A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 858: Israel, part II

Wednesday, October 19th: We couldn’t get breakfast at the Alegra Hotel because the hotel’s chef lived in an Arab village that had been put under lockdown for security reasons. The manager gave us a voucher to eat at the Mala Bistro in the village of Ein Karem. A sumptuous buffet there.

We were picked up by a new driver for our trip to the Dead Sea (a distance of 120 kilometres) and the Daniel Hotel in Ein Bokek. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 857: Israel

Wednesday, October 12th: This was Deborah’s and my 25th anniversary gift to ourselves. Ubered to Pearson airport for our Air Transat flight to Gatwick Airport, where we would transfer to a Wizz flight to Tel Aviv. A small child directly behind us screamed her way across the Atlantic and kicked my seat. At Gatwick went to the Wizz counter to check in only to find that our two large suitcases had not been transferred to the flight. A mad dash back to the carousel in the presence of a security guard for find our luggage sitting forlornly alone. Another trip to the Wizz counter, which involved taking a train from the North terminal to the South terminal. Continue reading

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 856: De-alcoholized Wine and Dogs

De-alcoholized wines

Saturday, October 8th: I was invited to a tasting of de-alcoholized wines at Vineland Estates. The winery imports a range from Germany called Eins Zwei Zero, produced by a company called Leitz in the Rheingau – Sparkling Riesling, still Riesling, Sparkling Rosé, still Rosé and Pinot Noir. My preference was for the Rosés, still and sparkling. Co-proprietor Alan Schmidt dropped by with a bottle of his Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc 2020 which was terrific. Good thing I was tasting non-alcoholic wines because I might just have been tempted to adopt a dog at Vineland. There were three rescues from Florida up for adoption. (A dire day – the Jays blew an 8–1 lead to lose to the Mariners, so they are out of the play-offs.) Continue reading

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Grapes for Humanity Fine Wine Auction 2022

October 12–19, 2022

Grapes for Humanity Canada is proud to partner with Dymon Wine Cellars and Waddington’s Auctioneers to present Grapes for Climate Change Action – Wine Auction.

Proceeds from the auction will be directed to aid the battle against the threat of Climate Change and to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The Grapes for Humanity Wine Auction is online October 12–19. See the preview gallery at www.waddingtons.ca.

The auction features some of the most sought-after bottles of wine, exceptional ready-to-drink wines, special items like autographed bottles and guitars donated by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush, Canadian winemakers’ dinners in top restaurants, unique winery experiences in Canada and abroad, guided tours of difficult-to-access forests, and much more. Also of note, returning to the auction is Cuvée from the Heart – community blends from Ontario and BC winemakers who contributed their best wines to create barrels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Tree Canada and humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

Featured lots include:

  • A private tour of Château Latour, Bordeaux, France, and tasting, along with two bottles of legendary vintages, 1945 and 1959, followed by lunch at Château Latour (for four guests). The 1959 Latour is donated and signed by Geddy Lee.
  • World-renowed musicians, singers, songwriters Les Claypool, along with his wife Chaney, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will host eight guests at the famed Barberian’s Steak House located in Toronto.
  • A Geddy Lee autographed Fender Jazz Bass, as well as a Alex Lifeson Autographed Epiphone Les Paul.
  • Magnums of Il Palagio Sister Moon 2016, autographed by owners Sting and Trudie Styler.
  • One bottle of Invivo X SJP Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2021, and a bottle of Rose Sud de France 2021, signed by Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as a pair of SJP shoes.
  • Numerous special wines from Geddy Lee’s personal cellar.

“Both Alex I are once again pleased to be able to donate instruments and rare wine to help raise money for these urgent needs. I am particularly proud of my long association with Grapes for Humanity Canada and the good work we’ve been able to achieve together.”
—Geddy Lee.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s unifying force for nature working to deliver large scale, permanent land conservation. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through direct on-the-ground action to protect and care for our lands and waters. Since 1962, NCC has brought people together to conserve more than 15 million hectares.

“We are delighted to be part of the 2022 Auction. The funds raised will help protect and care for critical lands and waters at a landscape-scale in Ontario. Conserving entire natural systems means we take care of the places that clean our water, purify our air, absorb and store carbon and provide for our health and well-being. Connected landscapes provide nature-based solutions faster and with greater impact. Nature is our ally. When nature thrives, we all thrive.”
—Mike Hendren, Regional Vice President, Ontario Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Tree Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. We help to grow Canada’s tree canopy through our programs, research, and engagement efforts and by offering grants to communities and schools. We are thought-leaders and capacity-builders, collaborating with a network of industry experts, academics, and other non-profits to deepen community knowledge and help municipalities plan and sustain local canopy. Together with our partners and sponsors, we have planted more than 84 million trees.

“Tree Canada is thrilled to be a designated charity for Grapes of Humanity’s 2022 Auction for Climate Change Action. We know that trees absorb carbon dioxide, which is essential in the fight against climate change, but trees are also important to people and wildlife by naturally cooling our cities and absorbing pollutants. Your generous support will help grow better places to live across Canada.”
—Danielle St-Aubin, CEO, Tree Canada.

The auction is offered online October 12–19 courtesy of Waddington’s. Find out how to register for the auction at www.waddingtons.ca. Special Terms and Conditions for the auction include no buyer’s commission or tax.

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A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 855: Le Clos Jordanne, Sandhill, Closson Chase and the OWA Sponsors’ Wine Tour

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Thomas Bachelder toured me around Le Clos Jordanne’s vineyards and explained the vintage to me. 2022 was a warm dry summer but too many rain showers late in the season. Brix levels are low and the fruit is phenolic-ly ripe; the colours, according to Thomas, are amazing. 2022 vintage will be richer than ’19 or ’20 and not as big as 2020. “Chardonnay is hanging like somebody’s dream,” says Thomas, “though the bunches are light in weight.” After the vineyard tour we sat down at my house with Magdalena Kaiser, Director of PR, Marketing and Tourism at Wine Marketing Association of Ontario to taste the Clos Jordanne 2020 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (in that order, following the Burgundian convention). Continue reading

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