Blasted Church Winery was founded about 20 years ago and it has gained a reputation (and many awards) for the quality of its wines.
The prevalence of inexpensive South African wines on the market too often leads consumers to overlook the higher-quality wines.
Aficionados of horses and wine can find a winery in Chile that satisfies both their passions: Haras de Pirque, meaning “Pirque stud farm.”
Sicily is a mountainous island, and many vineyards are planted at high altitudes to benefit from cooler conditions that promote acidity and produce fresh-tasting wines.
South Africa’s pioneering Old Vine Project encourages owners of the country’s oldest vines to keep them in the ground and continue to make wine from them.
The cold ocean current and the cool onshore breezes might not invite swimming, but they provide a perfect canvas for Viviana Navarrete to fashion elegant pinot noirs and other wines.
Wine producers constantly stress the need for high-quality grapes to make excellent wines. Yet one of the most extraordinary and delicious wines made in Ontario in the last few years originated in a vineyard that had been abandoned for the season because the grapes were ruined by birds, fruit flies, and rot.
Macaloney’s Island Distillery, in Saanich on Vancouver Island, has been cleaning up in international whisky competitions.
Loire Valley sauvignon blancs are unlike their British Columbia, California, and southern hemisphere counterparts. All have similar components, but they are put together very differently.
It’s often said, more romantically than in any scientific sense, that wines express the place they come from. In a cultural sense, this is strikingly true of the wines of Bindi Sergardi.
When Mhairi (pronounced Vari) O’Donnell sat down with her mother more than a decade ago to look through old black-and-white photos of her grandmother, she had no idea it would lead to her opening what are possibly the world’s only champagne and fondue bars.
Wineries generally replace aging or underperforming grapevines gradually—parcel by parcel, or vineyard by vineyard—to minimize disruption to production. But Chile’s Santa Rita winery takes a radical approach.
Would you like your glass of bordeaux to be a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot—but with a little touriga nacional and marselan? This is likely to be the future—and the not-too-distant future—as wine producers galvanize to meet the challenges of climate change.
But some entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to open wine stores. If a bottle of wine could be sold with a meal, they reasoned, a bottle of wine could be sold with a bag of chips.
At California’s Ironstone Vineyards, there’s a glittering reminder of the origins of the state’s wine industry during the California Gold Rush.
Do Quebec wine consumers really like more-acidic wines than their Ontario counterparts? What about British Columbians? It’s actually not simply a matter of acidity but of style generally: a wine’s weight or body, fruit-acid balance, sugar and alcohol levels, and tannins.
The world of sparkling wine is vast, varied, and vibrant. It’s no exaggeration to say that there’s a sparkling wine for most budgets and every occasion—whether it’s Wednesday, a new puppy, or a golden anniversary. Exploring it is an adventure well worth undertaking.
Certified in only 2019 as a new wine sub-appellation in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, Naramata Bench has quickly established itself as a premium region.
Canadian pinot noir is well known to many wine aficionados, but in general it’s far too little appreciated. Who would have thought that it will soon become the most-planted wine grape variety in British Columbia?
The quality of its top wines, exemplified by Donnafugata’s range, means Sicily will soon take its place as one of Italy’s leading wine regions.
Even the most hard-core ABCer–someone who drinks anything but chardonnay–will agree that the C doesn’t include Chablis, the source of some of the world’s most delicious chardonnays.
For decades, the wines of Beaujolais have been both flaunted before the wine-drinking public and kept such a low profile they were little known beyond a coterie of serious wine-lovers.
The sheer proliferation of wine glasses, each dedicated to a specific variety or style, has itself probably been the undoing of that approach to glasses. How many wine glasses do you really need? The short and simple answer: one.
Mateus Rosé, the medium pink, lightly sparkling, off-dry, fruity, and oh-so-easy-drinking wine from Portugal, appealed not only to cultural and literal royalty, but also to millions of people around the world. It was the most-sold wine in the world in the 1970s, but it was no one-hit wonder: this year, Mateus celebrates its 80th anniversary, and it’s still going strong.
The combination of grape varieties and growing conditions in England results in sparkling wines that tend to show excellent flavour complexity and the high acidity expected of this style of wine. The generous bubbles stream in beads and are often tiny, a trait associated with fine sparkling wine.
Online wine auctions took off during the Covid pandemic, when it was impossible to gather for live events. Now that restrictions have eased, in-person auctions are back. But Iron Gate, a wine auction house based in Calgary, has put together a hybrid: a five-day online auction that will culminate in an in-person auction where online bidders can continue to participate.
Collavini brings together two apparently contradictory practices: making wines in pioneering styles and drawing on indigenous varieties that have grown in Friuli for centuries, perhaps millennia. Call it blending innovation with history.
It’s very unlikely that Marie Antoinette told the French peasantry to eat cake when the grain crop failed in 1789 and left them without bread. But the revolutionaries who later toppled her and King Louis XVI were determined to provide France’s citizens with more than bread: ample supplies of affordable, good-quality wine. In doing so, they laid the foundations for the place of wine in French culture for years to come.
A wine bar, surely, should be a drinking establishment where excellent wine leads the charge. The wine list needn’t have hundreds of bottles, but it should be smart and varied, with a decent range by the glass. And the wine should be served well: in good glasses, at the right temperature, and by informed servers.
Domaine Baud Génération 9 is one of the go-ahead wineries, led by a younger generation, that is transforming the face of wine.
One of Niagara’s most reliable wineries for almost two decades, Flat Rock is anything but resting on its reputation. It is experimenting with new styles, such as an orange wine made from riesling and gewürztraminer, as well as a new range of labels. They suggest an intrepid, forward-looking winery.
A successful pilgrimage demands good accommodation, and a wine pilgrimage is no exception. Burgundy is among the world’s most popular destinations for wine-lovers, and the opening of the newly renovated Hôtel du Palais, in the centre of Dijon, is well timed.
In 2016, Andrea Mullineux was named International Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. In addition, she was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild, an exclusive group of 47 of the country’s top winemakers, recently serving as its chair.
This is the Age of Wine. Should it be surprising that celebrities, like entrepreneurs everywhere, want to be part of it?
Adding a single skin-fermented white wine (aka orange wine) or a low-intervention wine (often known as natural wine) to a portfolio of conventionally made wines has become common. But Ontario’s Rosewood Estates Winery has undergone a remarkable transformation by adopting low intervention production for almost all its wines.
No longer considered a drink solely for special occasions, sparkling wine is now widely drunk on its own as a casual sipping wine, as an aperitif, and with meals. And although champagne might be the gold standard, it has plenty of competition.
Tradition and traditional are powerful concepts in marketing wine and many other products. A commodity or service described as traditional is something that has been around for a long time and is so good that it hasn’t changed; it has survived intact because its quality has been endorsed by generations. Here’s why you should be skeptical of the terms.
The latest alternative to the glass bottle is paper. Paper has two of the advantages of plastic and aluminum: it doesn’t shatter like glass, and it’s very light–the weight of a paper bottle of wine is essentially the weight of the contents.
The South America Wine Guide is the brainchild and product of the sheer hard work of Amanda Barnes, an English wine writer who has lived in Argentina for the last dozen years.
Chianti is not Tuscany, and Tuscany is not Chianti. Chianti co-exists with other Tuscan wine regions that sometimes struggle to escape the shadow of their better-known sibling.
The pleasure wine gives varies according to circumstances and mood, but many drinkers look for objective ratings when buying it. Reviewers all over the world rate wines out of 100 points, and many bottles carry stickers showing they scored 88, 90, or 93 points. But the 100-point system is not the only way wines are rated.
Since the success of Fuzion, the Familia Zuccardi has gone from strength to strength. Zuccardi attributes some of the success to its being a family enterprise. The person behind this inspired wine was José Alberto Zuccardi, a second-generation winemaker whose father began planting vines in the Mendoza region of Argentina in the 1960s.
Montes is not the only winery in the world to expose its maturing wine to music—some choose classical, others opt for jazz—but at Montes, it’s part of a more general orientation toward winemaking.
For the second-most-important wine-producing state in the United States, Washington is surprisingly little known internationally. Perhaps it’s because second is so far behind first: California.
One of the pleasures of travel is trying local or regional food and drink, including—perhaps especially—wines. Nova Scotia is home to about 20 wineries, and their wines are quite well represented on the city’s wine lists.
Two decades in, the foresight that judged this part of Nova Scotia ideal for making fine sparkling wines has borne fruit in more ways than one.
Many wineries, especially in New World regions, make what they call an icon wine. It is generally a limited-production red wine, the most expensive in a producer’s portfolio, and it sometimes comes in a bottle that’s heavier than the winery’s other bottles, as if to alert consumers to the wine’s gravitas.
Few gamays achieve the status of fine wines, but many deliver terrific quality and have an avid following.
Orange wines are polarizing; they are the Marmite of wine—not to everyone’s taste and quite off-putting to some people.
Jazz pianist Steve Byfield is the only listed Black owner of a winery in Canada.
CheckMate wines are made from only two varieties: chardonnay and merlot, an odd combination.
Pinot noir from the Willamette Valley established Oregon’s wine reputation by the 1990s, and ever since there have been the inevitable discussions about how it compares to pinot noir from Burgundy, considered the grape’s benchmark region.
For decades, many distinguished wineries have pitched their high-end wines as sourced from a single vineyard and even from selected parcels of vines from a particular vineyard. This has contributed to the mantra that their wines have a “sense of place,” already a hackneyed phrase in wine marketing. The thinking seems to be that the smaller the area grapes are sourced from, the better the wine they produce.
At the age of 22, when many of his fellow graduates were debating whether to do a master’s degree or get a job, Anthony von Mandl bought a wine agency.
The ability to age is one of the transformations taking place in vinho verde wines. Largely the work of a new generation of winemakers, a range of wines in a new style have been heading our way in the last few years.
In Canada, the main pinot noir regions are Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County in Ontario and Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, but there are plantings elsewhere in those provinces as well as in Nova Scotia and Quebec.
Chianti has been Italy’s best-known wine for many decades.
When Australian wines raced to world markets in a serious way in the 1990s, one of the first brands out of the gate was Wolf Blass.
With the disappearance of in-person wine auctions, more online versions began to pop up, but most were in the U.S. and Europe, making it difficult for all but a few Canadians to participate.
Thirty years ago this year, Chilean winemaker Eduardo Chadwick teamed up with California’s Robert Mondavi to make a world-class wine in Chile.
Like wine regions the world over, Napa Valley has adopted certification programs to help wine-producers do their bit to roll back environmental degradation and regenerate the land.
If there’s one superior white wine that has sprung to greater attention than all others in the last two decades, it’s sauvignon blanc.
The whites are fresh and lively and the weightier reds do not fatigue your palate as so many full-bodied wines often do
Almost 100 Napa wineries have reached into their libraries–their reserves of past vintages–to bring to light sought-after wines that are no longer commercially available.
St. Urbans-Hof winery dates back to 1947, when Hermann Weis, the grandfather of current owner and winemaker Nik Weis, established it, and a vine nursery.
Vitalie Taittinger took over the business two months before COVID-19 disrupted lives everywhere—and also disrupted patterns of wine consumption.
The conventional wisdom is that once vines pass a certain age—say, 20–30 years—they are better balanced with their environment and tend to produce fewer grapes but that these grapes make wines with distinctive flavour intensity and textural complexity.
While Luce plumbs the depth of the fruit each vintage, the second wine, Lucente (about $35 in Canada), is made in a more approachable and modern style.
Wakefield, a family-owned winery in South Australia’s Clare Valley, has added a gauge to the labels of some of its wines that tells you when the wine is in the optimal temperature zone for serving.
The term “flying winemaker” generally refers to winemakers who flit back and forth between the northern and southern hemispheres so as to make wine twice a year.
So as you prepare a meal from this year’s harvest – whether of meat, fish, vegetables, grains, or fruit – complement it with an earlier year’s grape harvests.
The name pinotage is a combination of the two grape varieties that are its parents: pinot noir and cinsault, then known in South Africa as hermitage.
“Family” is not only evocative. It’s ubiquitous.
Like some other wine-producing countries, Germany has had to deal with the unintended consequences of success.
The debate about which grapes should be Ontario’s signature varieties has been going on for years.
Lambrusco, the sparkling wine from northeastern Italy, is in the midst of a major makeover, and it’s high time to taste it again.
Icewine is ultrasweet by nature, by definition, and by law.
One of the big shifts in wine during the past two decades has been the rise in quality and popularity of sparkling wines. No doubt there’s a connection.
Corks, screw caps, and other ways of sealing bottles are referred to as closures in the wine business. But there’s no closure to the debate over the best way to seal a bottle of wine.
Although wines labelled pinot grigio and pinot gris are made from the same grape variety, the names generally refer to two different styles of wine.
Drink more wine, the French government urged its citizens.
There’s no doubt that rosé wines have come of age. But why now?
French wines are now judged in the context of the scores of fine wines from around the world, but there is a residual belief that French wines are the benchmark against which wines should be judged.
In the 1970s, for example, some leading Tuscan producers rebelled against restrictive wine laws and began to make such wines as Ornellaia, Tignanello, and Sassicaia, whose quality quickly made them more expensive than any other Italian wines.
Not only does she leave a trail of memorable and award-winning fine wines, but she also played a pioneering role in the adoption of organic and biodynamic methods.
While many wineries tout themselves as such, true destination wineries are those that wine tourists, and sometimes wine nerds, put at the top of their must-visit lists.
One of the noteworthy wineries in Italy’s northeastern Friuli region, by the border with Slovenia, is Vie di Romans. It’s best known for its fine white wines made both from international varieties and the local friulano grape.
The long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wine we drink are yet to unfold, as are its effects on the economy and on everyday life.
There are plenty of underappreciated grape varieties among the hundreds used for making the bulk of the world’s wine. One is chenin blanc, and, like many grapes, it often goes unrecognized because the wines are better known by their region of provenance than for the grape variety itself.
The current international market for sparkling wines is dominated by two styles: champagne and prosecco. But there’s one variety that deserves a lot more attention.
Not only does this way of making wine have a long history, but some of today’s well-known wines are made by négociants.
For many people, thinking about the distant history of wine evokes images of monks labouring in the vineyards and cellars of their monasteries.
The disappearance of Le Clos Jordanne wines was greeted with dismay at the time, as they were considered some of Canada’s best.
At Ca’ del Bosco, owner Maurizio Zanella has given “clean wine” a new meaning: workers at the winery actually wash the grapes before pressing them.
Whether you drink them in the lead up to the holidays or during, here are our 12 wines of Christmas.
How do you choose when faced with champagne, cava from Spain, Prosecco or Franciacorta from Italy, sekt from Germany, Cap Classique from South Africa, and sparkling wines from England, Croatia, Chile, and hundreds of other regions?
If the beneficiary of your giving doesn’t need glasses or an opener, there’s always a good bottle of wine… or a book.
It was 1934, and the Great Depression continued to eat at jobs and prosperity. As Bordeaux’s producers flailed around looking for a solution, Baron Philippe de Rothschild found one.
Until two or three decades ago, Italian whites tended to be simple and unimpressive, but they have grown in stature and quality, the best now ranking with top contenders from around the world.
Which type of red wine will next capture the imagination, hearts, and wallets of wine consumers?