New Zealand Wine: An Unexpectorated Journey

Awatere River vineyards Photo: David Skinner   By David Skinner When Peter Jackson decided upon his native New Zealand to serve as middle earth for his rendering of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, nationalistic nepotism served him less than the splendor of the rich and varied landscapes found in his home islands. The films depicted rugged terrain and lands carved from the mountains by the relentless influence of wind and water and there is still a sense of that primal constitution to the landscapes that now support modern viticulture in the “Shaky Isles”. Marlborough The South Island […]

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Oregon’s Path to Pinot Perfection (and beyond)

By David Skinner Nearly 15 million years ago, nature exploded in a maelstrom of chaos that cast a blanket of molten rock upon the marine-rich land where a receding ocean once lay. As the newly born volcanic terrain matured, the hillsides softened and westerly flowing flood waters receded enrobing the land in nutrient-rich soil. It would take until 1965 for winemakers to begin transforming the gentle slopes of the Willamette Valley from woodlands to the now familiar landscape lined with rows of vines eager to yield some of the best quality vinifera grapes anywhere. Since then, more than a dozen […]

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Surprising Pairings for Villa Maria Wines from Antipasto to Steak

Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital for a comprehensive tasting of Villa Maria wines from New Zealand.   Terry Jeans Wine Writer, Ottawa Wine Guide   What an elaborate tasting! We had the chance to have an amazing tasting with one of the viticulturists from Villa Maria– Ollie Powrie, who presented us with an insightful session of tasting over a dozen wines from one of the only New Zealand owned and family operated wineries. Founded and owned by the venerated Sir George Fistonich, a real icon of the wine industry, who has been part of […]

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Villa Maria Wine Tasting Reveals Regional Surprises

In the video above, Villa Maria Winemaker Josh Hammond shares an amusing story about his quest to pair ever more fresh scallops with his wines when diving for them with his brother. Click on the arrow to play the video. Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in our nation’s capital for an extraordinary tasting of New Zealand’s Villa Maria wines recently at The Shore Club. They share their insights and recommendations here. Cherie Cole Accredited Sommelier & Wine Blogger Gracing us with his knowledge and passion for wine, along with a great sense of humor, fifth generation winemaker, Josh […]

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The Good Life (and Good Wine) in Prince Edward County

By Tania Thomas We drove into The County across the Bay Bridge from Bellville on a hot and sticky mid-July morning. The shimmering waters of Lake Ontario beneath us looked refreshing and exceptionally inviting. Sunset on the beach and a swim is definitely on our agenda, but before that there are wineries to visit and winemakers to talk to. Just a few hours away from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston, nestled on Quinte’s Isle are the vineyards of Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest VQA wine Appellation and the fastest growing wine region of Ontario. With close to 40 wineries, and […]

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Kim Crawford Wine Pairs Well with Milestones and Birthdays

By Melissa Pulvermacher A 25th birthday should be celebrated with several bottles of wine and a great dinner. That’s exactly how the summer-long festivities began for Milestones at their Dundas Square location in Toronto, with General Manager André Barrett, Head Chef Jason Rosso and Kim Crawford’s New Zealand Portfolio Director Matthew Deller. As expected, Rosso hit it out of the park immediately with a table full of Crab Salad Crostini, Crispy Halibut Tacos and Mini Spinach Dip Taco Bowls. The food was on the table, but a great meal needs wine pairings to take it to the next level. Matt […]

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Niagara Integrated Film Festival June 2015

By Alex and Priya – A Vine Romance Watching movies under the stars sounds lovely, watching them in the beauty of vineyards with a glass of wine in hand and it’s downright poetic! That’s what awaits you if you head out to the Niagara Integrated Film Festival June 18-21. The festival is entering it’s second year and recently held a media tour to give a hint of what attendees will experience. Let us tell you, you’re not going to want to miss out on this unique collaboration of wine & film. In fact, we’re giving away a pair of tickets […]

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Wine and Truffle Pairing: Wild Mushroom Matches for Wine

By Priya and Alex What could be better than truffles? Not the chocolate kind (although those are pretty fantastic too!) but the really decadent kind that are hunted in forests by dogs! Most of us have probably owned truffle oil or truffled salt but how many of us have experienced authentic truffle products direct from a family who hunts them? We’d guess not many! It’s no surprise then, that we were so excited to meet the Truffle Lady aka Wanda Srdoc of www.whitetruffles.ca.  Truffles are her specialty and have been central to her family in Istria, Croatia since the early […]

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Pierre Sparr Wines: Alsace Value and Taste Pair Well

Maison Pierre Sparr By Melissa Pulvermacher We’re all on a constant search of high-value wines for a great price. I always say that your chance of getting a great quality wine for a large price tag is high, and although the odds are less consistent, it feels great to find a killer bottle of wine that doesn’t break the bank. Maison Pierre Sparr, founded in 1680 by Jean Sparr, is a winery and brand located in Alsace, France. Sparr owns 15 hectares of their own Domaine, while also sourcing grapes from 130 hectares of trusted farmer-owned vines, to produce their […]

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Villa Maria Stays True to its Roots: New Zealand Winery Focuses on the Field

Villa Maria By Julia Kelada Often, decanting a wine for an hour gives it time to breathe and reveal its true character. That was exactly the time I was fortunate to spend recently talking with Sir George Fistonich, founder and owner of Villa Maria Wines in New Zealand, who has been making wines for more than 50 years. Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Private Bin Pinot Gris 2013 Private Bin Pinot Noir 2011 Cellar selection Pinot Noir 2010 Private Bin Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2010 Although I had researched a long list […]

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