Today we welcome back our Mexican vineyard workers. At Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars we have ten Mexican vineyard workers that come to the Okanagan through Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. They work our 80 acre vineyard for eight months of the year. The first group of six arrived on Tuesday, February 25th and four more will arrive later this month. This hardworking team of vineyard workers has been coming to the Okanagan to work at Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars for the past 6 years. The Mexican crew has made an impact with their highly efficient and skilled viticulture techniques.
Javier Lopez, From: Puebla Antonino Mayoral, From: Oaxaca
Alfredo Calderon, From: Estada de Mexico Cirilo Jaramillo, From: Guanajuato
Lucas Garcia, From: Veracruz de Ignacio Valente Acosta, From: Puebla
Jose Perez, From: Yucatan Paulino Augulo, From: Baja California Sur
Alfonso Galindo, From: Estado de Mexico Juan Bedolla, From: Guanajuato
Thanks to all our vineyard crew for making our 80 acres look so spectacular all year long. Blue Mountain visitors, feel free to wave to these friendly faces with the big hats when you pass them on your way to the wine shop this summer.
In their new issue, Western Living has named their 6th annual collection of the best and brightest foodies in the West, "From restaurateurs who used Kickstarter to fund a new space, to chefs who brought gluten-free to the discerning masses, to visionaries who are designing restaurants that change the way we look at food, these are Western Living’s Foodies of the Year". Our winemaker, Matt Mavety is humbled to be included among them.
Here are the twelve "Foodies" that made the list:
THE HOME TEAM: Ayden, Saskatoon
THE ENTERTAINER: Cody Willis—Native Tounges, Calgary
THE LOCAL HEROES: Clark Deutscher & Francois Pilon—Hank's, Ucuelet and Victoria
THE VISIONARY: Mandel Hitzer—RAW:almond, Winnipeg
THE STATEMENT MAKER: Craig Stanghetta—STE. Marie Art & Design, Vancouver
THE PURISTS: Brett & Adam Yakimetz—Yakimetz Farm, Vegreville
THE WINEMAKER: Matt Mavety—Blue Mountain Winery, Okanagan Falls
"Here in Canada, oenophiles use the terms winemaker and vigneron almost interchangeably to describe a person who makes wine, But whereas a winemaker may buy grapes from all sorts of places, the vigneron is steadfastly connected to the land. They select the grapes, farm them, nurture them and practice tough love to draw out their true nature. And while the Okanagan has a nice complement of excellent winemakers, there aren’t many true vignerons like Matt Mavety. But it couldn’t be any other way at Blue Mountain, his home turf. Matt’s father, Ian, planted the first vines 1971, which may as well be in the Pleistocene, it’s so ancient by Okanagan standards. From the get-go the place was all about the land, and what grapes can and should grow in our climate. It was this ethos that Matt was raised on, and when he took over as head winemaker in 2002, there was scant danger of him producing a tempranillo or a cabernet with grapes from Osoyoos. It’s the difference between wanting to be a star or a steward."
THE LIBERATOR: Kerry Bennett—Care Bakery, Calgary
THE CRAFTSMEN: Everywhere, Vancouver
THE HEIR APPARENT: Matthew Stowe—Cactus Club, Vancouver
THE CONSERVATIONIST:Twyla Roscovich—Activist, Sointula
Congratulations to everyone who made the 2014 Foodies of the Year list! Click here to read the article.
If you are ever driving through the Fraser Valley on the way to the coast or the Okanagan and are looking for a great gift to take to friends and family be sure to stop just off the highway at Farm House Cheese. It is well worth the short trip into Agassiz to sample and buy these cheeses. Personal Favorites include: La Pyramide, Alpine Gold and Lady Jane. Owners George Boyes and Debra Amrein-Boyes love their special cows and goats and are proud to offer their world class cheese for your enjoyment. Debra Amrein-Boyes, a renowned cheesemaker, is one of only twelve persons in western Canada and US who has been inducted into the prestigious French Cheese Guild, the “Guilde des Fromagers Confrerie de Saint-Uguzon”, which recognizes those who protect and continue the tradition of cheesemaking around the world
Debra has also written a book for home cheesemakers. “200 Easy Homemade Cheeses recipes-From Cheddar and Brie to Butter and Yogurt” was nominated in 2009 for a World Gourmand Cookbook Award and is available for purchase in the cheese shop, in many book stores, or online. The second edition came out in September 2013.
Alongside George and Debra, their adult children continue to work on the farm and in the cheesemaking business.
5634 McCallum Road, Agassiz, BC, V0M 1A3
Phone: (604) 796-8741 or 1-877-496-8741
Fax: (604) 796-8741
Wine and Cheese Pairings:
Sauvignon Blanc & La Pyramid - an exquisite, French style goat's milk cheese, ash ripened to a complex lingering flavour. The crispness and minerality of the Sauvignon Blanc will celebrate the complexity of this unique cheese.
Sparkling & Lady Jane, similar to a French Chaource, this dense creamy cheese encased in a delicate mould has a meltingly smooth texture that calls for bubbles.
Pinot Noir & Alpine Gold - a washed curd and washed rind cheese with a golden orange rind lending a distinct flavour to the soft interior. The earthiness of the Pinot Noir will lend itself well to this smelly straw coloured cheese.
Since 1978, the Vancouver International Wine Festival formerly known as the Playhouse Wine Festival has been creating opportunities for British Columbians to meet principles/winemakers and owners of some of the most renowned wineries in the world and 2014 is no exception. Throughout it all the BC wine industry has grown up and is now a major player at the table pouring their wines for the world to taste.
This year the feature country is France and the wine focus is bubbly something we do very well in Canada. Our winemaker Matt Mavety was featured in a group called vine stars. Sharing the spotlight with Michel Chapoutier, Thomas Perrin and Clovis Tattinger along with Okanagan Falls Winery neighbour Jak Meyer. The Vancouver International Wine Festival is one of the very best wine festivals in the world and runs February 24 - March 2, 2014. Get your tickets if there are any left and enjoy!
Here is the write up Matt received as a vine star:
Matt Mavety, Winemaker,Blue Mountain As a member of a family-run winery in the Okanagan Valley, Matt Mavety grew up in the vineyards, beginning in earnest when he was 14. The Mavetys use only grapes grown on their picturesque estate to produce their wines, and the diversity of the land allows them to grow varietals including Pinot noir, Gamay noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc
Banville & Jones Wine Co. was founded in 1999 by two sisters, Lia Banville and Tina Jones. Considering their Italian heritage, Lia and Tina were always interested in wine. Their dream of opening a private wine store in Manitoba became a reality when the Manitoba government continued the semi-privatization of the wine industry in 1998. Lia and Tina had a passion for wine and wanted to extend that passion to the consumers of Winnipeg.
Banville & Jones started their dream boutique in a 3800 square foot store on Meadowood Drive in Winnipeg. In November 2005 the store had outgrown its roots and moved to its own stand alone, 3 storey, state of the art facility on St. Mary's Road in St. Vital.
This Tuscan-inspired boutique has all of the best elements of a world class wine store. There are more than 3000 sku's of wine, gifts and gourmet items from every corner of the world. The retail floor boasts the most advanced wine retail shelving system with proper UV filtered lighting in every corner of the building. Our Specialties Cave is completely temperature and humidity controlled, perfectly designed for our rarest specialty wines.
Arriving in Friendly Manitoba in the last year are a selection of wines from Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars. If you haven't had a chance to check out their website you should. They write an informative blog and share some interesting insites. The store also produces its own Magazine called The Cellar Door. Check out who's on the cover of Issue 15. http://www.banvilleandjones.com/cellardoor.php
Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian Excellence in cuisine, wine, the arts and athletic achievement. Celebrated in eleven cities across Canada in 2013, Gold Medal Plates features the premier chefs in each city in a competition to crown a gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team in each city, and subsequently nation-wide at the Canadian Culinary Championships.
Every year for the last 4 years, Canadian Olympic Atheletes, Chefs and Artists from across Canada have gathered in Kelowna in early February to cook and raise money to support Canadian athelete's dreams of making the podium. This year there is extra excitement as many of our atheletes will be heading to Socchi to chase Olympic gold. For the chefs from each of Canada's provinces it is their chance to shine and bring the best of their region to celebrate with the rest of Canada.
For nearly a decade, Chef Kelly Cattani has been honing her craft in some of Winnipeg’s finest kitchens. Today, she is the Chef-de-Cuisine of Diversity Food Services at the University of Winnipeg, overseeing both the on-campus and catering operations.
A graduate of Red River College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Chef Cattani is a founding member of the Winnipeg chapter of the Canadian Culinary Federation’s Junior Chefs, and was a leading organizer of Manitoba’s Centrex Iron Chef competition.
Passionate about authentic, fresh food, prepared creatively and with integrity, Cattani took top honours at this year’s Gold Medal Plates competition and is excited to represent Manitoba at the national event in Kelowna, BC, in February. She will not only be representing her province but will also be pairing her gold medal plate with Blue Mountain's own 2011 Pinot Noir.
Chef Kelly Cattani has provided two great recipes for you to try:
This will be the first in a series of profiles on cheesemakers and cheeseries in British Columbia. Check each month for some amazing artisan cheeses and the wines that pair well with them. Enjoy!
Located at 170 Upper Bench Road South in Penticton is the new cheesery of long time cheesemaker Shana Miller. The cheeses made from 100 % pasturized cow's milk from D Dutchaman Dairy in Sicamous, BC are hand crafted on site. Shana makes 8 different washed rind, brie and blue cheeses. Personal favourites are the Okanagan Sun squared and the Italian Gold. All of the cheeses are gluten and additive free. Phone 250-770-1733 www.upperbench.ca/cheese
Wine and Cheese Pairings
Pinot Gris & Italian Gold - Like a summer in tuscany, garlic, sun-dried tomatos and herbs shared with a crisp pinot gris with enough body to hold the texture of this cheese. Summer in a glass.
Chardonnay & Gold - With a firmer texture, a medium bodied Chardonnay that has a subtle buttery component will compliment this wash rind cheese.
Sparkling & U & Brie - Nothing washes away the creaminess of a silky cheese like the scouring bubbles of sparkling. Match up the luxury of this creamie brie with the racy acidity of sparkling brut. Perfect anytime.
The cheese is available at restaurants and fine cheese merchants throughout British Columbia. Use their handy outlet locator for a retailer or restaurant near you.
http://www.upperbench.ca/where-to-buy/ Or visit Shana at the cheesery:
April through October 31st: open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
November 1st through December 22nd: open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Holidays: We will be closed December 23rd, 2013 to January 5th, 2014.
January through March: open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Looking to purchase Blue Mountain wines in Calgary? We recommend paying a visit to J.Webb Wine Merchant. J.Webb have been selling Blue Mountain's wines for more than 13 years.
Since its inception as one of the first private wine stores in Calgary, J.Webb has always sought to distinguish itself from the typical liquor store. J Webb’s philosophy is based on a simple idea: outstanding service and wonderful wines. It harkens back to the past when these were central themes to a successful merchant.
The staff at J.Webb are not just retailers, but people who enthusiastically live and breathe wine. They travel, they taste, they learn and are continually challenging themselves to improve. Wine is not a product, it is a passion to be shared with their patrons.
This kind of passion has gone on for some two decades and you can witness the success of this approach on the shelves: a wonderfully diverse collection of extraordinary wines.
J.Webb is not about mass production wines it is about relationships with quality family producers. J.Webb is committed to work as directly as possible with its producers and therefore eliminate any unnecessary costs.
J.Webb is more than an assortment of bodies; it embodies a philosophy and a passion. It is a place where you can discover something new, something unusual and without doubt, something wonderful.
Visit their website for more info.
c157 1600 90th ave SW
Glenmore Landing Shopping across from Safeway
2507 17th ave SW on the Crowchild trail turn off
If you've driven up Vancouver Hill on the way to wine touring on the Naramata Bench and ever wondered what that glut of parked cars is just as you leave town, it's definitely the hungry patrons of The Bench Market.
No longer the best kept secret in Penticton, this place is a busy favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. Great sandwiches and salad, and arguably the best coffee in Penticton, The Bench has been hopping since it opened.
Fresh baked goods are a favourite, as are Eggs Benny on the weekends. While there are some seriously good meat sandwiches happening here on many occasions, there are plenty of vegetarian options perfect for lunches in the hot Okanagan sun.
The Bench Market
368 Vancouver Avenue