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MARCH/APRIL EDITION 2019

John hall: Master of the Whisky Domain

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John Hall with a bottle of his Barrel Select, which was a commericial hit in the 90s and helped elevate 40 Creek Distillery to the next level Page 6.

Page 6 – John Hall: The Game Changer Putting Canadian Whisky Back on The World Map Page 12 – Owen Clavel: A Teen With a Dream – heads to Portugal to hone soccer skills Page 18 – Venice: Definitely a bucket list travel destination Page 23 – Citrus: Flavourful and useful in battle against winter colds MARCH/APRIL EDITION 2019

ON THE COVER John hall: Master of the Whisky Domain

John Hall enjoys music, but he has a passion for whisky distilling, which was always his goal from his early years in Windsor.

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opinion STAYING CONNECTED

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin

The chances are slim, but there may be a possibility John Hall and I are twins separated at birth. No, not literally, but we sure think alike. Having had the opportunity to speak with John many times over the years, I always learn something new and I listen keenly for his little anecdotes tucked into the fabric of his stories. That truly is the good stuff. Creativity, focus, customer first, branding and, above all, providing a quality product to back up all those areas of strategic planning – in reading this edition of ClubWest Magazine’s lead feature you will gain some insight into how John did this. In some small way, I would like to think I have followed this blueprint. It will be nine years in May in an industry with a 95 per cent mortality rate for start-ups in the first year and I have done that twice now, so I’ll take that. While John does provide an excellent road map to success, a proven, tried and true formula to develop a great company with dedicated employees and a loyal customer base, few – if any – could aspire to the level of success he has managed to achieve. Yes, he sold his company for an incredible sum, more than $185 million, but it was what he did for an entire world wide industry and Canada’s position on that stage which is staggering. There is no need to rehash the content of the story but to say John and his team moved the needle for the Canadian whisky category would me a major understatement. There are many thousands if not millions of successful businesses in the world, but few actually change mindsets, generate exponential growth and restore vibrancy to a dying sector. That is the stuff of Hollywood scripts. How many of you have seen the 40 Creek Distillery ads on during a Maple Leafs game? Campari, as John notes, has done very well by Grimsby and their business by shining such a classy light on the legacy of their product line. Having a story to tell and exploiting that heritage are two key marketing points in promoting alcohol. Think of the story told of Appleton Rum, also a Campari product. Unique stories stick in the minds of consumers. With 40 Creek, John’s efforts will be the story which drives the company for decades into the future and that is something for which he can be proud and the whole community can take pride in as well. Few people get into any Hall of Fame, let alone have a Hall of Fame created just to accommodate them...yes, I embellish slightly, but John Hall deserves it! Publisher, ClubWest Magazine Mike Williscraft


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Game Changer John Hall’s passion changed an industry, a company and lives

At home in the warehouse at Forty Creek Distillery.


By Mike Williscraft t is rare in this age of global economy that one person can move the needle in an entire sector. It is even more rare that one person could reset and refocus an entire industry while setting it on a brand new track to world prominence. Grimsby’s John Hall is that rare individual. As a youth growing up in Windsor, Hall knew from an early age what he wanted to do with his life. “I grew up in Windsor and always wanted to be a whisky maker. Hiram Walker (Distillery) was in Windsor. They never wanted to hire me as a whisky maker, which turned out to be a good thing,” said Hall with a laugh. As with many things in business and in life, timing is everything, but when Hall decided to invest in Reider Distillery in 1992 there was nothing to indicate anything positive in the company or the whisky industry - just the opposite, in fact. As described by Hall in a 2009 interview for Grown in the Garden of Canada: The History of the Fruit industry in Grimsby: “The facility here originally was strictly a distillery that had started back in the mid-70s. A fellow by the name of Otto Reider, who actually immigrated from Switzerland, was the owner. When he came to the Niagara area, he discovered all of the glorious fruit that grew in the area, the cherries, the strawberries, the plums, and the grapes and decided that this would be a great place to build a distillery and make eaux de vie’s (a.k.a. Schnapps), eaux de vie’s being distilled alcohol that is made from fruit. Eaux de vie’s are very popular in Europe, but

I

One of John Hall’s strategic moves was to - each year- craft special limited batches, such as Confederation Oak, Small Batch and Heart of Gold which are one-of-akind. His goal: “I wanted a different taste experience.” not so popular in North America. So Otto Reider actually made some excellent, excellent eaux de vie’s out of Ontario grown fruit but his only problem was the marketing of it. Because people in Canada drank whisky and vodka and rum but they didn’t drink eaux de vie’s such as Kirsh and Slivovice and

Poire Williams, he had limited success and unfortunately the company was ailing. In 1992, I came across it and discovered that it would make an excellent winery as well as a distillery, so I invested in it and changed the name to Kittling Ridge.” Now, one may think from that


Continued From Page 7 start the rest was history, but the fact is, the work had not even begun. When Hall acquired Reider, it came with another “acquisition”. “John likes to joke that I came with the building,” says Bill Ashburn, who started at Reider after studying chemical engineering at Niagara College and gaining some wine industry experience at Jordan & Ste. Michelle’s Cellars. While expanding the whisky distilling aspect of the business was central to his long-term plans, Hall knew the business plan had to be better rounded. “He started the winery, Kittling Ridge, with the premise it would provide the cash flow to allow us to create whiskies which take many years to mature,” Ashburn recalled, noting Hall brought an extra ingredient to what would prove a phenomenally successful recipe. “What John brought was passion and he tends to bring passion out in all those who work with him. He could get you to do things you never thought possible. He never has a down day. He just takes things as they come and keeps moving along,” said Ashburn. “Other distilleries like Potters in St. Catharines and Corbyville in Corby were closing. Everyone thought, including me, those closures were the death knell for the industry. John thought differently and he did something about it.” Indeed, history shows, 1992 was the low point in Canada’s whisky distilling industry. “Canada had peaked in the whisky business in 1982 with eight million cases sold. In 1992, that had declined by half. They had lost sales of four million

cases,” noted Hall. “Distilleries were closing left and right. There were seven distilleries left in Canada. Today, there are nearly 200 with about 120 of them doing whisky. I raised the bar on Canadian whisky. I was just starting my business when the industry was at its lowest, but Forty Creek was the third largest distillery of premium deluxe whiskies within 18 years.” To Hall, the core reason for this was quite simple – the industry had not attempted to reinvent itself for more than half a century. “I intended to bring excitement and innovation to the whisky category. It was dull and boring. There was nothing going on. There was nothing new. I wanted to shake things up and regenerate it,” said Hall. “1939 was the last time anything new was introduced. That was Crown Royal.” With the bones of his plan starting to set, developing a solid infrastructure of staff and marketing were other steps in the process. “From 1992-99 were the formative years. With the winery creating the cash flow, we were able to lay down some great whisky stocks,” said Ashburn, who remains Forty Creek’s master blender “What a lot of people don’t know is that from 92-99 we were selling a lot of whisky to Taiwan through part of the business called Canadian Company, which preceded John. It already existed, but he took it internationally.” With early stocks maturing while the business continued to grow and evolve, Forty Creek’s staff was getting things done, while Hall took to the road in a literal door-to-door effort to

drive sales. “Product development has always been my passion. John gave me the opportunity to be inventive in all aspects of product development in this company,” said Ashburn. “John was on the road far more than he was here. He put great trust in his staff. When he was out on the road, he trusted things would keep moving at home.” Hall’s tales from the road are as legendary as his accomplishments. Sitting with major liquor store retailers in Florida, stopping in at countless bars and giving free taste tests in New Orleans was part of his routine for many years. The hours and work were relentless, but with purpose, says Davin de Kergommeaux, author of the award winning book, Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Expert and founder of the Canadian Whisky Awards. “He went around making sure people got to know Forty Creek and Canadian Whisky. He did something that no other distiller had done. He started up his Program to promote his whisky, with a very very long vision, he wasn’t looking for immediate pay off,” said de Kergommeaux. Part of the groundwork was a lot of miles, driving and walking. “He did things like walking up and down Bourbon Street pouring his whisky for the bartenders so they would know who was behind the label. Now, if you go up and down Bourbon Street, Forty Creek is in every bar because took he time to talk to all those people. He did the same thing in other places in Texas, for example, where he would find out where bartenders hung


PASSIONS Whisky Continued From Page 8 out after work and he would pour for them.” “He treated everyone with the same welcome and respect. John also invited people to visit his distillery when no others were doing this. He set up the shop and he did tours so people could actually see what was going on. People started to take ownership and what has happened over the years is that this group of people, and it is a huge group, is almost like a Forty Creek cult. There is great loyalty there.” But all the customer service and groundwork would not have mattered had the quality not been in the bottle to back up what Hall was selling. “John came into the Canadian whisky industry at a time when distilleries were closing, and Canadian whisky didn’t have a very good reputation. People had made very unfair assumptions about Canadian whisky. John wanted to stick up for himself,” said de Kergommeaux. To nail down that part of his overall plan, Hall showed great patience. “First of all, he did not release his whisky until he was really sure that it was a good representation of him and his distillery. So when he started distilling, I can remember when - maybe 20-plus years ago - it was about 10 years before he released his first whisky. “His strategy was that he would have whisky at the same price point as others but his would always be a little bit bigger and a little bit more flavourful. He succeeded in that. Then he set out to connect with

other distillers, drinkers and influencers,” said de Kergommeaux. “He started doing the special releases every year, and nobody was doing that, nobody at all. These special releases have really have become quite sought after. The very first one was called Small Batch. I’ve seen some of the small batch go on the market for $2,500 a

bottle.” But, again, the thinking behind the growth plan was intensely strategic, well thought out and timed perfectly, de Kergommeaux added. “John addressed the American market very intelligently. Other people were shipping down mixing whisky to sell at $14 a bottle or less. John really

John Hall gives the keynote address at last month’s Canadian Whisky Awards. Photo courtesy of Jen Steele


Continued From Page 9 went after the drinkers. I remember I was talking to him at one time and John said he worked about 200 days that year showing and pouring whisky for people.” And the years of effort rooted Forty Creek on a steady path of growth and success. That success not only transformed the business but placed Canadian whisky on the world stage. “We were seeing consistent double-digit growth. From 2009 to 2014, the whisky industry only saw three per cent growth but Forty Creek had 65 per cent growth. We were responsible for 34 per cent of all the industry growth over a fiveyear period,” said Hall. “I had always hoped for success but I never thought there would be a day when I was dancing with the giants of the whisky business.” Among the giants with which Hall was dancing was the Campari Group, the world’s sixth largest

distilling company. Appleton Rum, Wild Turkey, Grand Marnier and Sky Vodka are all included in Campari’s stable of products. After 22 years of growing Kittling Ridge Winery and Forty Creek Distillery from nothing, Hall knew he had done all he could with the company. “Campari had the machinery and infrastructure to take Forty Creek further – especially in the U.S and Western Canada – with more distribution and more sales people on the road,” said Hall, noting there were several suitors for the business. While Campari had the internal resources to grow the Forty Creek brand, it also had a much larger marketing budget. “I never used TV. I used radio, billboards and magazines mainly, but it’s great to see Forty Creek on TV,” noted Hall of the commercials now seen regularly during prime time

Davin de Kergommeaux, left, and Heather Leary present Forty Creek Distillery’s master distiller Bill Ashburn with the 2019 Canadian Whisky of the Year Award during ceremonies last month in Victoria, B.C. Forty Creek’s 22-yearold rye whisky was the winner. Photo Courtesy Jen Steele

and major sporting events, which highlights the company’s roots in Grimsby. “It shows the support for the brand and where it comes from.” After selling Forty Creek in 2016, Hall stayed on for two years in an advisory capacity and acted as the company’s chairman of the board. Now, he is enjoying life with his wife, Eileen, his adult children and, as of this past November, five grandchildren. “I like to go fishing and travel,” said Hall, followed by an extended pause. “The travel is a lot different than it used to be.” And when he does travel now, he does so as the first inductee into the Canadian Whisky Hall of Fame. This recognition was bestowed upon a surprised Hall last month as part of the Canadian Whisky Awards in Victoria. B.C. “There is not a checklist of boxes for the hall of fame. The hall is for


Continued From Page 10 the people who have made a significant contribution to Canadian whisky,” said de Kergommeaux. “Somebody like Samuel Bronfman, if he were still alive, or people like that who have really moved the category forward I would think would also be candidates. I think John Hall is the only person today who really qualifies. He is the first inductee and we will add more people as they make their contribution.” For Ashburn, he was elated to hear the news of Hall’s induction. “It’s fantastic,” said Ashburn. “Forty Creek had six of us there to support John. We wanted to be there for him. We wanted to spend some time with him in Vancouver, but no way. The number of small distillers who wanted to get a minute with him, get some advice, we could not get near him.”

I am enjoying my time now,” says Canadian Whisky Hall of Fame member John Hall And that kind of positive interaction with people, whether industry colleagues or customers in the South Service Road retail shop, is part of what sets Hall apart, Ashburn added. “Twenty two years I worked with the man, not for, with. It was never a boss/employee relationship. It was a highly collaborative effort and he made me and everyone in the company feel that way,” said Ashburn. For Hall, he took the honour as he takes most accolades, with his “aw shucks” attitude. “I was surprised. Davin had just asked me to be the keynote speaker at the 9th annual awards night as far as I knew,” said Hall.

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“I was just giving some encouragement and advice to those starting up because it is not easy. It is 24/7. I think it went over pretty well because I was swarmed afterwards. I think the hall of fame induction was quite remarkable.” Now that Hall’s transition time with Forty Creek is complete, he said he has kicked the tires on a couple of potential business ventures but nothing has clicked. “It’s nice now, but it took a while to settle down. You don’t go from 100 mph, day-in, dayout and then just stop. It took me a while to slow down. I am enjoying my time now,” said Hall, adding he has a couple of pastimes to keep him busy. “I like fishing and I have always loved all kinds of music. In the mid-60s I played saxophone in a local band. Today, while very rusty I do get pleasure from playing my saxophone, guitar and ukulele.”

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Owen Clavel: A teen with a dream Grimsby native heads to Portugal to pursue his soccer aspirations

Owen Clavel will go from his Brampton Elite team to Portugal in August to further develop his soccer skills. McDonald - Photo


By Joanne McDonald teen with a dream to take Canada to the World Soccer Cup, Owen Clavel will be well on his way when his cleats hit the pitch in Portugal this summer. The Grimsby soccer player has been invited to play with a youth development team for the coming season in Setubal, Portugal, a city near Lisbon. “It’s crazy. I can’t wait to go,” says Clavel, crediting senior coach Shawn Omrani at the Brampton Elite Soccer Academy. “Without Shawn none of this could’ve happened. He is the reason I have this opportunity to go to Portugal.” While he’s grown through a few sizes of cleats since his childhood start with the Grimsby Youth Soccer Club, the family car has also worn through the treads of more than a few sets of tires as Clavel heads into his third year, a centreback defender, with the Brampton Elites, a Tier 1 ORA (Ontario Recognized Academy.) The road to Brampton has been interesting says his super Uber mom Jodie. “There have been blown out tires. We’ve been hit by tires.” “I will go from spending six days of the week with Owen down to nothing. It will be a huge adjustment for me,” said Jodie. “We are extremely proud of him. He is so focused on soccer but he’s a well

A

Owen and his coach Shawn Omranii.

Owen and his coach Shawn Omrani.

rounded great kid.” Now 16, his passion for soccer is pervasive. “It’s just the feeling of playing the beautiful game. It’s like none other.” He’s not alone. The single most beloved sport on the planet, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was reportedly viewed by four billion people. For Clavel, who attended Smith Public School in Grimsby and since Grade 6 has gone to DSBN Academy in St. Catharines, “there is nothing else I want to do. I want to play professional soccer and I’m so lucky to have the chances I do.”

The thoughtful and respectful teen has a huge heart of gratitude. “I know how much my family has sacrificed and they are making my dream come true,” says Clavel, naming his parents Brian and Jodie, sister Olivia, two brothers Tyson and Keaton and his cousin Abby Dalley. His aunt Ruth Clausen holds a special place in his heart. “My Aunt Ruth has made it possible for me to do the trips. She has been my biggest supporter. She steps in and makes it possible.” Clavel has been two times to both Portugal and Italy. And his grandparents, Barb and Bill Clausen also get star billing. Clavel said they’re nervous to watch him play, but they’re the home cheering section and wait for a debrief after every game. The family will join him in Portugal for Christmas. “I’ll be homesick and looking forward to when they come.” It was two years ago that Clavel crossed paths with the coach who has been instrumental in making dreams come true. “I went to tryouts in Hamilton and made a team call Chantilly Forever FC. That brought me into contact with Shawn and Brampton.,” Clavel said. Omrani’s two sons made the same team and they all travelled to Italy as part of the Canadian Academy of Futbol - United Canadian Select Team. March/April 2019 | clubwest.ca

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PURSUITS Soccer Continued From Page 13 Upon return Clavel went to Coastal Carolina University in Coastal, South Carolina for a soccer camp. More tryouts landed him with an Elite spot at the Brampton Academy. Clavel speaks of coach Omrani with the greatest respect. “He’s one of the best men I’ve ever met. He has so much knowledge and technical ability. He is so humble and he does everything he can to help you along the way. He puts his players before himself. He works so well with all of us. He is so calm and you never see him angry.” “The youth development team was looking for certain positions and Shawn recommended me and I was allowed to go to Portugal for a trial. I went to Portugal in January and they invited me back.” For Clavel this is the first opportunity he has with the amateur club (youth development team.) And this is just the start of the hard work to get to the next level. “At the youth level this is the first time he has a one year opportunity to play. I’m hoping he can adjust as fast as possible,” said Omrani. For now it’s the one-year position in Portugal. Next year he could advance to a junior level in Portugal. A guardian for Clavel, Omrani will be travelling to Portugal where his two sons will also be playing. As Clavel looks forward to August in Portugal, he will be packing the wisdom and skills learned from his Academy mentors. He is grateful for the support of Elite coach Jason Sousa. “He does an amazing job of bringing all the players together. He has given me so much confidence.” And he wants to thank Academy director John DeSousa for his hard work and effort to making opportunities happen for the players. “He’s an absolute pleasure to have on my team,” says Omrani. “His work ethic is second to none. To drive an hour-anda-half for practices speaks to his dedica-

Owen Clavel is a max-effort player, says his coach.

“His work ethic is second to none,” says Owen Clavel’s coach Shawn Omrani tion. He puts in 150 per cent effort and works extremely hard for his team.” Clavel embodies the spirit of a team player and Omrani has a great story to share. “A month ago we were playing in a

league game and there was a corner kick against us. Owen cleared the ball with his head and as he cleared the ball he was hit in the face by an opposing player, by mistake. He was on the ground and as I was about to ask him if he was okay, the ball from our goalie was sent forward for a counter attack, Owen got up and ran, chased the ball faster than our forward and tried to score a goal.” And that says Omrani, “is what I call the spirit of a team player.”


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Venice: Another destination off your bucket list?

An example of a Veneto paladian villa.

(Editor’s Note: Our very own awardwinning travel expert Lorraine Simpson has had quite a year of excitement. Lorraine is now going to be featured as Cityline TVs Travel expert and will be filming in some amazing locations over the next 12 months. This had been Lorraine’s Dream since she was a little girl watching a show on British TV called Holiday on a Sunday evening. We offer her our heartiest congratulations.) By Lorraine Simpson n the last year Lorraine has clocked 340,000 km in travel mostly either leading her food and wine groups or in research for them before taking her groups.

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18 clubwest.ca | March April 2019

“When Cityline’s Tracey Moore asked me, ‘what is your favourite destination’, it was like asking me who was my favourite child. It’s not an easy question to answer. I chose Venice as it holds a special place in my heart. It’s so different. It’s romantic and it feeds my desire to explore hidden secret places as Venice is filled with them. Here is more about one of my top bucket list places. For more information go to cityline.tv to watch my travel episode or go to my website www.lorrainesimpson.com Venice: what to do and where to go if it is your Bucket List Trip 1. Go off the beaten path Once you have taken a look in the must see St Mark’s Square it’s time to turn around and just explore. The streets are

safe, and narrow, and interesting and as a matter of fact you can never get lost! It’s an island and you just keep going till you reach the water. Then you can either take another turn and keep walking or hop on the incredibly easy water bus and go back around to a point you are familiar with. Walk down the smaller alleys, the tiniest of narrow pathways and just see what you can find. Push open doors that are ajar, peep into courtyards and poke your way into hidden workshops that pop up in the most unsuspecting places. It’s all about what’s hidden in Venice and you wont be disappointed. 2. Taste the food The food options to be found in the


PASSIONS Travel Continued From Page 18 touristy areas will be expensive and predictable so avoid those places. Eat where the locals eat. Find a small off the beaten path where everyone inside is speaking Italian loudly and you will be on to a winner. Try the small places that serve Italian style Tapas bites like crostini. Delicious with a glass of local wine! 3. What can we do? Make a mask, eat gelato, go to a concert in a church.. Venice is known for Carnivale and everyone wears a mask. These masks you can see and buy everywhere but some small workshops around the city allow you to make your own. It’s a great souvenir and not a very expensive thing to do to create a beautiful memory of your time in Venice. We always love to set ourselves a fun activity. In Venice we hunted for the best gelato. There were so many. The best we found was near the Rialto bridge but off the beaten path and even though it was so hidden they had a very long line up. It was so delicious and flavours not typically seen in North America. There are many beautiful churches that house small intimate concerts in the evening. Ask your concierge for the best one near you. We went to one not far from St Mark’s Square and it was only $50 each but just wonderful If you love classical music this is a must especially as the acoustics are amazing. 4. Where to stay? There are so many great hotels but as this is all about Bucket List Dreams I will tell you my personal favourite, Palazzo Venart. This hotel opened roughly two years ago but the building is an old Palazzo that was lovingly restored into the stunning hotel it is today. Travel the streets of Venice by boat. March/April 2019 | clubwest.ca

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PASSIONS Travel

Venice tantalizes all one’s senses.

Continued From Page 18 The pictures do not do it justice, you just have to go. Some areas had very old frescos under the years of paint and finishes on the walls and ceilings and the restoration team peeled back the layers with razor blades for years to bring it back to its former glory. Then they added beautiful finishes, stunning modern bathrooms and of course hired a Michelin star chef and this hotel in my opinion is truly breathtaking. Situated near the Rialto bridge right on the Grand Canal and within 100 yards of a Water bus stop. Water Taxis can pull up right outside. 5. Get Outta Town So you did Venice. You tasted the gelato, the food, made a mask, went into the Doges Palace, saw a concert and now what? You still have a few vacation days left. Well, just above Venice and under two hours away is a beautiful wine region called Veneto. This powerhouse region doesn’t have the brand recognition of Tuscany or Piedmont but it does offer its own spectacular grapes and wine. Wine lovers will recognize its flagship bottle, Amarone, produced near Verona. It is the result of a unique blend of grapes and an indigenous winemaking process. Also Lugana, Soave, and of course Prosecco are all from this region. Art cities abound, from Venice to Vicenza and Verona to Padova, and the cultural and architectural heritage in Veneto is astounding. Palladian villas, medieval hamlets, and Renaissance gems make this area a must for wine lovers who also enjoy art and architecture. Join our wine tour of Venice and taste the wonderful wines of Veneto including the best Amazon and Prosecco in October 2019 with Jerry Gain from Riverdale wines. More info on the website.


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Citrus Fruit: Sunshine on the menu By Jan-Willem Stulp he Winter has finally begun in earnest, and it has been interesting, to say the least. Around the world, regions are getting walloped by a variety of weather patterns that have caught people off guard. A few weeks ago, California was hit with massive amounts of rain, there was snow in Las Vegas, and the Lower Mainland in BC has been digging out of all sorts of slushy wintery-ness. This past month our kids were off school five times, due to cold and snow! We see again that all of this cold, wet weather puts pretty serious tension on us, for a variety of reasons. Driving in poor weather is stressful in itself, couple that with major changes in schedules and routines, we’re suddenly dealing with situations we hadn’t prepared for. Then there are the risks of falling, the extra work of snow clearing, (of itself hard on the body), and suddenly our immune systems are struggling; admit it, you or someone you know is dealing with a cold, or the flu, or affected by SAD, the lack-of-sunshinesyndrome. Of course, there are various ways to mitigate this somewhat. Move to the Florida Keys (no snow there yet, from what I’ve heard), spend time tanning or, for the independently wealthy, a weekend place in Bermuda would likely be a good solution. For the rest of us mortals, there’s a pretty nice, yet simple and affordable answer. Regularly having citrus. Citrus fruits deliver significant Vitamin C, and the benefits are well beyond preventing scurvy…. This nutrient is a powerhouse for strengthening the immune system, and it is excellent for maintaining skin health, which in turn helps the body absorb

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Vitamin D from the sun. Citrus also pack high quantities of potassium, copper, B vitamins, and magnesium, and their essential oils and antioxidant capacity just add to the allure of citrus. And many of them are just downright tasty! The variety of citrus grown in the world is astounding, but our western culture is used to maybe eight or ten varieties. Between Kumquat and Pomelo, there are a few varieties of Clementines, Limes, Lemons, Oranges and Grapefruit. But in reality, many dozens of varieties exist, cultivated and wild, some with very unusual shapes, colours and obviously tastes. Then there are the hybrids, numbering in the hundreds. Each variety has a very healthy dose of Vitamin C. The trick in benefiting from Vitamin C is to eat citrus fresh, as natural Vitamin C does not store well, and degrades quickly when processed. In my training, very few ingredients can actually replace fresh lemon, lime and orange juice; and with that came the expectation that the fruit would be zested before being juiced. In my early days as line cook, we had these great little zesters that took off long curls of zest, along with the pith; nowadays, we use the much more effective and practical Microplane, which gets ALL the zest, and virtually none of the pith. Microplanes are now for sale at the Grand Oak, and are a great kitchen tool for various other tasks. (ginger, garlic, chocolate, etc) Citrus is easy to find, easy to store, affordable as a rule, and so versatile! I use citrus often, and it is delicious in many food items, from hors d’oeuvres to main courses, snacks to desserts. Try these for yourself, and put a little sunshine in your cooking! (Chef Stulp co-owns, along with his wife Jane, Grand Oak Culinary Market in Vineland.) March/April 2019 | clubwest.ca

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Chef In Residence CUISINE

Lemon-Ginger Dressing with Honey This dressing came into being in my kitchen as a ‘cure’ for a cough, someone concocted. Almost certainly based on someone’s grandmother’s recipe to soothe throats, give some energy and a dose of vitamin C, it was essentially hot tea, with grated ginger, half a lemon, and a big spoon of liquid honey. While not nearly as effective as hoped, it did give me a great idea for a dressing. This one is often featured in our salad bar. INGREDIENTS • 2 lemons, zested and juiced • 1-1/2 cups sunflower oil • ginger, about 1/2 a thumb-sized piece, finely grated • 1 Tbsp local, liquid honey • fresh thyme, finely chopped • salt and pepper DIRECTIONS You can decide on the zest, if

you don’t use it (all) here, you can certainly freeze it or dry it. It packs flavor! As the dressing sits it develops, so making it maybe a day ahead makes some sense. Simply combine the juice, oil, 1/2 the ginger, honey

and thyme. Wisk together and taste. This is where you’ll adjust the flavour, and seasoning with S&P and more ginger if you like. Remember, it is a dressing so it should be strongly flavoured. Great with tender greens, spinach or kale.

Spring is around the corner

March 2019 • Friday Night Dinner Series – Friday March 1, 2019/Korean. So many of the classic culinary hot spots cultures revolve around sharing time together around the family table with fabulous food and wines. In order to truly (temporarily) transport you, we thought that we would bump up the social aspect of the evening. Dinner guests will dine family-style at communal tables where they will share not only great food and wines with their neighbours but also great conversations. The cost is $55 per guest + wine, taxes and gratuities. Seating is Limited and you can book your seats at the table by calling 905.563.9463. Redstone Winery, 4245 King Street, Beamsville. • Bench Meets Fielding: Part Two - March 1, 2019. Join us and our friends at Fielding Estate Winery for some incredible wine, beer and live music at Fielding Estate Winery. Our first Bench Meets Fielding event sold out quickly– so grab your friends and don’t miss

24 clubwest.ca | March/April 2019

out on this party! The event runs from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Friday, March 1st. Each ticket includes your choice of beer, a glass of wine and some light snacks! Additional drinks can be purchased throughout the evening. Fielding Wines, 4020 Locust Lane, Beamsville, ON. Ph 905-563-0668. • Ramen Pop-Up in the Sipping Room March 3, 2019, 12-3pm. The first pop-up with some slurping fun, that we’re doing it again! Can we interest you in some ramen? And maybe a cocktail to go with it? We are excited to be welcoming Slurp Ramen Bar and their pop-up noodle shop to the distillery Sipping Room. Come join us for a bowl of noodles and a cocktail – $20 per person. Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers, 4833 Tufford Road Beamsville, On. Ph 905.563.3030 • Just Cooking Takeover 2.0 - March 8. Just Cooking Restaurant will provide the rustic Italian fare while Kacaba provides outstanding wine, 5-10 pm. A selection of premium red, white and sparkling wines will be available

for purchase by the glass & bottle. If you can’t decide on one; try a flight of three, 3oz samples with your meal. With knowledgeable staff from both Kacaba and Just Cooking, your night is sure to be filled with great food, great friends, and great wines! This event sold out last year, Book Early to avoid disappointment. Kacaba Vineyards Winery, 3550 King St., Vineland. Ph 1-905-562-5625. • Painting at the Vineyard - March 8 & 22. It might be too cold to paint in the vineyard, but we invite you to join us in the Estate’s Wine Library to continue our popular painting series throughout the winter. Get in touch with your artistic side, enjoy a glass of bubbly, and have a great time with friends! Your tour guide and art teacher will provide you with paints, brushes and a canvas for your masterpiece. At the end of the session, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind painting you can proudly display at home. Painting at the Vineyard includes all art supplies with an apron, a glass


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Lime-Cured Bay Scallops Ceviche Cooking is generally associated with heat, which is often the case, but not always. Here is an example of a dish that is ‘cooked’ by the reaction of lime juice and salt. Refreshingly cool and exotic. Many recipes utilize green peppers, but I’ve never been very enamored with them. I much prefer the colour and flavour of red, yellow and orange peppers, naturally much sweeter. For this same reason, I often default to cherry tomatoes; the larger tomatoes are rarely ripe, and are usually lacking in flavour, nutrition and texture. Do a taste test this week; a beefsteak tomato, vs a cherry tomato; I doubt I’ll have to do much convincing…… INGREDIENTS • 1 lb bay scallops, very fresh • 6 limes, 5 juiced and zested, 1 reserved for presentation • 10 cherry tomatoes, ripe, halved or quartered • 1/2 of each pepper, yellow, orange, diced

• 2 scallions, sliced • cilantro chopped • olive oil, Salt & Pepper DIRECTIONS To prepare, simply do a quick rinse on the bay scallops, and immerse them in the lime juice. I add a pinch of salt here, as well. Thoroughly, but carefully stir, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. In a separate bowl, combine the vegetables and

herbs. Go easy on the cilantro, as it can overpower this; you can always add more. Remove the scallops from the lime juice, and add to the vegetable mix, adding the juice back in to create a pleasing consistency. Discard the left over juice. Or, you can just add some juice to the vegetables first, then plate those and spoon the scallops over top, as I did here. Garnish with lime, and drizzle with olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!

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of sparkling wine, and a lot of fun! Reservations are required as space is very limited. Peller Estates, 290 John Street East, RR #1, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Tel.1-888-673-5537 • Looking For A Gouda Time? - Saturday, March 16 & 23. Look no further! Get cheesy alongside Chef Robb Mann, as he shares his secret recipe for his to-die-for cheese fondue. Guests will get a chance to create their very own pot of ooey, gooey goodness and snack along with some iconic fondue food pairings. Did we forget to mention that Chef Robb will be bringing extra wedges of his secret cheeses for you to purchase and recreate the experience at home for your friends and loved ones. While you’re getting cheesy, our Creek Geeks will guide you through a flight of our favourite FUN’due friendly wines, featuring our not yet released 2017 Under Current Semillon. $35pp, $27 for Creek Freeks. Reservations are required as space is limited. Please contact the vineyard (905) 562-0035 ext.235

to reserve your spot! Creekside Wine, 2170 Fourth Ave., Jordan. • Paint Night at The Exchange Brewery - March 20, 7-11 pm. Paint Night will be invading The Exchange Brewery with everything you need to create one-of-a-kind paintings, while sipping on our delicious craft beer. “The Exchange is a premium brewery and tasting room located in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Old Town heritage district. We focus on making exceptional craft beers using only the highest quality ingredients, including local Niagara fruits. Our selection includes a range of American styles along with sour and funky Belgian-style beers and ales. Exchange Brewery, 7 Queen St, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ph 905-468-9888. • Cuvée en Route Weekend - Friday, March 22 – Sun. March 24, 11 am-5 pm. We are hosting an unforgettable vertical of Chardonnay from our iconic Moira Vineyard. For complete details on all that Cuvée has to offer, visit Cuvee.ca. Malivoire Wine Company, 4260 King St., Beamsville. Ph –

866-644-2244. • Food & Wine Pairing – March 23-24, 11 am-5 pm. Shatter the typical Cuvee winery experience with Kacaba Vineyards Winery and Zooma Caters. Thrill the palate with Kacaba’s provocative small-batch 2017 Fumé Blanc paired with fresh cut French Fries nesting a fried Egg topped with Korean Gochujang Mayo. A titillating Cuvee event pairing not to be missed. Kacaba Vineyards Winery, 3550 King St., Vineland. Ph 1-905562-5625 • A Culinary Extravaganza! - March 22-24. Here’s your opportunity to savour the tastes of Niagara on the Lake during this limited seating culinary adventure! Set your tastebuds free at Niagara on the Lake’s premier food and wine event! A Taste of Niagara on the Lake returns with three dates and once again will showcase the area’s top culinary talents paired with some of the best wines and hospitality the region has to offer. If good food, good wine and good March/April 2019 | clubwest.ca

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Chef In Residence CUISINE

Pomelo/Bell Pepper Salsa As I noted, citrus actually come in a dazzling array of varieties, many of which we will never see. The Pomelo, though, is often available, cleverly packaged in a bright netting which shows off its enormous size. When our kids were little, we would often visit markets, and pick up items we hadn’t used before, or tried. That’s how we discovered Pomelo, as well. Clearly a citrus, Pomelo has a sweet, candy-ish aroma, reminiscent of grapefruit, but definitely not that. It has a pine-like taste as well, but pleasingly so, and a very firm texture. In this recipe, I’ve worked off an old French recipe, in which fresh mussels are covered in pine-needles and lit; the burning needles cook the mussels, and the piney-smoky flavor is amazing! INGREDIENTS • 1/2 pomelo, peeled and membrane removed. Eat the other half….. • 1/2 red, yellow and orange peppers, diced. • 1/2 tsp good, smoked paprika • Parsley, chopped

• Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil • Hot Pepper Flakes, if desired DIRECTIONS Make the salsa before cooking the mussels, as it should sit for an hour, to let the flavours meld. The Pomelo pieces shouldn’t be too big, around the size of a grape, or so. Combine with the peppers, and parsley, the paprika and a bit of salt, then lightly coat in olive oil. Toss this to distrib-

ute evenly, cover and let it rest for about an hour. I prefer NOT to refrigerate this if I’m serving it right away. I love the heat off the pepper flakes, so I added them, but that’s a personal choice. Toss the salsa once more before using, and adjust the seasoning. Steam the mussels in Dry Riesling, (lots of that around Niagara!). Place them in a bowl and liberally cover with the salsa. Eat immediately…

premium wines thoughtfully paired with a variety of artisanal cheese. Our Sommelier, Emily Stevenson, will guide you through each pairing to share why the wine and cheese complement each other perfectly. You will also learn some simple tips on how to consistently create exquisite wine and cheese pairings for your friends and family with some basic wine & food pairing principles. We are excited to feature cheese from boutique Canadian producers, as well as some of our international favourites. Tickets are $25 and include the featured wine, cheese and a $5 voucher to use on wine purchases following the experience. $20.00 for Wine Club Members. Fielding Wines, 4020 Locust Lane, Beamsville. Ph 905-563-0668. • Winemaker’s Dinner - Saturday, March 30, 6:30-9:30 pm. You will soon be able to reserve your seat at this intimate food and wine pairing event. Winemaker, Barclay Robinson, will be guiding guests through a horizontal tasting of our 2016 vintage wines, discussing what made that year truly great. Enjoy exclusive access to wines not yet released in store, and

taste alongside a multi-course meal prepared by local culinary talent. The Foreign Affair Winery, 4890 Victoria Ave N., Vineland Station. Ph 905-562-9898 • March Break @ Grimsby Public Library - Tickets are now on sale and registration is open for #MarchBreak programs at the #GrimsbyLibrary! We have an incredible line-up this year, with multiple fun activities happening every single day of the week. Check out the list below and go to www.grimsby.ca/ library for more info about each one: Babysitting Course: First Aid Clinics of Canada, Saturday, March 9, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Bubbleology Show / $3 Monday, March 11, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Yoga for Kids / Free. 18 Carnegie Lane, Grimsby. Ph 905-945-5142 April 2019 • Featherstone Open for the Season - The tasting room at Featherstone Estate Winery will be re-opening for the season on Friday, April 5. Our tasting room hours for the season are as follows: April & May | open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: 11 am-5:30

Spring is around the corner

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times are enough to whet your appetite, then A Taste of Niagara on the Lake is the event for you. Space is limited to only 130 tickets per date. To order yours, call 1-877342-4374. • Wine Education Series #3 - March 24 @ 1-3 pm . Train Your Senses! This seminar will explore the world of sensory evaluation of wine. Learn to identify the flavors and aromas in your glass and start tasting like a semi-pro! Seating is very limited so purchase your tickets now! Tawse Winery, 3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland. T: 905-562-9500 • Books and Brews - March 25. Join our newest book club for adults ages 19+. Books & Brews is a monthly meetup at Bench Brewing in Beamsville. Enjoy a locally crafted brew while talking books! Bench Brewing Co. 3991 King St., 3991 King St, Beamsville. Ph 905562-3991 • Cellar Series - Wine & Cheese Experience - Saturday, March 30. Sessions at Noon & 3 pm. Our Cellar Series is back by popular demand and the theme is Wine & Cheese pairing. Join us to taste a selection of our 26 clubwest.ca | March/April 2019


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Orange-Scented Chicken Thigh with Cumin This dish is rooted in an ancient classic, (duck a l’orange) which is famous, but rarely well executed. In essence I wanted to break that down, and re-assemble it using practical, everyday items and processes. Here I work with chicken thighs; the meat is a bit richer, and stands up well to braising without becoming dry. The natural juices out of the orange become the sauce with the reduced chicken stock. I usually do not buy cumin. I like buying the seeds, and toasting theme myself, then grinding them. This is very fragrant, and so much more flavourful! Here, I’ve served the chicken on rice, with steamed Bok Choy, a wonderful, light dinner. I’ve made this for our Meals-to-Go, which we do Wednesdays and Fridays, and got great reviews! INGREDIENTS • 4 chicken thighs • 1 tsp cumin • 1/2 C good chicken broth

• 1 ripe orange • Salt and Pepper DIRECTIONS Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and the cumin, then sear them, for colour and flavour, in a non-stick frying pan, ideally one with a lid. While the chicken is searing, slice the orange in half, and slice up one half into 3/8 inch slices. The other half is quartered for garnishing. Once the chicken is browned, turn down the heat, and add the orange slices, and the broth,

then cover with a lid. We’re looking for a low simmer here, approximately 25-30 minutes. Prepare the other components of the meal and when the chicken is cooked, plate the chicken, squeeze and discard the orange slices, and turn the heat to high, to thicken the sauce; watch this carefully, as it only takes a minute or two, but can burn easily. The sauce is napped over the chicken, and an orange quarter added for guests to jazz up their entrée if desired. Bon Appetit!

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pm; June, July & August | open daily: 11:00am-5:30pm; Sept-Dec | open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: 11:00 am-5:30 pm. We will have a delicious array of wines available for you to taste and purchase, with many new releases planned for the spring. 3678 Victoria Avenue, Vineland, Tel: (905) 562-1949. • Spring Forward - April 13, Noon-2 pm. With Scott Yates, Chef Instructor, Owner, Chef Scotty Cooks It’s time to brighten up our cooking with some fresher flavours just in time for an Easter gathering with family and friends. Ostrich Croquette with Beef Bone Marrow Jus, Butter Greens with Avocado, Pickled Baby Zucchini, Maple BBQ Emulsion, Ontario Rack of Lamb, Baby Vegetables, King Oyster Mushroom & Herbed Cheese & Potato Soufflé, Carrot Cake Roulade with Spiced Pineapple Cream. Cost $$95. The Good Earth, 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beams-

ville. Ph 905-563-6333 • Creekster Egg Hunt - April 20.. Who said hunting eggs was just for kids? What if the eggs you were hunting came in the form of wine experiences, special tastings, discounts or a 6 month subscription to our Creek Freek Wine Club? Here at Creekside, we think all egg hunts should include these types of treats so we started our own annual Creekster Egg Hunt. Grab your friends and join us in the vineyard as we pull on our wellies and dirty boots and go searching for wine goodies in the vineyard- glass of vino in hand of course. Hunting Times: Noon & 2:30pp. Cost$15.00/ pp, $5 for Creek Freeks. Reservations are required as space is limited. Please contact the vineyard (905) 562-0035 ext.235 to reserve your spot! Creekside Wine, 2170 Fourth Ave., Jordan. • The Pinot Affair - April 26 - April 28. Are you ready for a love affair with Niagara’s most sultry and sexy wine? Back by popular de-

mand! Visit Niagara April 26-28 for intimate tastings, lusty food & wine pairings and more. Learn first-hand from those who make the wine why they only have eyes for Pinot Noir. Tawse Winery, 3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland. T: 905-562-9500 • Get Fresh in Twenty Valley – April 27/28 Get Fresh in the Valley is a self-guided wine tour of up to 20 wineries in Niagara’s Twenty Valley wine country. It’s one of the most brilliant ways to learn about and stock up on our VQA wines. Our wineries are spread across 5 sub-appellations that produce some of Canada’s most highly acclaimed wines: Beamsville Bench, Twenty Mile Bench, Short Hills Bench, Lincoln Lakeshore, and Creek Shores. This is such a great event to showcase the new vintage and aromatic wines paired with fresh spring flavours. Get Fresh is the perfect way to kick off the spring entertainment season and stock up on some incredible March/April 2019 | clubwest.ca

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Chef In Residence CUISINE

Lemon Curd

A stand-by recipe, this is such a delightful, fresh burst of sunshine, we have it on hand all the time. It’s used for our baked donuts, in cheesecakes and, of course, on its own, as a dessert. If you’d like this lighter, folding in whipped cream is certainly an option. I’ve chosen to top it with some vanilla Chantilly here. INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons worth) • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest. (zest them all, then juice them – dry the unused zest) • 1/2 cup sugar • 3 large eggs • 6 tbsp butter, (approx. 1/2 cup) unsalted, diced DIRECTIONS So there are different schools of thought about this, whether to add the butter with the eggs, or add it later, and pulse this in a blender.

We use both; The blender version is another step, but it makes a lighter, airier version. This is the basic version, which is a bit more versatile. In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs. Stir in the diced butter and cook over a moderately low heat, stirring frequently (constantly)

until the curd is thick enough to hold marks of the whisk, and the first bubble appears. Do NOT boil this, the eggs will scramble. Strain the warm curds into a bowl, and chill, covered. Portion into glasses, or use as a lemon filling for tarts, cookies. Sunshine in your meal!

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wines. Get Fresh in the Valley Passports are valid for one tasting at each of the participating wineries (maximum 12 per day) Multi-Date Events • Flights and Bites - Whether it’s with engaging conversation or a yummy culinary experience, each Cave Spring tasting is, fundamentally, a pairing. Enjoy a flight of your favourite variety, seated at one of our gorgeous red oak tasting tables. Enhance the experience with a locally sourced charcuterie plate. Beautiful artisan meats and cheeses from Niagara Food Specialties are accompanied by savoury nibbles and crunchy crostini from our friends at De la Terre bakery. No reservation necessary. Cost: $10 - $15 pp. Daily , Between 11 am and 5:30 pm. Cave Spring Cellars, 3836 Main Street, Jordan. Telephone: 905-562-3581 ext. 302 • Fireside Friday Dinner Series - Meet new friends and old, enjoy incredible food prepared over the fire and sip on award winning wines in our cozy tasting room. Fireside Fridays feature visiting chefs who cook over the fire and

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in our 200-year-old Mennonite barn converted into a winery. Guests enjoy three courses and are seated around harvest tables that seat up to 10 guests. Fireside Fridays start the first Friday after Canadian Thanksgiving through until end of March 2019. They cost $50/pp plus HST and gratuity and wine is additional. To reserve, simply email victoria@westcottvineyards.com with the date and number in your party and she will take a credit card to confirm your seats. The doors open at 6pm and dinner is served to the whole room at 7 pm. Westcott Vineyards, 3180 Seventeenth St., Jordan. Ph 905-562-7517. • The Creek is Calling Wine Tasting, Daily, Year Round – Get comfortable, sit down and settle in for an irreverent wine tasting experience. Learn everything you need to know about our 20-year history of winemaking at Creekside, including our Syrah and Sauvingnon Blanc speciatly. It is the personal touches that make this wine experience special. $10 pp, reservations not required. Creekside Wine, 2170 Fourth Ave., Jordan. Phone 905-562-5493

• Friends and Neighbours Night - Until May 24, 5-8 pm, Wednesday evenings 5-8 pm. Bring your friends, family or even your coworkers to The Restaurant at Redstone for some great food and drink.Each week we are serving stone oven pizzas from $13. Chef Sider also creates a weekly feature showcasing the seasonal bounty of Niagara. Wash down your snacks with an ice cold pint, cider or glass of tap wine for $6 extra. This is a popular weekly event so reservations are highly recommended. Redstone Winery, 4245 King Street, Beamsville. Ph 905.563.9463. • Something Old In Something New - We invite you to visit our distillery located on the Niagara Wine Route in Beamsville and the entrance to the 20 Valley.The Sipping Room at Dillon’s Small Batch is a tasting and retail experience that welcomes guests to try our exciting spirits while also seeing first hand how we make our products in the traditional way in our copper pot still using local Niagara vinifera grapes and botanicals. Dillon;s Distillers, 4833 Tufford Rd, Beamsville. Ph 905-563-3030.


ADVERTORIAL

Transforming backyards −

Natural Light Patio Covers from VanAm Construction

A

ll year round we crave the warmth of the sun, and then by about this time each summer, we’re working hard to avoid its harmful effects. That’s particularly true in our backyards, where too much direct sunlight can transform an idyllic oasis into a spot too hot to enjoy at certain parts of the day. Every solution has its challenges, from umbrellas that blow away during storms to awnings that cast a permanent shadow and have to be taken down each fall. The ideal solution is a Natural Light Patio Cover, available from VanAm Construction. Seemingly magic, the covers block all U.V. rays and 75 per cent of infrared rays, while letting through most of the light. The result is a cool setting that is still filled with natural light. Because there are no U.V. rays, it’s impossible to get a sunburn sitting under the cover. And the air under the cover is cool because so much of the infrared heat is filtered out. All that’s left to enjoy is the sunlight – the perfect solution for any backyard. Natural Light Patio Covers use Acrylite panels, made from 100% acrylic guaranteed not to fade or discolour for 30 years. They can be configured to work in any setting, attached to homes to cover decks and patios, or built as stand-alone covers detached from the house. They are permanent structures that stay in place year-round. Homeowners have two primary choices – aluminum or wood. Aluminum structures come in white, sandalwood or brown. Each order is custom-made to fit perfectly with an existing deck or patio. The other option reflects VanAm’s expertise as a homebuilder and renovation contractor. “We also offer the covers built into beautiful Timberlite pergolas,”

Van Am Construction Full CW.indd 1

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“Seemingly magic,

the covers block all U.V. rays and 75 per cent of infrared rays, while letting through most of the light. The result is a cool setting that is still filled with natural light.

says Ken Blokker, director of sales. They are made with Douglas Fir timbers and can be stained in a variety of colours to suit any backyard décor. “The timbers are really very beautiful, and the Natural Light Cover transforms the pergola into the perfect place to relax all summer long.” VanAm Construction has a sterling reputation across Southern Ontario for building homes and doing renovations and backyard projects of all kinds. Owner Dave Vanamerongen is based in Grimsby. The company services customers across Southwestern Ontario. “I’ve been installing Natural Light Patio Covers for many years for customers in and around London,” Blokker says. “Now that I’ve teamed up with VanAm, I can offer a wider selection of solutions for every backyard set-up.” In addition to the 30-year warranty on the Acrylite panels, there is a lifetime guarantee on the structures themselves, along with a one-year

labour warranty. “People really can’t believe it until they’re standing under the cover, looking up at the blue sky but not feeling the heat of the sun on their skin,” Blokker says. “By filtering the sunshine, we give people the best of the sun without any of the downside. It transforms backyards.” There’s plenty of time to get a Natural Light Patio Cover installed this year. There’s a turnaround time of only two or three weeks for aluminum structures, and a little bit longer for Timberlite options. Van Am does installations all year round.

Dealer for

n For more information contact

Ken Blokker 905-517-0461 www.vanamconstruction.com

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2019-02-25 12:10 PM