This year, we had the opportunity to attend the Cuvée 2017 Grand Tasting, hosted by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) in Niagara Falls, Canada! We were honoured and delighted to take part in the Grand Tasting, which celebrates excellence in Ontario winemaking and features a stunning array of award-winning VQA wines. And luckily for us, the bubbly was well represented! 🍾
Cuvée 2017 Grand Tasting guests had the opportunity to taste wines that were selected by each winemaker as their favourite, which made the experience all the more special. We really enjoyed being able to sample wines that winemakers selected as their favourites, and we were blown away by the diversity! In addition, Ontario winemakers, wineries and professionals in the industry were honoured by the Tony Aspler Award, the Excellence in Viticulture Award and the VQA Promoters’ Award. Basically, the Oscars of the Ontario wine industry – and we got to mingle with some of the winners! 😉
But it wasn’t all fun and tastings. In fact, the Cuvée 2017 Grand Tasting, like in previous years, will generate revenue towards supporting student scholarships and local grape and wine research through the Cuvée Legacy Fund. Awesome, eh?! 🍷🇨🇦
The array of beautiful Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Icewine was a special and delicious distraction for us Sparkling Winos! We did, however, manage to sample our fair share of sparkling wines!
First, we loved the Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut. Henry of Pelham was the first VQA winery we ever visited, over a decade ago. We love that they’ve become a “powerhouse” of VQA sparkling wine. The Cuvée Catharine Brut is made in the traditional method with a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and offers lovely brioche notes and hints of fresh citrus and apple on the palate. We can’t get enough of this award-winning wine!
Up next, we thoroughly enjoyed the Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs Brut, which is made in the traditional method, from 100% Chardonnay and is aged for three years on the lees. A lovely, complex and crisp wine that is quintessentially Ontario, and shows exactly how well we do bubbles!
A unique treat was the Vineland Estate Reserve 2015 Sparkling Pinot Meunier. Made in the charmat method from 100% Pinot Meunier grapes, this wine focuses on the sometimes overlooked third “Champagne blend” grape (the others being, of course, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). While the charmat method used to make this wine results in a youthful and fruity character, it had a unique profile and beautiful colour.
And finally, you don’t get more quintessentially Canadian than Vieni Estates’ Canada 150! We love to keep it festive, and we love celebrating this great nation of ours, so we absolutely enjoyed this special sparkling red for the native land’s big sesquicentennial (try saying that after a few tastings). This charmat method wine, made from Pinot Noir, Baco and Pinot Meunier offers a dry finish and enticing aromas of currant and red berries.
Not only did we get to try some great wines, but we also had the opportunity to enjoy the company of some marvellous individuals!
Niagara’s own Denny and John, the absolutely charming duo otherwise known as @TheWineBoys.
Two of our fav ladies! Home-town representative and recipient of the VQA Promoter award, Angela and the effervescent Mandy of @iYellowWineClub.
Two of the most hardworking, influential and passionate individuals behind VQA Ontario Wines, Magdalena Kaiser and Joanna Muratori of the Wine Marketing Assocation of Ontario (@WineCountryOnt).
What an amazing evening – we were truly thrilled and honoured to have attended such a special event promoting excellence in the Ontario wine industry.
And, what would a trip to Niagara Falls be without an obligatory shot of the falls themselves? Cheers to VQA! 🍷
For more on the Cuvée 2017 Grand Tasting, visit their website. And make sure to mark your calendars for next years event – because it’s certainly not one to be missed!