In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions

Strength­en­ing our re­la­tion­ship with Amer­i­cans through qual­ity On­tario wine

Ottawa Citizen - - HOMELIFE - CHRISTO­PHER WA­TERS Christo­pher Wa­ters is the co-founder and ed­i­tor of Vines, a na­tional con­sumer wine mag­a­zine.

On­tario winer­ies played a big role at the Amer­i­can Wine So­ci­ety’s an­nual con­fer­ence last week­end in Buf­falo, N.Y. Wine Coun­try On­tario was a spon­sor of the three-day event, which was an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote the do­mes­tic grape and wine in­dus­try through sem­i­nars and other tast­ings.

Founded in the Fin­ger Lakes wine re­gion in 1967, the so­ci­ety is the largest con­sumer based wine ed­u­ca­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion in North Amer­ica, with nearly 7,000 mem­bers op­er­at­ing in 180 chap­ters.

Their mis­sion is to boost the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of wines from across the globe and ed­u­cate oth­ers about it. Their in­ter­est ex­tends be­yond the wines pro­duced across the United States.

Mas­ter classes fo­cus­ing on On­tario’s sig­na­ture white and red wines were pre­sented as part of a ros­ter of ac­tiv­i­ties of the 51st an­nual con­fer­ence. The di­ver­sity of Ries­ling and Chardon­nay pro­vided the fo­cus of one ses­sion, while the range of styles pos­si­ble for Pinot Noir and Caber­net Franc shaped the other.

Part of the On­tario Craft Winer­ies as­so­ci­a­tion, Wine Coun­try On­tario pro­motes the prov­ince’s wine-grow­ing re­gions — Ni­a­gara Penin­sula, Prince Ed­ward County and Lake Erie North Shore — to con­sumers.

The strength of the Chardon­nays and Caber­net Francs made the big­gest im­pact with at­ten­dees. “Keep do­ing what you’re do­ing with th­ese Caber­net Francs,” ex­claimed an en­thu­si­as­tic taster from Penn­syl­va­nia. “Th­ese are truly ‘wow’ wines.”

Flat Rock Cel­lars owner Ed Madronich Jr. saw the con­nec­tion with the Amer­i­can Wine So­ci­ety as a solid mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s great to see this sort of turnout,” Madronich told the as­sem­bled at the On­tario’s Star Whites sem­i­nar. “We don’t have this sort of a na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion in Canada. It’s a great way for us to get the word out about what makes On­tario wines so unique.”

An­other point that Madronich stressed was the qual­ity for money of­fered by many On­tario pro­duc­ers. We con­tinue to do well at in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions, win­ning gold medals, along­side wines from other coun­tries that cost three or four times more than our wines.

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