A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 774: Tasting in the Bat Cave

The inimitable Thomas Bachelder

Thomas Bachelder’s Niagara Chardonnays & Pinots

“It’s good to talk ancient history with you guys because my head’s still in 2020.”

Thomas Bachelder hosted Rick Van Sickle and me in his tasting room at 3999 Locust Lane in Beamsville. He calls it his “bat cave” and it’s here that he raises his single vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. The tasting was what he calls his “Toussaints Release” of the range of 2018 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 773: Okanagan’s Bartier Bros.

In 2009, brothers Michael and Don Bartier formed the company Bartier Bros. to work two vineyards in the southern Okanagan, and in 2015 they opened their own winery, where they now produce 3,000 cases a year.  They kindly sent me the following wines to taste: Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 772: Nature versus Nurture

A photo of a computer screen showing a Zoom meeting between Ed and Tony

Ed Madronich and I taste wines the Zoom way

Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Experiment

Ed Madronich, proprietor of Flat Rock Cellars, invited me to a Zoom tasting of the winery’s 2019 Pinot Noirs. He had sent over a bottle of each of the Estate Pinot Noir, Gravity Pinot Noir and Nature Pinot Noir (made with natural yeast) and the same wine, treated in exactly the same way in terms of fermentation and barrel-ageing, made with cultured yeast, labelled Nurture. The experiment by winemaker David Sheppard was to determine the effect of the different yeasts on the bouquet and flavour of the wine as well as its colour. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 771: Winemaker’s Cut

Winemaker’s Cut wines

I received six wines from an Okanagan Valley winery called Winemaker’s Cut.

Here’s an explanation of their name, taken from their website: “Like a director’s cut, an edited version of a film that represents the director’s unique point of view, Winemaker’s CUT is influenced by the winemaker and their unique styling/blending of an Okanagan wine. The grapes that shape CUT wines are hand-harvested at Deadman Lake Vineyard just south of Oliver, BC. With utmost respect to nature, while honoring traditional winemaking methods, sustainable farming, and a zero pesticides policy with low sulphur use, CUT wines develop naturally and express characteristics indicative of this unique Okanagan vineyard.” Continue reading

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Bidding Has Begun on the Grapes for Humanity “Save Hospitality” Fine Wine Charity Auction

The online Grapes for Humanity – Save Hospitality Fine Wine Auction catalogue is now LIVE and now ready for bidding. Browse through 300+ available lots including historic vintage wines, large format bottles, dinner packages, barrels made by 30+ of Ontario’s leading winemakers, vacation packages, two signed guitars by RUSH band members Geddy Lee (a Grapes for Humanity board member) and Alex Lifeson, and much, much more.

This auction is not just for collectors. Many of the lots are very reasonably priced, and have been built to appeal to a wide spectrum of palates, styles, and budgets, so enjoy exploring!

Bidding starts Monday, September 28,
and ends on Wednesday, October 7.

Proceeds will directly benefit Ontario Hospitality front line workers through the Toronto Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, the Bartenders Benevolent Fund, and independent Ontario restaurants through SaveHospitality.ca.


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