Photo by Jennifer Schell

Photo by Jennifer Schell

I live in the heart BC’s wine country. I drive by it all the time and have lived here for about 9 years. I started the Wine Country BC podcast and blog in 2009 for a few reasons, the most important of which was to be a resource for lovers of BC wine to find out about some of the things that happen throughout the year between visiting wine country. I try to post things about the wine industry that I wanted to know about when I used to live in Vancouver.

I work in the wine industry and have since 2005. I’ve worked in vineyards (planting, pruning, harvesting, etc), in wine cellars (racking, barrel cleaning, pumping, crushing, etc), in sales (wine stores, winery wine shops), and driving groups on a wine tour bus.

I like learning, experiencing and discussing wine all day. I’ve been buying wine, reading about wine, and trying to experience as much as I can about the wine industry for over 16 years. Some of my experiences come from books. Some of it comes from experience at work. I’ve planted, trained, tied, and pruned grape vines. I’ve harvested, stomped, crushed, pumped, and punched down grapes. I’ve cleaned tanks, barrels, bins, buckets, demi-johns, carboys, sorting tables, crushers/destemmers, conveyors, pumps, and presses. I’ve stocked shelves, displays, tables, fridges, and bars. I’ve lead talks and tastings about wine. And now, I’m writing a book about it.

It’s all about the experience for me. I love every minute of it and I hope you do to.

76077_10151387667071368_637948461_nIf you are looking for point scores or wine recommendations, you won’t find them here. There are tons of wine blogs that offer that kind of stuff but I’m just not into that. If I mention a wine here at all (or on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram), it is because I think it is worth mentioning so consider that my recommendation. If you don’t see  your favourite wine here, perhaps I haven’t tasted it or maybe it’s just not a wine that I enjoyed. Wine preferences are very personal and everybody has there favourites. There are wines out there that I would not even buy for my enemies but could be somebody else’s favourite wine of all-time. Who am I to denigrate that? Ranking wines in that way is meaningless to me.

The last episode of Baroness von Sketch was at least a 94-point show. The first part was funny but then it faded a bit by the mid-section. It finished beautifully though.

See? Point scores are kind of ridiculous. Don’t agree? Start your own blog.

If I’m enthusiastic about a wine, you’ll know it. But that doesn’t mean you have to agree with me and that’s ok.

What this blog is about is information about wine country from someone who lives in it. I’m not a writer or blogger who visits the Okanagan on a weekend trip once in a while and then goes home and writes a bunch of posts about it. I see the seasons change. I know what the weather was like at my house in any given year. I see new vineyards get planted and old ones grubbed up. This is information about wine country from someone who lives in wine country, and from someone who knows it both sides of the tasting bar. Want to know what that beautiful vineyard looks like in January? Want to know what it sounds like?

There’s a podcast for that…

The Podcasts

I stopped producing podcasts in 2014 but hope to continue with this medium again in the future. It was amazingly time consuming and in combination with a day job, a family, and a home-based business, there was little time left over. I am  hoping that this will change so that I can dedicate more time to creating more podcasts. Until then, there are the archives that you can listen to.

The people who have participated regularly in this podcast also work in the industry in various ways. All are below a certain age we don’t really remember when BC wine (and Canadian wine) was not entirely fit for human consumption. Our earliest memories of BC are from the early 2000’s or late ’90’s. The wine industry in BC has undergone a major change in the last 20 years and it is in that milieu in which our palates have developed.

"I drank WHAT???"

“I drank WHAT???”

Though we work in the industry, we are not paid by anyone to promote any particular wine at any time on this website. The only real unwritten ‘rule’ in producing my podcasts is that we don’t ever taste a wine made by the winery for which we currently work. Frequent listeners will notice that, like all rules, it gets bent a little sometimes. But for the most part, we will let you know our relationship to the winery or business and I try to make sure as much appropriate information is properly disclosed.

I buy 99.9% of the wines on the podcast and vidcasts. I’ve been doing that for 5 years now and over 145 episodes so you do the math. If we do present a wine that was given to us by a winery or business, we will try to let you know about that right off the top.

nick and calliI hope you enjoy the podcasts as much as I love producing them.

Here’s a little about the people you can hear on Wine Country BC.

Aaron was from the Kelowna area and sold wine for years in Summerland and Penticton. He was a close follower of BC’s wine industry for the past decade. I worked with Aaron at the BC Wine Information Centre in Penticton from 2009 – 2012. He was my brother in wine until his untimely passing in the fall of 2015.

AJ worked in wine sales and marketing. She has also worked in vineyards and cellars and we both worked at Kettle Valley Winery when I first met her in 2008. She has left wine for the time being and is now involved in an serious relationship with a craft brewery.

Amber is also following her passion for wine and is now the winemaker at CC Jentsch. I met Amber through AJ in 2009.

Calli is working in the wine industry in the Okanagan and has worked at stores in Vancouver as well. I worked with her in 2010 at the BC Wine Info Centre.

Jeanette has worked in winery wine shops and has followed her passion for wine and writing by writing about wine. An avid social media personality, we both answered a tweet from Bruce at Rustico and met there one cold day in February 2010.

Maya has been studying wine and is building her family’s own vineyard and B&B in the Okanagan. I met her through a family member in 2007 when she helped my family move to the Okanagan.

Nick worked at Therapy and See Ya Later Ranch and studies wine regularly. Like, all the time. Really.

Sarah has been passionate about wine and wine making for years and currently works in management at Hester Creek.

Plus we will have frequent visits from more of our wine friends from around BC and the Okanagan valley.

Please leave comments or questions for us here at our blog or you can email us at luke(at)winecountrybc.ca.

Cheers from wine country!


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