Category Archives: Booze News

The Dirt from Road 13 Winery

road 13It’s all about the teleprompter
Road 13 has launched a series of short online movies in an effort to help wine lovers learn while getting to know the personalities behind the winery. The humorous movies, released in groups, can be viewed via a link at our website,, or by searching YouTube. Check out “Mr. Oaky”, “Mike’s Tanks”, “How We Farm”, and of course, “The Dirt”! This initiative confirms that the team should stick to grape-growing and winemaking and leave acting to the pros. Enjoy the videos here!

Road 13 Vineyards Shines in the Gold Medal Plates Competition
In late October, the Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary Gold Medal Plates competitions took place. Raising funds for Canada’s high performance athletes, the Gold Medal Plates competitions match dishes with perfectly paired wines and celebrate Canadian excellence in food and wine as well as in athletics. Road 13 Vineyards was honoured to have their wines featured with two of the Gold-medal-winning recipes, and one from the Bronze-medal winning category!

In Edmonton, Bistecca Italian Steakhouse chef Sonny Sung earned the Bronze with a dish of elegant simplicity and impeccable balance using a juicy, lightly smoked chop from a rack of Alberta lamb, its surface patted with chopped fresh herbs, a roasted parsnip and truffle purée with a foie gras jus for sauce.  The spicy 2007 Road 13 Syrah was an excellent accompaniment.

In Vancouver, Cactus Club chef Rob Feenie captured the Gold with a dish that started with a parsnip pear and pineapple sorbet for cleansing the palate.  This was followed a duck confit and chicken boudin noir sausage enriched with foie gras, fig and truffle which paired beautifully with the 2008 Road 13 Viognier Roussanne Marsanne.  Amazing!

t the Calgary event, chef Jan Hrabec of Crazyweed Restaurant from Canmore was the Gold medal victor. Her braised duck leg in a bright, fruity orange curry sauce with notes of ancho chile, cardamom, star anise, and coriander was partnered with Indian spiced sweet potato and wilted chard with a crispy shallot garnish and was an outstanding match to the 2008 Road 13 Pinot Noir.

Congratulations to all the chefs, as everything sounds delicious; it’s too bad we couldn’t be in three places at once to taste all their pairings!

Top 10 Time
Pam and Mick Luckhurst were thrilled to learn that in the first year of making wine under the Road 13 label, they made the Top Ten Canadian Wineries List issued by Wine Access magazine as part of the 2009 Canadian Wine Awards. It’s a prestigious honour and the Luckhurst family would like to extend congratulations to the other winning wineries as well. Rah! Rah! Canada.

Feast at Cornucopia
In mid-November, winemaker Michael Bartier teamed up with chef Wayne Martin of Fraîche, Crave on Main, and Crave Beachside.  The event was one of two private house luncheons held at Cornucopia, Whistler’s Celebration of Wine and Food, and it featured Road 13’s wines exclusively. The courses served were; poached lobster and truffles with Road 13 2008 Riesling, roasted lamb loin with seasonal mushrooms and arugula pesto with the 2008 Pinot Noir, and apple tart tatin with crème fraiche ice cream with Road 13 2006 Sparkling Chenin Blanc, the pairing was a stunning success and an excellent excuse for Michael to put the work of harvest to rest and visit Whistler!

Wine Feature: 2006 Road 13 Fifth Element
The cellar crew at Road 13 are excited to share the 2006 Fifth Element. A blend of 38% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot, the wine is about balance, elegance, and a “delicious complexity” factor, with flavours running from tobacco through chocolate with much fruit between, with a mouth filling but not cloying texture. The Merlot grapes came from the Golden Mile side of the valley while the rest of the blend originated from the Black Sage Bench.  This is the wine the entire cellar revolves around.  “Nothing gets blended until I’ve finalized the fifth blend,” says winemaker Michael Bartier.  After winning numerous gold medals as well as the prestigious 2009 BC Lieutenant Governor’s award, the supply of this wine is dwindling.  Get yours before it is too late! BIOGRAPHY  – BAILEY WILLIAMSON – Cellar Master
Bailey joined Road 13 in the summer of 2006 in preparation for harvest and crush. He brought with him a wealth of experience in the food and wine industries. A trained chef with a passion for all comestibles, Bailey dreams of making cheese and salami to accompany the wine.  With his ongoing educational and cellar work, Bailey is like having another winemaker which Michael greatly appreciates.  Bailey receives a lot of joy and takes much pride in the Sparkling Chenin Blanc project which he has spearheaded since its inception.

Bailey and his wife Jenny are thrilled with the impending arrival of a sibling for their son Porter.  They have settled down in sleepy Oliver and Bailey has become an important member of the team.

Growing Our Land Holdings
In October the Luckhursts purchased the 12+acre vineyard of friends and growers Peter and Helga Serwo. The Serwos planted much of the Golden Mile Bench, including the original Tinhorn Creek site and the land at Road 13. Peter and Helga sold the Golden Mile winery and vineyard to Mick and Pam in 2003 when they wanted to slow down after 50 years of viticulture. They held back a 12-acre vineyard for their children but when it became apparent that their children were not going to pursue farming, Mick got the call. Winemaker Michael Bartier can hardly contain his excitement as all of the vines are 29 years old this spring. Planted are Riesling, Bacchus, and Kerner, making the grapes prime candidates for Honest John’s White! The addition of this vineyard represents Road 13’s continuing commitment to the Golden Mile, an historical viticultural area of great importance in the Okanagan.

Join Road 13’s Cellar Club & Receive a Special Bonus
Road 13’s Cellar Club is unlike others on offer. There are no monthly minimum purchases and we let our club members pick the wines they want rather than ship what is lingering in the cellar.

All that is required is that customers must purchase two cases of wine directly from the winery and have an appreciation for fine cuisine and a passion for Okanagan Valley wine. You order only the wines you want, when you want them! Check out for full details.

Buy 24 bottles of wine through our wine club between now and December 31, 2009 and receive a
$50 gift certificate to one of our restaurant partners. (offer available in BC only)

Restaurant partners include:
West, Salt, DB Moderne, Pair Bistro, The District, and Coast in Vancouver
Café Brio, Stage Wine Bar and Pescatores  in Victoria
Cabana, Bouchons and Waterfront Wines in Kelowna
Amante and Bogners in Penticton
North 54 in Prince George

Road 13 Vintage Report
In the Okanagan Valley, cool climate viticulture is defined by its compressed growing season, which is possible with the long daylight hours that southern regions miss.  2009 was, hands down, the most compressed vintage that we’ve ever seen in the Okanagan. Bud break began almost 3 weeks late yet, despite the late start, the vines easily caught up with little rain and perfect temperatures for uninterrupted growth. We started into harvest well ahead of schedule which was fortunate because we were about to get hit with some unseasonably cold weather much earlier than normal.  The growing season ended about 2 weeks early with a leaf killing frost (albeit on generally ripe grapes). We were fortunate for our ripeness to have caught up the way it did!

Obviously the weather conditions will have an impact on the flavours and textures of the wines, which will reveal themselves over time.  Nobody honestly knows if the impact will be positive or simply “different”.  The star wines that we have noticed so far in the cellar are definitely Chardonnay, which is showing excellent intensity and balance, and Merlot and Syrah, which are showing very good intensity as well as excellent tannic structure.  Overall, we’re excited for the new vintage to be released and can’t wait to share them!

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Working Horse Winery

A Thompson Okanagan Winery invites you to meet the Working Horse team: Meaghan. Greta. You won’t meet two ladies more dedicated to their craft, or better suited for life on an organic winery, vineyard inn and working farm. The fact that the two are a team of Suffolk Draft mares – each weighing in at one ton – well, that just adds a bit more credo to the winery’s dedication to sustainable heritage farming practices. Indeed, Working Horse Winery, Vineyard and Farm, situated in Peachland, south of Kelowna, has embraced the old while ushering in the new: here, historic vineyards and heritage farming techniques blend seamlessly with a contemporary approach to premium organic winemaking. And that’s where Meaghan and Greta come in. The team, each descendants of English-bred draft horses, work the 22-acre farm individually and together, helping to preserve heritage plant and animal species. True work horses, they are each strong, sure-footed, and gentle; intelligent with a tireless work ethic. And together, they do their part to produce small lots of premium wines made from the vinifera grown on the farm – namely Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, their Rare Breed White and Tilman Ice. Guests can take a sip for themselves this winter, as the farm welcomes overnight guests at the new Inn at Working Horse, set on a turn of the century homestead which is home of North America’s first commercially-produced Icewine (Tilman Hainle, noted as Canada’s foremost organic winemaker, produced the first vintage in 1973). With your stay, there’s also the promise of vineyard views and organically-inspired meals, plus personalized guided tours of the farm and Icewine Interpretation Centre. Not to mention an opportunity to say howdy to Meaghan and Greta.

News from Vista D’oro

Come in from the Cold & Go for the D’oro

This holiday season pickup a bottle of Vista D’oro’s “D’ oro – 2007”. D’oro means ‘gold’ for those of you without a little Italian in your life but at Vista D’oro The D’oro is an artisanally crafted, fortified port-style wine made with BC’s finest small lot vinifera. It is a blend of Marechal Foch, Merlot & Cabernet Franc married with the pressing off of Vista D’oro Green Walnuts from its macerating partner Okanagan Gamay Noir Brandy. What better way to welcome 2010? Sit by the fire, sip a little D’oro, watch the snow fall (if you are in Vancouver it could be hail, rain, sleet, sunshine…you get the idea).

Vista D’oro Farms & Winery offers holiday gift boxes and branded wood wine crates for personal and corporate gifting. The winery’s bestseller contains a 500ml bottle of the aforementioned 2007 D’oro, alongside a trio of Vista D’oro Artisanal Preserves for $90. With many other combinations and local holiday offerings available, it’s time to get out to the farm for a visit and a browse. For December only Vista D’oro will be open Sundays from 11am until 4pm, and regular hours Thursdays thru Friday 10am until 4pm.

The Farmgate Shop is now stocking Chef Belcham’s ‘The Cure’ ,  handcrafted charcuterie, alongside Farmhouse Natural Cheeses in the cooler. Thomas Haas creations, Terra Bread crisps & Fieldstone Bakery treats are among the many local offerings in the Farmgate Shop & Tasting Room. Spiced Cranberry & Ice Wine preserves and Turkish Fig with Walnut Wine are back in stock for the entertaining season, perfect on a cheese board. Vista D’oro Blend tea – blended by Lee Murphy and inspired by trips to Paris, a delicate blend of Pear, Rose, Hazelnut & Vanilla; is among the latest offerings by the farm.

Vista D’oro Farms & Winery showcases progressive products and ideas while promoting local, seasonal cuisine.  Proprietors Patrick and Lee Murphy are dedicated to the promotion of the farm-fresh, seasonal products found on their own and other Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island farms.  Nestled out in the valley, just beyond the urban sprawl in the comfort of the country, Vista D’oro, the farm with the golden view, is the perfect place to seek out local treats. Vista D’oro is located at 20856 4th Avenue in Langley, BC. Please call (604) 514-3539 for more information or visit

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New Releases from Sanduz Wines

sanduzlogoSanduz Estate Wines is proud to announce the bottling of three new grape varietals and our latest creation, Blueberry Merlot.  Come and try our new releases or any of our other outstanding wines.

Dry Gewurztraminer 2008

An Alsatian style wine made dry to compliment fine dining. With a yellow-green colour, it has an aroma of spice, melon and tropical fruit.

Pinot Gris 2008

A crisp well balanced wine with hints of peach, apricot and apple.

Viognier 2008

An aroma of apple and ripe pear with mineral notes. Well balanced with crisp acidity.

Blueberry Merlot

The aromatic bouquet of fresh blueberries combines with the raspberry, blackberry notes of Merlot. Off-dry, full bodied with a hint of oak and soft tannins.

We would like to share with you our success with awards Sanduz wines have won over the past year, listed by the most recent competition.  Thank you for your continued support!

2009 Canadian Wine Awards

Silver Medal Raspberry Table Wine

Silver Medal Black Currant Table Wine

2009 All Canadian Wine Championships

Bronze Medal Dry Blueberry Wine

2009 Northwest Wine Summit

Gold Medal                 Raspberry Table Wine

Silver Medal                Black Currant Table Wine

Silver Medal                Cranberry Dessert Wine

Silver Medal               Raspberry Dessert Wine

Bronze Medal             Blueberry Table Wine

Bronze Medal             Cherry Port

Bronze Medal             Gooseberry Table Wine

We also carry frozen blueberries in the winery all winter long, as well as the world’s first Puffed Blueberries, come try them today!

Our Blazins (blueberry raisins) are available now too.

Our Chocolate Wine Truffles are also available just in time for the holiday season!  Limited quantities available.

Come by and visit our store and tasting room for complimentary tastings of our latest wines.  Open daily from 11:00am to 6:00pm.  Wheelchair accessible

Location: 12791 Blundell Road (& Sidaway Road), Richmond, B.C.

Ph: (604)214-0444 / Fax: (604)273-5646

15th Okanagan Spring Wine Festival Marks the Official Arrival of Spring

Wine enthusiasts and weather forecasters agree that Spring is definitely arriving this weekend due to the launch of the 15th Okanagan Spring Wine Festival presented by Valley First Credit Union. With the prediction of sunny skies and temperatures in the low 20’s, the 92 member wineries of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society are expecting strong turnouts for the over 80 wine and food events during the 10 day Spring Wine Festival.
Daniel Bibby, General Manager, The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, stated today “The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort is ecstatic at being given the opportunity to showcase our resort hotel as the host of the very popular WestJet Wine Tastings on Friday May 1 and Saturday May 2. The demand is so strong that advance tickets sales are the highest they have been ever. With increased capacity that we can offer, we are expecting to see 700 -750 people both nights enjoying premium wines, music and an on-site wine store for all wineries which is a first for this event.” Ticket prices for the WestJet Wine Tastings are $55 available online through or by phone at 250-860-1470. Your ticket also includes a free taxi ride home courtesy of the BC Liquor Stores and Johnston Meier Insurance.

Terasen Gas Gourmet and Grapes Gala At Cabana Bar & Grille Near Sell Out!
Ned Bell, Executive Chef at Cabana Bar & Grille is pleased to announce that ticket sales are hot for the newest food and wine event in the Okanagan. “We are expecting a sell out crowd of 250 patrons this Sunday night May 3. If you have not purchased your ticket to the event that everyone will be talking about all summer, I encourage you to call Ticketmaster at 250-860-1470 or go online to I am looking forward to taking on celebrated Vancouver Chef David Hawksworth in an Iron Chef, Okanagan Throwdown black box challenge.” The Terasen Gas Gourmet and Grapes Gala will be held Sunday evening May 3 at the Cabana Bar & Grille starting at 6pm. Tickets are $79 and will feature the following culinary talents and wineries: Blasted Church Winery and the Wild Apple Restaurant & Lounge; Laughing Stock Vineyards and Cabana Bar & Grille; Summerhill Sunset Bistro and Summerhill Pyramid Winery; Quails Gate Estate Winery and Quails Gate Old Vines Restaurant; Tantalus Vineyards and the Dairy Farmers of Canada; Ex Nihilo Winery and the Hotel Eldorado Dining Room.
For more information on the 15th Okanagan Spring Wine Festival presented by Valley First Credit Union, visit or from your mobile device at or call 250-861-6654. Complimentary events guides are available at wineries, chambers of commerce, Valley First Credit Union branches, Tourism BC Visitor Information Centres or BC Liquor Stores in the Okanagan.

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Le Vieux Pin 2008 Spring Releases

lvpsauvignonblancFinally! Spring has arrived. Bud break is upon us and the days are getting warmer all the time. Appetites are turning to lighter, brighter foods with wines to match. At Le Vieux Pin our spring releases aim to please. If you’ve been by the winery lately you’ve likely had a sneak preview of these fresh new wines. We couldn’t be more proud and we’re confident you’re going to find at least one that you’ll love. Remember that the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival is just around the corner, this is your chance to get these wines before the crowds!

2008 “Vaïla” Pinot Noir Rosé $25

A favorite every year and always in demand, this pink gem is the perfect garden party wine. Made through the old Burgundian method of Saignée, this rosé is produced from free run juice and entirely steel tank aged. It is a fun, yet delicate wine absolutely made for summer. There are heaps of strawberries and pink grapefruit on the nose with underlying tones of watermelon and violets. The palate is dry, spicy, strawberry sorbet and some savory cardamom notes. We produced 509 cases from the 2008 vintage and orders are rolling in so if you already love this wine we recommend you act fast. If you haven’t tried it yet, where have you been? Get to the winery.

Food Pairing: Prosciutto, Cornish game or a poolside BBQ

2008 Gewurztraminer $25

With less than 20 cases produced last year, very few people got to try this wine. In order to share the love we’ve produced 318 cases of the 2008 vintage. We recommend getting here early if you want a chance to try it. The main ingredient is organically grown fruit from the Westbank region, which brings lightness and acidity to the wine. Then we added a small amount of fruit from Oliver to give it a little extra depth. The nose on this Gewurztraminer offers up lots of honeysuckle, orange zest, with hints of rose petal and lavender. There is crisp acidity up front that lends to light delicate citrus flavors of white grapefruit and lychee with a fresh, long finish. This wine is well structured and balanced.

Food Pairing: Endive salad or a fruit and cheese plate on a sunny Sunday brunch

2008 Sauvignon Blanc $35

We love it and we’re not afraid to say so. A staff favorite and a production of only 203 cases mean this wine will ‘disappear’ very quickly. This is without a doubt one of the most unique examples of this varietal available. The majority of fruit came from our Lumeno vineyard by Osoyoos Lake where the steep north facing slope allows for a cool microclimate in a warm macroclimate. With stringent canopy management and leaf removal the resulting fruit has tropical flavors while the cool nights allow for great natural acidity. The wine was partially fermented in oak using 36 month air-dried Billon French oak, with the rest in steel tank. The finished wine has big pineapple, passion fruit, citrus, and hints of lemon meringue pie on the nose with a mouth coating palate full of lemon, lime, vanilla spice and great acidity.

Food Pairing: Lobster, King crab legs (because you ought to be spending $30 a pound with this wine), more lobster and oysters. Preserved lemon risotto is also a favorite.

All these wines are sold in cases of 12 but but can be mixed and matched… If this is something you are interested in, you may order by contacting us at (604) 697-0988; emailing us at; downloading our order form or visiting us at

If you are simply looking for a bottle or two, stop by one of the many specialty wine shops around the province that carry our wines

For your convenience, we have listed two stores that carry our complete line up:
Viti Wine & Lagers

Sutton Place Wine Merchants

A Votre Santé!