Like any agricultural practice, not every crop can grow everywhere. Some are better suited to the brisk, damn weather along the Atlantic Coast, whilst others are better suited for the dry, desert-like conditions of the Mediterranean. Grapes and viticulture are no exception. It takes a lot of dedication to make sure a particular grape will grow in a region, but there are some lucky few who made it happen. For this tasting, we explored the unique few that have created wine where it technically shouldn’t belong.
Benjamin Bridge Brut Rose
Nova Scotia, Canada
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Canadian wine regions, Nova Scotia isn’t the first to come to mind. It’s a touch cooler than most growing regions, and with the brisk and sometimes fierce Atlantic winds, it doesn’t seem like it would work out. The masterminds behind Benjamin Bridge figured that they were a similar latitude to Champagne, and decided why not try. Since then, they have made a name for themselves as a Sparkling Wine House, and are producing some delicious traditional method bubbly. This Rose Brut is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. It has delicate bubbles, with notes of raspberry, citrus and brioche. All of us decided it would be perfect with a simple, fresh scallop dish, or maybe just some fresh oysters. $56.99
Zocker Paragon Vineyard Gruner Veltliner
Edna Valley, California
Located in the heart of Edna Valley, just outside San Luis Obispo, this winery was created to go against the conventional idea of Californian Wine. ‘Zocker’ roughly translates to ‘Gambler’ from German so from the name alone you can tell that Jack Niven wanted to take some risks when he started to produce wine in the early 1970’s. He started production with Gruner Veltliner, which isn’t seen all too much in this part of the world, but yet, created a produced that nicely represents the Austrian varietal. With a deeper lemon hue, this wine had notes of ripe citrus, blossom and melon. $29.99 KWM Exclusive
Montauto Gessia Sauvignon Blanc
The Lepri family started out producing only red wines that thought suited and showed their terroir of the coastal area of Maremma, the best. Eventually, Rochardo Lepri decided to challenge himself to grow some Sauvignon Blanc, something he didn’t have too much knowledge on. Evidentially, his Sauvignon Blanc became the family’s favourite, and for good reasons. It shows the true characteristics of their terroir, with notes of citrus, apple, minerality and slight herbal notes. $31.99 KWM Exclusive
Bassus Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is known as the ‘heart-break grape’, destroying the dreams of any wine maker trying to make this light red in climates either too cool or too warm. Utiel-Requena, just outside of Valencia, is a place that could be seen as too warm for Pinot Noir production, but the geniuses behind Bassus have it all figured out. With higher altitude in UR, the temperatures are friendly to Pinot Noir, producing a round, and slightly more robust wine. $42.99 KWM Exclusive
Fox Run Vineyard Lemberger
Finger Lakes, New York
New York is a young, up and coming wine region, making some outrageous wine from Riesling and even some American varietals. Lemberger, also known as Blaufrankish, is a grape predominantly grown in Austria and is one that stands out in this neck of the woods. Starting off as a Dairy Farm, Fox Run transformed into a winery in the mid-80’s. Its unique geographical location gives this winery an edge, producing wines that showcase their terroir. This Lemberger showed crazy minerality, accompanied by dark berries, herbaceous notes and also a touch of leather. $31.99
Hesketh Small Parcels Bonverdo
Barossa Valley, Australia
The Hesketh Family love to produce wines that aren’t typical of Barossa Valley. With 90 years in the wine industry, the Hesketh’s have realised the importance of making a product that they, themselves would drink. They select grapes they want to grow, and make wine that anyone will enjoy. Bonverdo is the Portuguese name for the Spanish Parraleta cultivar, which was originally believed to be Carignan in Australia. It produces a wine with good structure, elegant acidity and notes of berry, earth, oak and dried herbs. $28.99
It was great to orchestrate a tasting that allowed for these unique wines to be showcased, and to talk a little more on how climate and location can affect a production of different varietals.
Once again, massive thanks to our neighbours Peasant Cheese, for treating us to an amazing line up of cheese, meats and crackers. They beautiful paired with each wine, and brought so many smiles to everyone’s faces.