Fancy Farm Girl Sue-Ann Staff Makes Down-to-Earth Wines (Video)

Our guest this evening is a fifth-generation grape grower who grew up on the largest privately-owned vineyard in Canada, the Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery. Today, she is one of Canada’s top winemakers, winning more than 500 national and international wine awards, including being twice recognized by the International Wine and Spirits Awards of London, England as one of the top four “Women in Wine” in the world .

And she joins me live now from her winery: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Sue-Ann Staff!

What was the exact moment when you realized that you wanted to make wine? Tell us exactly where you were? What triggered the thought? How did you feel? What was the next step you took to get going on the path to winemaking?

What’s your wine-related favourite failure? (Let’s avoid bad weather ;) Where were you? What happened? How did you feel? What did you do to recover? What did you learn from this experience that made you stronger or better in some regard?

Now take us to the best moment of your wine career: what happened? (Let’s avoid awards and reviews ;) Where were you? What happened? How did you feel?

What’s the most memorable thing someone has ever said about your wines?

What’s the harshest criticism you’ve received about your wines? Here you can also say how you’d refute that criticism or if it was a misunderstanding – or how you changed your winemaking to correct whatever the issue was.

What was something you were wrong about as it relates to making wine?

In my world of writing, there tends to be a divide between highly popular “commercial” books that sell millions and the critically acclaimed books that have niche audiences. How to you manage to do both in the wine world: make critically acclaimed wines that have a large consumer popularity?

How did you come up with the Fancy Farm Girl brand?

Who does the illustrations? They’re gorgeous!

How about the sub-titles, if you will, such as frivolous etc. Do you ever get any push back on these as talking down to women?

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Natalie MacLean0:00 It’s going to be a great Live Video #WineTasting with Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery > Here are the wines we’re tasting: https://www.nataliemaclean.com/…/sue-ann-staff-winery…/ Tune in! #natwine #saq #lcbo #vqa #Onwinechat Wine Council of Ontario Grapegrower & Winemaker Canadian Vintners AssociationManage

Andrea Shapiro26:30 Is there a varietal that is most often featured at the winery or one you enjoy showcasing the most? I recently enjoyed the Frissonesque Sauvignon Blanc and loved it, fresh and fruity.

Natalie MacLeanSounds like Riesling or a Riesling blend! So versatile -dry, off dry and sparkling!

Andrea Shapiro59:14 Wow! that’s fascinating – Where can we purchase your wines, Sue-Ann? Making all of our mouths water!

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Fancy Farm Girl Frissonesque Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie MacLeanSounds like some are at the LCBO now and more coming out soon. Plus – don’t forget the winery!

Frances Furmankiewicz47:12 Sue Ann your passion and personable, fun approach are a winning combo! Congrats!

Natalie MacLeanShe really was a great guest. So personable and fun!

 

Andrea Shapiro43:29 Perfect rose for the warmer summer time, Ooo, ha ha pringle wine pairing! You’re on to something 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Fancy Farm Girl Frivolous White 2016
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icewine Harvest

Natalie MacLeanShe really had some great stories about growing up on the winery!

Stephen Andrews31:22 I also like your Vidal varietal with the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Suzanne Powell MacNeill29:00 Looking for to the arrival of the ladies to my door in PEI! Way to go Sue-Ann… OAC’94 ! Salute from PEI!

Andrea Shapiro21:09 Oh that’s fun, to see the evolution of the label.

 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink Rosé 2016
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery Catering

Natalie MacLeanAgree – interesting to see what all goes into designing the label and how it changed over the years.

Andrea Shapiro19:31 That’s amazing – love the artwork featured. Farmy and Elegant! Love it 

Natalie MacLeanI really liked the Rose label!

Diane Russell Kiser38:48 The next time I head to my hometown, Beamsville, I will visit your winery!😎

 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Flamboyant Red 2013
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Howards Icewine Vidal

 

Tim Potter59:40 Can’t wait to visit this summer

Natalie MacLeanYou will have to let us know how the visit was after you go Tim !

Beverly Asleson10:47 Can we in your wine in California

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Robert’s Block Riesling 2016
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada

 

Natalie MacLeanSounds like Sue-Ann will make it happen if you email her.

Susan Otis34:16 You make some delicious Rieslings.

Patti Wright Hollander1:00:03 Such a great show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery The Louie Pinot Gris 2016
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icewine Nets

 

Susan Otis15:00 Sue-Ann, I have been coming to your winery for the last few years. Love several of your wines…. some delicious Rieslings!

Paul E Hollander1:02:21 Great show. Such a vivacious personality. Thank you Sue-Ann!

Paul E Hollander13:42 Bravo to you for the award. Great accomplishment and honor.

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Mabel’s VCR 2016
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Shapiro1:00:15 Thank you so much for your stories, look forward to visiting the winery. 

Stephen Andrews34:44 Sue-Ann has one of the most friendly wineries to visit great staff love people to taste.

Stephen Andrews29:25 We just finished of your new Baco release. Very berry juicy.

 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2015
Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery Tasting Room

Tim Potter47:59 Been there a few times. Love your wines

Lois Gilbert22:24 Do you think your marketing is directed more to women?

Stephen Andrews27:35 I like your Black Cat Baco Noir Label

 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery Bank Barn Baco Noir 2017
Niagara, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Shapiro18:05 Wonderful story Sue-Ann!

Andrea Shapiro56:13 Adding sugar to tomato sauce, awesome analogy!

Noel Cruz36:43 What’s unique with your grape growing or wine making?

Andrea Shapiro14:49 Outstanding achievement Sue-Ann, well deserved! Congrats!

 

 

Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery Catering

 

 

 

Icewine Vines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue-Ann Staff is a fifth-generation grape grower who grew up on the largest privately-owned vineyard in Canada. Growing up in the vines directly influenced Sue-Ann’s winemaking because from a young age she understood the relationship between the land and the wine. The result of Sue-Ann’s attention to detail is award-winning wines with great varietal character and high consumer appeal. She is one of Canada’s top winemakers, winning over 500 national and international wine awards.

She was acclaimed as “2002 Winemaker of the Year” by the Ontario Wine Society and twice recognized as one of the top four “Women in Wine” in the world by the International Wine and Spirits Awards of London, England.

Sue-Ann’s academic background laid the foundation for her achievements. During her Honors Horticulture and Biotechnology studies at the University of Guelph OAC ’94 (B.Sc.(Agr.)), she became the first Canadian to achieve the “Top Undergraduate Research Paper” awarded by the American Society for Horticultural Science. In addition, she became the first Canadian elected President of the Association of Collegiate Branches for the American Society for Horticultural Science involving all university horticulture clubs across North America.

A Graduate Degree in Oenology (1996) attained from the University of Adelaide, South Australia capped the formal instruction in winemaking. With experience from several other wineries including a trainee winemaking position with Simon Gilbert Wine Services in the Upper Hunter Valley, Australia, Miss Staff commenced making wine in Niagara, Canada.

After many years making wine for other wineries in Niagara, Sue-Ann opened Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery based on her family’s two-hundred-year-old estate in Jordan, Ontario in 2009. The winery produces high quality VQA wines from grapes grown on the Niagara Escarpment property. Sue-Ann’s wines are bold with a delicate touch. Look for exceptional Rieslings, opulent reds, delightful rosés, festive sparkling wines and seductive Icewines.

 

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