Canadian Studies/Kascadia Wine tasting invite for May 12, 2021

Canadian Studies at U.C. Berkeley and Kascadia Wine Merchants invite you, as a Canadian Studies Advisory Board member, to a rare wine tasting to celebrate our Canadian Studies program.

David Stewart, Advisory Board Chair, conceived this idea as a way for us all to meet each other and have a fun mixer, at least remotely, since we cannot gather in person due to the pandemic.

We are keeping the invite list exclusive to Advisory Board Members because we have access to the last 20 bottles of Painted Rock Estate Winery’s 2015 Syrah, highly praised in Food & Wine and Decanter magazines as well as by Canadian wine maven Natalie McLean and the Globe and Mail. Read more about Painted Rock Estate Winery, here. 

VJ Gandhi, founder of Kascadia Wine Merchants and formerly of Vancouver, brings us this exclusive treat that includes one bottle of the wine, shipping, and a tasting and presentation by John Skinner, proprietor of Painted Rock Estate Winery, and his daughter Lauren Skinner, Director of Sales and Marketing -- A terrific opportunity and value at $60 plus taxes.

 We will explore the Okanagan Valley’s history including how it moved from Canada’s “fruit basket” to leading wine region, local climate advantages and variances and how it compares to the Napa and Sonoma valleys, and the history of Painted Rock and its name.

Although this highly praised vintage is sold out, Advisory Board members in Canada may buy a later vintage directly from the winery. Board members in the U.S. outside California should check wine shipping laws in their states.

This event will be via Zoom, and we welcome those who don’t drink alcohol to join us for free.

David Stewart, Advisory Board Chair

Kathleen Thompson Hill, Advisory Board Member


Please limit your purchase to 1 bottle per household. Order now to receive your wine and gain access to the Zoom link for your online wine tasting experience. The Zoom event details will be emailed to you by UC Berkeley Canadian Studies a few days before the event. Deadline for orders - April 25th, 2021. 

If you would like to participate in the tasting without purchasing the wine, please email Tomas Elias Lane at to receive the Zoom link by April 25th, 2021.

Wine Pack Includes:


Exclusive access to a live virtual wine tasting experience with Painted Rock Estate Winery.
Wine Tasting Date: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
Time: 4:00 PST

Painted Rock Estate Winery, 2015 Syrah (Quantity: 1) 

Aromas of ripe red fruit and florals jump out of the glass with raspberries, cherries, blackberries, and rose water. Rounded and rich on the palate with ripe, silky tannins with further flavors of cracked pepper, vanilla and toasted coconut. Lingering pepper and baking spices on the finish.

This Syrah was hand picked from two estate syrah blocks. J block is planted with clone 100 and M block is planted with 99. This wine was aged for 18 months in 30% new oak. Of that new oak, 80% was French and 20% was American. The remaining 70% was aged in 2nd fill French oak. 14.9% Alcohol.


Painted Rock Estate Winery - Winery of the Year at the 2018-19 InterVin International Wine Awards

Melanie Hansche, Food and Wine Magazine:  “Wines to try now” , 2015 Painted Rock Syrah 

Beppi Crosariol, The Globe and Mail: Lusciously full and intense, with sweet, almost syrupy plum and blackberry fruit matched by a UFC-worthy drop-kick of black pepper. Then the grape shows its more European side, with a gamey, smoky quality and note of licorice. Ripe, well-integrated tannins round out this big, complex red. Likely a good candidate for up to a dozen years in the cellar. 92 Points

John Schreiner: This wine delivers terrific fruit aromas and flavours – black cherry, blackberry and fig, with notes of leather, vanilla and pepper. The wine was aged 18 months in barrel (30% new), of which 80% was French oak and 20% American oak. 92 Points

Liam Carrier: Though Painted Rock is best known for its ripe and complex Red Icon blend, the wine gaining ground as the flagship product is the winery's estate-grown Syrah. Mind-blowing intense, yet, without ever feeling over-extracted or jammy. This youthful Syrah displays ripe cherry and plum fruit with integrated white pepper, pepperoni and floral aromas followed on the dry, grippy-tannin palate with similar flavours and added layers of blood orange, mint and vanilla. 93 Points

Finishes long with lingering spice and cigar box notes. Ready to go with 4+ hrs of decanting, though the best results will come with patience and mid-term cellaring. Drink 2019-2025.

Meg Charette, Natalie MacLean: Aged for 18 months in 30% new oak of which 80% is French oak and 20% American oak. Aged in bottle for 2 years. Aromas have a pronounced intensity. Powerful notes of stewed blackberry and dried blackberry first dominate on the nose and palate. Other intense aromas soon begin to shine through the dominating blackberry; prunes, liquorice, black pepper, leather, dried leaves, sweet tobacco and charred wood. A dry, full bodied, rich and luscious Syrah with high acidity and high tannins. On the palate there is a warm tingling sensation from the high alcohol and intense black pepper. Powerfully long finish of rich, tannic blackberry. 94 Points