A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 770: Virtually in the Douro

Tuesday, September 15th: Participated in a virtual press visit via Zoom to Taylor Fladgate in the Douro with CO Adrian Bridge as our guide. He told us that there were temperatures in the 40s during the summer and harvest, which caused a 30% drop in yield because of desiccation. This was the earliest harvest “for generations” (September 31). And because of COVID there was no traditional foot-treading in the lagars. The company installed mechanical lagars to replicate the foot-treading. The company has acquired a further 80 hectares with the purchase of two quintas. He also told us port sales are down in Portugal but up in other markets – in spite of the recession (people rewarding themselves to make themselves feel better!) But Taylor Fladgate has enough stock to cover 6 years of sales. My favourite quote from Adrian: “Port is central heating for humans.”

Wines tasted this week: Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 769: Sandhill Wines

I received a selection of wine from Sandhill Wines in the Okanagan Valley.

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Ontario Wine Awards Goes Virtual During the Pandemic

Niagara, Friday, August 28th, 2020: 2020 would have been the 26th year for the Ontario Wine Awards. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put paid to the usual rigorous judging of entries by 24 highly qualified tasters. However, our OWA team was determined that we celebrate the quality of Ontario’s VQA wines in the fashion of the day.

So, we reached out to judges who had participated in the last three years of the competition, and asked them to nominate the top three white, red and sparkling wines they had tasted during the year. From their responses we tabulated the top scoring wines.

In addition, the judges were asked to vote on whom they considered should be honoured with the title “Winemaker of the Year,” sponsored by 105.7 EZ Rock / Newstalk 610 CKTB.

The results for 2020 are: Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 768: The Farm and other tastings

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Kelly Mason, The Farm’s winemaker (who also makes wine at Domaine Queylus and Honsberger)

On August 9th I went to The Farm’s open house when they sell Kelly Mason’s wines. I tasted her portfolio with her. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 767: Sandbanks Winery, Prince Edward County

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In February, Arterra purchased Sandbanks Winery, the company’s first venture into Prince Edward County.

The press release reads:

Sandbanks Winery was founded in 2001 by Catherine Langlois and was one of the first wineries established in Prince Edward County. Catherine began by planting Baco Noir, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Vidal Blanc, Geisenheim and Marechal Foch. This has since earned the winery a loyal following and Canadian accolades for its full-bodied reds (Baco Noir) and crisp whites (Riesling).

Arterra was kind enough to send me the following nine samples from a portfolio of twenty-five Sandbanks wines. Continue reading

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