Welcome back. The long weekend is almost here and if you’re looking for vino to sip on, our next guest has you covered with her amazing recommendations! Here to highlight some family-owned vineyards from across the country is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes. Hi Natalie!
Natalie, we love getting your wonderful wine recommendations but before we get to talking about the specific vineyards you’re going to highlight today, can you tell us a bit about the wine production in Canada?
• There are four major regions in Canada that produce wines made from grapes: BC, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
• Ontario makes about 63% of the wine, BC 33% and 2% for each of Quebec and NS, with more than 700 wineries from coast to coast and 1,800 grape growers.
• Every bottle of 100% Canadian wine contributes $90 to the national economy versus just $16 for an imported bottle.You’ve brought us wines from family-owned wineries today. How are they different from big companies?
• Pride of place literally grounds them all. Often the land on which their vineyards are planted is owned by the family, in some cases for several generations. I should also add that they all acknowledge that they farm on the traditional territories of our Indigenous nations.
• Lightfoot & Wolfville is owned by the Lightfoot family who have been farming in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley for eight generations. They originally came from Northern England, where their forebears worked as messengers, thus the name Lightfoot. The winery is nestled in Wolfville in the heart of the Annapolis Valley, and thus the second part of their name.
• The Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Sparkling is made using the traditional Champagne method and is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. It offers toasty aromas with fresh peach and apple notes. This would be perfect with a fresh Nova Scotia lobster roll.
Lightfoot & Wolfville Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2014
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada
• The Robert family have been rooted in Rougemont, in Quebec’s eastern townships, for decades. In 2007, Claude Robert and his adult children, Michel, Julie and Isabelle, bought a large orchard and planted vines there. They also make cider.
• They were fulfilling the dream of Claude’s father, Rosario, who would drive his apple truck to top of the hill to admire the view. He dreamed one day of owning this orchard and what is also now a vineyard. The family likes to say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
What are we tasting of theirs?
• This Chardonnay is planted on the family’s south-facing slopes that help ripen the grapes to luscious richness, and aromas of freshly baked bread, green apples and toasted almond. During the early days, before they could afford to hire help, each family member took turns monitoring the fermentation day and night. They continue that attention to detail.
Coteau Rougemont La Côte Chardonnay 2017
Monteregie, Quebec, Canada
• In March 1927, 24-year-old Andrew Peller arrived in Canada from Hungary with just five dollars and a dream to make European-style wines in Canada. Twenty-four years later, after working in the wine industry and saving his money, he planted his first vineyard in B.C. in 1951 at 58 years old, just when many people are relishing their retirement plans.
Peller Estates Private Reserve Rosé 2019
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
• Yes you have the Peller Family Private Reserve Rosé with fresh aromas of field strawberries with fresh, crisp acidity.
• Andrea Kaiser is the daughter of Karl Kaiser winemaker and co-founder of Inniskillin Wines, the pioneer of modern Canadian winemaking.
Drea’s Wine Co. Drea’s Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
• The View Winery is on a parcel of land in Kelowna, BC, that has been in the Turton/Ward family for five generations. Historically, fresh market apples were grown on the property.
• In the mid-1990s, they transitioned to vineyards and cider apples. The beloved old packinghouse built by Great Granddad Ward in 1922 was transformed into a winery and cidery. Jennifer Turton-Molgat has been president of The View Winery since 2006. Kristy French is the winemaker.
What have you sent us from The View?
The View Winery Silver Lining Estate White 2018
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada
• The Judge was named more than a decade ago when the winemaker judged the best barrels for a premium Bordeaux-style wine that’s won international awards. It’s a robust red wine blend of handpicked Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers heady aromas of dark fruit, mocha, smoke and toasty oak.
Hester Creek Estate Winery The Judge 2019
Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A.
Natalie, thank you for sharing these wonderful Canadian wines! Cheers to the long weekend everybody!
Posted with permission of CTV.