I briefly touched on The View in my Coming Up Next blog and showcased the outside in a small little video… But things have transpired since then, including meeting with the fantastic winemakers AND the beautiful woman who emulates all things The View. So here we go!
Up on Ward Road sits The View
Instead of laying it out word for word what Jennifer Molgat, President, Kristy French, Winemaker and Mike Anderson, Winemaker had to say about their most recent vintages, their synergy and their future- I’m going to tell you about the experience. What I believe you will benefit from the most.
Let’s start with Jennifer, since she was my first point of contact and honestly part of the reason for starting this chapter of my blog.
When Michael and I stumbled upon The View the first time we had no idea what to expect, but by some sort of fate we walked in at the exact right moment Jennifer was walking out of the winery attached to the wineshop- have I told you how much I believe in fate and everything happening for a reason?
She is infatuated with the history, the property and now winery which has been around since 1922- originally an apple packinghouse – in 2006 the company and a good portion of the land took a sharp turn in the wine direction and has not looked back. She talks about the property with a sense of pride, faith and undying loyalty. What you would ultimately hope for in the president of ANY company. Upon first meeting her, her kindness, openness and willingness to learn immediately struck a cord. She didn’t laugh in our faces when we didn’t taste certain notes in the wines, she opened our minds to the possibilities and shared stories with how reviewers or visitors had tasted the wine before us. The last thing this industry needs is more people with their noses in the air, so this attitude was awfully refreshing.
When you think President, what do you think? Not totally involved… Doesn’t have that much day-to-day power, or maybe just not related to the small operations… Jennifer seems to be quite the opposite. Entirely, 100% invested in the day-to-day operations, loyal to her brand and willing to put in the 15 hour days to get her winery where she KNOWS it can be. I say 15 hours, because that’s what she relayed to me. I say invested in day-to-day, because she noted she worked from the ground up. From picking grapes, to lugging hoses around the property, to representing her brand WHEREVER and WHENEVER she can. And she’s excited when she hears stories of her wines succeeding or gets into a swanky wine store in downtown Vancouver. She personally connects with every victory for this boutique wine~ which currently produces about 8,000 cases *hoping to get up to the sweet spot of about 10,000 for them*.
Wine stores and companies eat up the fact that her logo, the infamous red shoe, came from such a simple yet entirely relatable story. They love how she always comes dressed in her finest reds. The truth though? As much as she adores and loves both the company and what it represents, she is still her own woman. Equipped with a social life, kids, a husband, and family. She never spoke a bad word about anyone, don’t get me wrong, but I think what we have to realize about having a President who does it all… Is sometimes she can’t do it all!
She seems to be the leader everyone wishes for~ creative freedoms, balanced participation and fighting for everyone on the property and associated with the winery until the bitter end. Which brings me to the winemakers…
Described as having “a passion for all things fashion,” Kristy is above all, the mom you don’t want to mess with, the woman you want to drink wine with for hours and the co-worker you want to have around for some of the more boring days. In essence, she’s the perfect fit- and has been for many years- for The View. The thing about this winery is you never, EVER, get a sense of arrogance. Never, EVER, do you feel out of place. Kristy emulates this. Open to hearing what YOU think. I have a hinting suspicion it’s because she hopes you will keep your mind open for what she has to offer. I’ll keep this one in the vault for now… But a vintage they’re working on could turn out with a very, very interesting name from the one, the only, Kristy French.
You know why? Because they’re not afraid to take risks. It’s a smaller winery, they’re not expected to produce the exact same 100 point wine year after year. They don’t necessarily have boundaries, at least not strict ones. And this allows for a wealth of creativity, the same creativity winning them double golds and silvers.
For someone who has a B.Sc. in Biology, Mike took to winemaking like white on rice. He’ll sometimes wander his way overseas to work on other harvests when Kristy takes over for the season, but to me it seems like an awfully collaborative environment. One of the first things I noted when they were both in the same room is the absolute respect him and Kristy have for one another. Chemistry. Synergy. Jennifer also noted both winemakers clearly have their sides of book-worm intelligence, as they both have degrees, but they’re also avidly using their creative sides to tap into the next great thing to come out of this winery. Whether it’s the Pinotage… The dryer Riesling or their new take on this year’s Gewürztraminer.
With his long-standing career with The View, it’s evident Mike shares the same loyalty as Jennifer. Whether it’s with the historic orchard they still enthusiastically pursue, or collaborating with Kristy/ taking over when she’s on maternity leave… Which he jokes is about the eighth time! If I remember correctly.. It’s only been twice ;).
The Winemakers and Vineyard Manager
As a joint effort, I’ll just say they produce some FOINE wine. (yeah, FOINE)
With no hesitation do they mention the vineyard manager and man behind the scenes, Jasvir Sidhu, who is taking care of those precious grapes year round. The winemakers want the grapes picked juuuust a little bit later this year? Jasvir is the man they’d talk to.
I’m not an expert, as stated over and over again, but I am “the norm”. I’m the average person going to a winery and wanting *hopefully* an unforgettable experience. These, especially in high season, are hard to come by. With NO disrespect to the wineries, it is a VERY VERY busy time. But I’ve quickly discovered the best time to visit wineries is a) low season for tourists, but b) high season for winemakers- it makes the wine shops smell like nothing you’ve smelled before, but the experiences last that much longer.
Jennifer continues on about how she trusts Kristy and Mike. How she gives them creative freedoms and while it is a collaborative effort on the property, she’ll leave the winemaking up to them!
Like I said, getting some time in edgewise with Jennifer wasn’t the easiest because she’s essentially doing it all. Not that she has to do it herself, she clearly has a brilliant crew, but it’s just what happens when you invest so much and care so much more. Which I ENTIRELY understand. The most important thing, and something I will eternally appreciate, is that she NEVER blew me off. Never made me feel like a nobody, and FOUND TIME. Not only did she do this, she complimented my authenticity, my drive to go out there and do things how I wanted to do them. She invited me in and made me feel like a somebody.
The second time we met was on a chillier November morning, I knocked on the winery door and a lovely woman let me in. She knew exactly who I was, and exactly why I was there. Like clock work, Mike walked into the wine shop and offered his undivided attention to me until Jennifer came. For a little background, The View was coined before the actual view was established. A little packinghouse, turned into the wine shop with the winery in the back. Creating stunning originality, intimacy and above all authentic aromas that keep you coming back.
So I followed Mike back into the winery where Kristy soon met us and they offered me tastings OUT OF THE TANK- for those of you who don’t know, this is pre-bottling, pre-capping, pre-everything. It’s a decently exclusive taste. I’m not saying it was just for me! But again, right place, right time. They helped me discover the notes, the proper tasting and above all shed a little light on who they are; two individuals living long hours at a winery, making the wines they want and the wines that continue to win prestigious awards. Hoping and praying the weather is on their side year after year.
It may be a beginners luck, or the honeymoon phase, but this winery has been nothing but good to me. So for that, I can’t wine about anything. Did I mention I’m enjoying a glass of their Pinotage? Man this is a great time, and place, to be alive.