• 12 Days of Vanessa Vineyard

    We’re adding our own twist on a holiday classic. Starting December 13, 2020, our Master Winemaker Howard Soon will be sharing fun facts and tips about our wines, vineyard, and things every connoisseur or novel wine sipper should know. To learn more and follow along our 12 Days of Vanessa Vineyard, connect with us here, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


    Day 1

    Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing!

    Grape vines do not like their feet to be wet. Therefore, controlling the vineyard’s water filtration system is key to managing the ripening of the grapes.

    At Vanessa Vineyard, we use both sprinklers and a drip irrigation system to get the right amount of water to the grape vines for optimal ripening – not too slow, not too quick, just right.

    Day 2

    Prior to becoming Vanessa Vineyard, the land was formerly very rocky.

    After some time (and very big bulldozers), the smooth rolling hills of the vineyard were unveiled creating this incredible view of the Similkameen Valley.

    Day 3

    Rose is made from red grapes, not a mix of red and white!

    The wine is fairly tinted from the grape skins and what we’re left with is a beautiful pink hue – the kind of colour that summer dreams are made of.

    Day 4

    Our red wines are in their barrels for two years before they get bottled and age in the bottle for another two years.

    That’s four years total from a time a wine is created to when it’s released to the public.

    The secret? We bottle just before we should we should. We taste and take a leap of faith knowing once the wine gets bottled, the magic begins.

    Chemistry can be sexy. And delicious.

    Day 5

    Many of us know the shape of a wine glass matters depending on what we’re drinking.

    But what about the shape matters?

    Companies like Riedel have gone through great lengths of research and design iterations to achieve just the right angle at which a wine reaches your palate to ensure you’re getting the best flavour every sip of the way.

    Day 6

    There are 23 staves in a wine barrel.

    The key to creating a wine barrel is using heat to bend the staves without them breaking with the help of metal hoops to hold the shape.

    Day 7

    Similar to your toaster at home where you can choose light, medium or dark, you can choose the same for your oak barrels!

    At Vanessa Vineyard, we use oak barrels made out of either American or French Oak and lean towards medium or medium-plus toast.

    Day 8

    You can find a lot of wildlife on Vanessa Vineyard property.

    Some of our more popular visitors including:

    • rattlesnakes
    • black bears
    • mule deer
    • robins

    One year, a black bear enjoyed a good row or two of syrah grapes.

    Talk about great taste!

    Day 9

    What’s the proper way to pronounce Meritage?

    Like heritage!

    The word “meritage” was created by combining the words “merit” and “heritage”. “Merit” was chosen to reflect the quality of the grapes while “heritage” was chosen to recognize the centuries-old blending process that was involved in making the wine from Bordeaux varieties.

    Day 10

    When the vineyard was landscaped, the big question was where to put all of the crushed rocks.

    Master Winemaker Howard Soon advised that we should place the rocks on the ground where the grape vines were growing. He knew that by doing so, the heat absorbed from the day would be imparted through the vines on cooler nights, aiding in the ripening process resulting in intensely ripe fruit with flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive.


    Day 11

    Sugars in wine come from grapes, yes. But a lot of the sugar in wine is from the grape vine leaves!

    Through growing season, our site manager Nathan Goltz along with Master Winemaker Howard Soon pay very close attention to the grapes and their leaves to ensure the grapes ripen properly with the right flavours.

    Stay tuned for more…

  • From The Kitchen with Love

    We have so much gratitude for our culinary friends and the magic they cook up. We’re even more grateful that they are sharing (with you) recipes from some of their best dishes – just in time for the holidays. Check in here over the next few weeks as we highlight these recipes that you can try your hand at!

    Nobody said a social distance dinner couldn’t be a delicious one!

    Fairmont Pacific Rim

    When I dip, you dip, we dip!

    All things are right in the world when there’s a good dip at the table and Executive Chef Damon Campbell at Fairmont Pacific Rim has created the perfect one for every festive feast.



















    Photo by Fairmont Pacific Rim

    Smoked Salmon Dip

    Serves 4-6 guests
    Can be served as a side dish or appetizer


    1 cup Crème fraiche OR sour cream 3/4 cup and mayonnaise 1/4 cup

    2 tsp Lemon Juice

    ½ lemon Lemon zest – grated

    2 tsp Tarragon – finely sliced

    1 tbsp Chives – finely sliced

    1 tbsp Shallots – finely sliced

    2 tbsp Capers – finely chopped

    1 tsp Sea salt

    ½ tsp Black pepper

    2 cups Hot smoked salmon OR a baked filet of salmon (flaked into small bite size pieces)


    1. Place all the ingredients except for the salmon into a medium sized bowl.
    2. Whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
    3. Add the flaked salmon into the above mixture and gently fold together with a spatula or spoon until evenly mixed.
    4. Serve with crackers, potato chips, bagel chips, or toasted bread.
    5. Enjoy!

    The Smoked Salmon Dip is included in the New Year’s Eve to-go kit from Fairmont Pacific Rim complete with all the cocktail party provisions to ring in 2021, including a spread of hot and cold canapés, cheese and charcuterie boards and more. The kit serves 4-6 guests for $180.00 CAD. For more information and to order, click here.

    Fairmont Pacific Rim

    1038 Canada Place Way
    Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9

    Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

    When you think about Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar, one of the first things you think about is their infamous Cheese Toast. Lucky for us, Hy’s has shared their recipe and it would be wrong not to share it with you!

    You’re welcome.

    Photo by Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar

    Cheese Toast by Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar


    6 slices white bread
    3/4 cup soft butter
    1/4 cup Grana Padano cheese
    1/4 cup Swiss Cheese
    1 cup yellow cheddar
    1/4 tsp fine ground white pepper
    1 tsp Wocestershire sauce


    1. Whip butter in mixer.
    2. Add Gran Padano, swiss, cheddar, white pepper and Worcestershire sauce into butter mix.
    3. Mix until all well blended and a spreadable texture.
    4. Put broiler on high and lightly toast one side of bread.
    5. Remove bread and allow to cool to room temp.
    6. Evenly spread the cheese mix on the four slices of bread on untoasted side.
    7. Place under broiler until golden brown.
    8. Remove, slice and eat immediately.

    Hy’s Vancouver

    Holiday Hours
    Closed Dec 25, 26 and January 1
    Open Dec 27 & 28 4:00pm – 10:00pm

    Monday – Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm

    Monday-Sunday 4:00pm – 10:00pm

    Hy’s Whistler

    Daily 3:00pm – 9:00pm

    Happy House (with Live DJ Saturday & Sunday)
    Daily 3:00pm – 5:00pm

    Hy’ Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar 
    637 Hornby Street
    Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

    Per Se Social Corner

    On any day (but especially a rainy day like today), nothing beats a dish like the Chicken Paella at Per Se Social Corner, a true gem and neighbourhood go-to in Yaletown, to warm you right up! For the perfect Friday night dinner in, here is their Chicken Paella recipe for you to enjoy at home:


    1 large organic chicken breast drum bone in cooked to perfection on the grill
    1 teaspoon tomato paste
    1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
    1 pinch Persion saffron, crushed
    1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 red pepper, diced small
    2 tbsp green peas
    1 small Spanish chorizo, cooked and sliced
    1 litre chicken stock or vegetable stock
    60 g raw Spanish bomba rice or Uncle Ben converted rice
    3 lemon wedges (garnish)
    1 pinch parsley, chopped


    1. Grab a Paella pan for 2-3 people.
    2. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Sweat them slowly for 5 minutes.
    3. Add diced red pepper
    4. Add 4 oz of stock, add tomato paste, and add crushed saffron. Start dissolving.
    5. Let cook for 3 minutes to extract most of the saffron flavour and colour.
    6. Pour the rice and start cooking at medium flame/heat, gradually adding the stock until the rice is cooked.
    7. Once the rice is cooked and you have a creamy texture, add the peas, then place the chorizo slices in a circle around the Paella.
    8. Place the grilled chicken breast in the centre. Place 3 lemon wedges on the edge as decoration.
    9. Finish the Paella with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday to Friday 11:30am – 11:00pm
    Saturday & Sunday 11:00am – 11:00pm (Brunch 11:00am – 2:30pm)

    Per Se Social Corner
    891 Homer Street
    Vancouver, BC V6B 2W2

    Glowbal Group

    It’s not a true Glowbal experience unless you order their famous Brussels Sprouts and now you can learn how to make this quick and easy dish at home!

    Photo by Glowbal Group

    Brussels Sprouts by Glowbal Group


    1 lbs brussels sprouts
    1.5 tbsp capers, drained
    1/4 cup grated parmesan
    1/2 tsp chilli flakes 


    • Bring up the temperature on your deep fryer to 375 degrees. Wash sprouts and remove any dead or browning leaves. Quarter large sprouts and halve smaller sprouts. Ensure the Brussels Sprouts are completely dry before putting them into the deep fryer.
    • Place Brussels Sprouts into deep fryer and cook for 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove the sprouts from the deep fryer and shake to remove all excess oil. Place into a small bowl, adding capers, lemon juice, grated Parmesan, chilli flakes and salt. Toss together, plate and serve immediately. 


    This dish is available at all Glowbal Group locations.

    Glowbal Group

    Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse

    For a truly quintessential Vancouver dining experience, look no further than Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse. Executive Chef Wayne Sych is sharing his Seafood Cioppino recipe with us and we can’t wait to try it ourselves!

    Photo by Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse

    Serves 6


    45 ml Olive oil
    180 ml White onions, julienned Carrots, julienned
    180 ml Leeks, white part only julienned Celery julienned
    180 ml Fennel bulb, julienned
    1 clove Fresh garlic, minced
    5 ml Fennel seeds
    5 ml Fresh thyme leaves
    240 ml Tomato paste
    5 ml Sambal olek
    1 pinch Saffron
    2L Fish stock, homemade or a good quality one purchased from a stock market
    300 g Fresh salmon, skinless, boneless, cut into 1 inch cubes
    300 g Fresh halibut, skinless, boneless, cut into 1 inch cubes
    2 lb Fresh whole Dungeness crab, cooked and cleaned, cut into 6 sections
    18 pcs Whole fresh spot prawns
    400g Fresh clams, rinsed
    400g Fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded
    7.5ml Salt
    5ml Pepper
    15ml Fresh parsley, chopped

    *You can substitute halibut or salmon with other fish as long as it has a firm texture. Your local fish monger will help with your selections.


    • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot that will fit all the seafood.
    • Add the onions, carrots, leeks, celery, fennel bulb and garlic sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
    • Add the fennel seeds, fresh thyme and tomato paste and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the fish stock, saffron, sambal olek, salt and pepper.
    • Bring broth to a boil.
    • Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    • Add the salmon, halibut, crab, spot prawns, clams and mussels. Stir gently and cover. *Note: When first placing the fish and shellfish into the simmering broth stir it gently to coat all the seafood in the broth. Cover and let it cook. If you over stir it the fish will break into little bits.
    • Cook until clams and mussels open and seafood is cooked for approximately 4-6 minutes.
    • Sprinkle the fresh chopped parsley over top.
    • Remove from heat and serve immediately with crusty bread on the side. *Note: Portioning the seafood into serving dishes can take extra care so it’s recommended to place the pot in the centre of the table and everyone can serve themselves to their liking.

    The Seafood Cioppino is available for lunch and dinner at the restaurant!

    Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse
    777 Thurlow St
    Vancouver, BC V6E 3V5

    Stay tuned for more…

  • Generosity from the Similkameen Valley


    “Vanessa Vineyards aims to donate a total of 200 meals over the next 90 days to the Meals on Wheels Program at the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society, which delivers food to seniors every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The winery is starting with a donation of 100 meals; then, for every six bottles purchased of its minerally driven powerhouse wines, Vanessa Vineyards will donate an additional two meals in support of its neighbours.

    To purchase wine online, visit vanessavineyard.com. Shipping is free within B.C. for purchases of 12 bottles or more.”

    by Joanne Sasvari, Vitis

  • Similkameen Valley

    As a proud member of the Similkameen Independent Winegrowers, we are grateful to call the Similkameen Valley home to Vanessa Vineyard.  By learning more about the valley we hope you’ll appreciate the region and its wine even more!

    Similkameen Valley refers to the region in and around the basin of the Similkameen River, located in the Thompson-Okanagan region immediately north of the United States border.  The valley is carved from the rugged, steep Cascade Mountains by the Similkameen River, which meanders through the heart of this almost 200 kilometer-long valley. The terroir is visible through the eroding rock of the mountainside and the ancient gravel beds, as well as the complex deposits of minerals and soils deposited by the glacial action.

    As one of the original areas of British Columbia to be prospected, farmed, and ranched in the mid 19th century, Similkameen is a special historical region in the province.  In fact, the valley is regarded as one of the two foundations of the province’s orcharding industry, dating back to an original 30 acre lot of fruit trees being farmed and harvested in the 1860s.

    Characterized by its rugged terrain and intense summers, Similkameen has evolved into BC’s largest designated viticultural area and the Organic Farming Capital and Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.  The region’s topography, climate, and soil types provide the perfect foundation for producing unique wine and have led Similkameen to be touted as the next great Canadian wine region.

    With over a dozen wineries spanning 691 acres, there is so much to experience as you travel through the rustic region.  The top planted grapes in the Similkameen Valley are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.

    Visit Similkameen Independent Winegrowers and Similkameen Valley Planning Society to learn more about the valley’s wineries, orchards, eateries and all else that the region has to offer!

  • Month Of Awards

    As we move past Thanksgiving, our team continues to be thankful for the recent awards that our current vintages have received:

    Vanessa Vineyard Meritage 2013 and Syrah 2013 both won GOLD at the 2017 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition. The 2017 Awards result page on their website states:

    “The wines of British Columbia found an appreciative audience with the judging panel, which awarded 16 gold medals to Canadian entries, four of those being unanimous double golds. Perhaps even more impressive was that 11 of those gold medals went to work with red wines, including six focused on Bordeaux varieties. Howard Soon, one of Canada’s most respected winemakers, heads up Vannessa Vineyard Estate Winery in the cooler Similkameen Valley west of the Okanagan Valley. His 2013 Meritage and 2013 Syrah each merited a gold medal.”

    In the wine industry, October is often referred to as  “The Month of Merlot”.  

    We are also honoured that our 2014 Merlot continues to receive some stellar reviews:

    beppi-crossariolBeppi Crosariol, lifestyle columnist for the Globe and Mail wrote: “The 2014 Merlot is a blend of 85 percent Merlot and 15 percent Cabernet Franc, with a smooth, luscious texture carrying flavours of ripe plum, currant jam, cocoa, tangy cedar and toasty oak.  Well structured.”  90 points.



    john-schreinerThe Merlot accolades continued with John Schreiner: “This is the first single variety Merlot from Vanessa.  The wine shows good concentration, with aromas of blackcurrant, black cherry and spice, all of which is echoed in the dried fruit flavours on the rich palate.” 92 points.



    To view more of our awards and accolades, please visit our website here.

  • Master Winemaker Howard Soon Joins Vanessa Vineyard

    Vanessa Vineyard is proud to announce Howard Soon as our Master Winemaker. A pioneer in the BC wine industry, he has been awarded with innumerable accolades and established many firsts in the province, including the first to release a series of single vineyard designated wines.

    “I’ve worked with Vanessa Vineyard grapes since its founding, and believe it is unlike any other vineyard due to the site’s unique topography, climatic conditions, and soil types – the perfect combination for making truly distinctive wine. When we first started getting fruit from Vanessa for Sandhill Wines we saw the potential, and when I tried our first vintage of Cabernet Franc I was blown away.” said Howard Soon, Master Winemaker. “I’m excited to go back to the workbench, it will be refreshing to be hands-on with these small productions. I believe this special terroir is the best site for growing premium reds in Canada.”

    Vanessa Vineyard is situated high on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley with red grapes cultivated on sloping terrain. The vines grow in rows of rock, absorbing the day heat and imparting that warmth during the cooler nights, thus bestowing complex flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive. A burgeoning appellation, the Similkameen Valley is touted as “the next great Canadian wine region.”

    Viticulturist Robert Goltz comments, “I’ve been planting vines in the Okanagan for over 40 years and in the Similkameen since the NAFTA grape pullout. From the start, we recognized the Vanessa site was ideal for premium reds, there is just so much sun exposure in the summer and the rocks were both a huge problem and an advantage.”

    “Over the past decade we’ve worked closely with Howard. He helps growers and everyone else excel at their craft in the expertise he provides. He is unique among winemakers in giving us such incredibly detailed feedback on exactly what he’s looking for on the palate so that we can make changes in the vineyard to meet the precise flavour profile he’s trying to achieve in the fruit. Now that he’s with Vanessa, he will have even more freedom to continue this,” Goltz said.

    “We aspire to produce the best red wines in the country and are proud to have a winemaker of Soon’s expertise on our journey. With this premier site and an extraordinary winemaking and viticulture team, we can craft profound wines that reflect this truly distinctive vineyard,” said Suki Sekhon, co-founder Vanessa Vineyard.

    A living legend, for over three decades Howard Soon has been on the leading edge of winemaking innovation. Originally a brewmaster, a taste for more creativity saw him join the fledgling BC wine industry in 1980. Amongst numerous other milestones, Howard was the first winemaker in the province to receive a Gold Medal at the Chardonnay du Monde in France; release a series of single vineyard designated wines; and sweep the Canadian Wine Awards receiving Red Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year and Winery of the Year — the only winery to ever win all three. Most recently, Soon was recognized at the 2015 Vancouver International Wine Festival Celebrating Excellence Awards with the highly coveted Spirited Industry Professional.  His collaborative relationships with growers led him to Vanessa Vineyard in 2006, where working with their viticulture team, he oversaw the planting of their vineyard. He subsequently purchased the vast majority of their grapes for his highly-acclaimed Sandhill Vanessa Vineyard wines. In 2017 Howard “retired” after 37 years with one of Canada’s largest wine companies to focus on truly small lot winemaking as Master Winemaker for Vanessa Vineyard.

  • Tasting Room Launch

    Industry Night – July 27, 2017

    Industry Night was a special invitation to friends in the wine industry and affiliated businesses. An opportunity for all of them to view our new facility, taste our wines and tour our spectacular property.

    Food: Harker’s Organics Barn Door Bistro~Catering
    Flowers: Polka Dot Door
    Tours: Moxie Tours

    Media Launch – August 1, 2017

    The official Media opening of the Similkameen Valley’s newest tasting room was held on August 1st. Guests had the pleasure of meeting owner Suki Sekhon and the rest of our team and enjoyed a tour of our unique property aptly described by Howard Soon as “a vineyard unlike any other in Canada, it’s the best site for growing premium vinifera reds”.  That was followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony, and an afternoon where the guests enjoyed our exclusive wines.  It was wonderful to receive great feedback from the attendees on the Tasting Room design and the flavour profiles of the wines.

    Food: Harker’s Organics Barn Door Bistro~Catering
    Flowers: Polka Dot Door

    Grand Opening – August 11, 2017

    The grand opening party of Tasting Room was a friends and family event held on August 11th. The design of the Tasting Room is inspired by the region’s natural grandeur. Its elegance is in its simplicity, incorporating the natural mosaic of the land and integrating our distinct rocky terrain.

    The guests tasted our exclusive wines, along with delectable local cuisine, and enjoyed lively music.  Guests had the opportunity to meet the team and have the pleasure of having special bottles signed by owners Suki Sekhon and John Welson.

    Food: Harker’s Organics Barn Door Bistro~Catering
    Flowers: Polka Dot Door
    Musicians for the evening: Lucy Blu & The Blu Boys

  • Thai Grilled Beef Salad & Rose

    Vancouver Sun - Thai RecipeFrom the Vancouver Sun, a fantastic recipe for two by Steven Raichlen that they recommend with our 2016 Rosé. Steven Raichlen is widely regarded as America’s foremost authority on live fire cooking. The five-time James Beard award winner has a new cookbook out: Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Marinades. As the Sun notes, the Project Smoke celebrity chef is in the Barbecue Hall of Fame, so you can trust him. This light meal employs a unique post-grilling marinade for super fresh flavour.

    Wine columnist, Anthony Gismondi writes on the Vanessa Vineyard Rosé wine pairing… “A richer Tavel style gives this savoury, spicy, dark berry flavoured rosé all it needs accompany the beef and seasoning in a Thai salad.”

    Thai Grilled Beef Salad Recipe:

    • 1 lb (454 g) skirt steak
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2 tbsp (60 mL) canola oil
    • Bibb lettuce
    • English cucumber
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh mint leaves
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Thai or regular basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro leaves
    • 1 jalapeno, minced
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped peanuts

    Preheat grill on high. Season beef with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil. Brush grill with oil and grill steak until cooked to taste, 3 or 4 minutes a side. Rest meat 1 minute. Thinly slice and toss with two thirds of the Thai Flavour After Marinade. Arrange lettuce, sliced cucumbers and halved cherry tomatoes on a platter. Top with beef, herbs and peanuts. Serve with remainder of marinade.

    Thai Flavour After Marinade

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2-inch (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    • 1 stalk lemon grass, peeled and minced
    • 2 tbsp (60 mL) cilantro root, washed and minced (optional)
    • 5 tbsp (75 mL) sugar
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fish sauce
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) lime juice

    In a bowl, combine garlic, ginger, lemon grass and cilantro. Sprinkle with sugar and mash. Add fish sauce and lime juice and set aside.