Welcome to The Vine, a newsletter brought to you by the Wines of British Columbia! 

The Vine is your guide to everything BC Wine, including upcoming BC VQA Wine events, BC VQA Wine news, specials and promotions, BC Wine Country touring tips and contests! 

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BC Liquor Store In-Store Tastings & Giveaways
Fall flavours abound in BC Liquor Stores throughout the month of October with an extensive tasting program - 32 free events, hosted by the BC Wine Institute and its myriad BC VQA member wineries. Adding spice to the mix is a jar of gourmet Vista D'oro Farms & Winery jam attached to 12 participating wines in 20 liquor stores throughout the Lower Mainland - perfect compliments to a delicious Thanksgiving feast!
As BC's annual wine grape harvest celebrates its earliest start on record, shoppers in BC Liquor Stores have 32 opportunities to 'try-before-they-buy' during the month of October. Eight Signature BC Liquor Stores around the Lower Mainland will feature free tastings of select BC VQA wines on 17 different dates. Each tasting booth will be hosted by knowledgeable staff who will guide consumers through three different BC VQA wines. A total of 12 different wines will be featured at various events throughout the month.
Thanksgiving feasts were the inspiration behind the gifts adorning select BC VQA bottles this month - 40 ml jars of Vista D'oro's Spiced Apple and Gewürztraminer jam. 5,000 jars of our province's most prized preserves

will be applied to participating bottles inside 20 Signature Liquor Stores in Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver and West Vancouver.
British Columbians love to drink wines from their own province and it's easy to see why - BC VQA wines offer a taste of our own unique terroirs which pair perfectly with the foods, occasions and people of our place.

For a full list of participating wineries & in-store tasting locations, click here

ChefmeetsBCGrape | Nearly $40,000 Raised for the Arts Club Theatre Company 
ChefmeetsBCGrape Judges and BCWI Staff
with event MC Dawn Chubai
After 11 years ChefmeetsBCGrape is still going strong. With an increase in ticket sales and attendance by 90 wineries and ten restaurants, ChefmeetsBCGrape is continuing its tradition of wine and food pairing success in Vancouver.
"This event not only supports a great organization, with all proceeds going to the Arts Club Theatre Company, but it is an excellent opportunity for us to bring the British Columbia wine country experience to the city," says Miles Prodan, President and CEO of the British Columbia Wine Institute, which organizes the event.
Held for the third year as a fundraiser for the Arts Club Theatre Company, ChefmeetsBCGrape took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Wednesday, September 16 with 530 wine and food enthusiasts packing in to experience the best of BC. The event, hosted by Dawn Chubai, featured 90 BC wineries pouring over 350 BC VQA wines and 10 restaurants each creating a dish to pair with a BC VQA wine.
"It was such an incredible celebration of the best of BC," says Peter Cathie White, executive director of the Arts Club. "We would like to give thanks to the British Columbia Wine Institute for partnering with us again, and to all the wineries and restaurants for donating both time and expertise. We raised $37,800, which is outstanding! The proceeds will go to fostering local talent in the theatre arts."
"This year marks the 25th anniversary of Wines of British Columbia as a modern wine industry and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the amazing quality of BC VQA wines we are producing," says Prodan. The event offers many wineries a chance to showcase their fall releases to the public, and it's a great opportunity for consumers to experience the versatility of 100% BC wine paired with various styles of cuisine, made from local ingredients prepared by some of Vancouver's favourite restaurants."
Chefs competed at the event to win two coveted awards: Best BC VQA Pairing and Best Dish. A panel of wine and food experts, including DJ Kearney, Sid Cross, Tim Pawsey, Rhys Pender and David Scholefield, tasted through each of the 10 wine paired dishes. "We're seeing a lot more creativity with the dishes this time compared to previous years," noted Rhys Pender MW during the tasting.  
The pairing of Okanagan Crush Pad Haywire The Bub NV and LIFT Bar Grill View's beet juice cured wild salmon gravlax, candy cane beets and foraged wild mushroom took the top Prize of Best BC VQA Pairing. "It was a beautiful use of the salmon, beets, wild mushroom, very fresh and really tapped into the ageing of The Bub Sparkling Wine - very fantastic," described Pender.
Coming in a close second was the Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc 2012 paired with slow braised oxtail and tomato ragout by Torafuku.
Best Dish went to Chicha Restaurant's coconut scallop ceviche served on house made aji Amarillo Peruvian Chili rice crackers (whose dish was paired with JoieFarm Winery's Riesling 2013). "We loved the flavor combination in this dish, so complex, so balanced! The Riesling was great with it, we just thought it was masterful!" accredited DJ Kearney in congratulating Chef Shelome Bouvette and her team on their dish.

A big thank you to everyone who helped make this event such a huge success and we look forward to seeing you next year! 

WINE FESTIVALS | Sip & Savour Across the Province
There is certainly no shortage of events in wine country this season! Below are a few of the highlights, but for a full list of events please visit WineBC.com.      

Garagiste North - Small Guys Festival - September 27

Garagiste North (The Small Guys Wine Festival), celebrates artisan winemakers creating commercially produced small case lot wines (under 2,000 cases). An eclectic gang, they are a blend of passion and experience, new and old, the cult and the boutique, the virtual and custom crush-all gathered in one spot. Come meet the winemakers - taste their exclusive wines, chat about their vineyards, celebrate the art of winemaking and experience the true passion they have for their craft. 

For more information, visit www.garagistenorth.com.  

Fall Okanagan Wine Festival - October 1 to 11

Named one of the Top 100 Events in Canada by BizBash, the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is one of the Okanagan's can't  miss festivals. With over 100 events over the 10-day festival, there is something for everyone including grape stomps, grape picking, winemaker blending sessions, library tastings, multi-course dinners and grazing receptions, as well as signature events: 

October 1: BC Wine Awards & Reception
With over 600 entries and growing, this event celebrates the amazing quality of wines made from 100% BC grown fruit.  A group of North America's most experienced wine judges spend four days in the Okanagan judging the wines and the results are unveiled to the world at this event.  Meet the winemakers and be the first to taste a wonderful sample of the award winners.

October 9 & 10: Cropped, The Grand Finale
Cropped is a sensory and visual experience featuring the largest tasting of British Columbia wines anywhere and a Thanksgiving farmers market. With over 80 wineries and a flourishing farmers market, this is your chance to fully embrace the fall flavours of the Okanagan.

For a full list of events and ticket information, visit www.thewinefestivals.com.  

Cornucopia: Whistler's Celebration of Food + Drink - November 5 to 15

Cornucopia brings the best of the best for both wine enthusiasts and professionals to beautiful Whistler village. The annual event features a variety of interactive seminars, intimate winery dinners, gala tasting events and even a wellness retreat. Here are just a few of the festival's can't-miss events: 

November 5: House Party | Best of BC
The annual kick off at Cornucopia each year, this is one of the hottest Whistler events of the year, House Party combines live music with local foods and domestic wines, spirits and beer.  Featuring the best of local talent in music, food and drink, we invite you to our house.  Indulge in BBQ from our backyard, home-grown vodka, micro-brewed beer and much more from BC's land of plenty.

November 7: Crush Grand Gala Tasting
Crush is Cornucopia's flagship tasting event. world renowned flagship tasting event of Cornucopia, CRUSH creates a vibrant atmosphere for attendees to sip, savour and sample their way through the night and get to know new wines, creating new favourites.  From New-World to Old-World, sparkling to Champagne, CRUSH is an opportunity for the attendee to discover a new gem, or ten!

November 15: Sunday School - BC vs. The World 
This high-stakes, no-holds-barred blind tasting challenge puts BC's best wines to the test by squaring them off against premium international wines. Who will win? You decide over four delicious rounds of blind tasting to determine BC wine's place in the world.

For more information about Cornucopia or to purchase tickets, visit whistlercornucopia.com

Harvest Update
The outstanding summer weather has led to a record breaking start to the grape harvest in British Columbia. For most wineries, harvest typically starts in September or even October, but this year saw most wineries starting two to three weeks ahead of schedule.  
The first Sauvignon Blanc grapes for table wine were picked by Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate on August 20, a week ahead of 2013 vintage and their earliest harvest on record.
"Every year we say we couldn't ask for a better growing season, and every year it seems to be getting better and better!" notes Troy Osborne Director of Viticultural at Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate. "Every winery has a picking strategy depending on what style of wine they are looking for. We pick our Sauvignon Blanc grapes early to achieve those green, veracious notes and fresh, crisp flavour profiles." explains Osborne. "The biggest challenge is dealing with increased growing degree days and matching our crop loads to balance that."

Above average Growing Degree Days and lower than normal precipitation this summer contributed to the record-setting start across the province. Growing Degree Days (GDD) is the measurement viticulturists use worldwide to calculate whether the growing season has sufficient days where the sustained temperature is at least 10 degrees Celsius, the minimum temperature conducive for ripening grapes. The calculation of daily GDD is a tool used to predict important stages for grapes such as bloom and crop maturity. 

To view the full release and see what winemaker's across the province had to say about the 2015 harvest, click here
To keep up-to-date on the harvest, follow @WineBCdotcom and #BCHarvest2015 on Twitter & Instagram.

ENTER TO WIN | BC VQA Pour & Pair Contest

As part of our BC VQA - Or you could call it BC DNA program, you could win a fabulous five-day wine tour for two exploring all that the Wines of British Columbia have to offer (valued at $5,600)! 


Day 1: Island-Hopping Wine Tour on Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands.


Day 2: The Great Estates Okanagan Valley Wine Tour.


Day 3: South Okanagan Valley Float Plane Wine Tour.


Day 4: Similkameen Valley River Float Wine Tour.


Day 5: Lake Country Stand-Up Paddle Board Wine Tour. 


To enter, simply:

  1. Take a photo of your favourite BC VQA wine, including the label on the bottle, paired with food
  2. Post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #BCVQAPourandPair


Contest ends December 31, 2015. For a full list of contest terms and conditions click here*Transportation included within British Columbia only.



Contest Sponsors: 
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Corcelettes Estate Winery
Experience Wine tours
Hester Creek Estate Winery
Kelowna Pete's Edventures
Marine Eco Tours
Okanagan Wine Country Tours
Great Estates Okanagan
Watermark Beach Resort

PERFECT PAIRINGS | ChefmeetsBCGrape Best Wine & Food Pairing Winner! 

Photo by Tim Pawsey (HiredBelly.com)
Lift Bar Grill View
Executive Chef George Koay

ChefmeetsBCGrape judge Rhys Pender MW noted that the winning dish "was a beautiful use of the salmon, beets, wild mushroom, very fresh and really tapped into the ageing of The Bub Sparkling Wine - truly fantastic."
Beet juice cured wild salmon gravlax, candy cane beets, wild mushrooms

2 filets Sockeye salmon (scales removed)
Curing liquid:
750 ml red beet juice
250 ml carrot juice
750 ml granulated sugar
500 ml kosher salt
1)    Place salmon in a shallow dish and add the curing liquid.
2)    Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cure for 2 days.
3)    Pull salmon out of liquid and pat dry. Place 1 tsp thyme leaves on top and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.
4)    Slice thin and serve with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, thinly sliced candy cane beets and chives or pea shoots.

Pair this dish with a refreshing glass of Haywire The Bub 2013 and enjoy! 

Find a Perfect Pairing Recipe for any occasion on WineBC.com.