Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Brut 2013 Okanagan Valley, Canada

So, this is pretty much a real time tasting note of a sparkling wine from Canada’s Okanagan Valley that’s in my glass at the moment. Tantalus has been growing grapes since 1927, and this Riesling vineyard was planted in 1978, which for Vitis vinifera in the Okanagan, is pretty ancient history. It’s from clone 21B, [...]

Some reflections on ProWein 2016: bubbly Brits, grower Champagne, Canada, Provence and Grenache

ProWein is a massive wine and spirits fair, held each year in Dusseldorf, Germany. It’s enormous. 6200 exhibitors, and 55 000 trade visitors. I’ve just returned, and these are some of my impressions. But it’s impossible for any one person to be able to give anything more than a personal perspective gained by merely scratching [...]

Pearl Morissette Chardonnay 2012 Niagara, Canada

This is interesting. It’s a Chardonnay from Canada’s Niagara wine region, made by the talented and slightly controversial Francois Morissette of Pearl Morissette. I’ve reviewed his wines in the past here. He is a thoughtful winegrower who works quite naturally, and has come unstuck with tasting panels for VQA status where the tasters don’t seem [...]

Gamay 16, Pearl Morissette Cuvée Mon Unique Gamay 2013 Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Canada

I’ve reviewed the wines of Niagara (Canada) winery Pearl Morissette before. I’ve been lucky to visit three times, and I love the brave, creative approach of Francois Morissette, who’s making some really interesting wines. One of the four varieties he specializes in is Gamay (the others are Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc), and this is [...]

For thanksgiving: 20 top Canadian wines

So, it’s thanksgiving day in Canada on Monday. I’ve been to Canada a few times over the last couple of years, and tasted some lovely wines – and I’ve been very lucky to take part in the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, which has given me a good overview of what’s going on here. [...]

Recalling adventures in Niagara, Canada

Photo: Louis Goode

Sometimes it’s good to look back on a trip from a short distance. A couple of weeks ago I returned home from eight eventful days in Canada’s Niagara region (there have been trips to Portugal and South Africa since). It was a blast, and I brought back many fond memories. This was [...]

In Toronto, one night only

I was staying overnight in Toronto before flying home early morning. So I hooked up with Nicholas Pearce (above), a wine agent and negociant, for an evening.

We started off in Archive, a seriously nice wine bar with an epic, well-priced wine list that takes Ontario seriously. It’s a lovely space, and we sat for quite a [...]

Niagara falls, four ways

One of the side benefits of judging the National Wine Awards of Canada in Niagara Falls was the chance to spend some quality time with big water. Below is a short film of the Falls, four ways – up close, by boat, by helicopter, and at night. They really are remarkable, and you can get [...]

Niagara wine country, Canada, day 3

Just two visits today. But they were good ones. First, Thomas Bachelder, for the second time on this trip, and that’s no bad thing.

Thomas Bachelder

Thomas is a talented dude, and great to geek out with. We visited his cellar, right next to Fielding and Hidden Bench. It’s not a big or glamorous facility, but [...]

In the Niagara wine region, Canada, day 2

Another day of visits. And they were all good. First of all, I headed off to Flat Rock cellars, hosted by winemaker Jay Johnston. Flat Rock are Riesling specialists, but also make very good Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. And the wines are very reasonably priced.

Jay Johnston

After two brutal winters they’ve decided to replant 24 [...]