A sunny spring evening in mid-May provided a delightful opportunity to launch the work week with a Monday night Winemaker’s dinner at Fable Restaurant. Joining us at this acclaimed Vancouver “farm-to-table” venue were the owners of similarly esteemed Similkameen Valley winery Orofino Vineyards – John & Virginia Weber. With a hard attendance cap limited by the restaurant size the highly anticipated tickets had sold out within hours, overnight! Although demand for our many desirable events has consistently grown alongside the size and quality of BC’s wine industry, the number of seats in a given venue will always be a fixed factor. As the eager guests entered at precisely 6:15pm we were ushered to assigned seating where we looked forward to a five-course dinner accompanied by one of the Society’s favourite wineries.
By the date of our dinner it had been nearly four years since Fable opened on Kitsilano’s well known “West Fourth Ave”, where ardent onlookers can gaze into the glass-fronted kitchen facing the busy street. The early rave reviews have continued since then, making Trevor Bird’s ode to authenticity into a neighbourhood favourite and international inducement. The wine list at Fable includes over twenty BC wines to complement the local food, from vineyards in the Cowichan Valley to Osoyoos, and most points in between. The ripe Similkameen-centered libations crafted by the Webers are one of many staples on the list, providing the event’s Chef Max Straczek and his team with rich prospects for a focus on just one of the restaurant’s many preferred partners.
Surveying the printed menu and wine selection made it clear we would be sampling from a cellared selection across much of Orofino’s classic portfolio, with hints of surprises to come. Given the superb viticultural potential in the Similkameen Valley, Canada’s “Organic Capital”, Orofino has taken advantage of several vineyard sites since the Webers built their eco-friendly strawbale winery in 2004. Over the years a greater focus on vineyard specific wines has emerged at Orofino, and now multiple versions of certain varietals are present, including two Cabernet Sauvignon, and three Riesling. Much of the Webers' success comes from the “mad skills” of their grower partners throughout the region, and they proudly tout the pedigree of each vineyard in their tasting room and marketing. Of course the old vines of the home vineyard in Cawston also help, providing original 1989 blocks of Riesling, Orange Muscat, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
As guests greeted one another and surveyed the relaxed decor of Fable’s intimate dining room we received the obvious welcome wine of Moscato Frizzante. What must be the final bottles from the 2014 vintage of Orofino’s charming bubbly were cracked open to reveal the growing influence a touch of Riesling brings to the Orange and Bianco Muscat blend. Estate fruit is combined with that from more junior vines of the neighbouring Hendsbee Vineyard to produce this easy-drinking summer favourite. A year in bottle provided the opportunity to enjoy hints of tropical lime amongst the orange blossom aromas as we await the upcoming 2015 release. The crisp and clean finish was nicely balanced thanks to a moderate nine grams of sugar, which John revealed would shift a little drier this year. As the weather warms fans are no doubt clamouring for restocked shelves!
Because this is the way we do things, we are also going to be enjoying the new 2013 Ensemble and the 2013 Reserve Chardonnay. They are both delightful – we’ll leave it to you to decide which one you like better. We can start our evening on the private patio at De Dutch with a chilled glass of wine and the gorgeous water view – bring your camera!
Because you all love them so much, we’ll also be having yummy cheese platters from Les Amis du Fromage. Cheese, wine, sunshine, a water view, and your favourite BCWAS gang – could an evening get any better? Oh – wait – yes, it could get better! We’re also going to do a raffle, with a bottle or two and a BCWAS membership, so don’t forget to bring some cash with you.
Sign up quickly – attendance is naturally limited by the number of bottles collected in the BCWAS cellar, and tickets will go fast.
Date: Friday, June 17, 2016
Place: De Dutch Pannekoek House, Vancouver Convention Centre West, located in the western corner, lower (seawall) level, near the Olympic Torch.
Directions (transit): It’s a short walk from both Burrard and Waterfront Stations. From Burrard Station: walk down (north) on Burrard to the new Convention Centre. From Waterfront Station: walk west to the new Convention Centre. You can either walk west along Waterfront Rd to the Olympic Torch, then go across the plaza towards the water and down the stairs, or, follow the seawall along in front of the Convention Centre until you come to the restaurant.
Directions (driving): You can park under the Convention Centre West. Follow the signs for the seaplane terminal. Use the doors closest to the Tap & Barrel. Parking can be expensive, though. You may be able to find cheaper parking a few blocks away. As always, we recommend that you take transit, and we will provide you with a free ticket home.
SOLD OUT: please contact email@example.com for cancellations wait-list.
2016/2017 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until March of 2017. Only $40 for a whole year of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note - there are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.
Please make sure you have a safe way home: take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take transit home.
Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.
Our Annual General Meeting is coming up in June! We are holding the meeting at our regular event venue, De Dutch Burrard Landing. The meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, 2016. Bring a bottle of your favourite BC wine to share after the meeting. The Society will order in Chinese food and we'll have our own private party!
Members can choose to either:
a) attend the AGM (it’s free of course!), but not stay for the Chinese food;
b) attend the AGM, bring a bottle of BC wine, and stay for the Chinese food.
Either way, we would love to see you there!
NOTE: You have to be a member in good standing (i.e., dues paid for the 2016-2017 membership year) to attend the AGM. If you have not already done so, please renew prior to RSVPing for the AGM.
Please RSVP to email@example.com to confirm attendance. Transit tickets will be available after the meeting. Hope to see you all there!
See below for our official Notice of AGM.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
To the members of the British Columbia Wine Appreciation Society as of May 3, 2016.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the eleventh Annual General Meeting of the British Columbia Wine Appreciation Society (“the Society”) will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday June 9, 2016 at De Dutch Burrard Landing, 1055 Canada Place, for the following purposes:
To receive the reports of the Directors.
To receive the financial statements of the Society for the preceding fiscal year.
To transact such other business as may come before the Annual General Meeting.
BY ORDER of the Board of Directors of the British Columbia Wine Appreciation Society.
DATED at Vancouver, British Columbia, this 3rd day of May, 2016.
Contributors: Russell Ball
I'm a fan of great local wine and the passionate people who make it happen! Through the BCWAS and my personal blog Adventures in BC Wine I aim to share news about the fine wines and wineries of my home province, and my experiences exploring them with family and friends. Follow me on Twitter @RussellBall
Contributors: Kristal Kaulbach
I am very pleased to have been part of BCWAS almost right from the beginning – my first event was BCWAS’s third tasting, and I’ve been involved ever since! I am thrilled with all the support that we have from all of the wonderful owners and winemakers in our beautiful province, and of course, BCWAS couldn’t exist without you. Cheers, and see you at the next tasting!