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Cheers to Canada’s 150th birthday!

The entries submitted, the public voted, the winners announced, and now the bottles have been labeled.

We held a wine label design contest with Konzelmann Winery to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. The theme in mind, faithful wine lovers submitted nostalgic photos and creative designs in Canadiana spirit.

Here are the two labels you selected, which will be featured on the Konzelmann Lakefront Series Merlot and Riesling. Hayley V. submitted the winning label for the Konzelmann Lakefront Series Merlot. Hayley noted that she used warm colours and maple leaves to showcase her favourite Canadian season, autumn. She also shared, “My family takes a drive every spring to see the moose in Algonquin and for the past two years we have been fortunate enough to take friends from Ireland and Australia with us.”

Kayleen H.’s design won the label contest for the Konzelmann Lakefront Series Riesling. Contestants submitted artwork to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Kayleen is already a fan of Konzelmann wine, their peach wine is a staple at her ‘girls night’! The photo was taken in Georgian Bay at Present Island, “part of cottage country where good laughs and much wine has occurred.”

The Konzelmann crew has been hard at work to ensure labeling perfection.  We are proud to launch these wines, exclusively to our WineCollective members.

Both of these wines will be featured in WineCollective April editions, en route to members April 17th. If you are not a member, you still have time to join and receive these limited edition features!


January’s Main Event: Portugal vs Spain

Portugal and Spain share many commonalities in geography and in viticulture, including varietal plantings and wine culture. However, the style of wines produced and variations in micro-climates are vast. Here is a quick study on what is similar and not so similar between these 2 neighbours.

Grapes

Portugal is like a ‘wine island’, where unique varietals are grown in almost isolation. Portugal has hundreds of indigenous varietals, many are not found anywhere else. Here are some of the most popular and obscure grapes you can find in Portugal.

  • Arinto – Widely planted, especially in Lisboa and offers a zingy, fresh and acidic profile.
  • Tinta Roriz or Aragonês – The same grape as Tempranillo, just a different name.
  • Sangiovese – An international varietal, not home to Portugal, but found in small amounts.

Spain has enjoyed significant international popularity lately, with Spanish wines being readily available and affordable. This has helped establish varietals like Tempranillo, pushing them into the mainstream. Here are some of our favourite, less-known varietals.

  • Viura- The most heavily planted white grape in Rioja (aka Macabeo) and used often for Cava.
  • Picapoll – An obscure grape mostly found in Cataluña.
  • Mencía – A well structured grape that thrives in NW Spain, Bierzo.

Regions

Portugal’s regions are almost all Mediterranean in climate, with even the furthest vineyards not very far from the ocean. The main differences in the sub-regions will be due to elevation. The plains and plateaus having more heat, while hills will have mitigating cooling breezes and nighttime temperatures.

  • Dão, named after the Dão River, is in northern Portugal. Here, the quality vineyards are grown from 150-450 meters above sea level and enjoy the affects of diurnal temperature. Most commonly, you will find Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional.
  • Douro produces both fortified and non-fortified wines. Most notable, Douro is known for its Port. The geography in Douro is centred around the Douro River, which was used to transport the barrels of Port from the steep vineyards, to the cellars.

Spain has over a dozen different wine regions, with more sub-regions within each. Spain’s regions vary vastly based on elevation and temperature. The arid plains of Toro produce ripe and rugged Tinto de Toro (Tempranillo), while the more northern Galicia is a cooler climate with more crisp white varietals, like Albariño.

  • Catalonia is far north-eastern Spain, near Barcelona. Near the Mediterranean Sea and with strong French influences, this are is unique from other Spanish regions. Catalonia is home to the majority of Cava production.
  • Castilla y Leon is a vast region with many sub-regions. It is impossible to categorize the entire area, because production is so variant. Bierzo, bordering Galicia and Asturias, is home to Mencía, Grenache and Godello. While Ribera del Duero is home to iconic Tempranillo, where it grows with extreme climate of hot summers and cold winters.

Cuisine

Portugal’s traditional food is rustic, hearty and full of seafood. As with any country, there are many variations and regional differences. A rule of thumb, in Portugal expect lots of pork, rice, stews and octopus. Here are some common dishes.

  • Caldo Verde – green cabbage soup
  • Blood sausage
  • Bacalhau – infamous salted cod

Spain also has a strong seafood presence, with so much coastline and variety, this should come at no surprise. Both Portugal and Spain’s bars and eateries will have ample olives and almonds, usually enjoyed as pre-meal snacks. In addition to stews, sausages and peppers, and some of the best olive oil, you will find.

  • Saffron- seasoning your potatoes, paella and prawns
  • Paella – the dish that puts Valencia on the food map
  • Pisto – Spanish ratatouille

WineCollective featured a heavy selection of wines from Spain and Portugal this month. Visit the online shop to read more about these selections:

SPAIN

Viñaguareña Mazal Barrica 

Gran Bohedal Crianza

Gran Bohedal Blanco

PORTUGAL

Vidigal Artolas

Vidigal Dom Dinis

Cortes de Cima Courela

Monte da Ravasqueira Sangiovese

 

Use the coupon code PORTUGAL5 for $5 off your order of Portuguese wines!


Nearly Famous! Holiday Wine Gifts

Still having trouble deciding on some last minute Christmas Gifts? We’ve got you covered!

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Our Holiday Packages are in full swing here at WineCollective. Packed with amazing wines, gift certificates and swag, we have something for every wine-o on your list! With a $15 flat rate shipping cost across Canada, sending gifts across the country is as easy as pie.

Last week, Toronto Star, Canadian Living, Huffington Post and Toronto Life featured WineCollective as their “Go To Holiday Gifts”.

Check out this festive features below!

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Toronto Star showcased us twice! Not only as a last minute gift option, but as an all around online shopping gift idea.

Huffington Post mentions us as the go-to gift for the “Wine-O” in your life

Canadian Living had us as their #1 subscription gift box!

Toronto Life also talked about us back in June as one of Toronto’s “Best Virtual Clubs”

This month, WineCollective was also mentioned on Wayfair as they informed the masses on how to start up their wine collection.

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We would like to thank all of our members for their incredible support throughout the year! We hope all of your loved ones enjoy their Holiday Wine packages.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays 

The WineCollective Team.


Schild Estate Introduces Pure Barossa Wine Club in Canada

Schild Estate is a familiar label in Canada, as a WineCollective member, you may have experienced a wine or two! Established in 1988, in Southern Australia, the Barossa Valley winery produces over 50,000 cases annually.

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This year, in partnership with WineCollective and BlackSquare, Schild Estate decided to leap into a brand new Canadian wine club, aimed at bringing the experience of Schild’s tasting room to Canadian wine lovers. As a member of Pure Barossa, you will experience new to market wines, exclusive products and a first hand look at Schild Estate.

In October, we hosted a launch of Pure Barossa at the Gerry Thomas Gallery in Calgary. Judy, the brand ambassador for Schild Estate, and daughter of founder, Ed Schild, was there to host and provide a sneak peak into the wine club.

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Schild Estate produces many wines in tribute to members of the family that made Schild Estate what it is today. Discover these wines and more through Schild’s Iconic and Privileges subscription packages, delivered quarterly.

2014 Edgar Schild Reserve Grenache: “A dedication to our father and founder, Ed Schild. Produced from 89-year-old old bush vines. A dark cherry colour to the eyes followed by a vibrant berry and pepper spice with light tannin on the palate.”

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The iconic Moorooroo is produced from 4 rows of ‘Ancestor Vines’, some the oldest in the region. Only 200 cases are made annually.

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The Alma Chardonnay is named after Ed’s mother and yet to be released in Canada. “Fragrant notes of lemon citrus, pear and stone fruit coupled with more delicate glimpses of floral blossom perfume. Complex with a subtle oak framework.”

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Schild Estate offers quarterly subscriptions and gifts. With the the Iconic Club, you will receive 6 bottles every 3 months of their pre-released wines and other special release wines. The Privileges Club offers 24 bottles through out the year, personally curated by Schild. These wines are perfectly matched to each season they will be delivered in and include Schild’s most iconic and premium selections.

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Experience Schild’s value favourites with our Mixed Pack! Featuring 4 wines and a $50 gift card to ShildEstate.ca!

For more information about Schild Estate’s Canadian wine club visit their website!


Konzelmann & WineCollective Wine Label Design Contest!

Cheers to Canada’s 150th!

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In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, WineCollective and Konzelmann Estate Winery have teamed up to produce wine that will showcase our country.

We need your help!

Konzelmann will be producing a red and a white wine and both need a unique label to celebrate Canada’s birthday. We want YOU to design the labels. Each winner will receive over $1500 in wine-related prizes and ultimate bragging rights!

The theme is ‘Canada’s 150th Birthday’

You can highlight our history, culture, food, diversity, nature, or even, Canadian wine! If you’ve ever dreamed of designing your own wine label, this is your chance!

Who can submit?:

Anyone! All we ask is that you create a label in honour of our fine country and keep the design within the designated specs. Contestants must be of legal drinking age in your residing province.

How to enter: Send your designs to contest@winecollective.ca
Deadline to enter is January 1st at 9 am MST.

The Winner

The winner will be decided by a public vote. All submissions received, and meeting criteria, will be shared publicly by WineCollective. The public will vote for their favourite labels. The voting deadline is January 31st, 2017 at 11:59 MST. The winner will be announced February 10th!

The winning labels will be featured on wine produced by Konzelmann and featured in WineCollective packages. Besides bragging rights, the winner will receive a case of the wine with your custom label, a year’s subscription to WineCollective (48 bottles of wine, a value of approximately $1080), a year’s subscription to Tannic and a $150 credit, and a Konzelmann prize package.

Design Requirements

  • Height 7.62cm (3 inches) x Width 7.62cm (3 inches)
  • 300 dpi resolution/ CMYK colour mode
  • 0.3175cm (1/8 inch) bleed on all sides
  • Straight, orthogonal sides (simple square or rectangle labels rather than die-cut)
  • File size maximum 5MB
  • Files submitted in PDF format
  • Or PSD (all type must be outlined).

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Additional information

  • All entries must be submitted to contest@winecollective.ca
  • Please indicate if your label is intended for a red wine, white wine or either.
  • Feel free to send along any additional information with your entry, explaining your art and theme, or why you decided to share your submission.
  • Once your entry is received, you will be emailed a consent form. Prior to your submission being posted, the form must be signed and returned no later than 11:59 pm MST, January 1, 2017.

Nitty gritty details…

  • All artwork must be original. The contestant must own the rights to all the imagery contained in their submission.
  • Any artwork submitted that is not deemed original will be disqualified.
  • Release forms from models, number and confirmation of any licensed images must be submitted.
  • Submissions with trademarked images, nudity, illicit images or profanity will be disqualified.
  • All artwork must fit the designated label outline and meet the outlined requirements.
  • All required label information will be added to the submission if it is not already included in the submission (wine name, vintage, VQA designation).
  • WineCollective reserves the right to disqualify any entries that are deemed inappropriate, offensive or not fitting to the theme.WineCollective may disqualify any entry that does not meet the design requirements or guidelines.
  • All contestants must agree to allowing the printing, reproduction and sharing of the submission. Both WineCollective and Konzelmann may use any submissions for promotional or marketing material.

Good luck to all designers! We can’t wait to see your label on Konzelmann’s newest wines!


Cellers Sant Rafel’s Joana. New to WineCollective and Canada!

On a wine tour of Spain last fall, Amber visited almost every region, except Montsant. For no other reason than a lack of time, Montsant was bypassed for its neighbouring region, Priorat. Although sharing a border within a very small area, the two wine regions have many micro-climates between them.

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Xavier Peñas, General Manager of Gran Clos and owner of Celler Sant Rafel, explaining the unique slate soils of Priorat.

Hosted at Gran Clos del Priorat by General Manager, Xavier Peñas, we were treated to a vineyard tour of steep, slate covered hills (llicorella soils), barrel tasting in the tiny cellar and sampling of the vintages that never made it to Canada. The very limited production and distribution of Gran Clos have appeared on Tannic and sold out instantly (stay tuned for a limited release of large format bottles)! Priorat is known for its beauty and structured wines and we were not disappointed.

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Barrel room in the cellar of Gran Clos (above). Rolling hills of Priorat, from a Gran Clos vineyard (below).

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Once back in Calgary, we received samples of Xavier’s own wines, Cellers Sant Rafel, which he produces from vineyards in Montsant. Montsant is west of Tarragona city and the region was formerly a sub-region of the Tarragona wine region (since 2001 has been recognized as its own DO). Montsant almost entirely wraps around the region of Priorat, with vineyards of both Priorat and Montsant sometimes just meters apart. Wine has been produced here for centuries, although only within the last decade has it made international markets pay attention.

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Map of Priorat and Montsant from Decanter.com

Montsant is similar to Priorat in that they both are characterized by rolling hills, slate soils and grow mainly Grenache anad Carignan.

Notes on Priorat from Decanter:

  • 17,629ha in area (1,887ha are under vine)
  • 600 growers
  • 99 registered wineries
  • Red varietals 1,800ha, of which: Garnacha 710ha; Cariñena 483ha; Cabernet Sauvignon. 250ha; Syrah 224ha; Merlot 105ha
  • White varietals 99ha, of which Garnacha Blanca represents more than half
  • Total production (2014) whites, 341,306kg; reds, 5,618,658kg

Notes on Montsant:

  • 57 growers
  • 44 wineries
  • 1,900ha of vineyard
  • Grenache and Carignan are the main vatietals, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah newly planted

Similar to other re-discovered Spanish wine regions, like Bierzo, the ancient vines and wine making history of Montsant, and firstly Priorat, have been awakened. International wine makers and solid and consistent vintages attracting critics, have brought the spotlight.

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Ironically, after traveling to Spain in search of new, exciting wines, Celler Sant Rafel was only discovered once back in Canada. The Joana line, named after Xavier and Pilar’s daughter, consists of the fresh and addicting Joana and structured and spiced, Joana Selecció. Both wines are brand new to Canada, and are being exclusively featured in all September WineCollective packages.

Join WineCollective by August 31 to make the cutoff for September’s delivery and you will receive one of our new Joana selections!

JOANA AND JOANA SELECCIÓ ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN STORE!

The limited remaining inventory of Joana will be available in the WineCollective online store September 15th! Use the coupon code: MONTSANT5 for $5 off your store order of Joana wines!


It’s here! WineCollective Two!

From the admired vineyards of Kaesler Winery comes the highly anticipated WineCollective Two! This is the second in a series of limited edition wines featuring unique global winemakers and we could not have been more fortunate to come across this gem.

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Kaesler Winery is located in the Barossa Valley of Australia, a region known for their explosive Shiraz. The WineCollective Two is 100% Shiraz sourced from three estate vineyards, 29, 49 and 53-years-old.

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Old-vine Shiraz, Kaesler Winery. 

Initially, 2011 was not expected to be a stellar vintage, with reviewers quick to critique due to a rainy harvest. However, winemaker at Kaesler, Reid Bosward, knew something that others did not; the wine needed more time. The remainder of the vintage was secretly stowed away in the winery, with a plan to release it only when it was truly ready. The result is a wine that has surpassed all expectations of the vintage. When we traveled to Kaesler and tried the hidden wine from 2011, we knew this was the WineCollective Two.

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Fun Fact: Kaesler is also responsible for one of Barossa’s most iconic wines, Old Bastard Shiraz, with vines planted in 1893. Part of the WineCollective Two harvest is sourced from direct neighbouring vines!

We are proud to partner with the iconic Kaesler Winery. Visit WineCollective.ca/Two for more information on the wine and series!

A limited amount of the WineCollective Two is available, only 1,560 bottles were made! Keep an eye out for the WC2 in select July packages & find more in the eStore, July 15th!


Join Us! Try Before You Buy!

Join WineCollective and Redback Wines for a Try Before You Buy event! Open to WineCollective members, friends, family and wine enthusiasts!

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Tickets are $20 and are available on the WineCollective Store or Eventbrite.

Gerry Thomas Gallery
(602 11th Ave SW)
Tuesday, June 28th
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

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Taste over 15 previous and upcoming WineCollective features along with Redback favourites! We will also be pouring exclusive offers like Domaine of the Bee, Hart of Gold and the new WineCollective Two!

Superb discounts on online store orders, snacks and door prizes! Tickets will also be available at the door.

Extra Bonus! Book a reservation at Chef Bar for before or after the event and enjoy $20 corkage!

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For questions about Try Before You Buy, email thecellar@winecollective.ca


Introducing the WineCollective Two!

We’ve been long awaiting the release of our next wine series selection, the WineCollective Two! Finally, it has arrived and we are thrilled to showcase this unexpectedly delicious wine produced by world renowned Kaesler Winery.

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The WineCollective Wine Series is aimed at presenting classic varietal specific wines from their most expressive regions. The Barossa Valley, and greater Australia, is famous for their juicy, rich Shiraz.

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Kaesler Winery was established in Barossa in 1893 and is a well recognized name on WineCollective and Tannic. We are honoured to partner with Kaesler to bring members the WineCollective Two, a 2011, 100% old vine Shiraz!

WineCollective Two is sourced from a cooler vintage, but from an outstanding vineyard. We stumbled upon this wine with great luck! Learn more about the story of this wine, and it’s release, by visiting WineCollective.ca/TWO


The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift – WINE & MEAT!

For Father’s Day this year, we have partnered with our friends at Carnivore Club to bring Dad the ultimate gift! Forget the ties or golf shirt, wine and meat is more up his alley…

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The duo gift includes a WineCollective package, featuring two bottles of red, exclusive wines as well as a custom WineCollective corkscrew. A Carnivore Club crate will also be shipped to your Dad, including 9 artisan crafted cured meats. The perfect pairing and only $98.49!*

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Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19th! Order by June 8th to guarantee delivery before June 17th.* Packages are available for purchase until June 18th.

For more information or examples on Carnivore Club, check out our WineCollective blog on the subscription service after we received our first shipment!

If you have any questions about our Father’s Day package, please contact us!

*Price does not include taxes or shipping.

*Carnivore Club package is shipped separately from Toronto, ON. Shipping times may vary.