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A ‘Hip’ new wine from Stoney Ridge, Legislature picks 2015 VQA wines, dine/sip with the King of Riesling, Stuart Pigott … lots of wine news

STONEY RIDGE ESTATE WINERY - The Tragically Hip Release LimitedThe Tragically Hip and Stoney Ridge have teamed up for a VQA red wine that was released Monday and the Ontario legislature has announced its VQA wines for coming year.
We have that news, plus an announcement from Diamond Estates and a Riesling event in Toronto you don’t want to miss.
Following are the news releases just as they were sent to Wines In Niagara.
Hip, Hip Hooray!
Iconic Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip announced (in photo top, Tragically Hip band members Rob Baker and Paul Langlois along with Stoney Ridge Estate Winery Owner, Bob McCown and Head Winemaker, Jeff Hundertmark) their partnership today with Stoney Ridge Estate Winery in Vineland on the creation of a premium VQA Grand Reserve Red Wine.
The wine is being released to commemorate the Hip’s announcement of the re-release of their legendary album Fully Completely and 2015 North American Tour.
The wine was co-created by band members GoFully-Completely1_1080-1rd Downie, Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, and Johnny Fay in conjunction with Stoney Ridge Head Winemaker Jeff Hundertmark.
The wine is an ultra-premium blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc from the acclaimed 2012 vintage and is a traditional Bordeaux-style reserve red that will retail for $25 a bottle.
Fully-Completely-bottleThe bottle features an exact replication of the original artwork that first appeared on the Fully Completely album cover. Stoney Ridge Estate Winery was founded in 1985 and was purchased in the summer of 2013 by Canadian TV and radio personality Bob McCown of the fan 590 and Sportsnet Television.
“We are proud to partner with The Tragically Hip in continuing to raise the awareness and acceptance of premium Niagara VQA wines and we look forward to working with the Band, their legendary fan base and all Canadians on the distribution of their incredible wine.” said Barry Katzman, President of Stoney Ridge Estate Winery.
“Over the years we have watched and tasted with enthusiasm as the quality of Niagara wines continued to increase and we are excited to be working with such an acclaimed, multi award winning winery in Stoney Ridge on the release of this premium wine,” said Paul Langlois on behalf of the band. “We think people will be blown away by it.”
The wine is available at Stoney Ridge’s wine boutique in Vineland, direct to Ontario bars and restaurants, and here online. The company is currently in negotiations with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and other Provincial Liquor Authorities on the potential of a wider release. Quantities are limited.
Official wines of the Ontario Legislature
Each year since 1991, at an event hosted by the Speaker and Members of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, a red wine and a white wine is selected to be the official wines of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the next full year.
Wineries from the Ontario1374241069_2012-strip-room winery regions of the Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, Pelee Island, and Prince Edward County offer select red and white wine vintages for tasting by the Members of the Legislative Assembly. To ensure that as many wineries as possible have the opportunity to participate, a different group is invited each year by the Grape Growers of Ontario to submit wines to the tasting event.
Wines submitted to the tasting competition must meet the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) standard.
Members of the Legislative Assembly vote for the red wine and white wine they would like to be the official wine of the Legislative Assembly. The selected wines become the Legislative Assembly Private Label Wines, which will be served exclusively at Legislative Assembly functions. The selected wines are not available for purchase by the public, although they are available to diners at In Camera, the Legislative Dining Room.
The red wine chosen was the Burning Kiln Strip Room 2013, a Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blend. The white wine is the Fielding Estate Pinot Grigio 2013 from Niagara.
Dine and sip with Riesling aficionado
Stuart Pigott at a special Toronto dinner

Stuart Pigott is a NYC and Berlin-based wine writer and one of the world’s top Riesling specialists. Naturally enough, Ontario is a riesling producing area which has attracted his attention and appreciation.

d9d269789430b9ed0abf8c0fd1c0adac_400x400He has chosen the wines of 4 Ontario wineries to be featured in the context of a dinner presentation — Cave Spring, Charles Baker, Hidden Bench and 13th Street. Principals and other non-riesling wines (please excuse the blasphemy!) will also be featured. An Ontario menu will complete the evening. A copy of Pigott’s book, Best White Wine on Earth, is included in the price of the evening.
The price for the evening, which begins at 6:30) at Grano  (2035 Yonge Street in Toronto) is $90 + hst/gratuities and includes a copy of his book, a $30 value).
For tickets call 416.440.1986 or email

Diamond Estates Announces sale and
leaseback of De Sousa to Oakwest

Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Inc. is pleased to announce that as of 5 p.m. Monday it has completed the sale and leaseback of its De Sousa Estates Winery in Beamsville, Ontario to Oakwest Corporation Limited, a corporation that owns approximately 31% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company.
The Company received $1,800,000 in net proceeds for all of the common shares in De Sousa Wine Cellars Corporation, the entity that owns the winery property. Of the net proceeds, approximately $800,000 has been directed towards the retirement of the outstanding mortgage on the property, while the remaining proceeds will support working capital requirements. The Company will lease the winery from Oakwest for a period of five years with the option to extend for another five years.
Minimum lease payments due over the first five year term are $500,000 with profit sharing for amounts greater than $25,000 in any given year being split 2/3rds in favour of the Company and 1/3rd for Oakwest.
The Company will continue to operate the winery as De Sousa Estates. The winery is well known for its brands: Dois Amigos, Seasons, and De Sousa ice-wine. The Company will retain ownership and all rights to these brands. If Oakwest sells the property during the initial lease term, they will transfer to the Company’s benefit all net proceeds in excess of $1,800,000.
The De Sousa winery assets were reclassified to current assets on the Company’s balance sheet as at December 31, 2013 when the property was listed with a realtor and an active real estate marketing plan was undertaken. The net book value of the assets at the time of the sale was $1,880,916.
J. Murray Souter, President and CEO of the Company stated that, “This sale and leaseback transaction is a win-win for Diamond Estates. It provides additional liquidity for the Company as working capital needs have increased with expansion of the business. Leasing back the winery from a trusted partner ensures continued access to the De Sousa vineyards, a source of some of our highest quality VQA grapes and an important retail outlet for the Company. The five-year lease term allows the Company a long term horizon to plan and invest in the growth of its Estate brands.”