Art Meets VQA Wine at Into The Vine!

This past weekend we had the pleasure of attending “Into The Vine” here in Toronto. Organized by Wine Country Ontario, this event was not your traditional wine tasting… in fact, it was a wine tasting deconstructed! While we swirled, sipped and savoured some of the best wines Ontario has to offer, we found ourselves immersed in 6 multi-sensory art installations inspired by 6 different VQA Ontario wine varieties. The varieties that took center stage were: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Cabernet Franc, and our personal favourite… Sparkling! 🍾  Sampling some of the best VQA Ontario wines in the presence of a range of multi-sensory art installations was was a truly memorable experience that ignited our senses and challenged the way we taste, experience and think about VQA Ontario wine. On top of that, we had so many fantastic conversations about the world-class cool climate wines crafted here in Ontario with wine professionals, industry experts, winemakers, bloggers and so many designers and artists. Without “Into The Vine,” these amazing inter-disciplinary conversations could have never happened!

We also had the pleasure of teaming up with Wine Country Ontario for an Instagram Takeover, and if you know one thing about us (apart from our love of bubbles 😉) it’s that we’re always on Instagram! 📸😜 So come journey “Into The Vine” with us, and check out some of our shots (and thoughts) from this spectacular event below!


Vibrant & Bubbly!

Guess where we kicked things off? 😉 At the Sparkling exhibit of course! A beautiful piece entitled “Cloud Cell” by Xiaojing Yan. That’s over 13,000 freshwater pearls suspended in space by hundreds of clear filaments! 😳

We thought Yan’s piece captured the essence of Sparkling wine perfectly. Delicate and mesmerizing, it looked just like the bubbles suspended in our glasses of Henry of Pelham’s Cuveé Catharine Brut! 😜 (One of our all-time favourites!).

We should mention that we had the pleasure of attending “Into The Vine” on two separate days. Best part about that? The wines on offer changed each day! So you could re-visit the artworks with a different wine for a new experience. Over the two days we tasted Henry of Pelham’s Cuveé Catharine, Trius’ Brut, The Grange’s Brut, and Colio’s Lily Sparkling. Four different examples, from the four main regions of Ontario! 🙌


Fresh & Captivating!

40,000+ flowers. 😳 WHOA. This epic colossal floral arrangement by Studio F Minus housed a water fountain that was encased in a stunning floral lattice where different colours and patterns were projected onto.

This piece did an incredible job of capturing the fresh and aromatic quality of Riesling, and was certainly a favourite of many patrons.

We were blown away by the Riesling from Trail Estate Winery – a beautiful expression of Prince Edward County’s terroir!


Golden & Luxe!

Now this is where things got interactive – and a little loud! 😂 The Chardonnay inspired installation by Atomic3 was an immersive and thought-provoking spectacle! Mimicking a large bonfire, the more people that gathered (and moved) around it, the brighter and louder it would get. Pretty cool, right?

We were also super jazzed to see two of our favourite VQA Ontario Chardonnays on offer, from Southbrook and Westcott. Both wonderful examples of the versatility of Niagara Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir

Raspberry & Seductive!

Pinot Noir… *sigh*. The heartbreak grape. Difficult to grow, but SO worth it! This beautiful piece by Toronto based illustrator Madison Van Rijn artfully showcased a group of women – elegant and seductive, just like the grape itself! Whimsically represented through the warm colours and the romantic, loving embraces of the figures on this canvas. It provided a stunning backdrop for sipping on some equally stunning wines. And, Chef Cory Vitiello totally nailed it with these beautiful, silky espresso vanilla bean marshmallows. Perfect pairing for the elegant and seductive Pinot Noir!

We loved the classic Ontario Pinot from Flat Rock and Château des Charmes, as well as the incredibly fresh (and oh so fruity and delicious) unfiltered Pinot Noir from Rosewood.

Gamay Noir

Violet & Mysterious!

Another fun immersive piece, this installation by WECIP had us cozy up with Gamay – and the other “Into The Vine” guests! Laying on our backs we watched a mesmerizing projection above, which almost felt as though we were looking up into a glass of Gamay Noir. As the projection changed colours, you could really feel yourself immersed in the experience!

Often fresh and fruit forward, Ontario has put its own stamp on Gamay by giving it some oak treatment for added complexity. It was a treat to try a diverse range of styles at “Into The Vine”, and we loved the offerings from The Grange and 13th Street!

Cabernet Franc

Sensual & Complex!

Ah, Cabernet Franc! Smokey, sensual and… “Stranger Things”? 😜 That’s how we interpreted our favourite installation at the event, by Guillaume Marmin. We wondered into a dark room full of smoke, and were greeted by gloriously complex light projections that felt straight out of an episode of “Stranger Things”… but also had a distinctive intangible beauty about them (and made for some fantastic photos!).

The Stratus Cab Franc was out of this world, so silky and delicious. And Chef Cory Vitiello totally nailed it (again) with the braised beef mole food pairing! We may have had a few.

All and all, “Into The Vine” was a spectacular and thought-provoking art and wine event, that blew any traditional wine tasting we’ve ever been to out of the water. It challenged the way we thought about different Ontario grape varietals, and ignited each and every one of our senses. From the physical elements, to the emotional connections invoked by the art installations to the cerebral moments, trying to figure out what the art meant … we had so many wonderful experiences, paired with VQA Ontario wine! Not only that, but we had so many amazing conversations with industry experts, winemakers, designers and artists and beyond. This would never have happened if not for “Into The Vine.” What an exciting time for Ontario wine. 🙌

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