TasteCamp North: the Coverage

TasteCamp North has come and gone, and participants have started blogging and writing away. Here is a list of what has been published so far – a list that will be updated over the coming days and weeks, as new posts, articles and reviews make it online.

Chez Julien

En se rendant à TasteCamp North

Tastecamp North en images

Un terroir en pleine adolescence


TasteCamp 2011

Girl on Wine

TasteCamp North: Part One

TasteCamp North, Part Two: Tawse & Vineland

TasteCamp North, Part Three: Grand Tasting & Flat Rock

Good Grape

Oh, Canada:  With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise


Tastecamp Made Me a Spoiled Brat

Maritime Drinker

#Tastecamp Niagara – The Maritime Drinker Reports


Niagara: au-delà des chutes, de supers vins!

New York Cork Report

TasteCamp North 2011: A Photo Diary

What We Drank (May 20, 2011)

TasteCamp North: Canadian Soil, with Echoes of New York

Recognizing and Preserving Terroir in Niagara

“The Hardest Things to Do Are the Ones That Matter Most”: Winemaking Lessons from TasteCamp

TasteCamp North 2011: On Acidity, Perception and Other Observations

Palate Press

A Wine World to Discover: Tasting Niagara Wines at TasteCamp North

Passionate Foodie

Rant: How Memorable is TasteCamp?

Rue Frontenac

Les vins de Niagara tiennent leurs promesses

Spotlight Toronto

Tastecamp 2011 Photos

Toledo Wines and Vines

Karlo Estates 2008 Pinot Noir VQA Prince Edward County

A Wine From Canada… Really? Niagara Winemakers Seek Respect on the World Stage

Niagara’s Search for Cool Climate Chardonnay Mastery

Niagara Gets Back to Nature With Wild Fermentation

Uncork Ontario

Tastecamp Brief Report: Day 1

Tastecamp Day 1, Part 1

Tastecamp Day1, Part 2

Tastecamp Day 2 Part 1: Tawse & Vineland

Tastecamp Day 2 Part 2: Flat Rock Cellars and Treadwell BYOW Dinner

Tastecamp Day 3: US Niagara, Carmelo’s, Arrowhead & Freedom Run

10 (Er… 12) Things I Learned at Tastecamp North

The Wine Case

Ready for TasteCamp North: What’s So Great About Niagara, Anyway?

Post-TasteCamp North interviews: Jonathan Wilson of Labeled.ca

Post-TasteCamp North interviews: Adam Japko of Wine Zag

Post-TasteCamp North interviews: Diane Letulle of the Wine Lover’s Journal

Post-TasteCamp North interviews: Jeff Lefevere of Good Grape

Post-TasteCamp North interviews: Richard Auffrey, the Passionate Foodie

Post-TasteCamp North interviews: Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report

Post-TasteCamp North Interviews: Amanda Maynard, the Wineing

Wines in Niagara

TasteCamp in Niagara: Day One

TasteCamp Niagara in pictures, Day Two on the Bench

TasteCamp Niagara, Part I, a look back at a weekend of wine

TasteCamp Part II: On the Bench wineries, and the legendary BYOW dinner

Wine Zag

Clos de la Roilette & Ramps

Get Over Yourself With Niagara Wine

Top Three Wines of May: Loire Valley and Niagara, Ontario

Meet the Winemakers, Ann Sperling

The history of Southbrook dates back to 1991 when when Bill and Marilyn Redelmeier opened-up a winery at their farm in Richmond Hill, ON. After more than a decade of sourcing grapes in Niagara they took the opportunity to build a winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake when 74 acres became available off of Niagara Stone Road in 2005. The new winery was created with the philosophy of being harmonious with the land and sustainable. The facility is LEED certified and water is treated through bio-swale and wetland system on site. In keeping with this philosophy Southbrook has been Pro-Cert Organic certified since 2008 and became the first Demeter-certified biodynamic winery in Canada that same year.

Ann Sperling has 27 years of experience in the wine industry but literally grew-up on the family vineyard in Kelowna, BC that has been growing grapes since the 1930s. She is considered one of the Niagara’s most talented and passionate winemakers having won Winemaker of the Year at the 2004 Ontario Wine Awards. Sperling views herself as more of a winegrower than winemaker and firmly believes that good wine is grown in the vineyard. She has lead Malivoire through organic certification and Southbrook through organic and biodynamic certification.

» Read more…

Meet the Winemakers, Peter Gamble

Despite that Ravine only opened in 2006 there is a family connection to the property that goes back five generations to when David Jackson Lowrey planted one of the early commercial vineyards. Located on the St. David’s Bench in a spot which used to be the mouth of a river that fed the former Lake Iroquois, Ravine has some unique soils and a unique microclimate. The winery has quickly built a reputation as a quality producer of elegant wines primarily based on Bordeaux varieties but enjoys a cult-like following for its Riesling.

Peter Gamble is an expert in all things Ontario wine having lead the VQA through some of its formative years for a decade. The Port Dalhousie born and raised consulting winemaker has trained under expert winemakers schooled at some of the best winemaking institutes in Austria, Germany and Italy and has some 20 years of experience in the industry. Gamble has consulted at some of the region’s top wineries including Stratus as well as projects abroad like renown Nova Scotia sparkling wine producer Benjamin Bridge. He and wife Ann Sperling own a 7-acre vineyard of old vines Malbec in Mendoza.

» Read more…

Meet the Winemakers, J-L Groux

Established in 2000 Stratus has quickly become recognised as a top wine producer in Niagara. With LEED certification, a geo-exchange heating system and a hybrid vehicle fleet the Niagara-on-the-Lake winery is committed to sustainability. The winery has become a destination for people who come to taste wine in the award winning minimalist tasting room as well as visit the modern gravity flow facility.

Loire native and Bordeaux and Burgundy trained J-L Groux is one of the longest serving winemakers in Niagara-on-the-Lake with harvest experience that dates back to the early 1980s. Groux has won countless awards including Ontario Winemaker of the Year and his wines are consistently praised by critics for their elegance and complexity. Groux lives the concept of assemblage and was responsible for the first Trius (a blend of the Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) back in 1989 while he was head winemaker at Hillebrand. He continues the evolution of this concept drawing on 19 grape varieties and multiple clones grown at Stratus.

» Read more…

Meet the Winemakers, Derek Barnett

The Lailey family has farmed their piece of land by the Niagara River since the 1950s but the transition into the present day winery began in the 1970s when Derek and Donna Lailey started planting vinifera. Over the next three decades their reputation for producing quality grapes grew. Donna, one of the area’s best viticulturists, was crowned the first Grape Queen by the Grape Growers of Ontario for having the best vineyard in 1991. The Laileys took the next step in 2000 when they received a winery license and Derek Barnett joined as winemaker and business partner. Since then the winery continues to produce award winning wines that are praised by both critics and consumers.

With twenty years of experience at Southbrook and now Lailey, Derek Barnett is one of Niagara’s top winemakers. The winner of Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Awards in 2000, he has a passion for cool climates wines particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—the winery’s specialty. A larger than life personality Derek can often be found sharing his passion for wine with customers at wine events or behind the tasting bar at Lailey when he’s not in the cellar or the vineyard.

» Read more…

Meet The Winemakers, Emma Garner

The story of Thirty Bench Winemakers goes back to 1981 when Dr. Tom Muckle planted Riesling on the Beamsville Bench—an area now considered to be a prime spot in Niagara for the variety. Muckle together with two other talented amateur winemakers Yorgos Papageorgiou and Frank Zeritsch built the winery’s reputation by focusing on quality practices in the vineyard like dry farming, hand harvesting and limiting yields. The winery was eventually purchased by Andrew Peller Limited in 2005 and continues the same quality focused practices. Thirty Bench consistently wins awards and critical acclaim for its wines particularly its single vineyard Rieslings and Cabernet Francs.

Thirty Bench’s current winemaker Emma Garner has a love of travel, food and wine which drew her into the industry. She’s a graduate of local Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and her wine related travels have taken her to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and B.C. Garner began her winemaking career performing R&D winemaking at Hillebrand in 2002 and worked along side previous Thirty Bench winemaker Natalie Reynolds starting in 2005. Garner has since taken over as keeper of Thirty Bench’s Triangle, Steel Post and Wood Post Riesling vineyards when she succeed Reynolds as the estate’s winemaker in 2009.

» Read more…

Meet the Winemakers, Ross Wise

Since 1999 Flat Rock Cellars has built its reputation on a combination of great wines and great passionate people. The winery is housed in a unique hexagonal gravity-flow facility with a stunning view overlooking the Twenty Mile Bench. The focus is on the cooler climate varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling which they believe excel in Niagara, but particularly where they are a little higher up on the bench. It also isn’t afraid to do things a little differently being the first Niagara winery to bottle the entire line-up under screw-cap and in the case of the new sparkling wines a crown cap which required a change to the VQA rules.

Winemaker Ross Wise was born and raised on the South Island of New Zealand. Wise gained a Bachelor of Viticulture and a winemaking degree at Charles Sturt University where he finished at the top of his class. After gaining a passion for Pinot Noir working at Central Otago producer Felton Road, Wise came to Flat Rock to learn and experience harvest in a different part of the world. He spent two years learning the ins-and-outs of Flat Rock’s vineyard as the assistant winemaker before returning home briefly. He came back to become Flat Rock’s winemaker when the position opened-up in 2009.

» Read more…

Meet the Winemakers, Ron Giesbrecht

With its first vintage coming in 1988, Henry of Pelham is one of Niagara’s early boutique wineries. The Speck family has a connection to the property dating back 170 years when their ancestor Henry Smith ran an inn and tavern there. Brothers Paul, Matthew and Daniel Speck have built their winery’s reputation as a quality producer of a wide-range of wines. The winery is particularly well known for its Riesling, Chardonnay, Baco Noir, Pinot Noir and its sparkling wine Cuvée Catharine.

Born and raised on a fruit farm in Vineland, Ontario Ron Giesbrecht has not only a connection to growing in Niagara, but he has a solid academic background with a Masters in Food Science and Oenology from the University of Guelph. Giesbrecht joined Henry of Pelham as winemaker in its third vintage has been there ever since. With an excitement that is still as strong today as when he began, his experience of producing award winning wines at Henry of Pelham for over two decades is virtually unmatched in Niagara.

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Meet the Winemakers, Sébastien Jacquey

A joint venture between Canada’s largest wine company Vincor and Burgundy’s largest producer Boisset, Le Clos Jordanne began in 1999 with the simple goal of producing great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that is reflective of the place it is grown—Niagara. Since then the winery has built a reputation for producing not only some of finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the region but also some world class examples like the 2005 Claystone Terrace Chardonnay that won the Judgment of Montreal.

As an Engineer of Oenology and Viticulture and a holder of a Masters in Earth and the Environment specializing in Vine Management and Terroir, winemaker Sébastien Jacquey certainly knows his way around a vineyard. His academic training was supported by hands-on experience in cool climate French regions like the Loire valley, Bordeaux and Burgundy before spending the last three years learning the intricacies of Le Clos Jordanne’s vineyards as former winemaker Thomas Bachelder’s assistant. Although his focus and heart lies in crafting the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir inspired by Burgundian tradition, Jacquey is first and foremost a passionate lover of all wines that are expressive of their terroir.

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Meet the Winemakers, Bruce Nicholson

Inniskillin, founded by Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, is credited as being one of the first boutique wineries that helped shape the Niagara wine region into what it is today. By focusing only on hybrid and vinifera varieties they were able to convince officials to grant them the first new winery license since prohibition. The winery build a reputation locally by focusing on quality but the world really took notice of Inniskillin and Niagara at large after its 1989 Vidal Icewine won best wine at the 1991 Bordeaux Vinexpo. Although Inniskillin enjoys a world-wide reputation for its Icewines, it makes a full range of table wines from throughout the region and has vineyards in both Niagara and British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

With 25 years of experience in both the Okanagan Valley and Niagara, Inniskillin Niagara’s winemaker Bruce Nicholson has built a reputation as being a detail-oriented winemaker who produces award winning wines that please critics and customers alike. The Niagara Falls born winemaker likes to keep in mind that his ultimate boss is the consumer and making a wine that keeps them returning is the best complement he can receive.

» Read more…