Continuing our discovery of Ontario grape growers, this video introduces us to Gord Mitchell and his daughter, Tanya. I'm very sad to say that as I was starting this article on the Mitchells, I learned that Gord passed away suddenly last week on Sunday November 6th at the age of 66. My deepest condolences to the Mitchell family.
Gord and Tanya Mitchell
The Mitchells own Sprucewood Shores Winery in Harrow, Ontario. This is located in the appellation known as Lake Erie North Shore. I have to admit in that I've haven't visited this region yet but it is on my list of places to visit!
Ontario has four major wine appellations, each with their own unique characteristics:
The Niagara Peninsula
Prince Edward County
Lake Erie North Shore
Situated in one of the most southern parts of Ontario, vineyards of Lake Erie North Shore have plenty of sunshine. This long growing season allows the fruit to ripen well. The cool lake breezes off the shallow waters of Lake Erie ensure that grapes retain that delicate balance between sweetness and acidity. The region has twelve wineries specializing in Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
In the video Gord discusses how the production of wine truly starts in the vineyard. Good wine comes from ripe, quality fruit. Winemaking is an art and it all starts on the vine itself. One can certainly do scientific analysis on the grapes but it doesn't compare to tasting those grapes to really see where they're at. Gord mentions that he and his wife started the vineyard twenty years ago and how Ontario has it's own unique climate, soil and people. He enjoys the rich, lush Cabernet Franc that comes from Ontario. As I watch this video, I can't help but feel so sad at the passing of Gord Mitchell. I believe that Lake Erie South Shore has truly lost a key player in their local wine industry and a strong advocate of the Ontario industry as a whole.