Happy New Year Wine Lover’s!
It has been a little while since my last post, but I have not forgotten about my readers! I had taken some time off from any winederful events that came my way and drinking wine so I could refresh and refocus! (I know, crazy right!) A month without wine was not an easy task, but I did it and now I am back and ready to pop some bottles!
My first dip into the wine world of 2016 was this past weekend during The Canadian Wine Scholar Program I took with the same company I received my WSET credentials from, Fine Vintage. I am sure most of you are wondering things like, “what is a Canadian Wine Scholar?” or even, “Is there a big enough industry and wine market to have a whole course focused on Canada!?” Well, in fact, there is! The Canadian wine industry is HUGE and after this weekend, I learned there was so much more to it than I had ever known while studying and working in the industry the past three years.
Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Nova Scotia are the most important provinces in the wine market and contribute greatly to the country’s economy. Brilliant and renown wine critic, writer, competition judge and our teacher for the length of the course, David Lawrason led us through the unique regions of Niagara, the beautiful vineyards of The Okanagan Valley (oh how I miss that place), and many more exciting details of how our country is growing to become one of the classics wine country’s in the world. While we are famously known for Ice wine in export markets like Asia and The U.S., other varieties and winery’s are being recognized for their outstanding vintages and wining respected awards around the world. Some wineries to note are Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in West Kelowna who have been recognized for their Chardonnay’s and Pinot Noirs and Inniskillin for their Ice Wine.
My class was full of extremely interesting people, from various provinces, all who had very interesting backgrounds in the wine industry and an interesting story to tell. It was a fun and insightful two days!
Part of the program included tasting and evaluating wines from each province and their respected regions. (the best part of course!) Most of the wines were exquisite and none I had ever tried before. I will admit that while it was hard to find wines from Ontario while living in BC, I never had any interest to buy locally because I didn’t believe they could compete with the rest of the world. Boy was I wrong! Ontario has a diverse range of climates, soil, and varietals and since the wine making styles are basically left up to the wine maker, you never know what you are going to get! I can attest for my classmates and I that we were pleasantly surprised by what came our way. The most exciting part- most of these wines are available at the LCBO for a reasonable price! I will be hitting the Ontario isles the next time I go to the liqour store.
Of course, the course to become a Canadian Wine Scholar couldn’t be all fun and drinking and we had to end with an exam! However, I do believe I did well and will receive a certificate in a couple of weeks! Studying the past couple weeks and preparing for it the night before with a classmate and couple bottles of wine didn’t helped me get there!
If you are interested in learning more about the Canadian Wine Industry or any country at all, first come to me because I will plan and host an AMAZING event, but if you want certification, check out Fine Vintage. They are a highly reputable company, have amazing, intelligent teachers and we taste delicious wines! 😉