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Spread The WineCollective Love

 

Love is abundant this February, and we don’t just mean flowers and chocolate! We couldn’t spend our days searching for, tasting, writing about and sharing the most amazing wines from all over the world without our members; we love you guys! So, in keeping with February’s Valentine’s Day – Love is in the Air vibe, we have decided to express our warm fuzzy feelings to our members and their nearest and dearest through our relaunched referral program.

During the month of February, anyone you refer will receive a $25 credit upon signing up for a new WineCollective subscription, and you will receive a $25 credit for each referee who signs up using your name in the referral field! This credit can be applied towards an upcoming subscription payment, or you can use it in our online WineCollective Store to get even more of the wine you love.

Need another reason to tell your friends and family how much you love us? Offer them the coupon code 2LOVEWINE so that they can receive 25% off the first 2 months, when they sign up for their new WineCollective subscription in the month of February.

And a little something extra while you’re waiting for all that referral credit to roll in; use the coupon code LOVEWINE2018 to receive $20 off all orders of $100 or more in the WineCollective online store during the month of February. So much love!

 


This New Year Has an Australian Accent


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you excited about all that 2018 has to offer? So are we! We are looking forward to another year of bringing you the best wines from all over the world and we wanted to start the New Year by showing our support for one of one of our very favourite wine producing nations, Australia. Australia Day is on January 26th and we have decided to show our appreciation for their remarkable wine industry by celebrating all month long!

Did you know that the oldest winery in Australia is Wyndham Estate Winery? Located in New South Wales, it was established in 1828. We think that Australia’s wine industry is fascinating and we think you’ll agree, here are 10 things we found most interesting about the world of wine Down Under:

1. Australia is the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world, with around 700 000 000 litres of wine exported annually.

2. Over 1 billion litres of Australian wine are consumed each year, this math tells us that Australians really like drinking their own wine!

3. More than 2400 wineries thrive throughout Australia over 6 states, with the most planted varietal being Shiraz.

4. Australia has a large organic wine industry and has even hosted the International Biodynamic Wine Forum that includes organic and biodynamic vineyard owners from around the world.

5. The oldest Australian wine producing region is Barossa Valley, you may recognize this as the home of one of our favourite producers, Schild Estate.

6. Australia’s terrain did not originally produce any native grape varietals suitable for winemaking; all varietals for production were transplanted in order to create Australia’s wine industry.

7. Barossa Valley is home to old vine Shiraz and Grenache crops dating back as far as the 1840’s, Australia’s first vines arrived in Sydney in 1788, however it took some time for the vines to thrive.

8. Sometime around 1875, a devastating outbreak of phylloxera (tiny vine eating insects) nearly abolished Australia’s wine industry by destroying thousands of hectares of crops. The cure for this plague came from the discovery that American vines were not susceptible to the damages caused by the insects. American vines were planted and European vines were grafted into the plants, creating a hybrid that was immune to this disease, ultimately saving the Australian wine industry. It took almost a century for the Australian wine industry to recover from this disaster.

9. Following the phylloxera outbreak, Australia’s wine industry was mainly focussed on sweet, fortified wine production. Now, Australia is one of the only countries that produces every major style of wine and there are over 60 wine producing regions throughout the country.

10. Australian wines have won awards at almost every major international wine competition, while setting records worldwide for the price of a single bottle.

In celebration of this great nation, we will be offering discounts on all Australian wines the whole month of January, don’t miss your chance to stock your cellar with some of our Aussie favourites!

Check out our members only WineCollective store to find all Australian wines discounted an additional 10% off our already reduced member pricing!

Not a member? Use the coupon AUSTRALIAMONTH to receive $15 off your first delivery, and gain access to all the savings!

 


Winemaker of the Year: Oakridge now in Canada

WineCollective is Canada’s largest monthly wine club, featuring exclusive wines, sourced from around the world. This past August, Oakridge Wines were exclusively launched online in Canada through WineCollective, giving our members a first-look at these premium Australian wines. Oakridge wines will soon be available in Canada through the winery’s DTC program. Oakridge wines have been scoring well with critics internationally, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive online retailer and offer our members insight into Gourmet Traveller’s Winemaker of the Year 2017 winner, David Bicknell, Chief Winemaker.

A conversation with David Bicknell, named Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year 2017.

1. Tell us the story of how you came to be Chief Winemaker at one of Australia’s most premium wineries.
When I was recruited to take over the winemaking at Oakridge in 2002, the place was a mess. Nearly everything was broken, including much of the wine in the cellar. So over several years, I worked at putting it back together again, put a fresh face on the winemaking, and generally cleaned away all the mess. By 2008, I had been nominated by AGT for winemaker of the year, so I knew I was on course.

2. In your time as a winemaker, what has changed most in your style from the time you started to where you are now?
The biggest change has probably been vineyard sourcing. That has unfortunately moved around a bit. Early on, we didn’t have the financial robustness to hang on to some of the good vineyards. But luck’s worth a fortune, and more recently, combined with a better, healthy in business, we have been able to secure vineyards that are potentially better still. The wines from the new vineyards are just starting to filter through now. On a winemaking level, there has been a refinement in picking to earlier dates with superior natural acidity, and that combined with lower oak inputs and fermentation with indigenous yeast , has allowed for better expression of fruit without clutter. It is a minimalist expression, with sharp, clean lines. The wines should be fruit flavoured, not tree flavoured. We refer to barrels as wine coffins, where wines go to die if you leave them long enough. We replace less than 8% of our barrels every year.

 

 

 

 

 

3. What was the best advice you received when you entered into the winemaking business?
Keep your mind open. If you think you know it all, then you’re probably dead in the water. It’s one of the things I love about the industry in this land. There is a spirit of adventure and a thirst for knowledge. The pervading will of the winemaking community is always find improvement.

4. What do you think the next most popular style will be to come out of Australia? What other trends are on the horizon in the industry?
It may well be a plethora of styles. There is a drive to experiment with alternative varieties right across the country. One of the things we constantly wonder is what would the Australian landscape look like if we had planted more Iberian and Italian varieties rather than the French staples. The staples might work in the cooler reaches, but what about the warmer parts? Most of the wine produced comes from those warmer regions, so expect to see all sorts of interesting and delicious wine wines made from Touriga, Tempranillo, Montepulciano, Fiano, Vermentio, Nebbiolo etc etc

5. What are the most significant changes you have witnessed with regards to how grapes are grown and winemaking processes in your career?
Firstly, A more holistic approach to making wine where the key ingredient (grapes), should not require amelioration to achieve balance. Regions are tending to focus on local hero varieties, where, if you get it right, nothing else needs to be added. Secondly, our ability to cope with climate change. We have had to learn to be more protective of the grapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. What should Canadians know about the recent vintages of Australian wine?
The recent vintages have been very consistent. 2015, 2016 and 2017 are all loaded with good wines. The other thing you have to remember, is that is, like Canada a big country. Most of western Europe fits comfortably inside, so there are a vast range of climates within, so the range of wines is vast too.

7. In your opinion, what is the Yarra Valley’s defining feature that sets it apart from other Australian regions?
Many regions are relatively homogenous. Burgundy is a classic example of consistent geology, geography and varieties. Not so here in the Yarra. We have a mixed ancient geology of both volcanic and alluvial origin ranging from 250-500 million years old (Burgundy is only 200 million years old), and due to our mixed geography with elevations ranging from 90 metres above sea level to 450 metres above sea level, depending where you grow on that scale, almost anything is possible. At the bottom we are a touch cooler than Bordeaux and so can reliably ripen cabernet sauvignon. At the top, a little cooler than Champagne, with only sparkling base capable of ripening. Our focus has been on the mid-sections to grow chardonnay and pinot noir with excellent results.

8. What makes the vineyards you work with unique?
If we believe in the concept of terroir, then all sites, in theory, have a unique taste. We are still exploring that concept and learning what makes these differences and why some vineyards taste better than others. For instance, we are currently working with four different chardonnay vineyards that all make wines of similar high quality, however, all four have distinct differences in both flavour and texture, making them all taste different, despite using the same winemaking technique. In three of these sites, we are the sole producer, so these sets of flavours cannot be reproduced by others.

9. Outside of Australian wines, what region do you gravitate towards when drinking?
In no particular order – Chablis, Burgundy, Piedmonte, the Mosel and Galicia (Ribera Sacra etc).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WineCollective members have received the following wines from Oakridge. As part of the package, members receive our notes and food pairing suggestions. Take a look at our tasting cards and notes to see all that these fantastic wines have to offer.

– Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Shiraz 2015
– Oakridge Over the Shoulder 2012
– Oakridge Over the Shoulder Rosé 2016

Learn more about Oakridge Winery  and their world renowned wines.

Visit WineCollective to learn more about our ultimate wine experience and to start enjoying delicious wines just like these, from all around the world, delivered right to your door.


An Exclusive Tell-All: My Love Affair With Wine

I used to know that I enjoyed wine, but I honestly couldn’t have told you exactly why. I loved the taste, of course, but I was sure that I hated all Merlot and that white wine in general was just ‘okay’. I enjoyed the smell, but to me, all reds just smelled like wine, or if I was getting really creative, like grapes. All white wine tasted like juice, and I tended to drink it as such, without paying much attention to it at all. I was completely content with my limited wine knowledge, because I honestly had no idea how limited it was… until I joined the WineCollective team.

For the last several months I have been surrounded by my very impressive team of wine professionals and they honestly blow me away with their knowledge and love for wine. I remember the first time we did a wine tasting in the office, it was during my very first week working at WineCollective as the Customer Service Coordinator. I probably sat with an inch of California Merlot in my glass for an hour, trying to identify the things that the rest of the team were saying they smelled and tasted. Plum, cedar, vanilla, strawberry, rhubarb… what?? Since when are all of these things, and more, present in this one glass of wine? How have I missed this for all these years? And so my wine education began.

Since that day, I have focussed on learning about wine, I even enrolled in wine school and have completed my Level 1 WSET course through Fine Vintage Ltd.. I now find wine amazing! Not only because it’s delicious, but also because of the culture that exists around it, the generations of families whose way of life rely on the wine industry and the intricacies in each and every wine making process.

 

Here are some of my favourite wine related discoveries:

  • Wine is about 7000 years old!
  • There are over 10,000 grape varietals, about 1,400 of them are used to make wine.
  • Maybe the most obvious, but I swear it never occurred to me, the type of wine, ex. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio is the grape varietal used to make that wine.
  • Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape. Shiraz is grown in warmer climates like Australia, while Syrah is grown in cooler climates like Northern France.
  • Climate, region, growing season, altitude and winemaking practices all have drastic influences on each bottle of wine produced, so a complete dislike for one particular varietal, worldwide, would take a lot of research to confirm.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon was created by combining Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc and recent DNA testing has proven that Cabernet Franc is also a parent of Merlot
  • White wine only tastes like juice if you drink it as such. I have been most surprised by my gained knowledge of white wines! I’ve found beautiful, tantalizing aromas and flavours  in white wines such as peaches, passion fruit, pineapple, honey, caramel, vanilla and so many more, what’s not to love?
  • Riesling, though delicious, can smell and sometimes taste mildly like petrol or rubber bands, usually more apparent in aged wines. This can take some getting used to, however there are many other beautiful flavours present in Riesling to focus on.
  • “Sweet wine” is actually a style of wine, for example Ports or Sauternes. Describing the majority of wines as sweet in inaccurate. Sweetness may be implied by the flavours present in the wine, but there is actually very little sugar in the majority of quality white and red wines, which are mainly categorized as dry wines.

I could go on and on. My family and friends lovingly refer to me as a wine snob now, but I would say that the difference in my attitude towards wine is that I’m actually paying attention. I’m looking for more in wine than I ever have. It takes practice to be able to identify the complexities in wine and I have a lot to learn, but I am definitely enjoying the process. I encourage anyone who has never explored wine this way to try it out. Spend some time looking at, smelling and really tasting the wine in your glass. Don’t get discouraged if at first you don’t smell or taste anything but grapes, keep trying and you will surely enjoy what you find!

Want to talk wine or have questions about WineCollective? Pick up the phone or send a note to Jessica!

thecellar@winecollective.ca

1-855-501-WINE(9463)


For all the Wine-Lover Mothers

We can all agree, Mom deserves a HUGE thanks, and not just on Mother’s Day. We have created a gift that allows you to show your Mom how grateful you are for months to come!

Sign her up for a 1, 2, or 3 month gift of wine, and we will be sure to spoil Mom with extra goodies. The first shipment will be received in June, which means you have until the end of May to shop for Mom!

  • Includes our favourite previously featured, new, exclusive and for Moms-Only wines
  • Each gift package comes with a $25 Gift Certificate to use in our online wine shop
  • With 2 months of wine, we will also send Mom a Project Candy Box filled with sweets
  • The 3 month gift includes the candy and a WineCollective tasting card album

       

 

If you want to give some instant gratification, we also have a ‘ship now’ option. This 6 bottle mixed pack has good value and some extras for Mom. We will be shipping out these gifts as they are ordered, within 48 hours of purchase. However,  we cannot guarantee that the delivery will occur prior to May 14th.

Moms love beer, just as much as wine! We have you covered if she pours brews more often than vino. Canada Craft Club has a one-time delivery of craft beers, that come with the most practical flowers around, tulips!


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!


Welcome to WineCollective

You have just joined WineCollective, or, you are the recipient of a pretty awesome gift. What to do next? While we are busy preparing next month’s deliveries, here is what you can do to make the most out of your WineCollective experience.

  • Joining us on social media. Be our friend and keep up with what is going on in the WineCollective world, from events and education, to giveaways and contests.
  • Become acquainted with your online account. When you login to your WineCollective account, you can update shipping information and payment information and keep tabs on your upcoming delivery. Once you receive your first delivery of wine, you will also be able to view all the wines you have received.
  • Explore the online wine shop. Members receive 10% off all wines, and some selections are for members-only! Can’t wait for the first delivery, get a head-start on your WineCollective journey. The coupon code NEWWINEJOURNEY10 is good for $10 off your first online store order.
  • Learn more about us! Take some time to discover our Blog and find out why we are so passionate about giving you the ultimate wine journey.
  • In Calgary? Visit our retail store, Highfield by WineCollective for great members-only deals on wine, beer and spirits!

We understand that the anticipation must be overwhelming, waiting for a package is always exciting, especially when it is wine! Here is a bit of what to expect so that you are prepared to receive your wine.

  • We will send you our Heads Up email on the first of the month, reminding you of your delivery and providing you with an estimated ship out date.
  • Make note of our cut-off date in the Heads Up email. You have until the specified date to let us know if you need to arrange an alternate delivery date, or change your shipping information. After this date, we will not be able to amend addresses or delay the delivery, so be sure to reach out in time!
  • You will then receive a Shipped Email when your package leaves our headquarters in Calgary. This email will contain your very valuable tracking number. Use this information to arrange last minute shipping changes with your courier.
  • Your wine must be signed for by someone over the age of 19 and it can not be left on a doorstep or porch.
  • Missed the delivery? Here are the next steps with each of our couriers.
  • Share your experiences with us, from food pairings to favourite features, and even those you would rather not taste again, we love to know what you think of the wines!

Still have questions? Get in touch with us thecellar@winecollective.ca


New year, new wine and new people.

WineCollective is growing and so is our team. We want to start off 2017 with a bang, and what better way to do that than with a new team member! Here is what we are looking for, let us know if it sounds like you.

We are in search of a dynamic Customer Relations Coordinator

  • Full-time
  • Hours Mon-Fri 9-5
  • Salary TBD based on experience, 2 week vacation after 6 months
  • Start date: Latest start date January 23rd, 2017

 

Must possess:

  • Proficiency with, or ability to quickly learn, new software platforms
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Professional phone etiquette
  • Positive nature, and be an inherent people pleaser
  • Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and prioritize
  • Self-starter and takes initiative
  • Strong understanding and working knowledge of social media platforms
  • Knowledge of liquor laws and regulations
  • Strong wine (and beer) knowledge and desire to continue wine/beer education
  • Proserve Certification (can be completed online)

We are a dynamic company that is looking for a multi-talented individual to wear several hats. This position is ideal for someone who enjoys challenges, can think on their toes, is keen to take initiative and solve problems, but also be a rockstar team player and communicator.

Your main responsibility is to deliver exceptional customer service to members and potential members. Answering incoming calls and emails for several brands. You must be able to learn new systems and processes quickly, and be able to confidently answer questions and resolve problems.

Additionally, you can expect to contribute to  warehouse operations, photography, wine and beer tasting and proof-reading. There is also an opportunity for someone with design and editing experience to hone their craft. With many tasks at hand, it is imperative that candidates interested in this position are amazing at multi-tasking, time management and assessing priority of responsibilities. This is a perfect opportunity for a driven and dynamic individual to develop skills within the communications field.

It is essential to have a comprehensive working knowledge of the following software platforms, or be eager at learning: Lightroom, Photoshop, Dropbox, Highrise, Basecamp, WordPress, Zendesk and Mailchimp.

Beyond all, ability to present yourself and the company in a professional, but friendly and approachable manner. The Customer Relations Coordinator will be the first line of communication with customers and must convey a positive and helpful attitude at all times. We are a growing company that operates on a fast-pace. All team members must be able to improvise, take initiative, identify opportunities for improvement, create efficiency and have fun!
Submit resume with references to jobs@winecollective.ca by Friday, January 19th.

 


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!