Niagara Lakeshore, Wine Tasting: Sommelier’s Perspective

Hinterbrook Winery
Niagara Lakeshore, Wine Tasting: Sommelier’s Perspective
Kerr Street Cafe
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About the Author

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides is an accredited Sommelier certified by both the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) and Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Passionate about great wine, food, and travel experiences, Cynthia is owner of Niagara Vino providing tutored wine tasting and tour services in the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Winery visits in the Niagara Lakeshore sub-appellation of Niagara-on-the-Lake last week were well worth the drive! First stop: Hinterbrook Winery. Warmly greeted by Charlotte, she shared the history of her family owned and operated winery which is located on the same land where her husband was raised. They planted grapevines in the 1990s where peach trees once grew and became contract growers to Peller. In 2010 Hinterbrook had their first harvest, and in May of 2011 they opened to the public.

Hinterbrook Winery

Hinterbrook Winery
Photo credit: C. Silversides

Driving up to the tasting room door you pass their Merlot vines. All wine produced at Hinterbrook is from their vineyard grapes with the exception of Chardonnay. An eco-friendly property, they use geothermal rain water and solar powered panels which rotate every 10 minutes according to the position of the sun.

In the past couple of years Hinterbrook has received 27 wine awards! Their Franc Blanc, a white Cabernet Franc wine and local favourite, sold out just weeks before my visit. Look for the next vintage of this wine sometime around next April. For now you can find several outstanding wines at Hinterbrook including one of my favourites, their 2010 Pinot Noir: “Intense & fruit-driven with a dark ruby core giving it a sultry appearance. Elegance continues on the nose with welcoming overtones of fresh strawberry and sweet cherry combined with an abundance of forest floor characters and a slight hint of mocha. Pair with wild mushroom tortellini or savoury sauces-particularly those with a tomato base.” Hinterbrook Winery

Rancourt Winery

Rancourt Winery
Photo credit: C. Silversides

Last stop: Rancourt Winery. At this small boutique winery I received an enthusiastic welcome from Christine in their tasting room. The Rancourts, a French couple from Quebec, opened the winery in 2006. With 8 1/2 acres currently under vine, last fall it was sold to the Enrich family who own the Harvest Barn around the corner and have plans to expand vineyards. Aside from the main tasting room, they have other great spaces there including a private tasting room on the main floor and additional facilities upstairs for groups to meet.

Rancourt produces many quality wines including their 2012 Noble Blanc. This unoaked 60/40 blend of Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer was originally created by Lionel Rancourt for his wife who did not care for wine. It is a great patio wine, and a good match for light cheeses, fish and chicken dishes. Their 2007 Founder’s Blend, a well balanced and flavourful red wine comprised of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc, pairs well with shish kebobs, pulled pork, and roast beef. Interesting notes: They still have some Vitis Labrusca grapes growing on the property, Sovereign Coronation, a really delicious seedless table grape; Be on the lookout for their first vintage of Malbec which was just bottled.

So there you have it: Niagara Lakeshore, Wine Tasting

 

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