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Three popular picks from state-of-the-art Ontario wineries

Posted July 10, 2015

Flat Rock Cellars, Tawse and Creekside Estate have made some of the best wines sculpted in Canada.

- Gord Stimmel The Toronto Star

Today we are featuring three extremely popular wines from a trio of Ontario wineries that are state of the art, run by inspired owners.

Flat Rock Cellars is the inspired creation of Ed Madronich, a winery whose core is a five-level state-of-the-art gravity flow system. Madronich feeds on new challenges and right now is involved in creating a beer brewery in the region. Jay Johnston is the winemaker, specializing in pinot noir and chardonnay.

Tawse is the brainchild of Moray Tawse whose first production stunned critics who were amazed at a brand new winery instantly producing world class wines. Tawse has now branched into wineries in Argentina and Burgundy as well. Its winemaker, Paul Pender, is proud of the winery winning full organic certification.

Creekside Estate was founded and owned by Laura McCain of French fry family fame, who sold it in 2012. Under her 14-year reign it gave birth to a run of wildly rich reds, including the famed Lost Barrel red, where the remnants of many red varieties were dumped, then lost for years. When the winemakers finally came across this barrel, this 2007 assemblage was discovered to be hugely rich and profound.

The Creekside Laura’s Red featured today hints of such a complex weave, being a blend of cab sauv, merlot, cab franc, syrah, malbec and petit verdot. The resulting prolonged fruit depth is amazing for a sub $20 Niagara red.

The Rusty Shed features a shed that stood like an eyesore in the vineyard, but the wine is state-of-the-art chardonnay.

And the Tawse Riesling is class in a glass, one of the best rieslings sculpted in Canada. If you have not discovered Canadian Rieslings, forget the old image formed by entry-level German wines (liebfraumilch) that were weak and watery back in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Ontario wineries are coping with the damage caused by a grim relentless winter. Some grapes, like merlot, are especially susceptible to winter kill. Of course we felt this in downtown Toronto as well. I shared my water with my neighbour (highlining) in February when their pipes totally froze and did not get my hose back until early June. That kind of frost, going down eight feet into the soil, is devastating for vine root systems.

I truly learned what it means to be a Canadian hoser.

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