Working the Grape Sorting Table at Canada’s Benchmark Pinot Noir

Working the Grape Sorting Table at Canada's Benchmark Pinot Noir

They put me to work on the grape sorting table at Le Clos Jordanne a few weeks ago. This Niagara winery makes some of the finest, if not the finest, pinot noirs in Canada. Elegant, silky, seductive, these wines draw you head first into the glass.

Winemaker Thomas Bachelder is absolutely fanatical about grape selection: that’s the monumental foundation on which he contructs his wines. Here are the grapes coming in… juicy, fleshy and sweet like the fall…



Thomas and I drove out to all of the vineyards to taste the grapes and then compared these to barrel samples of the 2008 wines, which are weaving together beautifully. You’ll find my reviews of them here.




The vineyards are lovely to look at, draped in their white lacy nets as though dressed for a fall wedding. These nets have the practical purpose of keeping out hungry starlings, though a few always manage to get through.




This winery shows not only what Canada can do now, but it also points to a thrilling future. Wow.




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