Posts Tagged ‘Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery’

Wine & Art – a natural match

Posted by Debbie

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
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For years, Ottawa was well known for rolling up the streets at 5 o’clock. Not anymore! This city is hopping with interesting events and cool new venues around town. Whether it is a ‘cinq à sept’ or a cocktail reception or an elaborate fundraising dinner, the venues around towncan be just as interesting as the people you meet.

Cool spots to host a party

Savvy-Company-Event-Erin-Sue-Bolling-serving-Denise-Yaternick-709x532When I started Savvy Company over 13 years ago, I intentionally built the business without our own venue, taking the approach of seeking out unique places in Ottawa to host our wine, craft beer and food events. Finding these hidden gems where we can host private & corporate events or large scale Taste and Buys is becoming less of a challenge in our city.

This week alone – and it is only Wednesday – I have discovered four places that I’ve never set foot inside the door. I eagerly returned to our office and exclaimed to my team “Wait till you see the amazing place I’ve discovered. I can’t wait to host do an event there!”

A working brewery, a private revolving room showcasing the entire city, a TV studio, cool art galleries, a loft packed from floor to ceiling with boxes of board games, Ottawa’s oldest wooden building, the best venue to see the sunset over the Ottawa River, a fire hall transformed into a gourmet kitchen, a new museum at a working farm, the most striking roof top patio in the city and a bank vault that is 7 stories underground. Have you been to an event at any of these places?

Mark my words, Ottawa definitely has more than hotel ballrooms and restaurant backrooms when you are looking for venue with cachet that will impress your guests. Call me if you need tips!

What’s new with Orange Art Gallery

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One of the newest places on my list is Orange Art Gallery. It’s located amongst the community of hip new businesses in the City Centre and when I walked into the gallery I knew instantly that I wanted to host a Savvy Event there….and soon!

1aOrange Art Gallery quickly outgrew their original space near the Parkdale Market. A year ago, owners Ingrid Hollander and her husband Matthew Jeffery hung out their shingle at a 100 year old building that was once the bank for CN Rail. “When we found this place we knew it was going to be perfect for our gallery”, remembers Ingrid. “The building is full of history which adds to the cool character of the space – perfect for art and special events.”

A perfect place for a pop-up wine shop!

While old on the outside, the rooms inside are now full of stunning contemporary artwork. “When Debbie shortlisted venues to host our portfolio wine tasting in Ottawa, the Orange Art Gallery fit perfectly”, stated Marcel Morgenstern, director of sales at Pondview Estates Winery located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “They showcase the talent of local artists and our wine event was all about showcasing the winemaking talent at our winery.This venue was a natural choice.”

Tasting with family wineries

Sue Ann Staff of Sue Ann Staff Estates WineryPondview Estates Winery and Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, also located in Niagara, made a special trip to Ottawa to host an evening where 250+ consumers were invited to sample their wines and order their new favorites.

Few of the wineries’ products are available at the LCBO, so this event organized by Savvy Company provided ticket-holders with the opportunity to meet the winery owners and winemakers, try their hard-to-find-wines and order their favorite wines to be delivered to their home or office.

What’s a Taste & Buy?

Marcel Morgenstern - Jennifer Hanniman and Mathieu Deshaies“It is the new way to buy Ontario wine. It is like trying on clothes, you feel the material, try on various sizes, then buy what you like and what fits you best.

At our events you can sample any of the wines – sparkling, whites, roses, reds and dessert wines, even barrel samples of wines that are not released yet,talk with our winemaker and then order the wines you really liked. It is definitely a more personal and enjoyable way to shop than buying wines at the LCBO by reviews or reading shelf talkers,” Morgenstern (in photos at right) explains.

Most importantly, guests at this Savvy Taste & Buy Event enjoyed being at the Orange Gallery too. “I’ve never been here before and coincidentally, my office is nearby. It’s a cool space, there is free parking, it’s near Little Italy and Chinatown so we went to dinner after having enjoyed all the great wines”, raved Don Cook, investment advisor at RBC Wealth Management. “I’m definitely keeping this place in mind to host an event for my investment clients.”

More about Orange Art Gallery

www.orangeartgallery.ca
290 City Centre Avenue, Ottawa (steps away from Artisan Bakery)

Savvy Events

We always have fun events scheduled so Savvy Events for what’s happening with Savvy Company.  If you’d like help organizing your next event at a cool venue in Ottawa, email cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

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Taste & Buy outstanding wines from Niagara’s 20 Valley

Posted by Amanda

Monday, November 24th, 2014
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Everything is all set for this tomorrow’s Outstanding in their Fields wine tasting featuring 17 of Niagara’s Twenty Valley wineries.  This is a SOLD OUT event & we’re excited that so many Ottawa wine enthusiasts will be joining us to enjoy these outstanding wines.

Here is a sneak peak of the wines that are ready for you to enjoy – none that you will find at the LCBO – so this is a perfect evening out sipping and stocking up on new wine discoveries.  There will be over 100 different wines ranging in prices from $18.95 to $39.95 – sparkling wines, white, rosé and red wines, delicious ice wines and even a port too!  There’s definitely something for everyone.

Taste a glass…buy a bottle

Exclusive at this Taste & Buy event you can order ANY combination of outstanding wines from ANY of the wineries & they will be delivered by courier to your home or office.

Free shipping on all orders of 12 bottles or more!

With so many wines and so little time, our Team of Savvy Sommeliers will be there to help you sharing wine tips & recommendations to find wines that you will undoubtedly enjoy.

 

Can’t make it to this event? Order online

Don’t despair…you stock up on your favorite 20 Valley wines by ordering online.  Click here to place your order >>

Not sure which wines to order?  Our Savvy Sommeliers can help! Email us or call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) & we’ll be happy to offer recommendations & make the arrangements for your order.  Place your order online before December 5th, shipping is FREE on 12 or more bottles…delivered to your home or office.

 

Featured wineries & their wines to taste & buy…

13th Street Winery

Cuvée Rosé Sparkling $24.95

2012 Gamay Noir $19.95

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $24.95 (Reg $29.95)

2010 Reserve Meritage $29.95 (Reg $34.95)

 

Angels Gate Winery

2010 Mountainview Chardonnay $19.95

2011 Archangel Sauvignon Blanc $23.95

2012 Mountainview Cabernet Franc $30.00

Angels V $50.00

 

Calamus Estate Winery

2013 Roberts Riesling $15.20

2013 Pinot Gris $16.95

2012 Barrel Kissed Chardonnay $16.95

2013 Calvin’s Cabernet Merlot $15.20

2010 Meritage $28.20

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $29.20

 

Creekside Estate Winery

2011 ‘The Trad’ Sparkling $28.95

2013 Backyard Block Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2013 Queenston Road Pinot Noir $18.95 (Reg $22.95)

2010 Reserve Merlot $34.95

 

De Sousa Wine Cellars

Seasons Summer $13.95

Seasons Gewürztraminer $13.95

Seasons Sauvignon Blanc $13.95

Seasons Meritage Reserve $14.95

Seasons Tawny Port $39.95

 

Di Profio Wines

2013 Gamay Rosé $15.90

2013 The Kitchen Zinc $16.80

2013 Chardonnay $21.50

2012 Zinc-tastic Red $23.00

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $35.00 (Reg $38.00)

 

GreenLane Estate Winery

2013 Pinot Grigio $16.95

2013 Chardonnay $19.95

2011 Old Vines Riesling $22.95

2013 G² $15.95

2012 Cabernet Franc $23.95

 

Kacaba Vineyards

2013 Reserve Riesling $15.95 (Reg $17.95)

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $15.95 (Reg $17.95)

2013 Cabernet/Syrah $16.95 (Reg $18.95)

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon $22.95 (Reg $24.95)

2010 Reserve Merlot $40.95 (Reg $44.95)

 

Malivoire

2013 Pinot Gris $19.95

2011 Mottiar Chardonnay $29.95

2011 Mottiar Chardonnay – 3 bottle promo $75.00

2012 Courtney Gamay $25.95

2011 Moira Pinot Noir $29.95

2011 Moira Pinot Noir – 3 bottle promo $75.00

2012 Rennie Scarpata Merlot $45.00

2012 Rennie Scarpata Merlot – 6 bottle promo $243.00

 

Megalomaniac

2013 Homegrown White $13.95

2013 Local Squeeze White $13.95

2013 Narcissist Riesling 17.95

2012 Bigmouth Merlot $24.95

2011 Bravado Cabernet Sauvignon $24.95

2010 Grounded Cab Franc 44.95

 

Redstone Winery

2012 Chardonnay $18.95

2012 Gewürztraminer $23.95

2011 Cabernet Merlot $29.95

 

Rockway Glen Estate Winery

2013 Wild Ferment Chardonnay $22.95

2013 Small Lot Riesling $19.95

2012 Small Lot Merlot $21.95

2012 Small Lot Syrah $27.95

 

Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery

2013 Semillon $18.00

2013 La Fumée $26.00

2012 Select Merlot $22.00

2012 Origin Cabernet Franc $26.00

2012 Origin Pinot Noir $40.00

2013 Mead Blanc $25.00

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

2012 Fancy Farm Girl Frivolous White $17.95

2012 Grace’s Dry Riesling $18.95

2011 Viognier Riesling $34.95

2012 Fancy Farm Girl Flamboyant Red $17.95

2011 Cabernet Franc $17.95

 

Tawse Winery

2012 Spark Blend $24.95

2012 Limestone Ridge Riesling $21.95

2013 Gamay $18.95

 

The Good Earth Food & Wine Company

2013 Rosé $17.95

2012 Riesling $19.95

2013 Gewürztraminer $19.95

2013 Viognier $24.95

2011 Cabernet Franc $21.95 

 

Vieni Estates

2013 Momenti Sparkling $13.95

2013 Semi Dry Riesling $16.95

2012 Briganti Red $12.95

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $22.95

 

Vineland Estates Winery

2013 Brut Reserve $25.00

2013 Pinot Blanc $16.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $20.00

2012 Elevation Cabernet $25.00

 

Looking forward to seeing you for an Outstanding night of wines from Twenty Valley!

Cheers,
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

 

 

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Celebrate Red & White! Get your shopping list ready…

Posted by Amanda

Friday, July 11th, 2014
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O Canada! Prepare to be amazed. We’re putting the final touches on Celebrate Red & White!  An All-Canadian Night Taste & Buy event that will take place on Wednesday July 16.  A record number of wine lovers from the nations capital will be treated to wines from coast to coast as they nibble made in Canada gourmet goodies too. (more…)

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Hidden gems of Ontario’s rosé delivered to your doorstep

Posted by Amanda

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
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What makes you think of summer: fresh strawberries, cycling trips, BBQs and picnics? For the Savvy Sommeliers it’s the crisp, refreshing taste of rosé wine and now they are making it easier for you to enjoy them this summer.

One Dozen Roses - Savvy CompanyBuilding on the success of our wine and craft beer of-the-month-clubs, today we launched One Dozen Rosés, a unique delivery service that brings 12 bottles of the Ontario’s best rosé wines to your home, office or even cottage. Next to the taste, the best part is free delivery.

“Rosé wines unleash the creativity in a winemaker. They can be made from any combination of grape variety resulting in dramatically different styles,” says Savvy Company president & Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. “There are so many exceptional rosé wines made right here in Ontario but not all are available at the LCBO. We’ve launched this service to help Ontarians experience those hidden gems.”

Hand-picked Rosé wines delivered to your door

One Dozen Rosés take the guess work out of which rosé wines to buy and gives the consumer access to hard-to-find wines. The accredited Sommeliers from Savvy Company have sampled countless bottles and hand-picked the finest to be included in One Dozen Rosés, a one-of-a-kind assortment.

Summertime sipping made easy

Each month throughout the summer – July, August and September – Savvy Company will offer a different selection of 12 bottles of rosé wines. You can choose to sign up for all three months or just one.

To further the enjoyment, customers will receive The Rosé Report, a mini-magazine including interesting stories about the winery and winemaker, the Savvy Sommeliers’ tasting notes and summertime recipes perfectly paired with the selection of rosé wines.

Accolades from the wineries

Savvy Company ice bucket of rosesOne Dozen Rosés is brilliant! Tawse has three rosé wines currently available, two that are only available direct from the winery. This is an innovative way for consumers to enjoy our fine wines throughout the summer.” Daniel LaFleur, Sales Manager at Tawse Winery in Niagara. In July, One Dozen Rosés will showcase a not-yet-released rosé from Redstone Winery (Tawse’s newest venture). Tawse rosés will be included in the August assortment.

“I am proud that I have created two high quality rosés right here in Prince Edward County. With Savvy’s new One Dozen Rosés, everyone can enjoy my limited production wines and the convenience of having them delivered,” says Frédéric Picard, winemaker at Huff Estates in Prince Edward County. Huff will be featured in the August collection.

You don’t even have to get up off your lawn chair to take advantage of this offer. One Dozen Rosés can be ordered online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose

In July, One Dozen Rosés will include:

From Niagara…
DiProfio Gamay Rosé VQA 2012
DiProfio Gamay Rosé VQA 2013 (not yet released)
Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2013 – 2 bottles
Redstone Winery Rosé VQA 2013 – 2 bottles (new winery)
The Good Earth Rosé VQA 2012 – 2 bottles

From Prince Edward County…
Harwood ‘Friends’ Rosé 2011
Harwood ‘Friends’ Rosé 2013 (not yet released)
Rosehall Run Just One Rose Rosé VQA 2013
Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling

The cost, including delivery by courier within Ontario, for July’s One Dozen Rosés is $200 plus bottle deposit. Each month the cost will vary slightly depending on the combined retail price of the wine selection.

In August, One Dozen Rosés will include:

From Niagara…
Sue-Ann Staff Rosé VQA 2012 – 2 bottles (Gold medal winner at Ontario Wine Awards 2013)
Château des Charmes Rosé Cuvée d’Andrée 2013 – 2 bottles
Ravine Vineyard Cabernet Rosé 2012 – 2 bottles
Tawse Winery Rosé 2012
Tawse Winery Growers’ Blend 2013

From Prince Edward County…
Huff Estates Rosé 2013
Huff Estates Cuvée Janine sparkling
Sandbanks Rose 2012 – 2 bottles

Enjoy these crisp & refreshing Ontario’s rosé wines delivered to your doorstep. Oh…and remember to clink & drink pink!

 

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Here’s an Outstanding wine list!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
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Everything is all set for this Friday’s Outstanding in their Fields wine tasting featuring 23 of Niagara’s Twenty Valley wineries.  Are you joining us? A limited number of tickets are left.

Here is a sneak peak of the wines that are ready for you to enjoy – none that you will find at the LCBO – so this is a perfect evening out sipping and stocking up on new wine discoveries.  There will be over 80 different outstanding wines ranging in prices from $12.95 to $44.95 – sparkling wines, lots of white and red wines,  a rosé, delicious icewines and even a port too!  There’s definitely something for everyone.

Taste a glass…buy a bottle

Exclusive at this event you can order ANY combination of outstanding wines from ANY of the wineries & they will be delivered by courier to your home or office. Free shipping on all orders of 12 bottles or more!

With so many wines and so little time, our Team of Savvy Sommeliers will be there to help you sharing wine tips & recommendations to find wines that you will undoubtedly enjoy.

Can’t make it to this event?

Don’t despiar…you can still stock up on your favorite 20 Valley wines.  Simply email us or call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) & we’ll be happy to make the arrangements for your order.  When placed before October 24th  shipping is free on a case of wine.

Looking forward to seeing you for an Outstanding night of wines from Twenty Valley!

Cheers,
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Wines that will be served at Outstanding in their Fields wine tasting on Friday October 19th:

13th Street Winery
2008 Premier Cuvee Sparkling $34.95

2010 Old Vines Riesling $23.95

2010 Reserve Sandstone Vineyard Chardonnay VQA $34.95

2011 Gamay Noir $19.95
NEWS: 13th Street will be the feature winery in November for our Savvy Selections wine of the month club.

 

Angels Gate Winery

2007 St. John Vineyard Riesling $16.95

2011 Mountainview Sauvignon Blanc $19.95

2010 Feet First Unfiltered Pinot Noir $21.95

2010 Scarpa $40.00

 

Aure Wines – a new winery that just opened this summer!

2011 Ice wine $20

2010 Riesling $15.25

2011 Gamay  $15.25

2010 Reserve  Cabernet Franc $32.00

 

Calamus Estate Winery

2011 Vinemount Ridge Riesling $16.20

2011 Pinot Gris $17.20

2010 Cosmic Red $19.95

 

Cave Spring Cellars

Blanc de Noirs NV $34.95

2011 Riesling Dolomite. $16.95

2009 Riesling CSV $29.95

2008 Cabernet Franc Dolomite $21.95

 

Creekside Estate Winery

2010 Laura’s White $18.95

2010 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc $26.95

2008 Broken Press Syrah $39.95 – Our Sommeliers chose this as a Savvy Selections wine

2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $34.95

 

De Sousa Wine Cellars

2011 Chardonnay Musqué $13.95

2011 Baco Noir $13.95

2007 Meritage Reserve $18.95

Tawny Port $39.95

 

Di Profio Wines  – a new winery that just opened this summer

2011 Riesling $16.35

2011 Gamay Noir $16.75

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $19.79

2011 Select Late Harvest Vidal $18.75
NEWS: Di Profio will be featured in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club in March

 

Fielding Estate Winery

2011 Estate Bottled Pinot Gris $21.95

Brut (Traditional Method Sparkling) $34.95

2010 Cabernet Syrah $24.95

2007 Meritage $34.95 (Special price! Regular $44.95) – Our Sommeliers chose this as a Savvy Selections wine

 

Flat Rock Cellars

2008 Riddled Sparkling $24.95

2011 Twisted $16.95

2011 Riesling $16.95

2010 Pinot Noir $19.95

 

The Good Earth Food & Wine Company

2011 Betty’s Blend $17.95

2010 Dry Riesling $19.95 – our Sommeliers chose this as a Savvy Selections featured wine

2011 Rosé $17.95 – and this one too!

2010 Pinot Noir $21.95 – and this Pinot was definitely a Savvy Selections featured wine

 

GreenLane Estate Winery

2011 Pinot Grigio $16.95

2011 Unoaked Chardonnay $17.95

2011 Old Vines Riesling $22.95

2010 Cabernet $14.95

 

Harbour Estates Winery

2011 Pinot Gris $13.95

2011 Cabernet $14.95

 

Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery

2010 Riesling Estate $17.95

2011 Estate Chardonnay $19.95

2010 Baco Noir Reserve $24.95

2009 Pinot Noir Estate $24.95

2010 Cab Merlot Estate $24.95

Kacaba Vineyard & Winery

2011 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay $22.95

2009 Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc $18.95 – this was featured in our Savvy Bin Ends last week

2009 Pinot Noir $22.95

2010 Reserve Merlot $44.95
NEWS: Kacaba will be featured in our  Savvy Selections wine of the month club in January

 

Malivoire Wine Company

2010 M2 Small Lot Chardonnay $19.95

2011 M2 Small Lot Gamay $19.95

 

megalomaniac – John Howard Cellars of Distinction

2006 Homegrown White $ 12.95

2006 Narcissist Riesling $17.95

Homegrown Red $14.95

2008 Bigmouth Merlot $24.95

 

Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery

2010 Vintner’s Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc $24.95

2008 Reserve Chardonnay $24.95

2010 McNally Vineyard Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Noir $24.95

2010 Vintner’s Private Reserve Merlot $29.95

 

Rockway Glen Golf Course & Estate Winery

2010 Patio 9 White $12.95

2011 Small Lot Reserve White Assemblage $16.95

2010 Small Lot Reserve Red Assemblage $16.95

2010 Small Lot Reserve Cabernet Franc $23.95

 

Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery

2010 Long Rows White $13

2011 Mima’s Block Riesling $18

2010 Pinot Noir $20

2009 Merlot Reserve $36
NEWS: Rosewood will be featured in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club in February

 

Stoney Ridge Estate Winery

2010 Excellence Pinot Gris  $24.95

2010 Excellence Chardonnay $27.95

2010 Excellence Merlot $29.95

2009 Excellence Cabernet Franc $32.95

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

2011 Vidal $15.15

2011 Riesling Loved By Lu $16.95

2011 Robert’s Block Riesling $26.00

2011 Baco Noir $15.15

 

Tawse Winery

2011 Riesling $21.95

2010 Estate Chardonnay $37.95

2010 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc $31.95

2010 Growers Blend Pinot Noir $31.95 – a Savvy Selections featured wine

 

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Niagara’s 20 Valley wineries are coming to Ottawa!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, September 24th, 2012
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We are at it again!  The Savvy Team is excited to announce…

Winemakers and winery owners from Niagara ‘s Twenty Valley wine region – located between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario – are coming to Ottawa to raise a glass to this year’s outstanding harvest and to pour their wines at their  first ever Taste & Buy event.

“This is the first time the wineries of Niagara’s Twenty Valley have gone ‘on tour’ as a group to showcase their finely crafted wines”, said Twenty Valley Tourism Association President and winery owner Sue-Ann Staff.

“We are delighted to pour our elegant whites, robust reds and other specialty wines to the receptive Ottawa wine lovers. We are excited to work with the Savvy Company knowing their outstanding history, commitment to quality and extreme competence of putting together a fabulous tasting in Ottawa. Ottawa has a particular appeal to the wineries of Niagara’s Twenty Valley.  We know the people in Ottawa love great wine.  And we happen to make some of the best wines in Ontario.  Bringing the two together can only provide for an evening of great success.”

Twenty Valley encompasses the rural towns of Beamsville, Vineland and Jordan. Their wines continue to be recognized and awarded around the world for outstanding quality and for the talent of their winemakers.  Wine enthusiasts in Ottawa have the opportunity to taste the Twenty Valley terroir when winemakers and winery owners come to the nation’s capital.

The Taste & Buy event hosted by Savvy Company is taking place on Friday October 19 at 7p.m. in the Panorama Room on the 2nd floor of the National Arts Centre.

Tickets are available in advance only

$55.00 per person if purchased before October 10, 2012 and will be $60.00 after.
Groups of 4 people are $200.00. Ticket prices include HST.

To purchase tickets click here >>

 

All wine lovers are invited to sample over 50 wines while they meet grape growers, winemakers and winery owners.  Consumers will learn about the Twenty Valley wineries, their vineyards and may discover some favourite new wines.  At this Taste & Buy event, consumers will have the opportunity to purchase wines that are not available in the LCBO.  Free shipping by courier is available with the purchase of a case of wine.

The Valley comes to ‘The Hill’!

Participating wineries:

13th Street Winery

 

What is a Taste & Buy event?

Consumers can sample any number of the featured wines and order directly from the winery.  Exclusive at this event, orders can be ANY combination of wines from ANY of the wineries and the wines will be delivered by courier to an Ontario address.   And Savvy Company Sommeliers will be on hand to share wine recommendations and guide event goers to ‘must try wines’ based on their personal preferences.

 

The Twenty Valley Tourism Association hosts wine themed events year round including “Wrapped Up in the Valley”, “Winter WineFest” and “Get Fresh in the Valley”. Visit www.twentyvalley.ca or follow @20Valley on Twitter.

Savvy Company specializes in creative social experiences – whether making the enjoyment of wine accessible to all, exploring the worlds of craft beer or discovering artisan cheeses.  Their team of accredited Sommeliers delight in designing wine, beer and food events, shining the spotlight on the people who make them.  Their Savvy Selections wine of the month club is Ontario’s largest featuring Ontario wines not available in the LCBO and delivered directly to the subscriber’s home or office.   Visit www.savvycompany.ca or follow @SavvyCompany on Twitter.

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Media contacts:
JD Pachereva
Executive Director
Twenty Valley Tourism Association
jd@twentyvalley.ca
905.562.3636

Debbie Trenholm
President & Sommelier
Savvy Company
debbie@savvycompany.ca
613.SAVVYCO (613.728.8926)

 

 

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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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Our wine of the month club discovers the talent of Sue-Ann Staff

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
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Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

Sue-Ann Staff ‘s name precedes her reputation in the Canadian wine industry. Growing up on the family farm, it was natural to pursue a degree in horticulture and biotechnology from the University of Guelph. Shortly after graduating, she headed to Australia to complete a graduate degree in oenology at the University of Adelaide.

With her graduate studies as the launching pad for her winemaking career, she worked the harvest at a winery in Australia’s Hunter Valley, then returned home to Niagara, beginning her career as assistant winemaker at Pillitteri Estates under the guidance of Joe Will. Within 6 months, she was named winemaker, spending 10 years crafting internationally recognized award-winning wines. When the newly founded Twenty Bees Winery came calling with an ambitious icewine program for Sue-Ann & she accepted. “I learned a huge amount about operations, planning and governance, and got great experience that led me later to decide to establish my own winery”. Through the years, she’s also visited and worked in France, Germany, Andorra & South Africa.

Following what seemed an inescapable destiny, she founded Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, and took on the role of Winemaster for the John Howard Cellars of Distinction, producing wines for the Megalomaniac brand. Already marked in her winemaking career, she has been acclaimed Winemaker of the Year (2002) by the Ontario Wine Society and has twice been recognized as one of the top four ‘Women in Wine’ by the International Wine and Spirits society in the U.K.

Rooted in her land, makes quality wines

Growing up on the farm, Sue-Ann developed an intimate understanding of the interplay between the land and the wine. “It seems like a cliché, but I’m a farmer’s daughter.” She has lived the evolution of her family’s property: the growth of juice and table grapes, the impact of Canadian-US Free Trade agreement, the vine pull-out program & the disappearance of local processing plants. Stubbornly, the family has continued to plant vinifera grapes.

Of the 140 acres on the home farm, 35 are under vine. Taking a conservative approach, the reliable Riesling and Baco Noir grapes were planted 15 years ago, followed by Pinot Gris 6 years later. Cabernet Franc, Vidal and Viognier followed 5 years ago, although, says Sue-Ann “Viognier is a stretch up here on the Beamsville escarpment”. Recognizing Niagara’s cool-climate terroir, Sue-Ann identified and planted those varietals most suitable to the region and the property, the parcels specifically selected to optimize the chosen varietal. The property sits astride two Niagara sub-appellations, 20-Mile Bench and Vinemount Ridge. The Ridge lies just above and south of the brow of the Niagara Escarpment, a long narrow moraine whose subtly undulating landscape creates many shallow, east- and south-facing slopes that provide ideal sun exposure and early spring warming to the deep clay soils. The Bench exhibits a recognizable double bench formation and short varied slopes that roll to the brow of the escarpment. Sheltered north-facing slopes & moderated temperatures due to the lake effect create ideal growing conditions.

A winery with a conscience

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery is a designated sustainable winery, where low water use & conscientious efficient use of resources and materials ensure a minimal impact of grape growing and winemaking on the estate environment. In this commitment, she follows in the footsteps of her ancestors, who have been stewards of the land for two centuries.

Estate Winery Home at Sue-Ann Staff Winery in Niagara

 Sue-Ann produces VQA wines from estate-grown grapes, her goal to create enticing, vibrant whites, intriguing reds and luscious icewines. Coming back to the land, she reminisces, “after 10 years at Pillitteri, I had forgotten how rewarding it is to cultivate a vineyard, to nurture my own vines, to watch the entire grape maturation process—this is one of the great satisfactions in my life.”

With her first crush in 2008, she produced 2000 cases (approx. 24,000 bottles). She anticipates that 2011 will yield an increase to 3000 cases, with a goal of 6000 cases by 2013. After that, it’s a matter of scale, and Sue-Ann will have to decide where she wants to take her estate winery.

“It’s the first time I’ve been responsible for the entire process. It’s a satisfying day when the harvest comes in, & the sense of personal satisfaction continues when the wine is bottled. It’s a bit like your children graduating from university.” We’d say these graduates are magna cum laude!

Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

 

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Our Sommeliers recommend – outstanding red wines…with recipes!

Posted by Susan

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
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In Savvy Selections this month our wine of the month club subscribers were treated to 3 big red wines made by renown winemaker Sue-Ann Staff  – a Cabernet-Merlot that she made at her own winery – Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery that bears her own label & the other 2 red wines showcases her talent while working as a consulting winemaker at John Howard’s Cellars of DistinctionMegalomaniac Cabernet Frank & Megalomaniac Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here are the Savvy Sommelier’s tasting notes for each of these spectaclar red wines.  Enjoy!

Sue-Ann Staff Cabernet/Merlot VQA 2009, $24.00

An assemblage of estate fruit—the Cabernet Franc—and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from a nearby vineyard whose character is consistent with the Staff terroir, this wine was aged one year in French and American oak barrels.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This blend offers depth and complexity—vanilla, toast, plum, blackberry, roasted red pepper and a notion of licorice mingle to create a taste extravaganza. Substantial, subtly structured and well-composed, the wine offers a toasty warming finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Match this wine to robust grilled meats (such as the beef tenderloin recipe we offer), or grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil & aged balsamic served with a platter of firm cheeses.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, or cellar 2-3 years.

 

Megalomaniac Cabernet Frank VQA 2010, $24.95

Winemaker’s notes: Made with 100% estate grown grapes, this wine was aged for 22 months primarily in new French oak barrels (14 of the 17 barrels were new).  Sue-Ann explained that 2008 was a cool year.  She harvested the grapes late in the season – early November – to ensure that the grapes got as much ripening as possible.  She was amazed at how this wine evolved and was surprised how it became an outstanding full bodied red wine with cedar & cassis aromas that carries through in the taste with warm spices (cardamom perhaps?) in the background.

Sue-Ann’s food pairing recommendations: As she said …”oooohhhh, lamb would be fantastic, or maybe gnocchi with a rich tomato sauce.  Even Osso Bucco.  Yikes, I’m getting hungry!”

Cellaring: This wine was recently released & she thinks it is ready to be enjoyed now or could be cellared for 3-4 more years.

 

Megalomaniac Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 by Sue-Anne Staff, VQA $24.95

From a challenging vintage, the intensive vineyard management, including substantial leaf removal and yields in the range of 1-1.5 tonnes, has ensured a fine wine. Aged 22 months in French oak, 60% new, the wine went through malolactic fermentation in barrel as well as tank.

Suggested Food Pairing: Match this wine to prime rib, bison bourguignon or a hearty stew such as the smoky beef, potato & mushroom stew.

Cellaring:  Drinking well now, this wine will cellar for 2-3 years.

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with the Savvy Selections wines ~

 With Sue-Ann Cabernet/Merlot…

Sundried Tomato & Pinenut Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

From www.allrecipes.com

Serves 6-8

Ingredients
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ C pine nuts
½ C chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 C chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/3- 1 1/2 C bread crumbs
½ C chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Beef tenderloin (one loin approx. 3lbs)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in pine nuts and cook until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon & drain on paper towels. Place shallots in the skillet. Cook & stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic & sun-dried tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, mix in pine nuts, bread crumbs & parsley. Season with salt & pepper & set aside to cool. 
  3. Slice the tenderloin lengthwise across the top about 2/3 of the way through the meat to create a pocket. Spread stuffing into the pocket. Wrap the tenderloin with kitchen twine to secure the stuffing & transfer to roasting pan. Combine remaining olive oil and Dijon, and rub over the surface of the meat. Season with salt & pepper & sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350F & continue cooking tenderloin 20-30 minutes, or to minimum internal temperature of 140F. Remove from oven & let meat rest 5-10 minutes before serving with roasted root vegetable ragout. Savour & sip!

 

With Megalomaniac Cabernet Frank

Medallions of Venison Tenderloin with Peppercorn & Wild Mushroom Sauce

From Ottawa Citizen
Serves 6

Ingredients
6 6-oz venison tenderloins
1 C olive oil
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper
1 ½ C red wine
1 C chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed
10 multi-colored peppercorns, crushed
1 ½ C milk
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Fresh shitake & Portobello mushrooms, washed, stems removed & sliced

Method

1.     Marinate venison in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic & pepper 4 hours.

2.     Combine wine, broth, peppercorns & garlic in saucepan & cook for 20 minutes or until the liquids are reduced to half. Add milk & mustard &, stirring frequently, cook for 20 minutes or until liquid is again reduced by half. Season to taste & allow to cook 1 more minute.

3.     Melt butter in a large skillet on high. Add the shallots & garlic & toss for 2 minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms & cook on high heat 5 minutes or until soft. Add to peppercorn sauce.

4.     Grill venison tenderloins on BBQ over medium-high heat for 7 minutes (turning once halfway through. Cut into medallions & serve with sauce, fresh peas & pearl onions, and roasted potatoes

 

With Megalomaniac Cabernet Sauvignon…

Smoky Beef, Potato & Mushroom Stew

From LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine, Holiday 2011
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 lbs. stewing beef
½ C all-purpose flour
2 ½ C stout or porter
3 C onions, coarsely chopped
4 C mushrooms, quartered
3 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
¾ C smoky-style BBQ sauce
4 C yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled & cut into 1” cubes
2 C celery, finely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
½ C fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
½ C green onions, finely sliced

Method

1.      In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat & brown the beef in 2 batches until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove beef from pan & place in slow cooker. Add flour to pan & stir together with remaining fat, add 1 C of the beer to the pan & scrape up browned bits. Increase heat until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes, then add all of this mixture to the slow cooker.

2.      To the slow cooker also add the remaining beer, onions, mushrooms, garlic, sage, BBQ sauce, potatoes, celery & salt.  

3.      Cook on low for 9 hours. Once the stew is ready, season to taste with salt & pepper, stir in the parsley & green onions. Serve & let your ego soar, with Megalomaniac Cabernet Sauvignon!

 

 Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

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