The BC Pinot Noir newsletter and blog provides information about the wineries, vineyards & winemakers crafting pinot noir wines in British Columbia, Canada. The blog was launched in its original format in 2013 which included a number of tastings comparing pinot noirs from B.C. to those from around the world. It was relaunched in its current format in August of 2023 and now also includes winery profiles, reviews of currently available B.C. pinot noirs, regional spotlights and more.

B.C. is one of the few, blessed areas of the world capable of making fine pinot noir wines and deserves to be thought of in the “first circle” of pinot noir producing areas that include Oregon, Australia, Burgundy, New Zealand and California. 

Similar to other pinot noir producing areas, B.C. pinot noirs are made in very small quantities, typically five hundred cases or less. As a result, most of these wines are consumed in B.C. leaving few to export and become discovered in the larger wine world. This project aims to shine a light on the 160 or so wineries making over 300 different B.C. pinot noirs and to help raise the profile of these high quality but little known wines.


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Panel Tastings

Panel tastings consist of six British Columbia pinot noirs plus one “guest pinot” i.e. a pinot noir from another region such as Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand, California or elsewhere. This gives an ongoing opportunity to compare the quality of B.C. pinot noirs to other regions in terms of style and quality.


Lee Cross Lee has an acute wine palate, is an accomplished amateur chef and has been drinking wine with interest for over 30 years. She is a long standing member and past board member of the Vancouver American Wine Society.

Jacquelin George Jacquelin is formally trained as a chemical engineer, and has been passionately involved with food and wine for more than 25 years.   Jacquelin holds the WSET Diploma.

Her travels have taken her to all corners of the wine world including the classic regions of Europe, and to most of the new world.   She has extensive experience as an amateur garagiste winemaker and has won Canada’s top award for amateur winemakers. Her quest to taste the world’s best Pinot Noirs is an ongoing adventure.

Brent Gushowaty Brent’s serious interest in wine started on his wedding day when a friend suggested letting a red wine “breathe” for an hour and then discovered to his surprise that he was able to taste the difference.

His interest in wine took him to London in the early eighties to the Wine Department of Christie’s Auction House where a six month series of tutored tastings with the likes of Jancis Robinson, Michael Broadbent, Stephen Spurrier, Serena Sutcliffe and others, made wine a lifelong pursuit.  He has made wine trips to Germany, California, and the Willamette Valley and toured the French wine regions extensively.  He holds WSET 3 Advanced (Distinction).

He was a wine consultant at SIP Wines VQA (specializing in B.C. wines) for seven years. He began in 2011.

Eric Urquhart Eric has a keen interest in wine but is also fascinated with all things fermentable and the conditions and processes of fermentation. He has a diploma in food processing from BCIT, a BSc Biology and Masters of Pest Management and a PhD centred on modes of action of yeast-like fungi for bio-control.

He is as interested in the how and why of food, wine and cooking as much as the flavour and savour.  His wine tasting approach is informed by his technical training. Eric has an enviable ability to sense, identify and articulate scent and flavours in wine and is also blessed with an almost photographic taste memory.

His homemade ice cream is to die for.

Ariel Kirk-Gushowaty Ariel is an art photographer, writer and film-maker.  She holds a BA in Philosophy and Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, and a certificate in Photography from Langara College.  Her work has been shown in Canada and Japan.  She has toured a number of French wine regions, has an acute palate and brings a precise, articulate but unrestrained sense of language to the descriptions of the wines she tastes.  

Past Panel Member - John Levine John Levine was a past panel member and encouraging supporter of the project. John had a long and innovative career in the restaurant business, and his accomplishments there included introducing fresh pizza to Vancouver through John’s Pizzarama and creating the very successful Brother Jon’s restaurant in Gastown.

He was deeply interested in fine wine, long before it became popular and was one of the earliest wine writers and wine educators in Vancouver.  He also had a radio show in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

He was the past president of the International Wine and Food Society Vancouver branch and founded the Vancouver American Wine Society.  In 1979 while on the board of the Playhouse Theatre he got the idea to start what would become the Vancouver International Wine Festival, by inviting his friend Robert Mondavi to come to Vancouver and do a couple of tastings.  He was the founding chairman and helmed the festival for the next ten years.  John was also the Senior Wine Consultant at SIP Wines and was inducted into BC Restaurant Hall of Fame (pioneer category) in 2012.

John unfortunately passed away in 2012 and is greatly missed by everyone who knew him.  His vast wine tasting experience, wonderful stories and irascible intelligence are very much missed on our panel.  Of the many tributes to John that poured in perhaps the most elegant and fitting was that of B.C.’s Kettle Valley Winery who renamed it’s best single vineyard pinot noir John’s Block in his memory.

Fittingly, his ashes were scattered at several vineyards to become part of their terroir. They included Kettle Valley in the Okanagan Valley, The Robert Mondavi Estate in Napa and La Tache in Burgundy.

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B.C. pinot noir wines & wineries of the Pacific North North West


My interest in wine started on my wedding day. I have worked as a wine rep and in a B.C. only wine store. I hold the wine certification WSET 3 Advanced and created Wine travels include Germany, California, France & Oregon.