Bradley Cooper is one of the Okanagan’s most recognizable wine country faces and one of our most informed and entertaining social media contributors. (See our Q & A with Brad on the inside back cover.)
Huge thanks again to superstar photographer Victor Poirier and Henrietta Poirier of Studio Red Star for photographing this beautiful portrait cover! Victor was also the photographer of our super cool ‘tattoo’ cover last fall and we are incredibly lucky to be able to share his work (we’re not worthy! we’re not worthy!) Their talented daughter Kate Poirier, also a photographer, managed the lighting for the shoot. Red Star is a production studio with a focus on video, photography and branded content (see ad below).
Thank you again to my niece Hannah Schell of Hannah Schell Makeup (website: hannahschell.com) for offering her impeccable services as makeup artist.
Special thanks to The Laurel Packinghouse and Shelley Weber for allowing us to useshoot the cover there. The Laurel was originally built in 1917 and is one of the Okanagan’s most beautifully preserved heritage sites. Operated by Kelowna Museums, the space is also home to the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum. A favorite for booking events – from weddings to festivals -it is a special piece of our local history and provides a stunning backdrop of vintage brick and wood.
Contact Shelley for booking inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also thanks to Scott Vigar at Factor Furniture for allowing us to use the gorgeous wooden chair on the cover.
INTERVIEW WITH BRADLEY COOPER
Describe the moment you knew you wanted to become a winemaker.
A few years into my cellar rat phase, I was challenged by a local winemaker to answer the question, “Do you want to be a winemaker?”. We were having a casual end-of-day kind of conversation during which he had noted that my palate was showing promise and so he asked the question. I started to answer with prevarication, making some half-hearted and evasive comments about ideas I had about creating a niche for a traveling winery custodian when he stopped me mid-sentence to repeat, “Do you want to be a winemaker?”. I paused and thought for a moment and said, “Yes, I do.” And it began.
If you were a bottle of wine what would you be? Write yourself tasting notes.
Brad is a bottle of rosé. He exhibits refreshing fresh fruit and floral notes but a sip or two reveals spice, a little structure and a lingering complexity that suggests something more elaborate. In fact, what grape was used to make this rosé? This rosé is flexible and accommodating, enjoy it with a variety of foods and without fanfare, year round.
What do you love most about what you do?
Two things: the people in this business aren’t cut from the same cloth. It’s such a new industry here, most people have history and backgrounds of incredible variety and diversity that brings talent and excitement. It’s great to work with them. And the other thing is the blend of science and art that inhabits every part of wine production on a daily basis. It’s a yin and yang kind of thing.
Describe the Pinot Noir passion- why the love and obsession?
I don’t think I wear the obsessive badge too well. I’m more about focus and attention to detail. I think Pinot Noir and its Pinot cousins will continue to take a lead role in the Okanagan and in BC overall. It’s suited and somewhat adaptable to the various growing areas. It doesn’t do well with formula winemaking. Instead, it shines when you can spare some TLC. In its best form, it walks a tightrope between lean austerity and spectral fruit.
Other hobbies/talents/party tricks?
I run, hike, snowshoe, ski, mountain bike and recycle. I can recall obscure historic dates and events. One of my distal thumb joints is decidedly double jointed. Favourite thing I ever read in a public washroom stall: Expression without forethought is the territory of fools. My church is the mountains, I don’t go often enough.
What are the top three skills you need as a winemaker?
I’m going to say stamina, engaged curiosity and unjustifiable confidence. In reverse: at some point you have to trust your abilities even though you know there are shortcomings in your list of skills. You have to be able to take charge and make the call. If you can’t, you’re a skilled tech but not a ‘decider’ to quote the amusing George W. Bush. Next, your curiosity must be sustained. It’s what keeps you fresh and validates the experiments and trials that must happen to always be improving your game. Finally, you have to have the beans to get the job done. Young or old, you have to be able to work harvest and then stay mentally and physically vibrant to answer the bell all year long. You don’t have to be a perfect athlete, but know you will be tested.