One of the most exciting features of Cuvée is being introduced to amazing Ontario VQA wine selections that our winemakers picked as their personal favourites! Visit each of our participating wineries featured in Station 5 to hear more about what makes each wine so special, complete with tasting notes, pairing tips, and insider insights.
Don’t forget to also visit the links featuring the Winemakers Favourites below. Each winery has provided options that make it easy for you to shop online and enjoy these wines at home! Support local!
Pillitteri Estates Winery
WINEMAKER: Alex Kolundzic
2015 Pillitteri Reserva Famiglia Fruttaio
This is Pillitteri’s first release of a true Amarone style Appassimento wine, using the grape varietals of the Verona region of Italy which were planted in our Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards in 2009 and spent six years maturing before we harvested this fruit. The wine is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Merlot and is a one-of-a-kind wine in Canada. This wine provides a unique tasting experience and was an absolute joy to blend, marrying our unique Niagara terroir and new world winemaking style with one of the most popular old-world grape varietals in history. Fruttaio, this wines name, is derived from the Italian term for the drying rooms in Verona, Italy, where they dry their grapes on racks before pressing. Our grapes were dried in the same manner for a period of 30 days before pressing.
2017 Team Canada White
This white blend is one of the Official Wines of the Canadian Olympic Team. It is an aromatic blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Grigio, and well suited to showcase what Canadian cool climate winemaking is built on. As part of the Team Canada Wine Collection, $1 from the sale of each bottle of this wine will be donated to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support Canadian athletes in their pursuit of sport.
PondView Estate Winery
WINEMAKER: Fred Di Profio
2017 Bella Terra Meritage
Think of the film Casablanca: fedoras and trench coats and La Marseillaise. That’s where this wine takes me, and I believe it will be a classic. Two years in French oak encouraged a full-bodied sensuousness. The palate evokes the flavours of Morocco—hints of clove, allspice, figs and dates—and the image of Bogart, all subtle and smoky. The finish is definitely Bacall—long and graceful—wrapped in velvet, and somewhere, she found dark chocolates. And this wine will only get better with time, in fact “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
2017 Fumé Blanc
Why? Because it’s unbridled and wild, like a majestic, untamed stallion. This Sauvignon Blanc is a thoroughbred that delights the nose yet confounds the palate with its complexity. There’s nothing docile about it. Passionfruit. Grapefruit. Sweet vanilla. It’s full-bodied and fresh with citrus. It’s in your face. But then the spice takes the reins and the pace relaxes to a slow, leisurely walk to the finish. It makes me wonder if Secretariat knew anything about wild fermentations?
Queenston Mile Vineyard
WINEMAKER: Rob Power
2016 Blanc de noirs Brut Nature
Vintage to vintage, my favourite traditional method bubbly from the estate vineyard in St. David’s is blanc de noirs. Pinot noir’s silky, rounded mouthfeel adds great mid-palate weight to the elegance of sparkling wine. We’ve left the 2016 Brut nature with zero dosage to highlight the acid-mousse tension. 36 months on lees before disgorgement.
2017 Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is the winemaker’s “Mount Everest,” but we all love to dance with the heartbreak grape. Our estate vineyard in St. David’s is one of the warmer sites in Niagara during the autumn, so Pinot wines from there lean towards a bigger, more full-bodied style. 2017 vintage was a bit cooler, lending some acid elegance onto the ripe, earthy flavour profile.
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
WINEMAKER: Lydia Tomek
Impressive Chardonnays have always been part of the Ravine portfolio. Having the opportunity to make barrel selections and work on this blend was a fun, exciting challenge. The intention was to create something that represented the rich fruit that Ravine traditionally showcases in their whites, but also a wine that reminds us how lively cool climate fruit can be with a touch of spice, freshness and elegance.
Merlot is one of my favourite varietals to make and I believe the warm vineyard site at Ravine is ideal for growing this elegant red. The barrel selections for this wine was a rewarding task. The wines were all nicely structured with a great spine of tannin and acidity, and the enjoyment came when we searched to find that balance between fruit, ripeness, and earthy elegance. For a young 2018 red, this wine shows a lot of promise.
Reif Estate Winery
WINEMAKER: Roberto DiDomenico
2017 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
This is our first Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. Fruit was harvested exclusively from our oldest Sauvignon Blanc vineyard block planted in 1993. The vines were thinned down to 2.5 tonnes per acre on this half acre block to ensure high-quality, premium-ripe fruit. After harvesting, only the free-run juice was used to produce this wine. After fermentation, the wine was aged in French and Hungarian oak barrels for eight months resulting in a “fumé blanc” style wine.
Reif Estate Vineyards is home to some of the oldest vinifera vineyard blocks in Ontario. The farm is located in the Niagara River Sub-Appellation, one of the hottest growing areas in the region, which allows for full ripening of fruit. It is also ideal for tender varietals like Merlot and late-ripening varieties like Cabernet. This classic blend is always a favourite of mine.
Riverview Cellars Estate Winery
WINEMAKER: Alyssa Bator
2016 Salvatore’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
I have chosen this wine as it has consistently been one of our best reds. It is a wine that has won numerous awards over the years and the best representative wine from our vineyard. The benefit comes from the soil and the growing degree days we can achieve in our vineyard to give us a stellar Cabernet Sauvignon year after year.
This wine is the first from assistant Winemaker Nick Salvatore. A great wine with tropical citrus and stone fruit notes. The best new wine from his collection of wines that show his talent as a Winemaker and the characteristics of our unique terroir.
2016 Block Blend Riesling
The Twenty Mile Bench is home to some great Rieslings. We are hoping to show off what a great match the terroir of TMB and Riesling are. If grape varieties are a conduit to highlight a place and time, then I think this bottle of Riesling really does that.
WINEMAKER: Ann Sperling
2017 Chardonnay Laundry Vineyard Organic
An exciting part of our new Single Vineyard series. Heather Laundry has been growing high quality organic grapes for 20 years, including Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and this gorgeous, silky Chardonnay. Southbrook’s philosophy is about supporting healthy soils, air, water and wildlife habitats; and we do this on our 150-acre farm by working with conscientious growers.
2017 Estate Winemaker’s Red
The 2017 Estate Winemaker’s Red is a Cabernet Sauvignon: Merlot 50:50 blend, all from our biodynamic Estate. This is our winemaker’s favorite because she overcame the challenges of a cool vintage and young vines while producing a very expressive wine. There is 50% new wood, but it’s a bit more complicated since the grapes were fermented in new barrels but then also aged for 14 months in those same barrels after pressing. The result is a smooth and delicious age-worthy wine.
Due to availability, some vintages may have been changed.
Funding provided by the Government of Ontario.