Rising Tide – 2012 Atlantic Canada Wine Symposium

A slightly modified version of my column from the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal for May 4, 2012

Ride the Rising Tide of Atlantic Wine

If you are interested in Canadian wine, and want to be on top of what
is going on in the North American wine industry, including Atlantic
Canadian wine, then you should attend Rising Tide, the 2012 Atlantic
Canada Wine Symposium May 27-29 in Halifax. This symposium is held
every three years, but the 2012 version is special, in that it is
larger than ever, and features by far the most impressive array of
industry experts ever to gather in the region.

The Rising Tide theme is based on the idea that if the leaders in the
industry practice continuous improvement and keep growing better
grapes and making higher quality wine, while also helping out new
growers and wineries by sharing best practices, then this will help
raise the reputation of the entire industry, and increase tourism and
employment in the Atlantic region.

Be assured, though, that this conference is not just for people who
grow grapes and/or make wine; many of the presentations at the
conference are aimed at wine lovers – professional or hobbyists –  who
want to learn more about wine, those who work in restaurants that sell
Canadian wine, or work on the business side: selling wine either for a
liquor board, a private store or for wineries themselves. There is a
marketing and business component to the conference, including sessions
on social media and media relations.

There will be opportunities to network with folks in the industry, try
wines from all around the region, and, if you just want to eat well
and drink great local wine, you can attend the Gala Dinner on the
evening of Monday the 28th, at the Westin Nova Scotia. This will
showcase Atlantic Canada’s finest locally produced products and the
cuisine of renowned Chef Raj Gupta, all paired up with Atlantic wines.

On the other hand, if you simply want an educational, guided visit to
some of Nova Scotia’s best wineries, there is a tour going out on
Sunday May 27 from 10 am to 4 pm.

You can see all the events, speakers and session topics listed at
www.atlanticwinesymposium.ca.  Many sessions are concurrent, and
several are repeated at different times so that you can have a chance
to catch them.

There is something for everyone, and of course the technical sessions
and supplier marketplace for grape growers and winemakers are
essential for anyone who works in those fields locally, but the most
exciting for a wine lover like me are those featuring key people from
other regions, including but not limited to:
– Sandra Oldfield, Winemaker, Owner, Tinhorn Creek Winery, BC
– Ezra Cipes, Founder, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, BC
– Frank Deiter, Master Distiller, Okanagan Spirits, BC
– Morgen McLaughlin, President and CEO, Finger Lakes Wine Region, New York, USA
– Matthew Speck, Vice President, Viticulture, Henry of Pelham, Ontario
– Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble, Wine Industry Consultants (involved
in several winery projects in BC, Ontario and Argentina)
– Bill Redelmeier, Owner, Southbrook Vineyards, Ontario
– Mark Chien, Professor, Penn State Wine Grape Extension Education,
Pennsylvania, USA
– Harry Hertscheg, Executive Director, Vancouver Playhouse
International Wine Festival, BC

These are many of the who’s who of Canadian wine. I will be there for
the entire days of Monday and Tuesday, and will help present two
sessions: the Media Relations panel and the Social Media panel. The
rest of the time I will be busy learning and proudly enjoying our
great wine and food!

I hope to see you there! If you have any questions, feel free to email
me at brufrog@gmail.com call 647 8466, or go to
www.atlanticwinesymposium.ca.

WINE OF THE WEEK
Some of you may have noticed the new listings from New Brunswick’s
Happy Knight on the ANBL shelves. This is a new winery operation based
in Hatfield Point at the head of Belleisle Bay.  Owned by Matt &
Angela Guptill, their first wines were made by Dominic Rivard at his
Muwin Estate on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, but Matt and Angela
plan to move production to their Hatfield Point location. They
currently have three wines, an apple, cranberry and black currant, all
made from Maritime fruit. They sell for $12.99 and are well
distributed around New Brunswick liquor stores. They are all clean and
taste of the fruit they are made from, but my favourite is the Black
Currant, which has elegance,  light strawberry and currant flavours
and seems well balanced. Learn more about them at
happyknightwines.com

WHAT A SPRING! CHECK OUT THESE OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS
Fundy Food Festival, Saint John, May 5
This Saturday is the best time (and place – the Marco Polo Cruise Ship
terminal) to try a range of the most excellent cuisine produced in New
Brunswick, with several dozen vendors present. Be sure to check out
the Chef Auction packages at  www.fundyfoodfestival.com

Wine and Food Fest, Fredericton, May 12
The 13th annual event features a wide range of beverages and food,
held at the Fredericton Delta, with proceeds going to the Canadian
Diabetes Association, www.wineandfoodfest.ca

Atlantic Beer Festival, Moncton, May 26
This annual event held at the Moncton Coliseum, is always a blast for
beer lovers. Local and international brands will be featured along
with various craft and micro brewed offerings,
www.atlanticbeerfestival.ca

Festivin, Caraquet, May 26-June 2
It is still a ways off, but be sure to mark this wonderful wine and
food week on your calendar, www.festivin.ca

Cheers!
Craig

Craig Pinhey is a writer, consultant and certified Sommelier. Find
outmore at www.frogspad.cawww.facebook.com/Craig.Pinhey.FrogsPad,
www.twitter.com/frogspadca, or email Craig at brufrog@gmail.com