• 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

    Ingredients:

    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)

    Method:

    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
    @fairmontpacific
    www.fairmont.com/pacificrim


    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

    Ingredients:

    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

    Method:

    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

    Lunch
    Monday – Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm

    Dinner
    Monday-Sunday 4:00pm – 10:00pm

    Hy’s Whistler

    Dinner
    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
    @hyssteakhouse
    www.hyssteakhouse.com


    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:

    Ingredients:

    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

    Method:

    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
    604-428-6111
    @persesocialcorner
    www.persesocialcorner.com


    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

    Ingredients:

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

    Method:

    • 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. 


    Voila! 

    This dish is available at all Glowbal Group locations.

    Glowbal Group
    @glowbalgroup
    www.glowbalgroup.com


    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

    Ingredients:

    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.

    Method:

    • 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
    604-669-1940
    @joefortesvan
    www.joefortes.ca


    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

  • Howard Soon honoured with The Order of Canada

    Howard Timothy Lee Soon, C.M.
    Kelowna, British Columbia

    For his leading role in shaping, expanding and elevating British Columbia’s wine industry.

    Read the official press release here:
    https://www.gg.ca/en/media/news/2019/governor-general-announces-83-new-appointments-order-canada

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In the words of John Schreiner, Canada’s most prolific author of wine books:

    “The Order of Canada is the highest honour that Canada can give to a citizen. No one is more deserving of such an honour than Howard Soon. He will do his 40th vintage this year at Vanessa Vineyard, which he joined in 2017 on retiring from Sandhill Wines. Throughout his illustrious career, his wines have won more than 100 major awards. He has mentored numerous other winemakers. He was a pioneer in championing single vineyard wines and in elucidating the concept of terroir. Becoming the first BC winemaker to receive the Order of Canada crowns a remarkable, and continuing, career.”

  • Nine Times a Winner: Vanessa Vineyard Collects Honours at Home and Abroad

    Three competitions award BC winery with Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze

    Cawston, BC — June 27, 2018: Acclaimed British Columbia winery Vanessa Vineyard has brought home a combined nine honours from three prestigious international competitions — an exceptional feat for a winery of such relative youth.

    The 2018 edition of the All Canadian Wine Championships (Canada’s oldest wine competition), held June 12 – 14 in Prince Edward County, Ontario, awarded three medals to Vanessa Vineyard. They are:
    • Double Gold (Best in Category): Cabernet Franc 2015 (Category: Cabernet Franc – over $30)
    • Gold: Right Bank 2014 (Category: Bordeaux Blends, Older Vintages)
    • Silver: Rosé 2017 (Category: Rosé, Blush Style)

    In its 79th year, the Los Angeles International Wine Competition bestowed five medals upon Vanessa Vineyard following its blind tastings from May 23 – 24. They are:
    • Silver: Syrah 2014
    • Silver: Merlot 2014
    • Silver: Right Bank 2014
    • Bronze: Meritage 2014
    • Bronze: Cabernet Franc 2015

    Syrah du Monde is a judging of the world’s best Syrah and Shiraz wines. Held in northern Rhône Valley, France, it took place this year from May 16 – 18, and awarded Vanessa Vineyard’s 2014 Syrah a Bronze title.

    Planted in 2006 under the guidance of renowned viticulturists Robert Goltz and Richard Cleave, Vanessa Vineyard is situated on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, comprising 75 acres of extremely rocky terrain. The quantity of rocks on the site initially made vineyard development exceedingly challenging; however, the rocks are a key asset to the property’s unique terroir, allowing day heat to be harnessed and imparted throughout the cooler nights, thus enabling the fruit to produce flavours and minerality that are truly distinctive.

    Since 2012, Vanessa Vineyard has produced small quantities of premium red wines using only estate-grown fruit — its long-term goal is to become one of the best red sites in Canada. In late 2017, the winery marked two milestones: it opened an elegant tasting room on its grounds, and legendary vintner Howard Soon was appointed Master Winemaker. “Each of Vanessa’s wines are distinctive and attractive,” says Soon. “Their common thread of minerality and structure makes me proud to know that they offer something a little extra from our single vineyard in the Lower Similkameen.”

    Wine bottle images are available here.

    About Vanessa Vineyard
    Vanessa Vineyard is dedicated to producing wine that is true to the heritage of its terroir — one of the finest vineyard regions of Canada. Situated on a hillside overlooking the Similkameen Valley, Vanessa grows its grapes on 75 acres of sloping, well-drained rocky terrain. Its tasting room is located 1090 Highway 3, Cawston, BC. Daily summer hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

  • 2015 Cabernet Franc has arrived!

    Father to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 3rd wine of Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc has arrived!

    Nature’s Drama

    Centered in one of the hottest vineyards in British Columbia, Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Franc vines are ideally located to make the most of all that sun.

    Growing Cabernet Franc is not easy. Most viticulturists will tell you it is one of the harder varietals to grow successfully. It’s an extremely vigorous grape that wants to run away on you if you are not paying attention.

    Rocky soil is the perfect balance for an energetic vine. To produce high quality grapes, the vines must first be tamed. Vanessa Vineyard’s location offers some unique advantages in this regard. The rocky soil helps to control the vines natural instincts to grow and strikes a perfect balance that creates a more concentrated grape.

    Mature vines + lots of heat = Opportunity!

    2015 marks the first year that Vanessa Vineyard produced a single varietal Cabernet Franc. This is a creation that is the result of tremendous faith and passion. Just a couple of bins came from the first crop in 2008, but the potential was clear from the first barrel. The wine was sublime, and Master Winemaker Howard could not wait to share the results with Proprietors Suki and John.

    We have reached the culmination of all of that work. Eight years have passed and the vines have settled down and matured. The sun and rocks have done their job well and surrendered their future to the winemaker’s skill.

    After 20 months in the barrel, the results for this 2015 vintage are outstanding. Big fruit, big body and generous flavour characterize this premier vintage.

    Cabernet Franc Quick Facts:

    Vanessa Vineyard Firsts:
    A single barrel of Cabernet Franc was one of the first single varietal wines made from Vanessa Vineyard grapes at Sandhill as a test of the vineyard’s grapes capabilities by Howard Soon. Now Vanessa Vineyard has released it’s inaugural 2015 vintage.

    Distinctive Shaped Leaf:
    The Cabernet Franc leaf has a distinctive sawed tooth edge which looks like Rod Stewart’s hair.

    Decanting Enhances:
    Cabernet Franc is a wine that benefits tremendously from decanting. After 30 minutes, its natural spiciness will mellow into something softer and richer.

    First Batch Planted:
    Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Franc vines were planted in 2006 with the first crop coming in 2008.

    Food Pairings:
    Cabernet Franc pairs well with a variety of foods due to its higher acidity. Pair it with roasted pork, lamb, and well herbed BBQ meats. It also goes well with rich cheeses, vegetables and fresh herbs.

    Regions:
    Cabernet Franc is grown in many regions around the world. France is the largest, followed by Italy and the United States. Canada, Chile, Hungary and South Africa are some of the newer regions bringing outstanding examples to the market.

    With only 220 cases produced, we hope you’ll enjoy this inaugural gem with family and friends. Learn more about the Wine Club here, or by contacting us at thewineclub@vanessavineyard.com or +1.604.689.3882.

  • 5 Reasons Why Wine is a Valentine’s Day Necessity

    Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, providing couples across the world with the opportunity to profess their love and showcase their affection. A lot of pressure can come along with the day of love, stressing out individuals as they try to come up with something that is both unique and special for their romantic night. Though we may find ourselves attracted to the everyday card or box of chocolates, Valentine’s Day provides us with a creative slate to do something even more special.

    We’re here to tell you that you: don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A glass of red wine from your favorite vineyard can enhance an event as special as Valentine’s Day.

    Here are 5 reasons why wine is a Valentine’s Day necessity:

    1. Presentation: If you’re trying to impress your Valentine, nothing looks more enchanting than a glass of red wine at the dinner table. Enjoyed over dinner for thousands of years, there’s a reason red wine is something we reach to consume when we’re celebrating or appreciating what we have. Presentation goes a long way on Valentine’s Day, and it all starts with a bottle of wine.
    2. Romanticism: Valentine’s Day is the day of love. It’s about being romantic. And what’s more romantic than sharing a glass of delicious red wine with your sweetheart? Rich, deep in flavor, yet mystical, red wine does something for the senses. It helps you to relax, unwind, and really take in that beautiful face looking back at you from across the table.
    3. Loving Infection: When you drink wine, your brain produces the “love hormone” oxytocin, which is a chemical compound that is prevalent in loving emotions and reproduction. So yes, drinking a glass of red wine will make you a more romantic partner this Valentine’s Day!
    4. Youthful Happiness: Wine has been shown to promote longevity of life, slowing down the process of aging in both men and women. Thanks to a special compound in red wine known as resveratrol, a chemical reaction activates proteins in our body that protect us from aging diseases. If you and your partner want to both look and feel younger this Valentine’s Day, wine can help.
    5. Pairing Perfection: If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll want everything about your Valentine’s Day to go perfectly. That means appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks that all complement one another. Luckily, red wine complements just about any kind of meal, with a variety of red wines that are custom tailored for any specific type of dinner. Many of us will be cooking dinner on Valentine’s Day, which means a well paired, delicious drink to wash it down with is critically important.

    Vanessa Vineyard’s Valentine’s Day Salute
    This Valentine’s Day, we want you to enjoy yourself, one captivating glass of red wine from our vineyard at a time. More than the generic wine brands collecting dust at liquor stores, our precisely crafted boutique red wine selections, will elevate your Valentine’s Day experience, one glass at a time.

    Make your Valentine’s Day the most memorable and romantic one yet with a glass of Vanessa Vineyard red wine.

  • 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!