Thursday, May 17, 2018

News: Winemaker Changes at Black Hills Estate Winery

From the Black Hills Estate Winery Press Release

After 10 successful years in the position as our head winemaker at Black Hills Estate Winery, Graham Pierce will transition to a new role as our consulting winemaker. In this new part-time role, Graham will continue to be involved in key strategic decisions and practices in the winery's winemaking program. These include but are not limited to: grape picking and fermentation decisions, barrel selections, blending, and stylistic directions.

The assignment of this role allows Graham the time to pursue a long-time dream to create his own brand of sparkling wine and other possible projects, while continuing to work closely with the esteemed Black Hills winery team. This includes his close relationship with the winery's winegrower Steve Carberry, who continues into his 14-year commitment as the veteran vineyard manager at Black Hills. As part of the winery's practice of "continual quality evolution", every member of the Black Hills team is committed to improving the quality of the grapes grown, the wines produced, and the hospitality provided every year.

As consulting winemaker, Graham will also work closely with Black Hills' future winemaker and the existing winery team to execute the day-to-day operations. The search for a new winemaker is now underway. We are confident we will attract a world-class candidate that will be thrilled to work directly with Graham and the rest of our winery team. It is envisioned that Graham will transition into the consulting winemaker role in early July 2018.

"We are thrilled to continue to work with Graham and have on-going access to his incredible experience, perspective, palate and passion for wine," says Glenn Fawcett, director, Black Hills Estate Winery. "At Black Hills, we value every team member and support them in pursuing their dreams. We are very excited that Graham will now have the time and freedom to pursue the side projects that are so important to him. Many of us at Black Hills will be rushing to become Graham's first customer when he makes his sparkling wine release in the future".

Graham proudly shared, "It has been an amazing 10 years working with the exceptional team at Black Hills. The dedication and talent from every team member has allowed us to craft the wine that we proudly stand behind. I look forward to working with the new winemaker and the rest of the team as we continue our continual quality evolution of our wine."


A sample of some of Graham's most recent releases:

Black Hills Estate Winery 2015 Syrah
Fantastical concentration in this Black Sage Bench sourced Syrah with deep, black cherry and sensual, floral aromas on the generous nose and oak-kissed layers of black cherry, mint, pepper, tobacco and blood orange flavours on the smoky, fine tannin palate. Simply gorgeous.
Icon Score

Black Hills Estate Winery 2016 Viognier
Black Hills have dialed in their Viognier program delivering a focused wine with both plump, Tropical fruit and lean, refreshing citrus characters that make it a great pairing for rich, spicy soups and seafood dishes. Look for subtle notes of white flowers on the pleasant nose and fresh, tangy apricots on the palate. The finish is long with lingering clove and aniseed spice.
Icon Score

Black Hills Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay
Both rich and vibrant and anchored with baby bear levels of oak (just right) on the vanilla and peach cream scented nose and on the orchard'n'citrus fruit infused palate. Layers of mineral, blossom and spice add depth throughout. Clove, pear and ever-so-slightly bitter lemon zest notes linger on the long finish.
Icon Score

Black Hills Estate Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Likely to be limited to the wine club only, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine may be the best reason ever to join such a club with its out-of-this-world depth of flavour, rarely seen in a BC Cab. Both sensual and powerful on the nose with deep, minty dark chocolate, pure cassis liqueur, cordial cherry and nutmeg aromas.
Icon Score

- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

News: May Celebrates Sauvignon Blanc with New Zealand Winegrowers

From BCLDB's press release:

BRITISH COLUMBIA – New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased to return to British Columbia for another exciting promotion of wines from New Zealand in BC Liquor Stores throughout the month of May, 2018. 60 government liquor stores will feature New Zealand wines on shelves for the entire month, accompanied by 12 free in-store tasting events which encourage consumers to get to know New Zealand wines on an intimate level. Additionally, Vancouverites will have the opportunity to taste through these featured wines alongside scrumptious food bites on May 4th at a grand consumer event (no charge and no purchase necessary) at the new Park Royal Signature BC Liquor Store on International Sauvignon Blanc Day with delicious canapés to complement the wines, crafted by Chef Chris Whittaker of Vancouver’s Forage restaurant.

Throughout the month of May, a dozen wines from New Zealand (see next page for wine details) will be promoted within 60 BC Liquor Stores throughout the British Columbia. Select participating stores will further focus the spotlight on these wines, hosting in-store tasting events during two days on every weekend of the month, each offering a guided tasting of 3 different wines for shoppers to taste (see next page for tasting schedule).

May 4th is International Sauvignon Blanc Day, and Sauvignon Blanc is a grape variety that always prompts New Zealand to the front-of-mind. As such, it only seems natural that New Zealand Winegrowers is hosting a spectacular event that features all 12 wines on promotion – wines which showcase the unique terroirs and styles of various regions and grape varieties from several of the country’s diverse growing regions. Vancouver’s much-awarded Forage restaurant is creating locally-sourced canapés, each crafted to enhance the flavours in these signature wines, while knowledgeable Sommeliers guide attendees through a unique tasting adventure. This promises to be an afternoon to remember, and all are welcome to attend, no purchase necessary.

This event is free of charge and open to the public, no reservations required:

Park Royal Signature BC Liquor Store, Vancouver
Friday, May 4th, 2017   4 – 7pm         

It has been said that there is no wine anywhere in the world that tastes like wine from New Zealand. These are stylish, exciting wines that surprise and delight. New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc was the explosive varietal that awoke the world to New Zealand wine and Pinot noir from New Zealand offers old world structure and elegance with new world power and intensity.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

News: BC Wine industry disappointed with Supreme Court ruling

From the BCWI's press release:

KELOWNA, April 19, 2018 - The British Columbia Wine Institute and its members today expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau. The case challenged restrictions on interprovincial trade, an issue the BCWI and the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) has been working on for over a decade.

This morning at 9:45 a.m. (EST) the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau. The ruling states the following: Section 121 does not impose absolute free trade across Canada.

"The Court's ruling today is disappointing for the BC wine industry." Said Miles Prodan President & CEO of the BCWI. "We will continue our work both directly and through the CVA with the federal / provincial / territorial governments' Alcoholic Beverages Working Group, industry, governments and the provinces to remove the barriers and allow winery direct shipping to customers across Canada."

"We respect the Court's ruling but are disappointed at this missed opportunity to remove interprovincial trade restrictions," said Dan Paszkowski, President & CEO of the CVA. "Removing restrictions would have opened the door to allowing consumers to order wine for direct delivery to their home from any Canadian winery located in any province. We call that Direct-to-Consumer, it is something nine out of 10 Canadians believe should be permitted, and we now eagerly await the provinces making this choice available to their citizens."

In October 2012, Gerard Comeau of New Brunswick purchased beer and spirits in Quebec and drove back to New Brunswick. He was charged with possessing liquor purchased from outside the province in quantities that exceeded the province's prescribed limit, an offence under section 134 of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act. The trial judge held that section 134(b) of the Liquor Control Act constitutes a trade barrier (violating section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867) and dismissed the charge against Mr. Comeau. The case subsequently made its way to the Supreme Court.

"It's important to recognize that interprovincial trade barriers affect a range of industries, including wine." Says Paszkowski.

Unfair interprovincial trade barriers have impeded Canada's wine industry growth and prevented consumers from purchasing the Canadian wines of their choice.

"This morning's ruling is disappointing for our industry. Every wine producing nation in the world has direct sales within its own country" said Tony Stewart, Proprietor & CEO of Quails' Gate Winery. "Canada needs to correct this so that we can start to create a level playing field with the rest of the world."

Canada's wine industry had seen the ruling as a way to open the doors to direct-to-consumer wine purchases across the country, something consumers believe should be done.

Direct-to-Consumer wouldlead to important growth for the country's highest value agricultural industry. Indeed, free interprovincial trade would positively impact the economy across the country. Industry research shows that for every $1.00 spent on Canadian wine in Canada, $3.42 in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated across the country.