Wines In Niagara

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Some ‘cool’ Chards released at Vintages Saturday plus Fielding Rose and B.C.’s Inkameep

scc_logo_newVintages gets into the Cool Chardonnay groove this Saturday when it releases a few Niagara Chards to coincide with the Cool Chardonnay (I4C, International Cool Chardonnay Celebration) event taking place this week in Niagara.

For more information on I4C click here.

It’s always best to get to Niagara in person, but if that’s impossible to do, grab a bottle of cool-climate Chardonnay and drink along.

Here are a couple being released at Vintages this weekend along with some other Niagara (and one Okanagan) wines.

CIMG2149-300x282Coyote’s Run Black Paw Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 ($22, 90 points) — A tighter nose, which is typical for the Black Paw vineyard in all varietals, of soft apple-citrus and stylish oak-spice undertones. This wine is evolving but shows focus, delicate fruit and nice spice and oak chiming in. A more elegant chardonnay that will reward with time in the cellar.

Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2008 ($40, 91 points) — Soft, mellow Chard with wonderful broad aromas of elegant oak, citrus zest, peach, flint, wet stone and vanilla. Just gorgeous in the mouth with a balanced attack of creamy fruit, mineral and integrated oak flavours.

CIMG3024-300x225Fielding Estate Rose 2010 ($16, 86 points) — A fun wine that’s a blend of four different red varietals. Aromas and flavours range from cran-cherry and tangerine to apple and fresh strawberries. A perfect, slightly off-dry, summer sipper.

Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Syrah 2007 ($32, 90 points) — This Native owned winery in the South Okanagan, pronounced Inkameep, makes some very fine red wines. This aged Syrah has a nose of roasted meat, blueberry, white pepper, spice and raspberry jam. The palate shows fantastic red fruits, not overly tannic and smooth.

Also released, but not reviewed:

Inniskillin Winemaker’s Series Three Vineyards Chardonnay 2009 ($18)
Flat Rock Cellars Red Twisted 2009 ($20)
Ridgepoint Cabernet Franc 2009 ($18)
Featherstone Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($20)
Trius White 2010 ($19)

Chantal Hebert to be guest speaker at Grape Grower celebrity lunch

Note: The Grape Growers of Ontario have announced that columnist Chantal Hebert will be the speaker at the Celebrity luncheon that kicks off the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. This is the complete press release.

St. Catharines, ON (Thursday July 14, 2011): The Grape Growers of Ontario, in partnership with Meridian Credit Union, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, are pleased to announce that Chantal Hébert will be the speaker at the 2011 Celebrity Luncheon which kicks off the 60th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. The event will take place at Club Roma in St. Catharines on Wednesday, September 14th at 11:30 a.m.

“The Grape Growers of Ontario are thrilled to have a well-known National Affairs Columnist speaking at this year’s Celebrity Luncheon,” says Bill George Jr., Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario. “Chantal brings a truly distinct voice to the discussion of current events and has first-hand knowledge of the dynamics that shape much of the decisions and policies on Parliament Hill,” says Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario.

Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer for the Toronto Star based on Parliament Hill, as well as a guest columnist with the Montreal daily Le Devoir and a member of the CBC’s The National’s weekly At Issue panel. She blogs on the website of French-language magazineL’Actualité.

Ms. Hébert is a regular participant in other television and radio current affairs shows in French and in English. Prior to taking her position, Hébert worked as the Montreal correspondent for the Toronto Star from February 1999 to September of the same year. She started her career in 1975 in Toronto working for Radio-Canada television news.

Chantal has served as parliamentary bureau chief for La Presse and Le Devoir as well as a parliamentary radio correspondent for Radio-Canada. Hébert is the 2005 recipient of APEX’s Public Service Citation as well as the 2006 recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in journalism and public policy. Hébert penned her first book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec, published byKnopf Canada in February 2007.

“Meridian is proud to sponsor the Grape Growers of Ontario’s luncheon event,” said Ken Janzen, Senior Director and Regional Manager at Meridian Credit Union. “We are dedicated to supporting the communities we serve and our long-standing history of supporting Ontario’s grape farmers in a testament to that commitment.”

“Fields of grape vines are an image that defines Niagara for many visitors and the unique warm climate and master wine-makers have made local VQA wines the taste of Niagara. Ontario’s Greenbelt helps to ensure our senses will always be delighted by this important agricultural industry and area. We are pleased once again to support Niagara’s wine and grape industry,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.

“During this 60th Anniversary, the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival will honour the excellence and innovation of our growers. The Celebrity Luncheon marks the birth of another harvest celebration.  As an inspirational commentator, Chantal Hébert will provide insight on the political landscape of our Parliament, past, present and future. There is no doubt that Chantal will be both entertaining and informative and we look forward to sharing our Niagara with her during this special time of the year,” says Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director, Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

Online ticket purchases can be made here. Ticket order forms are available here or by calling the office at (905) 688-0990.

The Grape Growers of Ontario represents over 500 active growers on 15,000 acres in four viticulture areas (Niagara, Pelee Island, Lake Erie North Shore, and Prince Edward County).  We are the advocate of all processing grape growers in the province working to ensure the market for Ontario grapes and wines expands domestically and internationally.

How the wine industry got started in Canada and the men who dared to dream

Niagara Escarpment - Fielding

As you sit back and savour every last drop of that creamy chardonnay from the Niagara Peninsula, that pinot blanc dripping in fruit from the Okanagan Valley or that silky smooth Canadian pinot noir, save a bit to toast those who dared to dream that it was possible to make world class wines in this country. Continue reading

Some exciting 2008 new white wines (and just released 2007 reds) from Niagara’s Stratus

Stratus Exterior

Winemaker Jean-Laurent (J.L.) Groux will tell you that the success of any given bottle of wine made at Stratus Vineyards “is not our decision. It is nature’s decision.”

That is a modest declaration for the veteran Niagara-on-the-Lake winemaker. What truly goes on in the experimental kitchen that Groux presides over, in the immaculate, LEED-certified, gravity-flow winery, is much more than nature at work. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: The man who says he can give Ontarians access to Ontario wines

If there is hope, any hope at all, of someone leading us out of the Dark Ages in terms of access to 100% Ontario-grown and Ontario-made wines, and antiquated booze laws in this province in general, it is the leader of the Progressive Conservatives, Tim Hudak. In an EXCLUSIVE interview with Wines In Niagara, the Niagara West MPP, who lives in Wellandport, a 20-minute drive to most of the wineries in Niagara, is dead serious about his pledge to make Ontario wines more readily available to ALL Ontario residents despite all the roadblocks that are right now impossible to overcome. Hudak, the first politician in a very long time to take this issue seriously, is sincere in his often stated vow to “increase access for Ontario’s VQA wines.” Here is what Hudak told me today in telephone interview: Continue reading

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