The new cuvée is 90 per cent pinot noir using the finest black grapes and 10 per cent chardonnay. La Grande Dame 2012 follows the ethos of Madame Clicquot, who believed pinot noir has the broadest range of expression and potential to make the best champagne.
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.
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.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Canada isn’t as densely planted in vines as Italy, France, and Spain, but vineyards can be found from coast to coast. To the west are wineries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and on the eastern seaboard are a few in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, with many more in Nova Scotia
Think of French wine regions, and the Loire Valley is not one that is top of mind.