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Renata and Eugene Roman purchased 40 acres of land in 2000, which is now home of Rosewood Estates Winery and Meadery. Their goal was to start a small-batch artisanal winery and meadery. Winemaker Natalie Spytkowsky tells it, wines and meads are all about “small and natural”. This philosophy is what allows selective hand harvesting of grape clusters, extensive sorting of grapes to get the best of crop and whole cluster pressing of grapes in gentle cycles. There is no crushing. Grape clusters go straight to the tank and are allowed to settle in cold temperatures. As much as is possible, Natalie naturally ferments the red varietals rather than introducing commercial yeasts. She explains that it takes more time to complete the winemaking process, but in six or seven months after fermentation, it is her opinion that “the wine opens up better and shows more richness and complexity”. Of course this winemaking approach takes passion, patience and commitment.
The meadery side of Rosewood takes on the same philosophical and practical approach. A second generation beekeeper, Eugene realized a longtime dream by teaming up with Natalie to produce mead (honey wine). Mead is made by fermenting honey and water. There are three apiaries attended by the Rosewood team that are positioned throughout the Beamsville Bench. As you might expect, the bees are busy travelling throughout the region. Natalie explains that one bee will visit one million flowers to produce one pound of honey. It may fly a distance as far as 4 times around the world collecting the raw materials for honey. Just think of all the choices it has in the Niagarawine and fruit region?
When we featured Rosewood in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club, we sampled 3 of Rosewood’s meads & were blown away by the Ambrosia Grand Reserve 2006. Savvy Sommelier Wayne Walker sums it up: “Ambrosia was like nothing I have ever tasted before – an incredibly delicious, smooth & unique wine.”
Cheers & Enjoy!
$36 for 375mL bottle - makes a unique gift too!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Full bodied, rich & warm is the best way to begin to describe this unique wine. Straw yellow in colour, the aroma & taste of fresh ripe stone fruits (think nectarine, peach) orange marmalade, sweet spices, white flowers & clover. A honeyed texture with a long pleasant finish that lingers on the tongue with one of the sweetest wood flavours that you will ever experienced. There is no other taste quite like it!
Food pairing suggestions: If you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy this mead with aged cheeses, pates, foie gras & fruit or nut based desserts. On the sweetness level it is a 10 – compared to icewine that is usually in the 30’s
What Is Mead?
Courtesy of Rosewood Estates website
Mead (also known as honey wine) is made from the fermentation of honey and water. Honey is flower nectar collected by domesticated honeybees (apis mellifera). Honey is a remarkable product which contains a complex mixture of sugars, enzymes, proteins, organic compounds and trace minerals. These compounds give honey its distinctive flavor and aromas. These carry over into mead production and lend a distinctive flavor to the finished mead.
Mead was the first fermented beverage enjoyed by modern mankind. Mead first showed up as a beverage almost 10,000 years ago. It is a deep part of human history and a link to our forefathers. In ancientGreece, Hippocrates used mead as a tonic. Vikings believed that honey and mead had magical properties and were a gift from the heavens (Valhalla). In Celtic tradition, no wedding was complete without a mead toast to the young couple…FOR A SWEET MARRIAGE. It has been claimed that the word honeymoon comes from a tradition where a newly married couple drank mead for a full moon to ensure a long life and a happy marriage. We find it an intriguing and historical product which links us to human history.
Honey - Nature's Original Sweetner
At Rosewood, we produce and sell natural un-pasteurized honey on the Estate. Our busy bees Apis mellifera – fly the Beamsville Bench andTwentyValley to gather nectar from the flowers to produce sweet golden honey for your enjoyment. Honey is known to provide us with many health benefits and provides instant fast burning energy. Honey can be used extensively in cooking from making smoothies to honey baked hams.
Using only grapes grown on their property, the Mavety family has been growing grapes in the Okanagan for over 40 years – true pioneers! For the first 21 years, they supplied premium grapes to commercial wineries when finally the allure of producing quality wines inspired them to craft their own label - Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars - in 1991. The family has not looked back since!
Today, on their 31-hectare estate, they make limited quantities of complex wines from noble varietals including Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay -- the same varietals found in the Champagne, Burgundy and Alsace regions of France.
Cheers & Enjoy!
LCBO # 350108
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a beautifully crafted wine made with Chardonnay grapes that half have been aged in oak while the other half was aged in stainless steel tanks. The result is a medium bodied white wine with a combo of buttered popcorn, warm spices & a zippy long finish. Reminds me of a dense pound cake or a flaky croissant. Easy drinking & round in the mouth. Each sips begs you to come back for more. This wine will go down too easily, so get two bottles & save yourself the disappointment when you reach the bottom of the bottle.
Suggested Food Pairing: A great match for BBQed pork tenderloin or a heavy fish - tuna or swordfish steaks.
Pinot Noir is known by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape”. This grape variety needs care & nurturing around the clock. Difficult to grow in the vineyard & always changing in the cellar, crafting a good wine of Pinot Noir is the pinnacle of any winemaker’s personal achievement.
There are two classic styles of Pinot – cherry or earthy. Depending on the winemaker’s preference, the Pinot will be crafted to emphasize the terroir. At Coyote’s Run Winery, they have a unique property of red & black soils. They intentionally grow Pinot Noir vines on both & make the individual wines to taste the difference of their terroir!
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A deep red colour with aromas of black cherry, black currant & a whiff of earthiness that reminds you have a walk in the forest. It is a dry medium bodied red wine with subtle tannins that lingers into a velvety elegnat finish. It's a Pinot that is worth every penny!
Suggested Food Pairing: Pinot Noir is a versatile wine – it can be served chilled or at room temperature. As the wine warms up, aromas, tastes & levels of acidity changes too. Classic matches with Pinot are roast duck, grilled salmon & mushrooms.
Coyote's Run Estate Winery has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Call on the Savvy Team (613-SAVVYCO) to arrange for this wine (and others from Coyote's Run) to be delivered to your home or office. Here's another idea: Subscribe to Savvy Selections & you will always have outstanding Ontario wines on hand - none of them you will find at the LCBO!
With a wine route map on her knee, Savvy Sommelier Debbie followed the country roads that lead to this new boutique winery in the depths of Prince Edward County. Definitely worth the visit! Lighthall Vineyards owner & self taught winemaker Glenn Symons was eagerly awaiting her visit as he was excite to pour a glass of his soon-to-be-released sparkling wine. This was Glenn's new creation and you could see that he was 'bubbling' over with excitement. With coaching from his friend Frederic Picard (winemaker at Huff Estates), Glenn has every reason to be proud of this bubbly. ..and his other wines too as he is making a big impression already!
This sparkling wine is different is several ways. First, there is no cork, just secured with a bottle cap like closure. And it is made with Vidal grapes that are often saved for dessert wines – yet this wine is far from being sweet!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: There’s delicious refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy apple with a crisp finish.
Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with oysters, or paired with light appetizers. Be sure to pack a bottle of this sparkling wine for your next picnic.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Prince Edward County is Canada’s fastest growing wine region with 25+ wineries awaiting your visit - only a three hour drive from Ottawa. Housed in a heritage Loyalist barn, owner & winemaker Richard Karlo crafts outstanding white, rose, red & even port wines! Karlo Estates Winery is definitely a must visit on your next trip to "The County".
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Everything about this wine is watermelon – its colour, aromas & taste – with a splash of tangerine & ruby red grapefruit. Crisp & refreshing, this medium bodied Rose feels delicious in your mouth.
Suggested Food Pairings: Unwind with a glass on the deck, at the cottage, or pack with a picnic – don’t you agree? Here’s to summer!
Cheers & Enjoy!
Karlo Estates has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Call on the Savvy Team to arrange a couple of bottles or a case of this wine or others from Karlo Estates right to your door. Better yet, subscribe to Savvy Selections & each month you will have outstanding Ontario wines that you won't find at the LCBO delivered to your home or office!
One of Savvy Sommelier Susan’s recent wine finds!
Winemaker Kevin Panagapkos has been involved in the Ontario wine industry over 10+ years, with a brief stint in New Zealand. In 2007, he decided to start his own ‘virtual winery’ named 2027 Cellars. Why 2027? Kevin owns a small Pinot Noir vineyard in Beamsville & it has the registration number 2027! He focuses on making wines using three grape varietals - Riesling, Pinot Noir & Chardonnay - to create a clear expression of the terroir.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Mosel-style Riesling has clean crisp aromas of citrus, mineral & a whiff of petrol. Dry, juicy & definitely mouth-watering, the fresh flavours of lemon-lime, stone fruit & green apple complement racy acidity & minerality. Great balance & a lasting finish – a fantastic wine find!
Suggested food pairings: A great choice for fish or pork tenderloin.
Pondview Estate Winery is a family affair. The Puglisi family have been grape growers for over 3 decades. In 2008, Lou was crowned the distinguished title “Grape King’ & toured the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia where he met other small family owned wineries. Returned inspired, Lou & his extended family decided to establish Pondview to craft their own wines made with grapes from their well established vineyard. More & more grape growers in Niagara are transforming their grape farming business to incorporate a winery as well. With a commitment to viticultural & winemaking excellence along with a welcoming tasting room offering traditional Italian cheese & antipasto, Pondview has become an overnight success.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon grapes harvested from the remarkable 2010 vintage. Aged in the cellar in a combination of American & French oak barrels for 12 months, this is a powerful Bordeaux style wine. This wine reminds Debbie of red & black – juicy red & black cherries, red & black plums, strawberries & blackberries even red & black licorice! The barrel aging adds warm spices with firm tannins & a lingering finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ to serve with burgers, steak or serve with a hearty lamb stew. See how the wine changes as you nibble on the Bleu D’Élizabeth or L’Apprenti Sorcier creamy cheeses.
Pondview Winery has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Would you like some of this wine? Our Sommeliers will offer their recommendations of other Pondview wines to make a delicious selection for you. Call on us 613-SAVVYCO or email@example.com
Or subscribe to Savvy Selections & wines like this one will be delivered to your home or office!
There is no better way to set the mood than with the pop of a cork of a bottle of bubbly!
The team at Huff Estates Winery in 'The County', continue to impress the Savvy Team with their well made wines and novel creations like this one! Made with Vidal grapes that are often left on the vines to make icewine, Huff`s winemaker, Frederic Picard (originally from Burgundy, France), decided to do something completely different – create a crisp & refreshing sparkling wine fashioned after the Italian Prosecco sparkler.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dry with fine mousse (winespeak: bubbles) elegant aromas & tastes of citrus (can you find mandarin or lime?) & toasted almond.
Suggested Food Pairing: In keeping with the Italian flair of this style of wine, serve with proscuitto & melo, marinated olives, fresh basil & tomato salad or simply sip a glass while eating el fresco (outside).
Huff Estates Winery has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Like this wine or want an assortment of Huff wines? Call on our Savvy Team to offer their recommendations on various wines from Huff Estates & have delivered to your home or office!
When you ask Nyarai Cellars (pronounced Ne-rye) owner & winemaker Steve Byfield where his winery is located, he will reply ‘nowhere’. It is one of the handful of virtual wineries in Ontario – a winery within another winery. Steve sources fruit from nearby grape growers, while using the facility & equipment at an existing winery – in this case, DiProfio Winery - where he is the assistant winemaker. This approach alleviates the large startup investment of purchasing property, vineyard & winery.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Nyarai Cellars Veritas VQA
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: 2007 was a remarkable year for Ontario wines. This is a medium to full body wine blend of 33% Cabernet Franc, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon & 13% Syrah grapes. Concentrated aromas of dark fruit (plums, blackberries, figs), with tastes of cocoa, tobacco & spices with a smooth & long finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ! This is begging to be enjoyed with steak, grilled mushrooms & roast leg of lamb.
Nyarai Cellars has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Like this wine? Call on the Savvy Team (613-SAVVYCO) to arrange for bottles to be delivered to you home or office. Or better yet, subscribe to Savvy Selections & outstanding Ontaro wines will be delivered you to each month.
Curtis Fielding was a professional NASCAR driver, yet when his father began building the winery bearing the family name - Fielding Estate Winery, Curtis was intrigued by the new business. He tells us that he never looks back as he is having too much fun making wine! Perched high up on the Niagara Escarpment, The Lodge as it is known is a must visit – it is a relaxed setting with an outstanding view of their vineyards & Lake Ontario.
Never heard of Pinot Gris? Chances are you have as it is the same grape variety used to make the popular Italian Pinot Grigio wine.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Crystal clear in colour with aromas of stone fruit (think peach, nectarine, pear), continues into the taste with a ‘zippy’ lime finish that continues long after your first sip.
Suggested Food Pairing: Sip on its own, serve with spicy food or with steamed mussels, BBQed chicken, pork chops or salmon or even shrimp.