News from Canada’s beverage industry
Val Tait, well known Okanagan winemaker, announces
her departure from Bench 1775 Winery to launch new
“The decision to leave Bench was a difficult one,” said Val Tait, “but
I feel that the winery is in a very good place to hand over both the
GM and winemaker duties to a new team so I can pursue my next
evolution in the wine industry.”
Reflecting on her time at Bench 1775 Tait said, “Over the
past eight years I have enjoyed the process at Bench immensely.
Growing the brand, the reputation and the production from 950
cases to 26,000 have all been very satisfying. With the growth came
increased sales both domestically and through exports. It has been
a real pleasure to work with owner Eric Lui and his family as we
have had a good collaborative relationship and I had a lot of free-dom
to experiment with different wine styles and to make unique
wines. Now I am ready for a new challenge.”
Tait will be working with her life partner Ian Sutherland, wine-maker
and founder of Poplar Grove Winery, and they are pleased
to announce their new venture, 2house, a project they have imag-ined
for several years that will bring together their passions for
winemaking, the simple joys of the vineyard and cellar, and creat-ing
beautiful bottles of wine.
2house is first and foremost a collaborative venture for Tait
and Sutherland, and a return to their first love of growing grapes
and making wine which is now infused with years of experience.
Sutherland said, “As both owners and winemakers for 2house,
the collaboration will be in the analyses of each other’s wines, as
we each bring our independent take on winemaking to the project.
We have both tasted and collected wines from around the world
and the wines we have most enjoyed were distinctive of place, so
we plan to make 2house wines that are very reflective of the South
Okanagan. The project is going to be tightly focused on two wines
from two winemakers per vintage.”
Regarding vineyards, Tait said, “All of the fruit for our wines
will be sourced from single vineyards owned by the Gill brothers
who are the owners of Gold Hill Winery. We will be managing the
viticulture hands-on. I helped plant their first vineyards a number
of years ago and have used the fruit for winemaking ever since. Our
wines will be super focused on small lots.”
Regarding consumers Sutherland said, “We intend to really
connect with the people we are making wine for, to have direct,
strong and personal relationships with our customers. 2house
wines will be available to people by invitation.”
Watch for the first wine release this summer. More informa-tion
can be found on Instagram @2housewine.
Bizou and Yukon: New cellar hands are all paws
The team at Okanagan Crush Pad (OCP), creators of Haywire,
Narrative and Free Form wines, is excited to share the launch of
Bizou + Yukon, a joyful wine project that pays homage to OCP’s
beloved Great Pyrenees, keepers of sheep and guardians of one of
the winery’s properties in Summerland, B.C.
The project has been in the making for many months, but it is
timely that wines are being released now when British Columbians
are craving a light diversion and a little fun.
34 § POURED CANADA § www.poured.ca