BC “Sommelier of the Year” Makes His Own Wine

Thanks to Okanagan Crush Pad’s Okanagan Wine Campus program, Vancouver’s best sommeliers get a special opportunity to make their own wine and support the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF). In 2010 Christine Colletta, one of the owners of Okanagan Crush Pad, came up with the brilliant idea of offering the winner of Vancouver International Wine Festival’s Sommelier of the Year the opportunity to make their own wine that would then be sold to raise money for the BC Hospitality Foundation’s wine scholarship fund. The sommelier would have to be involved in every step of the wine-making process, including viticulture, grape varietal selection, crush, branding, and selling the wine. An added bonus was that Vancouver’s best sommeliers would have to spend time in the Okanagan, which would help increase the awareness of the great wines being produced in Canada.

Thus far, the Okanagan Wine Campus program has released two wines, raising $10,000 for the BCHF: “Kurtis Wild-Ferment Semillon” by Kurtis Kolt, 2010 Vancouver Sommelier of the Year, and “Owen Cabernet Franc”  by Owen Knowlton, 2011 Vancouver Sommelier of the Year. The sommeliers have complete freedom in choosing the name of their wine, as well as creating the label with Town Hall Brands marketing team. The only rule is that the label must be black and white uniting all of the Okanagan Wine Campus program wines.

The third wine in the series was unveiled on Tuesday, November 5th to media and industry at a private event. Terry Threlfall (Hawksworth Restaurant), 2012 Sommelier of the Year winner, released his TNT Chardonnay 2012  (TNT being Terry’s initials).  The un-oaked chardonnay was sourced from a single vineyard on Black Sage Road.  Terry Threlfall describes his own TNT Chardonnay as: “Pale yellow with a tinge of green, this wine has aromas of bright citrus & apricot, with hints of green apple and a chalky minerality. TNT cries out for a plate of freshly shucked BC oysters. Dynamite.”

As Terry moves to the final stage of selling his TNT Chardonnay, 2013 Sommelier of the Year Samantha Rahn (Araxi Restaurant) is busy working at the Okanagan Crush Pad making her Syrah for the Okanagan Wine Campus program, which will be released next year.

Priced at $22.90, TNT Chardonnay is currently available directly from Okanagan Crush Pad and will be available at selected private retail stores in BC by December.  Only 150 cases were made. Enjoy a bottle of this Okanagan terroir chardonnay and help support the BCHF.

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