Wines In Niagara

A local perspective

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Brock’s CCOVI to monitor grape ripening in Niagara and post weekly results for wineries

NOTE: Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology  and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is bringing back its preharvest monitoring service back for 2011 season. Here is the press release from CCOVI:

With harvest season around the corner, a popular preharvest monitoring service for Niagara grape growers is once again going online to tell the story of this year’s crop.

Building on the success of last year’s program, Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) together with the Grape Growers of Ontario are once again busy tracking the progress of this season’s wine grape ripening.

Over the coming weeks, CCOVI viticulturist Jim Willwerth will co-ordinate ongoing grape sampling and analysis at four locations in Niagara. He will track key indicators of fruit ripeness to help assess the variation in ripening across the region.

Researchers at CCOVI understand the importance of up-to-date information on grape development across different sectors of Niagara to meet the needs of grape growers and winemakers. Grapes mature uniquely depending on the year, variety and terroir. As a result, preharvest monitoring data is crucial for the industry to determine the best times to harvest in terms of grape and wine quality.

Willwerth will sample four of the region’s most common vinifera wine grape varieties (Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon) at four separate vineyards — two on each side of the Welland Canal.

Linda Tremblay, lead technologist in the analytical lab at CCOVI, will test samples for sugar, pH, titrable acidity and volatile acidity. CCOVI technician Lynda vanZuiden will also assist in the lab to help handle the additional processing volume for this year’s program.

Monitoring results will be reported weekly on CCOVI’s website.

They will also be available on OMAFRA’s website.

Program data will also feed into a database CCOVI is developing for year-to-year comparisons in support of research it is conducting on the impact of climate change on Ontario’s grape and wine industry.

“This service allows for important preharvest data to be shared among grape growers and winemakers in Niagara,” says Debbie Inglis, director, CCOVI. “This is a shining example of how our Institute is working together with growers and wineries to meet their needs.”

Willwerth was hired last summer to help CCOVI support grape growers and winemakers with applied research and outreach focused on priorities identified by the industry. The CCOVI Analytical Services lab opened its doors in March 2010.

This initiative was part of a project supported by a $1.4 million investment under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Developing Innovative Agri-Products program, which supports industry-led research and innovation and is part of CCOVI’s heightened emphasis on outreach to the grape and wine industry.

For more info: Jennifer Roberts, Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4949; jroberts2@brocku.ca

VQA wine sales grow 15% in past year, according to LCBO survey

NOTE: This is a press release from the LCBO as it was sent. It shows some encouraging numbers for local Ontario wine sales:

A recent LCBO customer survey shows many Ontario consumers are going local with their wine and beer pu

rchases. Of 2,505 people surveyed by telephone in February and March of this year, 64 per cent said they had purchased an Ontario wine in the past three months and 57 per cent said they had bought either a mainstream domestic beer or Ontario craft beer in the past 30 days. Continue reading

Rootstock at Jackson-Triggs: Music, wine, food all for a great cause

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NOTE: Jackson Triggs winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is hosting its 3rd Annual ROOTSTOCK 2011 To Benefit War Child. Here’s the release from the winery:

On Sunday August 28th, the 3rd annual ROOTSTOCK, hosted by CTV’s Canada AM co-host Seamus O’Regan, will take place at the Jackson Triggs Amphitheatre. Continue reading

New Niagara wine releases from Pondview and the 2009 Pinot Noirs from Coyote’s Run

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Watching a new winery go from first vintage to next vintage is exciting. It means they have successfully arrived and are starting to establish a style that, hopefully, plays on its strengths and diminishes the weaknesses in the portfolio.

A few lucky wineries, of those who brave the choppy waters of retail wine in an ever-competitive market, start with a strength and build on it. Continue reading

The right-sized plates at Dani’s Bistro & VQA Wine Bar

By Mike Lowe

Danielle Murray, proprietor of Dani’s Bistro, strikes you as one of the most optimistic people you’ll ever meet.

She has good reason to be. Her namesake restaurant opened on Valentine’s Day 2011 and it certainly shows promise. The restaurant fills a void created when the wine bar, Cask 22, departed the downtown business scene. Continue reading

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