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Pinot Noir

Tawse Terroir: The Wines

The 2010 Canadian Wine Awards offered many superlative firsts that involved Niagara’s Tawse Winery on the Twenty Mile Bench.  They were the first Ontario winery to be named Canadian winery of the year; they won the most gold medals ever (five) for 2008 Robyn’s Block Chardonnay, 2008 Quarry Road Chardonnay, 2008 Lauritzen Pinot Noir, 2008 Wismer Lakeview Vineyard Riesling, and the 2009 Tawse Riesling; and the Robyn’s Block Chardonnay was named white wine of the year and now the record for highest table wine score (93) at these awards.  Last weekend I joined a group of Toronto wine food bloggers for an extensive tour of the fields and facilities at Tawse guided by winemaker Paul Pender and national sales manager Daniel Lafleur.

Tawse has practiced organic viticulture since Moray Tawse started the business in 2001 and has followed the tenets of biodynamic farming since 2006.  This movement is based on the ideas set out in a series of speeches by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 that, in short, call on farmers to produce as many of their inputs on their own farm as possible; substitute a selection of organic preparations for synthetic fertilisers; and schedule farm activities to coincide with the appropriate phase of the lunar month.  Corby Kummer wrote this outline of biodyamic winemaking for Techology Review. (more…)

Pork Shoulder and Pinot

I wrote a post here about the first course’s punch and have a couple articles in Spotlight Toronto’s 30 Days of Local Wine Series about the wine matching for my Foodbuzz 24: Terry Fox meal.  I’ve covered the drinks for the first few courses and left the main course until now.  From the moment that I submitted a proposal to do a meal for this round of the Foodbuzz 24 I knew that my main course was going to be roast pork from Perth Pork Products but what wine to pair with it?  Inspired by Charlie Palmer’s Pigs and Pinot event, my desire to showcase what Ontario does best and the fact that I had a couple of very good bottles on hand I decided to pair my main course with Pinot Noir.

We polished off a total of four different Ontario Pinots and found some really interesting differences between them.  The line-up was Coyote’s Run Red Paw Vineyard 2007, Inniskillin Winemaker’s Series Three Vineyards 2007, Flat Rock Cellars 2008 and 2009.  Three wineries (and at least five vineyards) and three vintages with lots of overlap for plenty of comparison. (more…)