Brad Royale

Brad RoyaleBrad is the wine director for Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, overseeing eight beautiful properties throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Brad has been involved in retail and restaurant management for fifteen years. He has completed the ISG sommelier program and the WSET Diploma program. Brad has won multiple awards for his wine programs from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Avenue Magazine and the Vancouver Wine Festival. In 2012 Brad launched his own wine label, Kitten Swish…it’s delicious.

Read our interview with Brad below…

1. How many years have you been working with wine?
I have been involved in the wine industry for 16 years.

2. What was your first wine related job, article, or assignment?
My first wine specific job was at Eau Claire Wine Market in Calgary.  I was hired part time while studying architecture at SAIT.  Ultimately the wine gig consumed all my time (and student loans) while the architecture studies got dusty.  Dusty study notes are never a good time, however, a dusty bottle of wine makes for some pretty good research.

3. Is there a grape or style of wine you are personally attached to?
All of them.

4. What was your first Canadian “aha” wine moment?
I’ve had many of them over the years and with each new vintage there are always more…I like it this way, keep them coming.

5. Which grape(s) do you feel is/are Canada’s best bets in terms of producing top quality wine?
Canada’s strong suit is with grapes that veer more towards pretty features; grapes like Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Syrah.

6. What would you like consumers to know about Canadian wine?
I would like consumers and guests to value the pretty aspects of Canadian wine, the soft nuances and shy charisma they can have.  I would like consumers to see the delicately woven structures of Canada’s finest wines; the wispy minerality that sews itself into the seams of elegantly layered fruits.

7. How many years have you judged Canadian wine?
I started with Wine Access 7 or 8 years ago and now I am very proud to be involved with WineAlign.

8. What do you enjoy most about judging at The Nationals?
I enjoy all of it! The event is something I look forward to every year. Tony and David have done an amazing job bringing the best people from across the country together to taste, the knowledge and experience I have gained from knowing these people is invaluable.

The opportunity to taste an entire range of Canadian wine is mind blowing. These tastings over the years have allowed me to become a better taster and better able to identify the fine attributes of Canadian wine. I am always very proud at the end of the competition to look at the high quality of wines selected by the judges. The competition is a lot of hard work, with everyone straining not to miss the best wines in the flights. It is a very rewarding experience.

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