Digging into Bordeaux’s Green Movement

I’m back from Bordeaux. Yes, again. How many visits to Bordeaux in a year constitute an addiction? No need to answer; it’s a rhetorical question. But for the record, I’m up to three. Some of my friends are calling me a wannabe Bordelaise. I am happy to report that’s true. Disclosures aside, the focus of…

Wines that are Better for You & the Environment. Meet Canadian Environmental Steward – Ann Sperling of Southbrook Vineyards

“Prescience” comes from the Latin verb praescire, which means to know beforehand, to have foresight. Prescient organizations often have leaders who – as the brilliant Queen’s University marketing professor Ken Wong says – aren’t afraid of leadership. “They recognize the ultimate competitive value is to be the best you.” Needless to say, (I’m saying it…

Canadians in Napa! Steve Matthiasson: Farmer, Viticulturist, Winemaker & Guardian of the Galaxy….aka Grape

The 2017 Matthiasson Rosé. Photo credit: Matthiasson Wines Did I happen to mention Steve Matthiasson, venerated winemaker, chief viticultural steward and all round humanitarian at Matthiasson Wines, grew up on my street in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA? It’s true. Napa’s guardian of the grape is indeed Canadian, spending his early years on Queenston Street, just around the…

Bordeaux’s Château de Reignac: a Case Study in Risk and Reward

If you’re of a certain vintage – or a student of advertising – you may be familiar with the seminal 1962 advertising campaign for Avis. The car rental company summed up their ‘customer promise’ in the pithy advertising tagline “We Try Harder”. Of course, consumers everywhere wondered try harder than whom? Without saying as much,…

The Niagara Escarpment’s Culinary Haven: The Good Earth Food & Wine Co.

It’s Saturday morning and I’m following Lake Ontario and the “Golden Horseshoe” arc that so aptly describes the southwest journey from Toronto to the Niagara Peninsula. Another 30 minutes of drive time, and I can visit one of the world’s most famous landmarks – Niagara Falls. But I won’t be a maid in the mist…

Hooked on Hunter Valley

In my books, Hunter Valley Semillon from New South Wales Australia is liquid gold. It’s one of those quiet, under-stated whites that’s a poster child for cellaring. I tasted a 2007 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon in wine class last year and it made quite an impression. We were studying “crisp racy whites” except the Semillon…

Waipara Valley Terroir

    You can’t drink wine and not consider the geography, botany and geology of the place that goes into your glass. Wine descends from the surface soils, bedrock, aspect, slope, winds and the geological cocktail of minerals and nutrients that feed the viticulture in the region. Most of us tip, pour and drink and…

Row, upon row, upon…

  Greetings from Waipara and Greystone Wines. The hills are alive with the sounds of pickers, bird scare cannons and that distinctive New Zealand exuberance. I’m in the midst of four days of picking and pruning at Greystone Wines. The extraordinarily deep-timbered Nick Gill – an Aussie transplant from the Barossa Valley – has assigned…