It's been quite a year for The Yummy Grape! Taking a break from blogging to focus on the WSET Diploma, music, and a teeny tiny yummy grape who arrived in late spring. My husband and I decided to make a quick trip out to wine country for the afternoon for a little break from feedings and diaper changes.
First stop was Leaning Post winery. This small venture is run by husband and wife team Ilya and Nadia Senchuk. They are passionate about creating terroir-driven wines based on single block vineyards in Niagara. We had a chance to sample Pinot Noir grapes straight off the vine. The grapes were ripening nicely and were a few weeks away from harvest. A full tasting lineup was presented to us. From a dry mineral-driven Riesling to a classic example of Merlot from the fantastic 2012 vintage, these wines showcased great finesse. We ended up purchasing the 2014 Gamay and the 2012 Merlot. http://leaningpostwines.com/
After a delicious tasting at Leaning Post, it was time to feed the stomach. Since it was such a beautiful warm day, lunch was enjoyed on the patio of Redstone Winery, the latest venture by Moray Tawse, owner of Tawse winery. http://redstonewines.ca/
Next stop was Domaine Queylus where Thomas Bachelder has been winemaker since 2010. The 2014 Rose was quite impressive. Made from Pinot Noir, it was dry with delicate flavours. We left the winery with a bottle of the Rose and a bottle of the structured 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve. http://www.queylus.com
Our last stop was at one of our favourite wineries: Big Head. My mission for this visit was quite specific. I needed to try Andrzej Lipinski's new bottling: a traditional method sparkling wine. This bubbly was packed with flavour. It's product name is "Big Bang". It's a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This sparkler started its life as a wild ferment base wine which was then re-fermented in bottle. The wine was then aged further in bottle for 36 months on lees (dead yeast cells that give the wine that toasty flavour). I was lucky to leave the winery with two bottles of the Big Bang. Do visit Big Head because they have one of the best tasting bars in wine country. You'll probably be lucky enough to have Andrzej himself (owner and winemaker) lead you through a flight. http://www.bigheadwines.ca/