Category Archives: News, Hot Off The Vine

News stories by Rick

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A review of the Niagara grape harvest 2011: A wild season of rain, heat and even more rain

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Harvest 2011 will go down in the history books as one wild ride.

Spring began with endless rain and the vintage looked like it was heading for disaster. But the rains turned out to be a blessing, providing a reservoir as the summer turned extremely dry and hot. Continue reading

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Gretzky wine brand moving from Creekside to Peller Estates

Note: This is a press release issued by Creekside Winery today on the partnership breakup with Wayne Gretzky Estate wines. Peller Estates will now make the Gretzky wine brand. Continue reading

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Alvento, home of quality red blends, Viognier and Nebbiolo, told to sell winery

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It is a sad end to a rather wonderful chapter in Niagara wineries.

The delightful, warm and dedicated couple, Bruno Moos and Elyane Moos Grenier, along with their partner, Morrie Neiss, have ended their feud over the ownership of the Alvento Winery in Vineland, with a judge ruling that the 50-50 partners must sell the winery and vineyards and go their separate ways, Elyane told me today. I have not seen the court order and do not know all the details, but I can say that it is a devastating development for the Moos. Continue reading

Sip & Savour Ontario party on Oct. 19. Who’s coming for the celebration of Ontario food and wine?

Note: Sip & Savour Ontario, a celebration of Ontario VQA wines and regional food is fast approaching. Here’s the release for the event which takes place Oct. 19 in Toronto.

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 – With Ontario at the heart of Canada’s food and wine scene, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the plethora of food and wine events taking place in the province throughout the year.

After seven years in the running, sip & Savour Ontario has grown substantially and established itself as Toronto’s ultimate local wine and food experience, offering both the public and media an opportunity to savour and explore the excellence of Ontario food and VQA wine.

With sip & Savour Ontario taking place right in the midst of harvest season, there’s no better time or place to experience the excitement and show your support for the best of what our province has to offer!

This year, we will be showcasing 29 award-winning Ontario wineries that will be pouring and pairing their wines with a delectable selection of gourmet regionally prepared foods.

“We are very proud to be associated with Houselink,” notes Tony Aspler, wine writer and partner of sip & Savour Ontario. “The Ontario Wine Awards and sip & Savour Ontario share the same core values. This worthy enterprise is community- based, helping those who cannot help themselves. The wine community is by nature a sharing community, willing to assist those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Culinary offerings created by chefs from a selection of Ontario’s top restaurants, including; Globe Bistro, The Drake Hotel, The Old Mill Inn & Spa, Frank Restaurant / AGO, The Boiler House Restaurant and Longo’s.

An exciting addition to this year are three Ontario gourmet food trucks – El Gastronomo Vagabundo, Gorilla Cheese and Cupcake Diner – will be there serving up their culinary delights.

Guests are also invited to get up close and personal, and learn first hand how to prepare their own food and wine pairing at home, during the live culinary demonstrations taking place throughout the evening.

Also, participating sponsors, Dairy Farmers of Canada, The Stonemill Bakehouse Ltd., and Q water, will be on hand to proudly share with the crowd what products they have to offer.

Partnering with Houselink, this year’s event will feature a silent auction with all proceeds to benefit Houselink, which provides housing solutions and support for people living with mental illness and at risk of being homeless.

Our event will give you a taste of Ontario’s home-grown excellence and inspire you to help fund the continued enjoyment of Ontario’s finest foods and VQA wines for years to come!

• Wednesday, October 19, 2011

• 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm Steam Whistle Brewing, The Roundhouse 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto

• For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit sip & savour

Participating Chefs

• The Old Mill Inn & Spa – Chef Tim Dunnill

• Frank Restaurant / AGO – Chef Anne Yarymowich

• The Drake Hotel – Chef Anthony Rose

• Globe Bistro – Chef Kevin McKenna

• The Boiler House Restaurant – Chef Andre Walker

• Longo’s – Chef David Ashlee

Gourmet Food Trucks

• El Gastrónomo Vagabundo – Chef Adam Hynam-Smith

• Gorilla Cheese

• Cupcake Diner

Participating Ontario VQA Wineries

• Between the Lines Winery

• Casa Dea Estates Winery

• Château des Charmes

• Creekside Estate Winery

• Diamond Estates

• Exultet Estates

• Fielding Estate Winery

• Flat Rock Cellars

• Hinterbrook Estate Winery

• Huff Estates

Special Thanks To:

• Inniskillin

• Jackson Triggs

• Kacaba Vineyards

• Konzelmann Estate Winery

• Lailey Vineyard Wines

• Le Clos Jordanne

• Mike Weir Wine

• Nyarai Cellars

• Pelee Island Winery

• Peller Estates Winery

• Pillitteri Estates Winery

• Riverview Cellars Estate

• Winery Rosewood Estates Winery

• Sandbanks Estate Winery

• Southbrook Vineyards

• Stoney Ridge Estate Winery

• Tawse Winery

• Vineland Estates Winery

Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery

About Houselink

Houselink is a non-profit, charitable agency based in Toronto that provides supportive housing. They offer a range of housing options, individualized supports and community-based programs. Quality of life is at the heart of their mission. They believe people – even people with serious mental illness– know what’s best for them. All residents are members of Houselink, and participate in the life and the decisions of the organization. Houselink makes it possible for people struggling with extreme poverty, mental health and addiction issues to pursue recovery and build meaningful lives on their own terms. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of psychiatric consumers / survivors including those who are homeless or otherwise marginalized, through the provision of permanent affordable supportive housing and programs.

Tawse again named Canada’s winery of the year: ‘Like winning the Oscars twice’

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Moray Tawse, owner of Tawse.

Note: Here’s the release on the announcement that Tawse has been named the winery of the year for the second year in a row.

October 04, 2011

Vineland – An organic and biodynamic approach to winemaking has paid off again for Tawse Winery of Vineland, Ontario, named Canada’s 2011 Winery of the Year for the second year in a row at the prestigious Canadian Wine Awards.

Tawse wines were awarded a total of 24 medals in the competition, including a record-setting six gold medals. The winery was also awarded seven silver and 11 bronze medals.

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Paul Pender, winemaker at Tawse.

The Canadian Wine Awards have been held annually since 2000 by Wine Access Magazine, and involve stringent, international-calibre competition with blind tasting by wine experts.

Tawse Winery is located on the bench of the Niagara Escarpment along Ontario’s popular Wine Route. A certified organic and biodynamic wine producer, Tawse uses no pesticides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers. Horse-drawn equipment is used and farm animals roam the Tawse vineyards, eating weeds and excess vine foliage as well as providing natural fertilizer.

“We’re very excited to be named Canada’s Winery of the Year again in 2011 – for us it’s like winning the ‘best picture’ Oscar two years in a row,” says Moray Tawse, Toronto financier and winery owner. “Our philosophy is that great wine begins in the vineyard and I’m indebted to our winemaker Paul Pender, and his team, who are as involved in viticulture as they are in making wine.”

Mr. Tawse says the unique clay, limestone and shale soil of the escarpment bench also has a starring role in this win. “The soil here is complex and varies from vineyard to vineyard. It allows for wines of great depth, richness and character.”

The six gold medals won by Tawse were for the 2009 Estate Chardonnay, 2009 Sketches of Niagara Riesling, 2010 Riesling, 2009 Robyn’s Block Chardonnay, 2009 Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay and 2009 Members Select Chardonnay. For a full list of medal winners and other background information, go to www.tawsewinery.ca and click on Winery of the Year.