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,…

Bordeaux’s Château Cos d’Estournel: A Digital Future Guided by the Past

  “Is the wine as good as the architecture?” asked my professor-of-architecture friend when I sent him a photo of Bordeaux’s Château Cos d’Estournel. “And then some!” I say, as I attempt to absorb a lecture on “Saracenic style” – a mix of Indian, Islamic and classical architecture, a result of the British colonization of…

Culmina Family Estate Winery: The Triggs of the Trade

I don’t think it would be a stretch to describe Culmina’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Sara Triggs as a tour de force. Like Gordon Fitzpatrick who you met in my last post – Sara is a second-generation winemaker, and like Gordon, a descendant of Canadian winemaking royalty. Sara’s parents are Don and Elaine Triggs (see…

Second Generation Winemaking Families: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Sparkle

Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie, Rashida Jones…….Sara Triggs? Gordon Fitzpatrick? What do they have in common? Some serious star power and a lot of familial fame. In the next two posts, you’ll meet the sons and daughters of industry legends who have stepped out of their parent’s shadows to carry on a family tradition….

CheckMate: Anthony von Mandl’s Master Class in Terroir Curation

Checkmate Artisanal Winery: 4799 Wild Rose Street, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, BC CheckMate doesn’t boast a high-end, architecturally inspiring winery – yet. What it has, instead, is a chessboard of ten, site-specific, small-lot vineyards in the southern region of the Okanagan Valley that provide a fabulously distinct range of Chardonnay and Merlot fruit. If you are a…

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…

Wine-making Canadians in Napa – Meet Ray Signorello Jr.

Over the holidays, I had the pleasure of reading Canada’s #truepatriotlove poster boy, Mike Myers. His memoir, Canada, is the former SNL funnyman’s unabashed love letter to Canada and his critical take on what traits define our country. A “bastion of progressive ideals”, “a country where I am my brother’s keeper”, the “heartland of civility”…