Sunday, August 30, 2009

Welch's Grape Juice with a Kick

In early August we took a weekend venture to London Ontario and during that visit we took a side trip to Quai Du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County, south of St Thomas. I wanted to get some inside footage to complete a segment I had shot several summers ago.
We tasted their Chardonnay and Riesling and we ordered some but what I want to talk about is their Concord wine. I have always been told that Concord grapes are fine for grape juice but not for making wine.
This varietal is native North American and is able to withstand the very cold winters that occur here and like all labrusca grapes the wines were terrible.
Well I got a big surprise. It was absolutely delicious. It was fruity as in grapey and semi sweet and had enough acidity to make it refreshing. It had 11% alcohol but I did not detect any heat.
It is not a table wine as the label says but it really is a wine cooler product as far as I'm concerned. Your not going to find complexity on the nose or the palate but to put it in a glass full of ice and then sip it on your back yard patio during a hot humid summer day is the ideal way to drink this.
Gary Vaynerchuk has said that if you want fruit juice then buy HI C , it is a hell of lot cheaper. I don't accept that concept, because although fruit juice is a lot cheaper, it isn't nearly as much fun.
The 6 bottles I purchased are now used up. If your near the winery check it out.
I have done a video tour of Quai Du Vin Estate Winery. You can check it out at the Wine Dining Vlog or Wine Dining Channel. The links are on the side
Click the title of this entry to get the winery's website

Friday, August 28, 2009

Industry Growing Pains

Recession Hitting Ontario Craft Wineries

Well as Ontario is gaining approximately 8 new wineries in Prince Edward County and 4 in Lake Erie North Shore (and probably more that I am not aware of in Niagara) we are also seeing some cracks in the operations of some wineries that have been on the block for a little while.
Thomas and Vaughan as well as Stonechurch Vinyards have been put up for sale because of financial difficulties and Steve Kocsis of Mountain Wine Company and Daniel Pambianchi of Maleta of Maleta Estate Winery discuss the finacial tribulations they are facing because of the current recession.
We visited Stonechurch recently and found it a very family oriented winery and had a great experience there.
I would be sad to see it go under.
An LCBO rebate program that was set in place to increase the wineries return on LCBO sales ended in march of this year. This has hurt Mountain Wine Company.
The saying that goes if you want to make a million dollars in a winery then start out with 10 million applies here. I have the utmost admiration for these winery operators who basically tie their nervous systems to a business that is not really known for its profit potential at the best of times.
Click the title and the link at the top of this entry for more specifics on this topic

Monday, August 24, 2009

Low Tar & Nicotine Ontario Amarone

The St Catherines Standard published on interesting article on the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program providing funding to Reif Estate Winery on three experimental projects.
Essentially tobacco drying kilns once used to dry out tobacco leaves will be used on wine grapes to make Amarula style wines, induce botrytis (noble rot) to produce sweet wines and to speed up and improve the quality of ice wine produced.
Its great to see innnovation so that Canadian wines can compete in special niche areas and create products of added value. I tried Ridgepoint Wines 2002 Nebbiolo  (Barolo style wine) and it was excellent in my view and was surprised that Canada could grow a grape that is normally associated with a warmer climate.
Having met Klaus Reif I found him to be a very down to earth gentleman. Now I can add the trait of innovator after reading this article.
Click the title of this entry to view the article