Strengthening our relationship with Americans through quality Ontario wine
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.