Skip to main content

New releases are here! Tasting Room open daily, book online now.

X
Cart 0 items: $0.00

News

 ...here are a few reports and unconfirmed rumours from various sources. Some credible, others,... well.


 

Terry David Mulligan
 
July 18, 2020 | Terry David Mulligan

Tasting Room Radio – July 18th, 2020 Rathjen Cellars. Jim Cuddy Wines. Moon Curser, The Best Small Winery in Canada

Interview with Chris Tolley – Co-Owner/Winemaker at Moon Curser starts at approximately ~39:58

To listen to this episode click here.


"At the end of the competition, the winery walked away with several medals led by a Platinum for its remarkable ode to the Douro Valley, the 2017 Touriga Nacional. They followed that up with six gold medals for a 2015 Tannat, think Uruguay; 2018 Dolcetto, that’s Italy; a 2017 Malbec, that’s Argentina; a 2017 Tempranillo, a nod to Spain; a 2017 Petit Verdot a classic from Bordeaux; and one final gold for a 2017 Dead of Night, a blend of Syrah and Tannat.

 

“Well, you get the picture, this is one very different producer, and in many ways, a poster child for what we always hoped would be the kind of innovative, family estate winery that would grab the title of the Best Performing Small Winery in Canada.

All that is left for you to do is try the wine and eventually visit the winery to experience what the Tolleys did when they first got into the business, something new and intriguing and most of all different.”

Anthony Gismondi – Co-Head Judge

 

Moon Curser’s Medal Winning Wines

Platinum: 

Moon Curser 2017 Touriga Nacional, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Gold:

Moon Curser 2015 Tannat, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2018 Dolcetto, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Malbec, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Dead of Night, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Tempranillo, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2017 Petit Verdot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Silver:

Moon Curser 2017 Carmenere, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2018 Arneis, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Bronze:

Moon Curser 2017 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Moon Curser 2018 Afraid of the Dark, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

 

In 2006 they opened the doors to Moon Curser..except, at the time it was called Twisted Tree.

Rebranding brought the name Moon Curser.

The location has always been the same..very close to being the last winery in BC..right at the USA  border.

I had already done an interview with Chris when the awards were handed out..so here’s the update from Chris and the whole interview before they won the award.

Congratulations to Chris and Beata Tolley

Moon Curser Wines

https://www.winealign.com/awards/2019/07/31/2019-nwac-results"

Time Posted: Jul 18, 2020 at 3:07 PM Permalink to Tasting Room Radio – July 18th, 2020 Rathjen Cellars. Jim Cuddy Wines. Moon Curser, The Best Small Winery in Canada Permalink
Eric Hanson
 
May 22, 2020 | Eric Hanson

Richmond News - Award-winning winery with a ‘Bad Moon Rising’ name

"The moon enchants most of us when it’s lit up. So why is a winery in Osoyoos called Moon Curser?

To find out, I travelled to the very southern part of the Okanagan, one kilometer east of Osoyoos. Inside the Moon Curser Vineyard tasting room, I met their sommelier, Sarah Glazebrook.

“Moon Curser is a smuggler, and because we’re a border town and we used to have a gold mine up in the hills.” she began. “The Americans would come across to mine the gold and instead of heading into town to pay the tariff they would wait till night and then sneak back. But if the moon was full, they would get caught by the border guards cursing the moon. So we tied that into our labeling, the heritage of Osoyoos so all our bottles depict smuggling.”

Despite the bizarre name, Moon Curser is one of my favourite destinations in the southern Okanagan. It’s another one of those charming family wineries with its hospitable staff and the gorgeous view overlooking the vineyards, Osoyoos Lake, and the sleepy desert town.

And their wines equal or surpass these positive traits. In 2019, it was awarded the Best Performing Small Winery at the National Wine Awards of Canada.

For $6, you can taste five wines from their dozen-plus inventory. Buy a bottle at the end of the tasting, and the fee is waived.

Beginning with the whites, be sure to try the 2019 Arneis ($22.99). If you’ve never heard of it, it’s because Moon Curser is the only winery in Canada to have it. Originally from Piedmont, Italy, Glazebrook describes it as “A super refreshing white. Really crisp with bright acidity. I get green apples and lemon peel. Super nice on a hot day.”

I love Rhone style whites, and the Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark ($20.99) with its citrus and stone fruit personality is a favourite! “A Viognier dominated blend, there’s also Rousanne and Marsanne in there. Expect a richer, more medium bodied white, really nice for food pairing,” says Glazebrook.

MoonCurser is known for its reds and there are a dozen of them to choose from. Many of them are seldom produced in BC. If you are tired of the “same old”

varieties, you have lots of adventure ahead of you. If you want a juicy unoaked red that’s perfect for spring and summer chilled, there’s the 2019 Dolcetto ($24.99).

For lovers of Spanish wine, Moon Curser produces the 2018 Tempranillo ($30.99) and there’s the Touriga Nacional ($39.99) if you fancy the Okanagan’s version of Portugal’s best grape variety.

One of my favourite reds, however, is the 2018 Border Vines ($25.99), a delicious blend of five traditional Bordeaux grape varieties, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the most prominent component, along with Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carménère and Cabernet Franc. Moon Curser’s website claims it has, “Great depth, intensity of flavour and structure.” And I would add it is delicious, round, and a bargain for the quality!

While you wait for the Moon Curser tasting room in Osoyoos to open up in the next month or so, you can order mixed cases of any six wines with free shipping. And $10 of each case goes to the BC Food Bank and the Osoyoos Food Bank. Do yourself a wine favour and help others at the same time. Check out http://www.mooncurser.com/"

To view full article click here

Time Posted: May 22, 2020 at 4:11 PM Permalink to Richmond News - Award-winning winery with a ‘Bad Moon Rising’ name Permalink
Louise-Marie Lessard
 
May 14, 2020 | Louise-Marie Lessard

Radio Canada CBC Vancouver 97.7 - Chronique vins de l'Okanagan - May 14, 2020.

Boulevard du Pacifique

"Dans sa chronique des vins de la Colombie-Britannique, Louise-Marie Lessard fait le point sur l'impact de la COVID-19 sur l'industrie du vin, les vignerons et le tourisme oenologique. Elle est discute avec Chris Tolley, propriétaire du domaine Mooncurser à Osoyoos et présente deux vins de cette propriété viticole."

 

pour écouter cliquez ici.

Time Posted: May 14, 2020 at 12:59 PM Permalink to Radio Canada CBC Vancouver 97.7 - Chronique vins de l'Okanagan - May 14, 2020. Permalink
Craig Heschuk
 
May 8, 2020 | Craig Heschuk

Thewinebeat.com - Episode 28: Chris Tolley of Moon Curser Vineyards

"This is the second part of my podcast interview with Chris Tolley of Moon Curser Vineyards. If you’ve listened to the first part of this interview then you know how effortlessly and clearly Chris explains winemaking, wine varieties and the beauty of his own wine region, the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada. If you haven’t listened to that part yet then – what the heck! – go to our home page and find it under “Podcasts”. Or click here. It was released on April 4 and might just be our most popular podcast to date.

 

Awed By The Industry

In this 2nd part of the interview, Chris moves from talking about his winery and wine varieties to a more general overview of the Okanagan Valley. He gives us a perspective of what winemaking is all about in this special region. He talks about the different subregions and why the valley really is not a single region. And he talks about how he is awed and grateful to be working in an industry that is young, evolving and generates so much innovation. He sees the Okanagan as a special place where a winemaker/winegrower can keep discovering as the valley keeps discovering. The experimentation with the varieties and the blends that work best is ongoing and makes the wine scene here really exciting. And Chris also addresses something that is pretty distinctive about BC wines – the rich fruit character that tends to shine through our wines. He gives us a pretty clear insight into why the climate provides this feature to the wine.

We pick up this conversation where Chris is explaining the unique nature of the geography and climate around Osoyoos – the Sonoran desert north.

 

The Southern Part of the Okanagan with Chris Tolley of Moon Curser

BC is a cool climate region but, as Chris explains, there is a significant range in microclimates along the 200 km north-to-south length of the valley. At the southern-most end of the valley the Okanagan wine region becomes downright hot in the summer. Moon Curser is just a mile from the US border and, as you can see from the photos, this is a fascinating location. It’s a desert and it looks a lot like the setting for a western movie. As Chris says: “To give people an idea, the south end of the valley is an extension of the Sonoran Desert and is part of the geography that includes the Yakima Valley in Washington. We get 1500 growing degree days which is getting to be similar to the Rhône although the temperature profile is different.”

 

The Wine Varieties Tell Their Own Story at Moon Curser

Chris and Beata Tolley make some of the best wines in BC. And with some of the most fascinating varieties. Have a look at the Moon Curser website to see the range of varieties they use. Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Dolcetto, Arneis, Touriga Nacional and more! Chris and Beata went to great lengths and took some risks to trial a range of different varieties on their land to see what worked. And they had some remarkable successes … and some things that didn’t quite work out like their effort to grow Corvina. Overall, their innovation has yielded very nice wines that have a personality unique to the southern Okanagan. For example he says that Dolcetto is well-suited to the Osoyoos area. “It grows well in sandy soil and it ripens well in our ripening period. And it produces a very nice wine which is the ultimate test after all.

Similarly, in a “cool climate region” you might not imagine that Rioja’s iconic grape, Tempranillo, would work particularly well. But interesting things can happen when you match a variety with a certain terroir. Chris describes the unique character traits this way “We get hot here but we don’t have a long hot season – it tapers off quickly at both ends. And so we get a very different Tempranillo than Rioja – varietally correct but distinct to the valley.”"

To view article and images, or to listen to the podcast click here

Time Posted: May 8, 2020 at 11:48 AM Permalink to Thewinebeat.com - Episode 28: Chris Tolley of Moon Curser Vineyards Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
April 22, 2020 | Neal McLennan

Vancouver Magazine - 3 Bottles of Okanagan Syrah that Would Cost Double (or Triple) If They Were From Washington State

"At $25, $35 and $50, respectively.

I come here to praise Washington Syrah, not bury it. When the world was reeling for the overproduction and overconsumption of fruit-bomby Aussie Shiraz, it was our neighbours to the south who filled the gap with a lifeline to the grape. With a style that looked a whole lot more toward France's Northern Rhone, more savoury, more spicey, much lighter of body producer's like Charles Smith of K Vintners, Christophe Baron of Cayuse and my fave, Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars reminded the wine drinking world that Syrah deserved to be on the podium for great red grapes.

I still love them—they've just gotten impossible to find and insanely expensive when you do. The Cote-Rotie wines that they emulated are now, in many cases, only marginally more expensive. Cue the inspirational music and pan the spotlight a few hundred kms north and you have our saviour—the syrah producers of the Okanagan. They're absolutely killing it with syrah using much the same playbook that the Washington growers used a decade before them. If anything our colder nights give our wines a bit more of an acidic backbone that, if anything, makes them more Rhone-like when they're done properly. And we're also far more likely to throw a small percentage of Viognier in the mix for lift, elegance and some floral notes on the nose—all of which means that we're now in the best position to be the true inheritor of the North American Hermitage mantle.

So why don't we snap them up? It truly beats me - if any of these wine were from one of the big Washington producer's they'd be double the price and be on such a strict allocation that getting your hands on them would be no small feat. But as it is - they're loved by a small few, enjoyed by a few more and ignored by most of us. Crazytown, population, us.

 

Moon Curser Syrah 2018 $25.99

I generally operate on the principle that even in the Okanagan, good Syrah starts at $30. This wine is the gloriously underpriced exception to that rule. Super fragrant on the nose, with lots of blue fruit and some secondary spicy notes. It's boozy, but it's never hot with alcohol and it falls into the realm of youthful exuberance rather than old souse. Just a steal of a wine and a great entry into what the South Okanagan can do with this grape."

To read full article click here.

Time Posted: Apr 22, 2020 at 12:28 PM Permalink to Vancouver Magazine - 3 Bottles of Okanagan Syrah that Would Cost Double (or Triple) If They Were From Washington State Permalink
Beata Tolley
 
April 18, 2020 | Beata Tolley

Moon Curser Music #1 Mix

What makes this a Moon Curser playlist, you say...? there's definitely a theme, and you will not have much trouble spotting it once you glance at the titles. If you don't quite know the history behind our winery name, the playlist should provide many a clue. A song or two might have only a tenuous connection to it, but hey, what's a Canadian playlist without Leonard Cohen on it. We did what we had to do. 

Here’s the Moon Curser playlist, for your personal listening pleasure: click here for Spotify playlist Note: you need a (free) Spotify account to listen.

And if you’re still not sure after listening: here’s the whole tale of the Moon Curser name: About Moon Curser's name.

We’re working on adding to the playlist; suggestions are great if anyone’s so inclined. Email them to gold@mooncurser.com.

Time Posted: Apr 18, 2020 at 7:04 PM Permalink to Moon Curser Music #1 Mix Permalink
Craig Heschuk
 
April 4, 2020 | Craig Heschuk

Thewinebeat.com - Episode 27: Chris Tolley of Moon Curser Vineyards

"Moon Curser Vineyards occupies a really unique location in the Okanagan valley wine region of British Columbia. In this podcast Chris Tolley gives us a terrific introduction to the place where he grows wine and the philosophy that he and his wife Beata have brought to cultivating a range of grape varieties.

BC is a cool climate region but, as Chris explains, there is a significant range in microclimates along the 200 km north-to-south length of the valley. At the southern-most end of the valley the Okanagan wine region becomes downright hot in the summer. Moon Curser is just a mile from the US border and, as you can see from the photos, this is a fascinating location. It’s a desert and it looks a lot like the setting for a western movie. As Chris says: “To give people an idea, the south end of the valley is an extension of the Sonoran Desert and is part of the geography that includes the Yakima Valley in Washington. We get 1500 growing degree days which is getting to be similar to the Rhône although the temperature profile is different.”

The Wine Varieties Tell Their Own Story at Moon Curser

Chris and Beata Tolley make some of the best wines in BC. And with some of the most fascinating varieties. Have a look at the Moon Curser website to see the range of varieties they use. Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Dolcetto, Arneis, Touriga Nacional and more! Chris and Beata went to great lengths and took some risks to trial a range of different varieties on their land to see what worked. And they had some remarkable successes … and some things that didn’t quite work out like their effort to grow Corvina. Overall, their innovation has yielded very nice wines that have a personality unique to the southern Okanagan. For example he says that Dolcetto is well-suited to the Osoyoos area. “It grows well in sandy soil and it ripens well in our ripening period. And it produces a very nice wine which is the ultimate test after all.

Similarly, in a “cool climate region” you might not imagine that Rioja’s iconic grape, Tempranillo, would work particularly well. But interesting things can happen when you match a variety with a certain terroir. Chris describes the unique character traits this way “We get hot here but we don’t have a long hot season – it tapers off quickly at both ends. And so we get a very different Tempranillo than Rioja – varietally correct but distinct to the valley.”

So join me for this podcast interview and listen in to Chris Tolley’s views and philosophies on winemaking in this really distinctive part of the world.

Moon Curser’s Immediately Recognizable Brand Image

Chris and Beata have also established a very striking brand based on the local lore around the gold smuggling that was going on here 100 years ago. Another name for smugglers is “moon cursers”. And the graphics on the bottles is a memorable riff on both the smuggling motif and the local wildlife.

Moon Curser’s unique and striking graphics make the brand immediately recognizable.

The Hideout Guest House is a very nice place to stay!"

 

To view article and images, or to listen to the podcast click here.

Time Posted: Apr 4, 2020 at 4:06 PM Permalink to Thewinebeat.com - Episode 27: Chris Tolley of Moon Curser Vineyards Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
April 2, 2020 | Neal McLennan

Vancouver Magazine - What Wine Folk are Doing (and Drinking) During the Great Shut In

"The wine world has had a whipsaw reaction to COVID-19. On the one hand you have the sommeliers, many of whom find themselves suddenly without a job. You have the retailers, who are busier than ever (some studies say that the BCLDB's sales are up 40%). And you have the producers, many of whom still need to bottle and sell their wine and who now have no restaurants to sell to. We wanted to check in with a cross-section of our fave people to see how they're handling this massive disruption...and what they're popping at the end of the day to help deal.

...

Chris & Beata Tolley, Moon Curser Vineyards

We had just finished bottling our ’19 whites and ’18 reds when the virus storm hit and so we count ourselves lucky to have the wines safe in bottle. Our Osoyoos East Bench tasting room is now temporarily closed. We have found ways to carry out our online sales, shipping and curbside pickups in ways that keep everyone suitably isolated, and are safe for both our employees and customers.

We are currently offering free shipping to all our online customers, and will be donating $10 per each case sold as a result to BC Food Banks, and our local Osoyoos Food Bank.

Our home wine cellar levels tend to fluctuate wildly and it just so happened that the virus caught us at high tide: samples of our freshly bottled Moon Curser wines had just landed, and were waiting to be tasted. Keeping our focus on these new releases has been a welcome reminder that, despite the current difficulties, the world has not come to a complete standstill, and some kind of return to normal is in the cards for us all eventually. We do miss what takes wine from delightful to life-enriching: sharing it, and delicious food, with friends and family. For now, we will compensate by using technology, and by pulling bottles from the cellar that remind us of good times and the many good people in our lives—here’s looking at you, B.C. wine."

To read full article click here.

Time Posted: Apr 2, 2020 at 12:21 PM Permalink to Vancouver Magazine - What Wine Folk are Doing (and Drinking) During the Great Shut In Permalink
Craig Heschuk
 
March 29, 2020 | Craig Heschuk

Thewinebeat.com - British Columbia Wines – The Triumph Of A Cool Climate

"Let me set out my stall here. I propose that if you want to find the world’s most exciting and vibrant wines then just start by looking for wines from cool climates. The benefits of cool climate wine growing are so persuasive that if you are in the market for a thrilling, fresh and racy wine then you could just make climate your first criteria. A cool climate that is.

Note the adjectives though – exciting, fresh, thrilling, vibrant, racy. And note the absence of words like rich, opulent, big, jammy or powerful. The former adjectives are more the domain of cool climates, the latter are more the domain of warm.

...

At The Warmer End of Cool at Moon Curser

The southern-most end of the valley the Okanagan wine region becomes downright hot in the summer. At Moon Curser Vineyards, just a mile from the US border, Chris and Beata Tolley make some of the best wines in BC. And with some of the most fascinating varieties. The landscape and the temperatures are surprisingly desert-like. Chris says “To give people an idea, the south end of the valley is an extension of the Sonoran Desert and is part of the geography that includes the Yakima Valley in Washington. We get 1500 growing degree days which is getting to be similar to the Rhône although the temperature profile is different.”

Chris and Beata make remarkable wines from the standard Bordeaux varietal suite as well as some truly outstanding examples of Syrah, Tempranillo, Dolcetto, Arneis and Viognier/Roussanne/Marsanne. The Moon Curser Syrah exhibits the black pepper (and slightly earthy) character that cooler climates can impart. Chris has been innovative in finding varieties that work well in the particular place where he grows. For example he says that Dolcetto is well-suited to the Osoyoos area. “It grows well in sandy soil and it ripens well in our ripening period. And it produces a very nice wine which is the ultimate test after all.”

For a “cool climate region” you might not imagine that Rioja’s iconic grape, Tempranillo, would work particularly well. But interesting things can happen when you match a variety with a certain terroir. Chris describes the unique character traits this way “We get hot here but we don’t have a long hot season – it tapers off quickly at both ends. And so we get a very different Tempranillo than Rioja – varietally correct but distinct to the valley”

To read full article click here.

Time Posted: Mar 29, 2020 at 4:12 PM Permalink to Thewinebeat.com - British Columbia Wines – The Triumph Of A Cool Climate Permalink
Christopher Waters
 
March 25, 2020 | Christopher Waters

The Globe and Mail - Sauvignon blanc can help turn a meal from simple to sublime - Dolcetto 2018 90 points

"....

If zesty whites aren’t your taste, or you’re looking to compare, consider these two comforting reds that deliver real character and charm. The rustic and savoury Castillo de Almansa Reserva has been a long-time staple for meaty dishes, particularly grilled red meat or fish dishes, while the juicy and bright dolcetto from Moon Curser is a terrific match for roast chicken, meat-based or tomato-based pizza or pastas and more.

...

Moon Curser Dolcetto 2018 (Canada)

RATING OUT OF 100

90

PRICE: $24.99

The innovative Moon Curser winery believes the southern Okanagan wine region is a great place to grow a much wider variety of grapes than the usual suspects, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and syrah. The wisdom of that logic can be seen in this juicy and fresh red wine made from dolcetto, a black grape seldom seen outside of its native Piedmont in northwestern Italy. Made without any oak barrel influence, this offers ripe blackberry and cherry aromas and flavours, with a significant tug of tannins that dries out the finish. Drink now to 2022. Available direct, mooncurser.com."

To read full article with subscription click here.

Time Posted: Mar 25, 2020 at 11:16 AM Permalink to The Globe and Mail - Sauvignon blanc can help turn a meal from simple to sublime - Dolcetto 2018 90 points Permalink
Moon Curser: Brand Elements