May 10, 2016. Trip to Niagara on the Lake

Hi there my fellow Wine Jewels!

If you have seen our recent Facebook pictures, or have come in to bottle your wine in the last week, you will already know that we recently took a trip to the Niagara wine region. Spring there is a good two or three weeks further along than it is here. We were there in the 1st days of May and the daffodils were at their most splendid, the tulips had started to explode in a riot of colours, the fruit tree blossoms were poised to burst open, and I'm sure it's much father along now. The wine vines however, were only barely showing signs of life. It is such a wonder to me how they can go from bare, gnarly twigs to lush vines, dripping with grapes in just a few short months!

While we took some time to see sights and cruise garden centres (a mild addiction of mine), our primary reason for going there was to learn more about where many of the wines we make at Jewel come from. At Jewel we choose to deal with a number of suppliers in our attempt to bring you a wide selection of good quality wines at a variety of price points. Some of our suppliers, such as Mosti Mondiale, Fontana, and Magnotta are smaller, family owned businessees who work hard to provide excellent product to craft winemakers like us. But there is also one much larger company we also deal with. Andrew Peller Ltd. is the parent company of Global Vintners from whom we access Legacy, Cellar Craft, and Kenridge wines, and the Mist Fruit wine beverage lines. Andrew Peller Ltd also owns Peller Estates (no surprise there, lol!) and Trius wineries. So we decided to take some tours.

We were eager to try wine styles that were the same as some of the wines we make at Jewel, but the tours at these two wineries were so cookie-cutter there was no room for such flexibility. So we bought some and brought it home. From Trius we bought a Pinot Gris, which we were eager to test against the Cellar Craft Pinot Gris we make at Jewel. We set up a blind taste test and tried the two wines on their own and with some food. Everyone enjoyed both wines very much, and said they might choose one over the other for different occasions. However, when I pushed them to choose only one as the one they would choose if the could make it for themselves, everyone chose the Pinot Gris made at Jewel!

Setting up your own blind taste test is fun and simple. We tested the two Pnot Gris at our Mother's Day get together, and we plan to do our next test at another gathering later this month. I'll let you know how that goes, along with how so set one up for yourself.

Until then Cheers!


"Friends and wine get better with age"