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BC wines and those who love them, have grown by leaps and bounds since Father Pandosy planted the first grapes near Kelowna in 1930. On the cover is The Vibrant Vine, a winery that has gone through some major growing pains since 2010. The Vibrant Vine began as a retirement project, and today, holds top rankings among BC wineries. This popularity caused some difficulty in the 2017 season. The winery had to close its doors on more than one occasion to incoming visitors as it was already at capacity. Now, with the winery’s expansion complete, they hope they never have…

Spring has finally arrived and with it, new growth and warmer days. Our cover shows old vines coming back to life as the sun gently awakens them from their sleep. They are the promise of longer days, warmer nights and great wines to come. This issue we welcome photographer Kirstin Wakal, who is also the owner of Sanctuary Gardens in West Kelowna, and her own vineyard. Kirstin is well known throughout the Okanagan Valley for her photographs of food, wine and people. One of her photos, her “sacred space” at Sanctuary Gardens, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network for…

We are blessed to have such fertile soil, amazing grape growers and farmers, and talented vintners and chefs throughout BC. I’m lucky in that I get to know a bit about what goes on behind the scenes at many of our BC wineries. In this issue, I want to acknowledge all those wonderful people who spend their time and money giving back to the community and the land, in many ways. The wineries of the Naramata Bench recently held their spring release at the ReWined event in Victoria to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC & The Yukon.…

Ron Taylor, an influential winemaker who had a long career at Andrés Wines in Port Moody, wrote a recurring column called “Reflections in a Wine Glass” beginning in 1996 on the history of the wine industry. Dr. Larry Anderson contributed a column on wine and health and there were also articles about wine business and marketing. Wine scientist Gary Strachan and winemaker Anne Sperling also contributed to various issues. Contrary to the hard reporting style of most traditional news media, articles were generally very positive and upbeat about the industry. “There really wasn’t a lot to criticize,” remembers Gamble. Gamble…

If necessity is the mother of invention, saving good wine from the drain surely meets the criteria. Wine Glass Writer creator Jeannine Fradelizio recalls a party for 20 people in her Sonoma area home that left her with 90 wine glasses to wash. “Dumping wine down the drain drives me crazy,” says Jeannine. “I thought that someone out there must have a product where you could write your name on a wine glass and easily wash it off later. It just didn’t exist so six years ago I began researching, working with chemists and finally came up an ink that…

A unique winemaking project is underway in the Okanagan, as Mireille Sauvé, a member of the BC chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, oversees the creation of the “dames wine”. Dame Mireille has been visiting the Okanagan from her home base in Vancouver to shepherd this fundraising project, supporting scholarships for BC women pursuing their education in wine and food. Les Dames d’Escoffier is an international organization and the only Canadian chapter is in British Columbia. The red and white dame wines which will be bottled this spring, and a limited number will be available. All of the profits will go…

Beginning with the first issues of British Columbia Wine Trails in 1991, founding editor David Gamble originally sought out as much information from local wineries as he could get. “We provided and opportunity for the wineries to talk to their potential customers,” explains Gamble looking back in 2016. “It was always meant to be a consumer publication. What would the consumers want to know?” Early articles featured the youthful stories of a growing new wine industry and culture. “To what heights can Okanagan Valley wines aspire?” reads the inquisitive first line from an early article in 1991. The early issues…

Spring blasted into the Okanagan full force last month pushing us happily into another early growing season. Who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us this year, but no matter what, there is no place better to be than wine country. Here is where we eat, drink and celebrate local and Spring heralds the releases of the first highly anticipated 2015 vintages. Wine buzz is that the crazy weather last year has resulted in some damn good wine! There are plenty of amazing food and drink events to enjoy throughout our glorious province ahead, so plan your calendars…

Remember how cool wine charms where when they came out? What an amazing invention—a way to remember which wine glass is yours. As a hostess, there is nothing worse than seeing three times the number of empty wine glasses, many with wine in them, at the end of an event all because your guests forgot which glass was theirs and grabbed a new one. Alas, the charms had the same effect…a couple of glasses of wine later and one tends to forget which charm was theirs. However, forgetting your name is another story. The Wine Glass Writer is the genius…

The Okanagan is becoming a buzzword in travel circles. The valley has been on so many top ten lists in the last year, it’s hard to keep track of all the accolades. And destinations as urban as Victoria and as “off the beaten track” like Tofino are being touted as foodie destinations. Chefs seem to be migrating to spots where farm-to-table is as easy as a walk to a local market, and quality proteins from arctic char to elk sausage are lovingly raised and processed by a family just down the road. We are, as yet, undiscovered, but on the…