Posts Tagged ‘Savvy Selections wine of the month’

A unique Italian wine crafted in Niagara

Posted by Eva

Friday, July 6th, 2012
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Savvy Sommelier Derek, tells us that the first time he interviewed Betty Colaneri, he was so enchanted by her story that, “I found myself just listening, forgetting to take notes and ask questions.  The second time we talked, I was more prepared!”

The story of the Colaneri Estate Winery begins in 1967, when Joseph & Maria Colaneri came to Canada from Italy with their two sons Michele (Mike) and Nicola (Nick).  Several years after their arrival, one of the sons, Mike married Angiolina, while the other son Nick, married Liberina or Betty.  What is touching about this is that two brothers (Mike and Nick) married two sisters, (Angie and Betty).

The Colaneris have been growing grapes in the Niagara region for 34 years.  However, they did not become directly involved in the wine making business until 2003.  I chuckled as Betty told me that the family agreed to take advantage of an opportunity and replant their grape vines…”it was either grape vines or Christmas trees” she recalls. Now, having tasted their wines, I am glad that the family agreed on the grapes!

What makes Colaneri different is that the family made a decision to produce their own wines in a uniquely Italian style using the ‘appassimento’ technique where some or all of the grapes are kiln-dried to enhance the concentration & depth of the aromas & flavours.

Derek gives us a quick 101 on Italian Wine Styles

Italian wines are as diverse and as unique as the people and the country.  Given this, I thought I would dedicate a portion of this article to provide you with basic information about the styles you will be enjoying. 

Appassimento: A style of wine in which some or all of the grapes are partially dried before they are fermented into wine. By drying the fruit, there is more sugar, less water and therefore a greater concentration of flavour with the finished wine.

Ripasso (pronounced ree-PAH-soh):  In Italian ripasso literally means “re-passed”.  After the wine is fermented in the usual way, it is placed in casks containing the lees (winespeak for grape skins) from a prior batch of wine.  Usually, the lees of an Amarone wine are used. This process, which lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, adds colour, tannins, body and complexity of flavors to the new wine.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Colaneri ‘Corposo’ Cabernet VQA 2009

$18.95

This wine is made similar to an Italian Ripasso, where the must from dried grapes used to produce Amarone-style wines are added to a wine, causing a second fermentation to add body & depth of flavour.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A blend of Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of dried cherries, white pepper, herbs & earth, with intense flavours of red & black plums & some tobacco – or is it fresh ground pepper? – on the finish.

Suggested food pairings: BBQ sausages, meat-based pasta or herbed encrusted roast lamb would be delicious!

 

 

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  Colaneri has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Read more about Colaneri & their wines in our Savvy eZine.  You won’t find this outstanding wine on the shelves at the LCBO.  Would you like this wine? Subscribe to our wine of the month club or call on us to make the arrangements for a special delivery to your home or office!

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Deeply rooted Sue-Ann Staff & her wines

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

– January 2012 –

Cruise up the vine lined slopes above Jordan village, as I did last summer, and you’ll find Staff Avenue and Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. My curiosity was piqued – what was the story behind Sue-Ann Staff’s newly opened winery, housed on her family’s historic farm? The dramatic white barn and family home come into view, a large cold-weather bell crafted in mid-1800s England gracing the entrance, ready to ring you onto the property. Exit the car and you will be greeted by a friendly, well-mannered Bernese Mountain dog named BRIX, who will lead you to the side entrance of the house. There you head into the relaxed, welcoming tasting bar that Sue-Ann and her family have set up in their farmhouse kitchen. Sue-Ann offers a warm welcome, sharing her passion for the wine, the vineyards and her family’s history.

Sue-Ann’s family emigrated from England in the late 1700s, her ancestor Robert Staff acquiring the current property over 2 centuries ago. The first vineyard was planted in 1898 by her great-grandfather comprising of 3.3 acres of Concord grapes located at the corner of Staff Avenue and 17th Street. This vineyard may be the oldest productive one in Niagara and continues to be retained by the family as a living legacy. You may in fact taste these grapes in Welch’s grape juice, as the fruit is shipped annually to the company’s processing plant in Pennsylvania. Through the generations, the Staff farming and agricultural operations have evolved. Historically, it was the largest private fruit-growing operation in Canada, with over 800 acres of grapes. And at one time, 5% of the estate was reserved for research by Jordan Wines.

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery & Winemaker

 The prospect of a family-owned winery was often discussed at family gatherings, yet the idea became fruition one day while Sue-Ann was thinning crop with her father. ‘What are you doing?” her father asked. “I’m thinking,” replied Sue-Ann, “…I’m thinking there’s no reason I couldn’t start my own winery.” Soon after, in 2009, Sue-Ann Staff Winery opened. Sue-Ann describes the excitement as well as the terror of releasing wines under her name, aware of the significant investment she made while wondering how her wines would be received by the public. This was a fleeting moment now a couple of years later, as success has shown with several wines already sold out!

Our feature of Sue-Ann Staff Estate wines ensures Savvy subscribers have the opportunity to sample a unique selection of Sue-Ann’s wines:

      • – Staff Cabernet Franc VQA 2010the velvety, earthy laced with balsamic characteristics
      • – Megalomaniac Cabernet Frank VQA 2009 –  a BIG treat for our subscribers!
      • Megalomaniac Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2008 – full bodied red that she made as a consulting winemaker for winery owner John Howard

OPTIONAL WINES:

Riesling Icewine VQA 2007a luscious, beautifully balanced honeyed fruit extravaganza,

– Pinot Gris VQA 2010previous vintages quickly sold out.  Given the quality of the 2010 vintage, it is anticipated that this wine will fly off the shelves

We are delighted to introduce you to Sue-Ann & her wines.  Be sure to visit the Staff farm to experience the warm welcome offered by Sue-Ann, her family & BRIX too!

Cheers!
Debbie & Savvy Team

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