A Vine Celebration: The 120th Anniversary of Nino Negri Wines

In October, I traveled to Italy with great excitement to participate in Nino Negri’s 120th Anniversary celebration.  As I drove through the historic wine region of Valtellina, I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty and eager to participate in this year’s wine harvest. Valtellina is a serene valley at the foot of the Lombardy Alps, on the Italian-Swiss border. The “vine”, the heart of this difficult mountainous terrain, has found perfect growing conditions here. The vineyards are protected by two high mountain chains, the Retiche Alps and the Orobie Pre-Alps. Exposure to the sun at high altitude, as well as a significant […]

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Discovering the Jewel Grape of Austrian Wine

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Austria. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear this country is The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things! However, this little European country is known for something else that will likely become one of your favourite things, Gruner Veltliner. Read on as Alex sheds light on this versatile grape as well as other wines that are made in Austria. Priya: I don’t even think I knew Austria made wine! Why do you think it’s such a little-known region to non-sommeliers? Alex: For one thing, Austrian […]

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Henry of Pelham’s Paul Speck on Cool Climate Chardonnay

By Melissa Pulvermacher To kick off the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) in Niagara, Ontario, I visited Paul Speck of Henry of Pelham Winery on the Short Hills Bench in St. Catharines. The Henry of Pelham winery has been owned by the Speck family since 1988. While tasting the wines, we explored this concept of cool climate viticulture. Ontario’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable from year-to-year, which is why our local wines tend to have a lot of vintage variance. Beginning with some of my favourite Niagara bubbles, the 2011 Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche had me salivating right […]

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Pascual Toso Proves There’s More to Argentina Than Malbec

  By Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance The only thing better than enjoying a good bottle of wine is getting to meet the person who made it. We were fortunate to have that opportunity recently as we sat down with winemaker, Felipe Stahlschmidt from Pascual Toso. This Argentinian winery is celebrating it’s 125th anniversary. That’s a nice age for a “New World” region. They describe their production facility as “an old Chevy with a brand new Mercedes engine inside”. It’s a great analogy for an older building that has been completely updated with state-of-the-art production equipment. Alex: Pascual Toso is a fairly large […]

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Rediscover Riesling: The World’s Most Versatile Varietal

By Melissa Pulvermacher The number one question I receive is: “What is your favourite wine”? I could give a long-winded answer about how it all depends on the situation, the people I’m with, the food I have or don’t have, the weather, my mood and several other ridiculous factors that would probably influence what my favourite would be in that exact moment, but if forced to answer simply, I would choose a varietal that I admire most. Of course, I have off and on romances, newly discovered lust and evenings with old flames, but if I had to settle down and […]

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