On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Ontario Wine Reviews: 41 Wines from 19 Wineries

22 Jun 2017

Not all reviews make the newsletter, there's just so many good wines and not enough space ... so every three to six months (or so) I clear out the backlog of wines ... here are the reviews that were written but until this time have never seen the light of day.  (click on the wine name to link to the full review)

Aure 2015 Pinot Blanc
Casa Dea 2013 Adamo, Limited Edition
Cattail Creek 2016 Pinot Gris, Estate Series
Cave Spring 2014 Gamay
Chateau des Charmes 2014 Chardonnay, Paul Bosc Vineyard
Chateau des Charmes 2014 Merlot, St. David’s Block
Chateau des Charmes 2015 Aligote
Chateau des Charmes 2015 Chardonnay, Barrel Fermented
Creekside 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
Creekside 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé

Dark Horse 2013 Pinot Noir, One Horse Town
Dark Horse 2014 Cabernet-Merlot, One Horse Town
Dark Horse 2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Dark Horse 2015 Brash White, Unapologetic
Dark Horse 2015 Chardonnay, One Horse Town
Dark Horse 2015 Method Cuve Close, One Horse Town
Diamond Estates 2014 Cabernet-Merlot, McMichael Collection
Featherstone 2016 Four Feathers
Featherstone 2016 Rosé
Flat Rock Cellars 2015 Twisted White

The Hare Wine Co. 2013 Crown Land Red
The Hare Wine Co. 2013 Jack Rabbit Red
The Hare Wine Co. 2015 Chardonnay, Frontier Collection
Henry of Pelham 2015 Baco-Cabernet Sauvignon, Red House Wine Co.
Henry of Pelham 2015 Baco Noir, Speck Family Reserve
Henry of Pelham 2015 Sibling Rivalry Red
Henry of Pelham 2016 Pinot Grigio
Hinterland 2016 Ancestral
iCellars 2014 Chardonnay
iCellars 2015 Chardonnay
iCellars 2015 Pinot Noir

Kacaba 2016 Rosé, Rebecca
Kacaba 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Susan’s
Pondview 2014 Chardonnay, Bella Terra
Redstone 2013 Riesling, Limestone – South
Tawse 2012 Cabernet Franc, Van Bers Vineyard
Tawse 2012 Merlot, David’s Block
Tawse 2013 Cabernet Franc, Growers Blend
Two Sisters 2012 Estate Red
Vineland 2014 Cabernet Franc
Vineland 2014 Chardonnay, Oliviera Vineyard
Vineland 2015 Cabernet-Merlot
Vineland 2015 Pinot Meunier, Sparkling Reserve


Campania Stories - Day 3 & 4

26 Apr 2017


Both day three and four start out with “major” tastings of both white and red wines (you can find those notes here: Campania Whites / Campania Reds) … and then the day of touring began:

Day 3 …

A small handful of us end up at Feudi di San Gregorio, the largest winery of Campania (3 million bottle output) and one of the largest in all of Italy (4+ million bottles total).  This ultra-modern winery has everything Feudi 6 Pack of Picsgoing for it: access to old vines, state of the art winemaking facilities, gorgeous views and a Michelin-star restaurant (sadly closed for a private event during our visit). Young by Italian standards (est. 1986) this winery has grown up fast and maintains a young, vibrant, energetic staff to keep it on the cutting edge and moving forward with an eye both on the past, but definitely with one zeroed in on the future.  Some of the most impressive wines were the traditional method sparklings made in very small quantities, but definitely worth tasting if you get out to the winery.  Other wines that truly impressed were:

2015 CampanaroFeudi Wines
2011 Taurasi
2011 Taurasi, Piano di Monte Vergine
2011 Serpico

Day 4 …

Today, two visits are on the docket, both are wineries located on the hillside of Mt Vesuvius … stunning views and the proximity to “danger” is a really impressive way to spend an afternoon.  At one point we were a mere 4km from the crater – it is said that within that distance, if the volcano were to erupt, you have less than 7 minutes to kiss your family and your own ass goodbye. While many of us would think living under Vesuvius Soilsthose conditions would be stressful the people up here seem less concerned with the volcano’s temperament and more on their day-to-day lives and how they can focus attention on agro-tourism to their part of the world without being able to spend a dime on infrastructure.  The wineries are part of the National Park (Sorrentini Vini in particular) and because of this the government has a say in what they can and cannot build, or even do, with their winery making it hard to make upgrade and modernizations … at times, as Giuseppe Sorrentino speaks, I am reminded of home and how our government likes to poke its nose into areas it shouldn’t when it comes to the wine business.

200 Year Old Vines

For the most part these wines are grown on un-grafted vines because of the volcanic and sandy soils they are grown in (phylloxera does not thrive in sandy soils), and they give an authentic feel to the wines … do they taste better than grafted (on North American rootstock) wines? That is a tougher question to answer and one for the drinker / consumer to decide – for me, a good wine is a good wine grafted or not.



Casa Setaro wines of note:
2013 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso Riserva, “Vincenzo”
Caprettone Spumante Metodo Classico
2014 Aglianico Campania, “Terramatta”


Sorrentino Vini wines of note:
2015 Lacryma Christi de Vesuvio Bianco Superior, “Vigna Lapillo”
2014 Lacryma Christi de Vesuvio Rosso Superior, “Vigna Lapillo”
2016 Lacryma Christi de Vesuvio Rosato
2012 Aglianico Vesuvio Superiore, “Don Paolo”



Get Our Newsletter

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+ tumblr