The Genesis of Q&A: In Search of ‘a Peerless Bordeaux-style Blend’

by | Dec 30, 2022

As a rule, Canadians tend not to indulge in star systems with the same degree of enthusiasm as our friends to the south. But that’s not to say we don’t mind the odd flash in the firmament — especially when it comes to matters of wine.

It was a generous sprinkling of serendipity that brought together the trio behind Q&A. The Okanagan’s latest nod to Bordeaux is the brainchild of British Columbia–born actor-director Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210), his good friend and broadcaster Terry David Mulligan (Mulligan Stew; Much Music), and Slovakian-born winemaker Michal Mosny of Winemaker’s Cut, a blossoming relative newcomer from the south Okanagan.

Priestley and Mulligan’s paths crossed several years ago at a charity event.

“We ended up fishing up the coast in the same boat,” recalls Mulligan. “Just the two of us and the guide. It was a Boston Whaler, so there was nowhere to go to walk around. In between strikes we didn’t talk about hockey. We didn’t talk about scripts or directors or casting. We talked about wine — incessantly.” That encounter and a mutual interest in wine led to co-hosting Hollywood & Vines TV.

In 2007 Priestley had become a major shareholder in the ownership group behind Black Hills Estate Winery, producer of illustrious Nota Bene. That red blend is widely regarded as the Okanagan’s original ‘cachet’ wine and remains highly collectible, with every release selling out promptly. (Andrew Peller Limited purchased Black Hills from the group in 2017.)

The other — and arguably most crucial — player in the trio, Mosny, had little idea the Canadian wine industry existed until he saw an Okanagan episode of Mulligan and Priestley’s show. That piqued his interest and, in 2012, it lured him and his wife to emigrate from their native Slovakia to the south Okanagan. In a few short years their Winemaker’s Cut vintages had already earned wide respect. Mulligan had no idea that the show was the motivation behind their moving to Canada — until the two met up at a wine show in Victoria, B.C. They soon became fast friends.

Priestley says after the sale to Peller, his passion for wine only grew. “I continued to search for exceptional terroir capable of producing a peerless Bordeaux-style blend,” he says.

That search led him and Mulligan eventually to Mosny and their collaboration, with the first release sourced from two single vineyards in Oliver, B.C. The Q&A 2020 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (43%) with Merlot (38%), Cabernet Franc (13%) and Petit Verdot (4%) yields vibrant cherry and black fruit notes with spice and cedar notes, wrapped in well-integrated tannins. From a stellar vintage, the wine develops complexity in the glass and will continue to evolve over several years. There were 550 cases made.

The response to Q&A has been so positive that Mosny has now produced a companion white, a blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. Even better news, says Mulligan, is that Q&A will also be available (in limited quantities) in the United States.

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Photos courtesy of Q&A Wine

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