The Globe and Mail - April 23, 2021
A sip of crisp Chardonnay on a patio. A chilled rosé tippled at a picnic. A peppery Cabernet Franc ready to be poured at a backyard BBQ. As the weather warms, what better way to celebrate the season than with locally produced wine and victuals?
Sommelier Andrew Forsyth, named Wines of British Columbia Top Sommelier 2020 by Wine Growers BC (formerly the BC Wine Institute), says it’s an exciting time for the British Columbia wine industry.
“We are just beginning to see the potential of emerging regions like the Similkameen Valley, Vancouver Island and the Thompson Valley,” says Forsyth, who is the sommelier at L’Abattoir Restaurant in Vancouver. “[The industry] is cultivating some amazing homegrown talent and attracting wine professionals from around the world who are elevating the quality of our wines year after year.”
The art of matching wine with food is one that Forsyth is eager to share. “It’s fun when you serve combinations that guests haven’t thought of such as B.C. Pinot Noir with local sablefish. You can tell they are having that ‘a-ha’ moment.”
Want to discover your own B.C. wine moment? Here’s a sample of the almost 300 B.C. wineries that offer great outdoor B.C. wine and food experiences.
The Province - James Nevison (aka Wine Guy)
In 2018, the provincial government officially announced April as “B.C. Wine Month.” The initial proclamation was made in tit-for-tat response to the Alberta government’s then-boycott on B.C. wine. So, thanks pipeline politics!
Alas, it feels like a very long time ago when something other than COVID was inhibiting the free flow of people and goods. But now in its fourth year, the initiative has evolved to...
Boulevard Magazine, Central Island - Spring 2021
Currently holding the titles of marketing director and sommelier at Unsworth Vineyards in the Cowichan Valley, Chris Turyk has been involved with the family-run business since its inception. Tim and Colleen Turyk (Chris's parents) bought the land and a sweet old farmhouse in 2009 with the idea of trying their hand at winemaking. It quickly grew into a much larger enterprise than they'd anticipated.
"We had no idea or thoughts to creating this size of business," says Chris. "It wasn't the grad plan, but it took o a life of its own, and there was no going back."
Western Living Magazine - March 2021
Well it's been a year, hasn't it? The industry has been turned upside down by the pandemic, businesses have closed, jobs disappeared. But throughout it all, there were many bright lights, and here, in our 14th annual celebration of the best food folk in the West, we feel privileged to be able to shine the spotlight on a few worthy souls (and a toast to all our finalists).
Cheers to the Foodies of the Year!
Silkandcoupe.com - Chris Turyk
Upon reading the Canadian Organic Standards and transcriptions of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on Biodynamic philosophy, practical farming knowledge left much to be desired. What they lack in concrete procedures, they make up for in vague, verbose and mystical nonsense.
Hungry to understand my connection to food and the environment from which it originates, I enrolled in the University of British Columbia’s practicum in sustainable agriculture at the UBC Farm. With hands in the soil...
Cowichan Valley Voice - January 2021 Issue - Chris Turyk
Packaging decisions are historically intrenced in the wine industry; largely based on consumer perception, very little thought has gone into the environmental impacts these decisions make. Sustainability in the wine industry goes well beyond seeding a cover crop, metering water usage and embracing renewable energy. Manufacturing and transport of glass bottles accounts for roughly 60% of the carbon footprint of the wine industry. For those who like to open a nice bottle of local wine, this will be hard to swallow—but it's true. Fortunately, there are a myriad of packaging decisions a winery can make to reduct their carbon footprint.
Celebrate all-things Valentine's Day at Unsworth Restaurant with our elegant 3-course menu and smooch-worthy vineyard setting.
$50 per person (plus tax + gratuity)
NOTE: we are almost fully booked for dinner reservations. Call 250.929.2292 (ext. 1) or reserve online.
Globe & Mail - January 6, 2021 - Christopher Waters
Chris Turyk was enjoying lunch in the Napa Valley with some fellow students from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone when he heard his family had purchased a small vineyard in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. His father, Tim Turyk, had retired recently from a long career in the fishing industry and was looking for a new venture. During a visit to Vancouver Island, where the family of his mother, Colleen, had vacationed for generations, his father made an offer on an attractive piece of land.
The judges for Canada’s WineAlign National Wine Awards did things a little differently this year, tasting 860 wines in 15 categories from their Toronto headquarters. The Guide to Canada’s Best Wines is now published, and Unsworth is proudly on the national wine radar with our 2019 Rosé earning top 10 status and 90 points based on these reviews, and our 2018 Pinot Noir with 91 points and these reviews.
IT SOUNDS OH-SO-FRENCH, but Charme De L’île is in fact hyperlocal. The name (meaning “charm of the island”) describes sparkling wines made by Gulf Island and Vancouver Island wineries using the Charmat method and that reflect their terroir.
To achieve effervescence via the Charmat method, the carbonation process captures bubbles in the wine in large, pressure-resistant stainless-steel vats. (The méthode Champenoise, by contrast, is a bottle fermentation process.) The origins of the charmer’s approach apparently go back to 1895, when an Italian named Federico Martinotti devised it, but French inventor Eugène Charmat later improved on the method and laid claim to it.)
The style, sometimes called a local Prosecco, is slowly becoming more popular in B.C., with Mill Bay’s Unsworth Vineyards being a pioneer.