Some Wine Facts for your Wednesday: Canadian Riesling
Canada's wine industry has been seeking an identity for their table wines since the early 1990s. We can't really grow Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Malbec; we simply don't have the climate for it. Marechal Foch is a unique Canadian grape that is remarkably good when taken seriously; unfortunately we spent most of the 1980s and early 90s tearing up all the Marechal Foch vineyards and we haven't planted many new vineyards of it either.
But Riesling, especially dry or near-dry Riesling may be just the ticket for Canada to emerge as a truly world-class wine region. The trick is that Canada's best Rieslings are made in tiny quantities, sell out extremely quickly, and generally are only sold at the winery itself.
However, we have very recently received a tiny shipment of wines from 3 of Canada's Superstar Riesling makers: Tawse Winery, Wild Goose Vineyards, and 8th Generation Vineyard.
The most well-known will be Tawse, whose Rieslings have collected an entire trophy case of Gold Medals, "Best Riesling" Honours, and Governor General's Awards. Their Wismer Riesling is the most widely distributed Riesling, and is an absolute tour-de-force as a slightly off-dry food wine.
Wild Goose most recently made headlines as their Stoney Slope Riesling took home the top prize of "Best White Wine" at the All-Canadian Wine Awards in 2015. While the Stoney Slope is unfortunately a cellar-door exclusive, we do get their delicious standard Riesling, which only goes to a handful of wine boutiques in B.C. and Alberta.
Finally, the newest Riesling Heavyweight is 8th Generation Vineyard, whose slightly off-dry Riesling Won Double Gold at the All-Canadian Wine Championship in 2015. This was the first time in 5 years that a Riesling NOT made by Tawse or Wild Goose had captured the award.
We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer Rieslings from all three of these wineries to you at the moment. Stocks are somewhat limited, but the wines are worth looking around for. Is this the future of the Canadian wine industry? I'm not sure. But if this is the future for Canadian wine, it looks bright indeed..
- Kyle -