uncorkBC Story in Oliver Chronicle

uncorkBC_Okanagan1

Wine blogger creates list of open wineries to promote B.C. wine

Sophie Gray

Local Journalism Initiative

An avid B.C. wine blogger has created an ultimate list of wineries open in the Okanagan region.

Kayla Bordignon, founder of the uncorkBC wine blog, tasted her first B.C. wine while on a family trip to Osoyoos one summer. Since then, she has made four or five trips a year to the Okanagan to sample and write about vineyards in the region.

Bordignon said that she wanted to do something to support the B.C. wine industry which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on travel. No one else seemed to be putting together a comprehensive list, so she decided to do it herself.

“No one was doing it, and I started doing it right away,” said Bordingnon. “Right as soon as wineries started opening, I was like I want to get the word out. I want to support local wineries. These are local families, local farmers. They’re hurting with the downturn.”

So she started a growing list of all the wineries she could find that are open to tastings.

“I knew that for consumers to buy directly from a winery, it’s huge. And I know that people wanted to support local,” said Bordignon. “So I wanted to encourage people in B.C. to go visit wineries and have that experience, but also buy wine directly from the winery.”

She monitors social media and press releases to keep the list up to date. It continues to evolve, as Bordignon said many wineries are still not open. She estimates that in the next three to four weeks, the majority should be open.

Tastings will look a little different. Bordignon said that most wineries have moved away from walk-up tastings in favour or bookings, in order to accommodate social distancing in small tasting rooms.

She suggests planning ahead and giving yourself extra time to explore the wineries this summer, as restrictions will make it tougher to get in.

“Pre-COVID, I thought I could do five, six wineries in a day. Right now, it’s just not possible,” said Bordignon.

Her list can be found on http://www.uncorkBC.com.

The full story in the Oliver Chronicle can be found here.

First South Okanagan winery to produce wine-in-a-can

Castoro De Oro bottle shots-128_Peter Koriath Photography

Family owned and operated Castoro de Oro Estate Winery, located on the Golden Mile in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, is the very first South Okanagan winery to produce wine-in-a-can, using 100% BC grapes.

Proprietors Stella Schmidt and Bruno Kelle are now offering three of their award-winning wines served in elegant, lightweight, single serve cans: Heart of Gold (white blend), Pinot Duetto Rosé and Merlot. Each can features fun pairing details, for example, the Pinot Duetto Rosé pairs perfectly with patio charcuterie plates and summer garden picnics.
“We love to be innovative!” says co-owner and assistant winemaker Stella Schmidt, who has been in the wine business for 15 years. “Our philosophy is to make handcrafted 100% BC wines at the best value possible, and our wine-in-a-can takes that dream one step further. We are so excited to offer elegant, convenient cans of our award-winning wines and look forward to seeing all the places they will travel to!”
Castoro de Oro started offering their premium wine in half-sized bottles (375ml) and found them popular for hotel room mini-bars and consumers who live alone. After the purchase cost of glass half bottles made this format prohibitive, the team started exploring other options. Seeing the popularity of beverages in cans increase in the US, the Castoro de Oro team decided that they wanted to bring this convenient product to the BC market and sourced the right canning production partner at a trade show last summer. The result is lightweight, elegant cans that allow consumers to take wine to enjoy anywhere. Now that some BC local authorities are relaxing laws around drinking in outdoor public spaces, there’s never been a better time to enjoy wine-in-a-can!
Premium wine-in-cans retail at $8.99 in both BC and Alberta, including all relevant local taxes and bottle deposits. Available now for purchase at the wine shop as single cans or by the case or by direct message on their social media accounts and soon to be offered at select retailers in BC and Alberta and via their website.