Stratus Vineyards ‘White’ Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA 2013

Estate: Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, Stratus Vineyards was the world’s first fully LEED-certified winery in the world in 2005. The 62 acres of vineyards “are divided into 44 distinct blocs. Each one, its own small ‘somewhereness’.” The soil consists of layers of mineral-rich earth, resting on a limestone foundation, resulting in a “clay-loam mosaic” of individual soil types. The sustainable estate grows 10 varieties of red grapes and 6 varieties of white. In 2009 Stratus enlisted famed winemaker/viticulturist Paul Hobbs “to bring additional international perspective to its operations”.

Philosophy: “The wine we grow is dependent on the health of the land on which it is grown. We farm our vineyard and guide our winemaking as though our children’s future depends on it. Each vintage bottled is a reflection of this ongoing commitment.”

Winemaking: Aged for 562 days in French oak, 20% new.

Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour, highly aromatic with honeysuckle, pineapple, green vegetation, caramel with a pinch of sea salt and petrol. Layers of apple, pineapple and peach glide atop bright acidity, orange and caramel shine on the nutty finish. Complex and engaging, I found this best on its own, as food tends to overpower the intriguing nuances of flavour.

Blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon & Viognier [I could not verify variatel percentages.]
Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA
Estate Bottled by Stratus Vineyards
13.8% Alcohol
$38 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Murgo Etna Bianco DOC 2016

Estate: Founded in 1850, the Murgo estate is headed by Barone Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo and located on the steep slopes of Mount Etna. Along with his sons Michele, Pietro, and Matteo, Barone del Murgo has been modernizing the winery and vineyards in order to constantly improve upon the quality of the wines, yet keeping the wine as an expression of the specific volcanic soils and traditions of Etna.

Winemaking: Vineyards are farmed using sustainable methods. Fermented and aged in stainless steel “to preserve the crisp acidity and juicy freshness”.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of lemon and sea salt minerals. Simple and refreshing with light lemon and citrus zest flavours along with bright acidity, culminating in a dry finish of slightly smoky, sea salt minerals.

70% Carricante, 30% Catarratto
Etna Bianco DOC
Bottled by Aziende Agricole Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo SSA
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Pillitteri Estates Winery Gewurztraminer Riesling Fusion 2014


Estate: Committed to creating a legacy for the generations to follow him, 3rd generation wine grower Gary Pillitteri founded the Pillitteri Winery in 1993. Gary began working in the vineyards alongside his grandfather and father in his native Sicily, and carried his passion for viticulture to Canada. Initially he and his wife grew fruits and vegetables on the estate, but in 1998 Gary decided to experiment with making a small batch of Vidal Icewine. Upon winning a gold medal right out of the starting gate, Gary decided to plant vines and open a winery. Today there are just over 100 acres of vineyards, and Gary’s grandchildren [who grew up working in the vineyards] are managing the export side of the winery, establishing themselves as the 5th generation of the Pillitteri winemaking family. Alongside their renowned Icewine, [which is currently receiving many accolades in the UK] the estate also crafts traditional Niagara wines such as Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Winemaking: The Gewurztraminer and Riesling blend is part of the Carretto line, which is the “table wine” range of Pillitteri. “The wines under this series are versatile enough to be consumed now or can be aged to enjoy in the coming years.” The label depicts a carretto, a colorful, horse or donkey drawn cart native to Sicily and represents an actual “cherished heirloom” of the Pillitteri family.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of honeysuckle, lemon and hints of petrol. Bright peach, lemon and pink grapefruit flavours are buoyed by zippy acidity and hints of fresh mint. Honey, a bit of spice and polished granite minerals comprise the refreshing, dry finish. Fantastic on its own or with a wide range of dishes.

Blend of Gewurztraminer and Riesling [I could not verify varietal percentages, however past vintages have been a roughly 50/50 blend.]
Niagara on the Lake VQA
12% Alcohol
$13 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now thru 2017

Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Bianco Sicilia DOC 2015

Processed with Snapseed.

Estate: The Tasca d’Almerita family of estates consists of the Regaleali, Capofaro, and Whitaker estates. The Tasca family has farmed the Regaleali estate since 1837. Today the 8th generation of the family, Count Lucio Tasca, oversees all of the nearly 600 hectares of vineyards along with his sons, Giuseppe and Alberto. The family is committed to sustainability; they are behind the ‘SOStain’ programme, an organization that guides companies towards increasing their sustainability. The name of the wine reflects the “thousands of roses, brought in from all over the world”, that flourish throughout the Regaleali estate.

Philosophy: Passionate about eco-sustainability, the Regaleali estate is nearly completely self-sufficient; all of their food is grown on the estate and they are working toward a carbon neutral rating. Their goal of achieving eco-sustainability “is a self-regulated, pro-active scheme to reach our goals through positive actions both in the short term and in the mid-to-long term” that they achieve using “science, technology and organization”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards planted in 1957 with clay and sandy-loam soils. Cool-fermented in stainless steel, aged for 3 months in stainless steel, then 1 month in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour with aromas of apple, pear and melon. Tasting similar to fruit aromas with an undercurrent of sweet honeysuckle complimented by zippy acidity. Saline minerals and bitter almond linger between each sip. Straightforward, with an inviting blend of contrasting flavours [sweet/bitter], great on its on or with a wide variety of everyday dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Importer: Antipasti, cerviche, seafood, Asian dishes.

Inzolia, Grecanico, Catarratto, Chardonnay [Variatel percentages vary each vintage, I was not able to confirm percentages for 2015.]
Sicilia DOC
Bottled by Tasca D’Almerita Soc. AGR. a R.L.
12% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Palazzone ‘Vignarco’ Orvieto Classico 2014

orvietopalazzone - Version 2

Estate: Taking its name from a 13th century lodge that was once on the property, Podere Palazzone was purchased by the Dubini Locatelli family in 1969. Located in the rolling hills of Umbria in the heart of Italy, the estate is headed by Giovanni and Lodovico Dubini, along with their children, the next generation.

Winemaking: Passionate about organic methods, chemicals such as insecticides and fertilizers are not used in the vineyards. Instead, low environmental impact methods such as copper-based products and cover crops are employed, as well as the minimal addition of sulphites in the wine. The 25 hectares of vineyards are comprised of soil that is predominately tufa, a porous variety of limestone, along with clay, silt and sand.

Tasting Notes: Bright gold in colour with engaging aromas of dandelion, lemon, almond and honeysuckle. Lemon, yellow apple, almond and minerals are framed by a zippy acidity. Honey and herbaceous notes linger on the dry finish. A refreshing pour that pairs well with a wide of simple dishes. Great value!

80% blend of Procanico and Grechetto, the remaining 20% is Drupeggio, Verdello and Malvasia
Orvieto Classico DOC
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Palazzone
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now