Some great wines with Professor Scholefield

For my first three days in British Columbia, Canada, I was being shown around by David Scholefield (aka ‘The Prof’, pictured above). He’s a total dude and we shared some nice bottles together, which I thought I would write up.

Sea Star Siegerrebe 2013 Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada
Not the greatest wine in the world, but [...]

Thinking out loud about Canadian wine

Now that I’ve visited both of Canada’s main winegrowing areas, Ontario and British Columbia – and after having tasted through lots of wines at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, I thought I’d share some of my impressions.

Niagara and the Okanagan are completely different. They are physically a very long way apart – it [...]

Some pictures from the Okanagan

Had a great day touring round the Okanagan yesterday. It’s a very scenic wine region. We began at Mission Hill, the really impressive winery owned by Anthony Von Mandl.

Then it was a visit to Tantalus, who are making super-impressive Riesling and very good Pinot Noir. Kiwi ex-pat David Paterson is the winemaker here.

David [...]

In the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada

I am in the Okanagan! David Scholefield (below) and I drove up here yesterday morning. It’s a lovely four-hour drive through some spectacular scenery. Although there’s the possibility of flying from Vancouver to Penticton, the drive is worth it for the views. On the way I got to see my first ever wild moose, and [...]

In Canada, Monday evening with some diverse wines

After a full day of tasting, and the fabulous helicopter ride, it was time for beer. So Bill Zacharkiw and John Szabo, my partners in crime (PICs), ended up in an English-style pub in Niagara-on-the-Lake, along with Magdalena Kaiser-Smit of Wine Country Ontario. It’s called The Olde Angel Inn, and as well as English beers [...]

In Canada, day 2, with lots of Riesling

So my second day in Canada was dominated by Niagara Riesling. I tagged along with Canadian wine journalists Bill Zacharkiw and John Szabo. We had extensive tastings, first at Vineland, where we did Riesling verticals from Vineland, Tawse, Flat Rock and Cave Spring, and then at Stratus, where we did the same with Strauts, Charles [...]

In Canada, day 1, at Pearl Morissette

Chickens at Pearl Morissette, a special breed from South Africa

So I arrived in Canada yesterday afternoon and headed down to Pearl Morissette winery in Jordan, Niagara, where I am staying for a couple of nights. A few friends joined from Toronto, and we had a great in-depth tasting with Francois Morissette in the winery.
Francois [...]

Canada's finest? Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Norman Hardie

On my recent trip to Canada, one of my favourite experiences (of many good ones) was visiting Norman Hardie in Prince Edward County. He’s making some brilliant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and so I was delighted to find out that The Wine Society are bringing in a couple of his wines. They’ve chosen very well: [...]

Syrah from Canada! And Gamay, and Cabernet Franc

I’m steadily writing up my producer visits from my recent trip to Ontario wine country. The latest report is from the visit to Tawse, where my highest-scoring wine was actually a small-production Syrah.

I love cool climate Syrah, and Niagara can do it pretty well if this bottle is anything to go by. Of course, you’d [...]

Some interesting wines at cricket

On Friday I spent the afternoon playing cricket. Yes, more play. Less work. Still striving after the elusive balance. It was for the Wine Trade XI, against a touring Aussie team, Canterbury Cricket Club from Melbourne, at Hampton Wick. In a 40 over game, a relatively strong Wine Trade bowling attack kept them to 157-9, [...]