose and just muse on your own set of revelations.

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Immersed in Wine Country

Date: Wed, Jun 18, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

There's nothing else like it around here. If you or someone you know wants the ultimate wine country experience they should check out Naramata Unfiltered.

Visitors and residents looking for the definitive BC wine-centric package will find it here.

Great accommodations, fantastic food, scintillating personalities and tons of different wines. It's a top-notch production.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Wine Country Weather

Date: Fri, Jun 13, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business



Don't read this if the f-bomb is a problem for you.

The weather has improved since this would have been appropriate last week.

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Wine Maker Wanted / Stag's Hollow

Date: Wed, Jun 11, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

One of the better small wineries in the Okanagan is looking for a wine maker. Stag's Hollow in Okanagan Falls makes around 5,000 cases and has a newish production facility. Prospective candidates should have considerable experience; a proven track record in wine making is required.
Contact Larry Gerelus directly at info@stagshollowwinery.com or
250-497-6162

More about Stag's Hollow

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Cheap wine? At what cost?

Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Next time you wince at the price of BC wine and think some wine maker or owner is getting rich at your expense remember this example of how cheap wine is produced on the back of cheap labour and all the social ills that brings with it.

The story is here.

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Double Gold Trophy for Township 7 Reserve Chardonnay

Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Last week I was pleased to hear that the Township 7 2006 Reserve Chardonnay Harmony One Vineyard was awarded best of class 'double gold' at the All-Canadian. This was in the Chardonnay Over $20 category so I suppose that means it is one of the best Chards in the country. Thanks to all who helped me make this wine and to our fine growers at Harmony One. Year after year H1 produces excellent fruit.

If you're considering getting your hands on a case or a bottle, please do it now. There's about 60 cases left from the original 225.

Our regular Township 7 2006 Chardonnay was awarded a gold at the NW Wine Summit and the 2005 Reserve Chardonnay Stone Mountain Vineyard received a silver.

Overall, it looks like Township 7's Chardonnay heritage is shining through.

Contact Township 7 directly at 604-532-1766 or 250-770-1743 to obtain these wines.

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Please Help Me Identify This Man

Date: Sun, Jun 8, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


When I was in California I met this solemn creature at a bookstore. I'm the one on the left.
He implored me to purchase his book.
I did so and he proceeded to give a talk for a good part of an hour about wine and it's place in our collective lives. An excellent speaker but damn if I can remember his name.
Oh wait! Here it is. Right on the book!
Okay . . . nevermind. Got it.

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Wine Leads To Criminal Activity

Date: Sun, Jun 8, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business



Is there anything more grasping and greedy than a government monopoly denied?





On my trip to California I truly enjoyed some marvelous foods and wines. Being a winemaker, I was naturally drawn to the tasting rooms and the wine lists that I encountered. Always, in the back room of my mind, there was a voice, "Even if you wanted this wine, you can't take it home."





Sure, I could actually take it home. But at the border, after clearing immigration, there would be customs. And customs is charged with collecting the cash that the government figures it is due. This is determined by whatever the provincial mark-up is on a particular product. If they don't actually have the product on their shelves then there is a formula to arrive on the 'proper' dollar figure.





"Surely," you say," you must be allowed something?" Yes, true, we are allowed something.


But no matter how long I stay, I am limited to 1.5 L of wine. That's two standard bottles. After 48 hours, I can bring $400 back in goods. But the wine volume stays the same. After 7 days, I can bring back $750 in goods. But the wine volume stays the same. It's all here in it's ridiculous splendour. If I only stay 24 hours then I have to pay the formula on everything.





The taxes, duty and mark-up or whatever euphemism you want to use is almost always in excess of 100% of your purchase price of the wine in Canadian dollars.





I have heard all the arguments for this kind of policy. Protectionism and public safety, control, maintaining the public coffers. Frankly, in this day and age, none of those tired old arguments are worth a thing.





What this policy leads to is the most elaborate and deceitful schemes by otherwise law-abiding citizens bent on getting a few extra bottles of wine or liquor back into the country. We're not talking about truckloads. We're talking about a half dozen or a case of something special, often not available at home, something that was picked up on vacation or on a business trip.





I know it may be necessary to draw the line somewhere, but this country has turned into a country of amateur smugglers. With the dollar virtually at par with its American counterpart, I imagine there's plenty of temptation.





Hell, I know there is. Here's what I had to do.





After 11 days in the U.S. I settled on 8 bottles of wine and not the 8 cases I really wanted. Sorry, U.S. wine sellers. I put two into my luggage. The other six I packaged and sent to a Washington state border town about 1 hour from my home. Good thing you can ship from California to Washington. I told the UPS guys on Sutter in San Francisco it was olive oil anyways and we all had a good laugh.





Today it arrived. My wife went and picked it up. She drove it to within 400 meters of the border and dropped in on my Mom and step Dad (Canadian citizens) at their lakeside summer place. There she gave them each two bottles and appropriate receipts. They had been stateside for 48 hours so they were entitled to two bottles free of border charges.


The other two bottles are stashed in the crawlspace of the cabin. Tomorrow my people will drive back across the line and into Canada with my wine I will meet them at the donut shop in Osoyoos before they head home. There, in the parking lot like a gathering of of criminals, I will accept the goods.





My next plan: I'm going to head south again soon. I'll stay for at least 48 hours and I'll buy two bottles of wine worth $400 together that are not available in BC. Then I'll bring them back and dispose of them as I see fit.





Tsk. Just sad behaviour I'm capable of. Almost as sad as a monopoly so fearful of revenue loss from cross border purchases that it has to impose these draconian rules on the masses. Isn't it time we used our overworked Border Service to protect our citizens from pedophiles, armed criminals and other threats to society? Isn't it time to stop searching Joe and Mary Sixpack's luggage and car for that extra bottle of White Zin?





I think so and so do a lot of my fellow Canadians.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Wine, Music and a Meme.

Date: Sat, May 24, 2008 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

I've never participated in a meme exercise. Usually because of a time crunch or because it doesn't have any reference point for my blog. This one doesn't either but it was sent to me by a wine and food blogger I respect and I'll honour her with this response. And I'm officially on vacation.

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.

I'm going to add a wine to the end of each one that should accompany the music.

1. For some reason I was humming "Born Free" while standing at the corker station on the bottling line yesterday. I think it was the Andy Williams version, who I always enjoyed because he was short and the way my Mom got all dreamy eyed when he sang "Moon River". Amarone

2."Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake" by Grandaddy. Not sure who these guys are but this song is so hook filled and techno rythmic that I find it irresistable. The lyrics are cryptic yet familiar, like a scene from a David Lynch film. Tempranillo.

3. "Happy" by Keith Richards as performed by Sheryl Crow and Keith and an allstar lineup at a Central Park (NYC) gig a few years back. I've always like this rollicking, goofy tune. It's almost impossible to sing without sounding like you've already had a few pints too many. Cabernet Franc from the Okanagan Valley.

4. "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" . My eight year old has this Offspring ditty at the top of his list right now so we listen to it at full blast on the drive to school in the morning. Every morning. I love all the dated pop culture references (Ricki Lake?, oh yeah, I remember her). Really clears the cobwebs like a good Zinfandel.

5. I was thinking about Vancouver rocker Bif Naked and her battle with cancer lately and couldn't help recall "I Love Myself Today" and the great video that accompanies it. I hope she whips it. Hard-edged female singers attract me 'cause they're hot and scary. But Barolo shouldn't be.

6. "Theme from Jaws" by John Williams. The kid is into sharks in a big way and seems to be unfazed by the giant plastic shark devouring people in this 1975 Spielberg masterpiece. He walks around the house going da dum da dum da dum dadumdadumdadumdadum.
So I do to. Pinot Grigio

7. "Cold Hard Bitch". Seems a bit bitter, no? This Jet tune certainly rocks out and showcases the band's pedigree. Hard to sit still with this one on. You can brood while you boogie. Cab Sauv and blends of such.

Now who should I tag?

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