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, [...]

Canada, the final day

Hidden Bench

While it is still fresh in my mind, I must finish my series of Canadian-themed blog posts by summing up the final day. Actually, this post encompasses Saturday and Sunday morning, which more or less merged into one, in an exhausting but fun fashion.

Let me begin with the lunch at Hidden Bench winery, on the Beamsville [...]

Me, on video, talking about Canadian wines

On Sunday morning, after a few hours’ sleep on a couch, I was interviewed by the charming Konrad Ebjich, about my impressions on Canadian wine. I thought Konrad asked some good questions. You can watch the video here:

There’s also another video of me, caught on Monday evening at the fabulous Enoteca Ascari in Toronto, by [...]

Friday night at the i4c, Canada, hit by storms

Friday night saw the official start of the i4c (international cool climate chardonnay conference). This was titled ’8 chefs, 8 grills’ and was held at Hillebrand winery in Niagara.

The walk around tasting began well, in the early evening sunshine. But soon some epic thunderclouds rolled in, and before long we had to evacuate indoors. There [...]

In Canada, day 3, Price Edward County

At Hinterland with Jonas and Vicki

So, my Canadian adventure continues. And this is turning into an epic trip. Such great people, and some seriously good wines. Day 3 was spent in Prince Edward County, which is a bit cooler than Niagara (for example, in winter it gets so cold here that the vines have [...]

In Canada, day 2

A great day in Niagara wine country. 58 wines tasted at four different wineries. Lots learned. Helicopters flown in: 1.

The day started at Southbrook Vineyards, which was Canada’s first certified biodynamic wine producer. It’s an impressive, modern LEED-certified winery, too. I met with winemakers Ann Sperling and Brian Hamilton (above), and we tasted through a [...]

In Canada, day 1

So, I am in Canada. For one night only, I’m staying in the very pretty resort town of Niagara on the Lake. I got here about 4 pm yesterday, arriving in beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s. The first thing I did was check the test match score (England pulled off a thrilling [...]

A first for me, Canadian Riesling

So, to celebrate Canadian wine day, a Canadian Riesling. It’s pretty good: if I’d have tasted it blind I would have guessed New Zealand, I think. I normally don’t go in for this ‘day’ thing (there are just too many of them), but I’m heading to Canada for the first time next month so I [...]