Fontanafredda Makes a Barolo for Every Palate

Fontanafredda Vineyard Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance It was a whirlwind visit for Danilo Drocco, winemaker at Fontanafredda in Barolo, Italy. He swept into Toronto for a lunch and dinner, only to rush back to the vineyard the following morning as they are deep into harvest season and as he said, “My job is to talk about Nebbiolo, but more importantly, to make Nebbiolo.” Alex was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Danilo as the 1974 Barolo was the first ‘big’ (read “expensive”) bottle of wine he had ever purchased as a gift for his father. […]

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Tasting the Cool Climate Wines of Argentina’s Secreto Patagonico

By Melissa Pulvermacher Another tasting during my time at the 2016 i4C Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration was with Secreto Patagonico’s Production and Sales Manager, Tomas Groppo Parisi. Secreto Patagonico is in the southern hemisphere in Patagonia, Argentina. A lot of us immediately think of Mendoza, heat and Malbec when we think of Argentina, which may leave us a bit confused with the relevance to cool climate wines in this situation. Patagonia is actually in the south of Argentina and remember that in the southern hemisphere, the south is a lot cooler than the northern regions. Mendoza, the Malbec-famous region, known […]

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Gerard Bertrand’s Cool Climate Wines Blend in A Spiritual Component

By Melissa Pulvermacher Gérard Bertrand, a name we all recognize in the wine industry certainly has a diverse portfolio, but after sitting down with JP Turgeon, Canada’s Gérard Bertrand Portfolio Director, I was given the opportunity to taste the ‘cool climate’ options in our market. JP shared his story, his attempt at the gruelling Master of Wine exam and how he is incredibly proud to be working with this portfolio of quality wine from Gérard Bertrand. Gérard Bertrand is represented in Ontario by Family Wine Merchants and has several wines currently available here in the LCBO. The winery currently owns 650 hectares […]

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How Oyster Bay Tamed Prickly Pinot Noir in New Zealand

By Greg M.P. Hughes Winemakers who specialize in Pinot Noir are some of the hardest working viticulturists on the planet. This grape’s thin skin makes it extremely vulnerable to diseases, makes colour extraction torture to get right, and yields are minuscule (not a tremendous ROI compared to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Pinot Noir’s idiosyncrasies are enough to make even hardened pro winemakers tear their hair out. That is why Pinot Noir is one of the most misunderstood selections that wine experts explain to their audiences. Most people understand it as byword for a quality wine, but have no idea what […]

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Wine Tripping and Sipping in Prince Edward County

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Move over Niagara, Prince Edward County is coming of age as a wine country area in Ontario! Whether it’s the big names like Norm Hardie,  Closson Chase and Karlo Estates, or the smaller ones like Domaine Darius or Trail Estates, we’ve spent many a weekend exploring the wineries of this region and wanted to share some of our favourite spots with you. Priya: First things first is finding a great home base for all your County experiences. We were lucky to get a spot at The Ferg, a beautiful boutique property co-owned by our very good […]

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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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Domaine Drouhin Wines Express Oregon Terroir

By Melissa Pulvermacher Carrying on the cool climate conversation, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Arron Bell, the winemaker of Domaine Drouhin, a winery in the cool climate region of Willamette, Oregon. The most popular varietals produced in Oregon include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling. We recognize most of these varietals for their ability to grow well in cooler climates. Oregon produces incredible expressions of these varietals, two of which I had the pleasure of tasting with Arron. Video: Meet Arron Bell “I didn’t know what to do after college. So what do you do? You […]

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Miguel Torres Chilean Wines Focus on Sustainability

By Melissa Pulvermacher During i4C (International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration), I had the opportunity to meet with producers from all around the world. My meeting with Miguel Torres of Chile’s General Manager, Jaime Valderrama was a real treat. In our market, we recognize Torres Chile as the producer of easy-drinking, incredibly affordable wines, but after speaking with Jaime, I now recognize their sustainable initiatives as a major part of who they are. We spoke of the “sustainability strategy”. In our current market, green and health products are in high demand. This does not transcend wine and in fact, the demand […]

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