Canadian Wine – a walk-around tasting
Aside from the reliable production of ice wine, Canada produces some fantastic dry expressions.
On 14th May, we were very fortunate to welcome some of Canada’s top producers, as chosen by our great friend and Member, Marc Nadeau; a man who took over the management of L’Academie du Vin in Toronto, taking the reins from Bartholomew Broadbent. Since then, Marc has been actively involved in nurturing Canada’s position on the global wine stage, and has introduced many foreign winemakers, wine lovers and personalities to the Niagara and Okanagan Valley regions. We were very fortunate to be Marc’s chosen location to showcase these pioneering producers.
A wine-making history
To give a brief background, during the first half of the twentieth century, the temperance movement and the demand for fortified and sweet wines hindered the development of a quality table wine industry. It was during the 60’s that this demand shifted from sweet and fortified wines to drier and low alcohol wines. There was significant growth and development within the Canadian wine industry during this time, with access to better grape varieties, disease resistant clones and in-depth viticulture research.
One of the many talented producers we welcomed on the night was Painted Rock Estate Winery – a team headed by proprietor John Skinner who works in close collaboration with Bordeaux-based consultant Alain Sutre, who defines wine-making protocol and advises on viticulture. Their wines attract rave reviews, and you can certainly see why, as we tasted three 2016 expressions – Red Icon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah . The Red Icon in particular was superb.
Additionally, Charles Baker Cabernet Franc was full and expressive. This producer has, very rapidly, become an exemplar for quality within the Canadian wine industry – notes of plum, dark fruits and chocolate was balanced beautifully with refreshing acidity. Charles Baker’s Riesling, Picone Vineyard was also fantastic – a true classic of the site, off-dry in style with enormous amounts of green apples and elderflower. A real treat.
When appreciating the beauty of this region, Mission Hill immediately sprung to mind; 2016 Mission Hill Terroir Cabernet Franc, 2016 Mission Hill Terroir Pinot Noir and 2014 CheckMate Little Pawn Chardonnay made an appearance on the evening. Certainly one for the travel bucket list.
We work incredibly closely with Marc on his Canadian tastings year on year, and truly fly the flag for this fantastic wine-producing country. We look forward to welcoming many more brilliant producers to 67 Pall Mall.