Posts Tagged ‘Savvy’

For Wine Lovers in Ontario, our own backyard is well stocked..

Posted by Julie

Thursday, August 4th, 2011
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Cherry and peach trees, grapevines – miles of them, wineries galore dotted with the odd golf course, farmhouses, B and B’s are the memories of the past week in the Niagara Escarpment. When Holly suggested I write a guest blog on Doug’s and my recent travel, I immediately responded positively although it’s hard not to write a journal, so much to see and taste!

For wine lovers, the Niagara Escarpment, Twenty Valley, Niagara-On-the-Lake locales are an oenophile paradise. While the wineries offer the usual vitis vinifera varietals: Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir etc., many have ice-wine and their own rose.  Between sipping and sampling en route, as dedicated sommeliers and wine nuts, we visited over 20 wineries, as well as attending the Cool Climate Chardonnay event held at the Tawse Winery (July 23) where 56 wineries featured their “Chards.”  For the ABC folks (anything but Chardonnay), Chardonnay still remains the most widely produced VQA in Ontario.

Every winery we visited left something memorable; whether it was the enormous stainless steel tank named Budda, at Creekside Estate Winery, or the labels on the Organized Crime Wines, telling a pictoral story of Mennonites feuding over an organ (catch the play on the word?)  Or the new Colaneri winery, 37,000 square feet, the largest winery in the region still under construction, shaped like a Roman coliseum in a hugely impressive “C” representing the Italian family and their winemaking heritage.

The viticulture was amazing at Featherstone Winery where we witnessed sheep chomping away at the grape leaves so the grapes will be exposed to sunshine which in turn, speeds up their ripening. These little sheep meander up and down the rows of vines, and it was quite humorous watching them chew the leaves. Needless to say I took pictures.

The most valuable members of the team.

Many of the wines at these boutique wineries are unavailable at the LCBO so we brought a few home. One purchase was a Featherstone rose and have since found it to be a great patio to table “spirit”.  An enchanting cranberry colour, all the ripe berry flavours, bone dry with tart acidity that practically jumps out of the glass. We have since enjoyed this with grilled shrimps, zucchini and our always tomato basil salad which makes a divine summer supper.

Sheep: appreciated for their usefulness & whimsy.

We have previously traveled the Twenty Valley and the sense of anticipation with old and new wineries never ceases to amaze and never disappoints. The people are friendly, knowledgeable and their eagerness to share the harvest makes for a magnetic welcome. We’re already talking about the wineries that we plan to visit next year. I’ve always said, you never have to look further than your own backyard in Ontario to find great wine.

Cheers, Julie

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