Chantal Ireland – Black Cloud’s newest representative

If you’re a wine drinker or wine seller on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands, you’ll want to know Chantal Ireland if you don’t already.Chantal

Chantal is the person to see for Black Cloud wines – our line of exclusive, small-batch Pinot Noirs from BC’s Okanagan Valley.

Chantal’s craft beverage sales experience began in coffee, where she managed up to $1.1M annually. She’s a sales professional who focuses on strategic territory planning and actions, through dedication to quality, education and innovative ideas. Her philosophy to sales could be summed up as: “Care about the people you work with and always answer your phone. What you can’t prevent, solve quickly.” A food writer for Monday Magazine and itstodiefor.ca , Chantal’s connection to local food is proven on Instagram.

Here’s how to contact Chantal:

Chantal@getblended.ca

1 778 679 1996

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Now available! The 2013 Cumulus Nimbus…

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After a long wait, we’re releasing this special edition Cumulus Nimbus. This is a single-barrel, handcrafted Pinot Noir from the 2013 vintage.  The fruit was chosen cluster by cluster from our source vineyards on the Naramata Bench and fermented in a small, segregated batch. Aged for 14 mos in French oak and further bottle conditioned until its early release to Cloudy Club members a few weeks ago, this Pinot Noir is the epitome of our wine making goals and sets our performance bar a few notches higher.

We reserve the Cumulus Nimbus name for vintages of exceptional conditions. 2013 was the first vintage since we began Black Cloud in 2008 that we felt confident in making such a declaration.

Each bottle is numbered and personally signed by the winemaker and only 275 were produced. Best way to obtain is to head over to our Cloudy Day Club site and hit the ‘store’ tab. We ship anywhere in Canada.

Grapejuice!

Brian Heckl

A vertical of three magnums of our Altostratus Pinot Noir was one of last year’s auction items at the Grapejuice! 2014 event.

We’re happy to report that we’re pouring our Black Cloud Pinot Noir at Grapejuice this year (March 5) in Vancouver. If you didn’t know, Grapejuice is an annual event in support of the Big Sisters of BC (Lower Mainland). We’ve participated in the past by providing items for the auction. This year we get to attend and pour our wine for the throngs of guests that make this a sell-out every year. If you’d like to know more about this event or would like to buy tickets, check out Grapejuice with this link.

What are the chances?

We were bottling a small run today.  We had to do about 25 cases of our top of the line 2013 Cumulus Nimbus, the epitome of our Pinot Noir making skills. When we cracked open a fresh bag of corks, this is what was inside.  Just one, mind you. The other 999 were all stamped Black Cloud. We’re going to contact them and see if they’d like it back. We’re not sure exactly how it happens but it does.
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Our website is back up!

Just a quick note to let you know that our website at http://www.blackcloud.ca is back up and running.  It’s now a property of our parent license holder so we feel are well within the strict rules and regulations of our local jurisdiction.

Visit the site and subscribe to a package if you like the idea of getting our Pinot Noir shipped to your door three times a year.  Or, for a one time purchase. chose the ‘store’ tab to see what the current vintages are available.   Wines are available in Canada only, at this time.

We’ve been forced to close our on-line store – for now.

If you been over to www.blackcloud.ca you will have noticed that the site is down. We shut it down voluntarily after a BC Control and Licensing inspector made it known in no uncertain terms that a crack-down on virtual wineries was happening and that Black Cloud, a brand of Serendipity Winery, was under scrutiny.

According to the powers that be, there is only one kind of winery in BC. That’s the kind that they license, and brands like Black Cloud, operating under the wing of another operation, are not going to be tolerated. They don’t like wine e-commerce to start, and operating a site without direct correalation to our parent license holder is making them, shall we say, concerned.

In a business environment that favours the landed, the financed and the established, it’s getting harder and harder to be an innovator and to create a winemaking environment that is a level playing field for people of all means and stripes. We have always operated under license and have always paid our share of taxes et cetera due.

Until this is straightened out, please contact us directly for any of your Black Cloud questions, comments or requests by email at info@blackcloud.ca or call our administration office at 778.476.1655

Liquor Updates: Wholesale Pricing

Black Cloud:

Curious about the new changes this spring to BC liquor?

Originally posted on Dorkuncorked's Blog:

My phone was ringing off the hook prior to and after the announcement by Suzanne Anton and the GM for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. The biggest, and really only, question is ‘What does this mean?’

There is a ton to talk about as the announcement involved Grocery Stores, Wholesale Pricing, Separation of LDB Retail from Wholesale, perhaps the item that will have the most short and long term impact is Wholesale Pricing.

Wholesale Pricing

Current System

Currently BC Liquor Stores do not purchase product from the Wholesale division of the BCLDB. They simply order it, it arrives and they retail it. Private stores do pay LDB Wholesale for their product. The price is a function of the BC Liquor Store retail price. In other words a discounted retail price is what private stores pay. The discount is based on the license type. Licensed Retail Stores (LRS) receive a 16% discount…

View original 922 more words

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Barrel Head repair – well, my last name IS Cooper.

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You may recall that I removed the head of a French oak barrel a few weeks ago to do an open top ferment of our 2014 Cumulus Nimbus Pinot Noir. Now it was time to put the head back on so I could re-fill it with #Pinot. Taking the head off was easy. Getting it back on so it would seal would be a bit more of a challenge.

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IMG_20141101_143412 I was careful to save the small custom nails that help keep the hoops in place. They don’t sell them yet at my local hardware store. I also prepared a thick, gooey flour paste that I used in the croze or groove the barrel head sits in to help seal the deal. I’d read somewhere that corn flour is used but I just used regular old Robin Hood.

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I removed the quarter hoop and the French hoop. That let the sun in but it was the only way the head could be manipulated back into place.

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Not such a neat job but I didn’t want to miss a spot.

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And here it is the next day – being tested with 225 liters of water over the next 48 hours. Not the slightest drip at this point. Success!

It’s Time to NAME THAT TANK!

So we got a new tank for Black Cloud and, like last time, we’re having a name that tank contest.  Winner gets wine, so does the runner up!  Honourable mention gets a coupon at our store.

Previous tanks were named: Tin Lizzy and P. No. Diddy.

Some background:

  • it’s made in Italy
  • It holds 1100 liters to the brim but four barrels worth comfortably
  • It’s a flat bottom storage tank with a tripod pedestal.
  • It has a clean out valve, a racking valve and a sampling valve.
  • It’s variable capacity. The lid can be lowered to the surface of the wine and sealed in place with an inflatable gasket with a handpump.
  • It’s made of stainless steel.