October 9, 2018

Last week was an incredible one for our winery as we picked up a record 5 medals at the Okanagan Wine Festival Awards. Check out the haul our wines brought in.

  • 2016 Syrah won Platinum
  • 2016 Chardonnay won Gold
  • 2016 Cellar Hand Red won Gold
  • 2017 Alibi won Bronze
2017 Rose won Bronze

These are tremendous achievements and we are thrilled to receive this recognition. To share our excitement with you, we are now making each of these wines available for sale in limited supply. We can ship each of these wines from our winery to your home or place of business anywhere in Canada.
Plus, you can “mix and match” your order, any of these wines with the other fine wines in our portfolio and receive FREE SHIPPING for orders of 12 bottles or more. Now that is something to celebrate.


October 5, 2018

The Winners

Last night at the Tenth Anniversary of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards ceremony, this year's Winners were announced.

Sean Connolly a restaurant in Dubai, UAE designed by Alexander & Co, and Rosina, a bar in Las Vegas, USA designed by Simeone Deary Design Group are the Overall winners of the 2018 - Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

Another 36 category winners (including Best UK Winners) were revealed at the winner's ceremony, which took place at London’s King’s Cross.

The Awards ceremony was attended by over 600 of the UK and world’s best designers, and their clients responsible for the design of the most innovative food and beverage spaces.

Link to the Winning projects

Link to the Winning project photos

Link to 'The Winners' Press Release

Link to the main 'Press folder'

The Winners

Last night also saw the winners of the Restaurant & Bar Product Design Awards announced, judged by a panel of the most influential food & beverage space designers in the UK and worldwide (last year's Restaurant & Bar Design Awards winners).

This is a globally recognized competition dedicated to rewarding design excellence for products and their innovative use in the design of food and beverage spaces.

Link to the Winning products

Link to the Winning products photos

Link to 'The Winners' Press Release

‘The Great Build’ Set design & build

The theme for this year’s Awards ceremony was 'The Great Build'. Five previous Award-winning designers (B3 Designers, Biasol, Finch Interiors, Keane & Mizzi Studio) teamed up with their preferred fit-out partners and created a huge 3D Tapestry with a theme of 'Celebration' which was revealed during the evening.

Build partners were Embassy, Firecracker Works, Fabrico Interiors, Macroart, Harper Signs, Opus Interior Projects, Technical Arts & PHD Group.

Restaurant & bar operators were ICHIBUNS, No. 29 Power Station West, Kettner's, Near & Far and BEAR.    

Link to 'The Great Build' Set design & build photographs

Link to the main 'Press folder'

Click here to see the 'The Great Build' video

Click here for Photo Wall photos


Falls Church, Va. October 3, 2018

Results of a new six-phase study confirmed that compostable foodservice packaging can be effectively used as a feedstock in commercial composting facilities. The testing, funded by the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the Biodegradable Products Institute, showed that foodservice packaging performed as well as wood and other traditional feedstocks.

“While the compostable packaging industry believed that these items had value to composting operations beyond diversion of food waste, there was little data to support this,” said Rhodes Yepsen, executive director of BPI. “The goal of this study was to determine the impact a large volume of compostable foodservice items would have on the composting process, when compared to traditional compost inputs like yard trimmings, straw, wood shavings and grass.”

The study’s six phases included foodservice selection and analysis; feedstock preparation; pre-process sampling and analysis; active composting and monitoring; post-process sampling and analysis; and reporting and peer review. The Compost Manufacturing Alliance conducted operational field tests at two commercial composting facilities. Each test included two control samples using the facilities’ standard composting mix and two samples using compostable foodservice packaging in place of the facilities’ customary bulking agents and carbon sources.

An independent laboratory tested and analyzed the samples throughout the active composting process using Test Method for the Examination of Composting and Compost procedures, to determine if there was any noticeable effect from the compostable foodservice items. After processing, the finished compost samples were tested for pertinent compost characteristics, including pH, nutrient content, organic matter and moisture content. The report and its findings were then reviewed by industry experts, including CMA members and representatives from the United States Composting Council and BioCycle Magazine.

The results of the analyses performed before, during and after active composting provide evidence that compostable foodservice packaging provided the same benefit as traditional feedstocks, and did not affect the balance of carbon to nitrogen ratios, nutrient levels, moisture content, or porosity to feedstocks or finished compost.

“Compostable foodservice packaging did not add or take away any nutrient value from the finished product,” said Susan Thoman with the Compost Manufacturing Alliance. “Given these findings, compost manufacturers may want to consider compostable foodservice packaging as a viable feedstock, particularly in areas where composters may incur significant costs to source carbon-bearing feedstocks due to seasonally scarce materials.”

“We are encouraged by these results and are pleased to share them with the composting community,” said Lynn Dyer, president of FPI. “Knowing that compostable foodservice packaging not only helps supply desirable food scraps to composters but can also reduce the amount of supplemental feedstocks composters must collect or source is a major benefit.”


October 3, 2018

A perennial favourite for countless Canadians during Thanksgiving is the iconic turkey dinner. And while turkeys are well known for their meat, it is virtually unheard of to eat their eggs.

Why is that?

Nathan Pelletier is an ecological economist at UBC’s Okanagan campus and the first-ever Egg Farmers of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Sustainability, awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He sat down with UBC Okanagan Media Relations to discuss the reason turkey eggs aren’t more common and the sustainability of eggs more generally.

Why don’t we eat turkey eggs?

That’s a really interesting question and one that I hadn’t really thought of before. The reason may be primarily about profitability. Turkey’s take up more space, and don’t lay eggs as often. They also have to be raised for quite a bit longer before they begin to lay. This means that housing and feed-related expenses would be considerably higher for turkey eggs compared to eggs from chickens.

Since providing feed is also responsible for the largest share of the resource use and emissions associated with egg production, turkey eggs would have commensurately higher impacts, which wouldn’t be great from a sustainability perspective.

Is there any reason why we can’t eat turkey eggs?

No. They are completely edible. They have a similar creamy consistency to duck eggs and a speckled complexion like quail eggs. I actually think they would make for a very interesting and maybe even beautiful accompaniment to a turkey dinner. I suppose the most difficult part would be finding somewhere to buy them.

Why then are chicken eggs so much more common?

Again, it likely comes back to the cost of production. Farmers have been improving management strategies for producing chicken eggs in dedicated commercial facilities for almost one hundred years, and there have been genetics programs in place dedicated to optimizing layer hen genetics for productivity since shortly after WWII. Canadians now consume about 70 million chicken eggs annually.

What is the ecological impact of producing and consuming all those eggs?

Chickens actually convert feed to food very efficiently. It takes about 2 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of eggs, and the average laying hen now produces 300 eggs per year. For these reasons, chickens are an affordable and low-impact source of high quality animal protein.

Interestingly, despite Canadian industry producing roughly 50 per cent more eggs now than it did 50 years ago, my research has shown that, due to improvements in efficiency over time, the resource and environmental footprint of the industry as a whole has actually decreased substantially since the early 1960s.

With eggs being such an important food staple for so many Canadians, how is your work helping make egg farming more sustainable?

While the industry has come a long way, the question and challenge that now presents itself is how to ensure comparable success looking forward. My research focuses on identifying and evaluating the effectiveness of different management strategies and sustainable intensification technologies that can be applied in the egg industry.

Why is sustainability an important issue for Canadian eggs?

Sustainability is an important issue for food systems as a whole. The Canadian egg industry adds an estimated $1.37 billion to the economy annually and plays an important role in the diets of most Canadians. As with everything we consume—food or otherwise—searching for more sustainable ways to meet our basic needs and support our lifestyle aspirations is essential to ensuring that we can maintain the conditions necessary to our well-being over time.


Vancouver, B.C. (October 2nd, 2018) – Toptable Group proudly launches Elisa, its new steakhouse venue in Vancouver’s Yaletown. Set to open this fall, the restaurant offers a reimagined take on the signature steakhouse experience featuring a Grillworks Infierno wood-fired grill.

“Elisa was inspired by the values of sharing memorable moments around the table with family and friends," says Michael Doyle, President of Toptable Group. “Designed as a response to the traditional steakhouse experience, Elisa exemplifies a refreshing spirit of hospitality through its unique and feminine details."

Joining the Toptable Group portfolio of eight restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler, Elisa opens with an outstanding team of hospitality professionals to deliver an unparalleled experience. The kitchen brigade, led by Executive Chef Andrew Richardson, is a collection of culinary veterans such as Chef de Cuisine Yvan Burkhalter, Sous Chef Alex Hon, and Pastry Chef Rosalynn Vu. The front-of-house team is one of experience and depth that includes Restaurant Director Ricardo Ferreira, Wine Director Franco Michienzi, Bar Manager Katie Ingram, and Restaurant Managers, Benjamin Wristen and Clair Hettich.

Designed by New York’s highly acclaimed Rockwell Group, the 6800-square foot restaurant is a mix of contemporary West Coast design and decor. Modern touches throughout the airy lounge welcome guests into the main dining room curated with exquisite artwork.

Chef Richardson and his brigade will tend the stunning Grillworks Infierno to produce the extensive wood-fired menu of prime cuts from around the world, sustainable seafood, and locally sourced vegetable-forward dishes. Tartares from Hand-Cut Beef to Smoked Bison along with raw bar specialties like Oysters on the Half Shell, Seafood Towers, and cured fish and meats round out a selection of first bites. Sublime appetizers featuring Chef Richardson's Dinosaur Kale Salad, Wood-Grilled Sea Scallops, and Alaskan King Crab tempt the palate for more to come. Signature steak highlights include cuts from Brant Lake Farm (Alberta), Blue Dot (Prince Edward Island), RR Ranch (Washington), and A5 Black (Tajima-Gunma Prefecture, Japan). Seafood mains include standouts such as Wood-Grilled Lobster, Roast Halibut, and Whole Branzino.

Announcements regarding an opening date, contact details, and online reservations will be released shortly. See you soon at Elisa for a steakhouse dining experience unlike any other!


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