Tag Archive for: Power Boating Canada Magazine

The Mermaid and the Oyster in Kerr Village, Oakville

Next up we explore another exciting wine producing province in which temperatures dip well below zero. Nova Scotia.

Benjamin Bridge

Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia.

Happy 150th Birthday Canada! We continue our celebrations from coast to coast with birthday bubbly!

We are so blessed in this beautiful and bountiful country we call our home.We honour you Canada with bubbly from across the nation! Last issue we highlighted the two major wine growing regions here in Canada, Ontario and British Columbia. Together these two provinces produce over 90% of our wines. In the vinous world a great source of pride. Our wines consistently garner major awards in international competitions and the admiration from many a wine critique across the globe. Way to go Can-a-da! We make amazing wine eh? Yes, we do and it doesn’t stop there, hold onto your tuque!

Next up we explore another exciting wine producing province in which temperatures dip well below zero. Nova Scotia.

Strong winds prevail and there is often snow enough to igloo the vines! We are talking about Nova Scotia. The province that hugs the Atlantic side of the continent. It’s very much about location, location, location! Nova Scotia’s positioning makes it one of the most challenging places in the world to grow grape vines. However, it works and works extremely well! So much so that this region, one of the smallest and oldest in North America is being touted as “Canada’s next great wine region”. Situated on one of the cooler climate limits for vines. Those very elements allow for cooling breezes during the warm summer months and a moderating affect on the vineyards not too far from the coast. This makes for near perfect climatic conditions for grapes to hang longer on the vine and develop more intensity and brilliance. However still allowing for that omni important acidity, critical for good structure and balance. All of this helps contribute to the style of wines Nova Scotia is becoming best known for. Wines with great acidity, lively and crisp and with bright aromatics and characteristic minerality.

Nova Scotia has been producing wines since as early as the 17th century.

It is only in the last 25 years that it has taken a foothold commercially and in the last decade or so is showing the world increasingly what it is capable of! While small in scope in terms of Canada’s total wine production, the province is big in heart, dedication and talent when it comes to the wineries and their winemakers! Garnering huge accolades and international attention this burgeoning wine region is producing very impressive whites as well as outstanding bubbly that many connoisseurs are saying rival those of Champagne!

In terms of other wines Nova Scotia has a single appellation called Tidal Bay.

A signature white wine that applies to the entire province. Just as with VQA regulations in Ontario and BC, certain conditions must be met in order to be labeled Tidal Bay. These include the use of 100% Nova Scotia grown grapes, specific grape varietals, and a blind tasting evaluation to ensure the wines show the distinctive Nova Scotian taste profile. The future shines brightly for Nova Scotia wine with one critic and co-author of The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada, Craig Pinhey seeing “the future of Nova Scotia wines rising as high as the Bay of Fundy’s tides”. Incidentally the highest tides in the world. A toast to you Nova Scotia and to Canada’s 150th birthday with one of your finest!

Back to bubbly! Fabulous Fizz from Benjamin Bridge, Canada’s most lauded sparkling wine house!

Our introduction to Benjamin Bridge came to us via a casual blind tasting of sparkling wines on a sunny afternoon. We were a little surprised, and absolutely delighted when we learned that one of our favorites came from Nova Scotia. Upon a little more investigative work including of course enjoying it first with fresh oysters and later with a light desert we felt compelled to share our latest discovery.

Benjamin Bridge, located in the Gaspereau Valley on the Bay of Fundy was founded by Gerry McConnell and his late wife Dara Gordon.

Long time foodies and lovers of fine wine their passion was ignited after a tour of South African vineyards. In 1999 they purchased a property with the dream to create world-class wines, back home in their native country. For the McConnells, building a successful business was not the driving force. As Gerry has said “It was a love and passion for the land, a love and passion for seeing things grow and to show that there could be a viable industry in Nova Scotia producing acclaimed wines” And so the journey began, with management maintaining if world class wines couldn’t be produced, Benjamin Bridge would cease to exist.

Benjamin Bridge starts with a successive hire of some of the best in the business.



From the first with Peter J. Gamble, a Canadian winemaking icon to assess the potential of the vineyard. Soon after joined by the late Raphael Brisbois former Chef du Cave for Piper Heidsieck, a leading authority on Champagne. In 2004 Benjamin Bridge releases its first sparkling wine vintage to rave reviews. In 2008 Jean-Benoit Deslauriers comes on board as head winemaker. The vineyards are officially certified organic, and the winemaker along with Gamble and Brisbois produce Deslauriers’ first Canadian wine, the lightly sparkly Nova 7 knocking it out of the ballpark!

The final analysis, the vineyards lie in an enviable position for one wanting to produce premium sparkling wines.

Nova Scotia’s climate and terroir are being likened to that of Champagne, sitting within just one degree of latitude. The Benjamin Bridge vineyards are located in the heart of the Gaspereau Valley on the The Bay of Fundy enjoying a micro climate especially suited to the production of sparkling wine. Said Peter Gamble of the temperature parallels between Champagne and the Gaspereau Valley “. “It’s so close to Champagne it’s frightening,” “It all starts in the vineyards” it is often said. With the dedication and uber talent of head winemaker Jean-Benoit, his assistant and cellar master, plus the guidance of Peter Gamble. The results are heavenly bubbly and award winning wines. The team of winemakers craft the sparkling wines in the time consuming and very expensive method used in Champagne called the Methode Classique. Very laborious in the vineyards and in the cellars where the wines are bottled and aged on their lees for up to four years, patience is a virtue as the wines are carefully monitored as they develop and ready to be released.

Here are a few quotes extolling the sparkling wines of Benjamin Bridge.

Mind blowing sparkling wines that would challenge any highly –rated French Champagne” Anthony Gismondi They are without question the best sparkling wines I have tasted in Canada “ Tony Aspler “It’s a sparkler that rivals Champagne…one of the best Canadian wines I’ve tasted. Beppi Crosariol We must agree whole heartedly, Nova Scotia you are a star and Benjamin Bridge you too are a star shining so bright for all of us fans of fine fizz and of supurb wine. Congratulations! Happy Birthday Canada, a toast to you and all of us on our sesquicentennial birthday!

Please find below a review of the Benjamin Bridge Brut and the Nova 7.

Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Brut 2011

Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Brut 2011

Benjamin Bridge Sparkling Brut 2011 Vintages: 381533 $49.95 Ontario.

Produced in the Méthode Classique, or traditional Champagne method, using exclusively one of the three permitted grape varietals in Champagne Chardonnay. This luscious bubbly spent four years on the lees before its release and definitely hits all the high notes. Elegant and alluring on the nose with a fresh and bright aroma of citrus, lemon and lime, a hint of smoke and of bisquit. On the palate it is crisp, with mouth watering acidity, flavours of baked apple, more brioche and a long finish.

The Mermaid and the Oyster in Kerr Village, Oakville

We enjoy with lobster and freshly shucked oysters … simply divine just like in the Maritimes! The Mermaid and the Oyster in Kerr Village, Oakville. Picture here of us in shop Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 Sparkling 2016 Vintages: 256289 $24.95 Ontario.

Rare terroir, classic techniques. Uncompromising wines from Nova Scotia and Benjamin Bridge

Canada's 150th Birthday Frisky Beaver winery, winemaker Peter Graham.

Power Boating Canada Magazine, Toasting Canada’s 150th!

Two Sister Vineyards

Two Sisters Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-lake’s newest kid on the block.

Two Sisters Vineyards.

Two Sisters Vineyards.

Setting off on a visit to our beautiful wine region of Niagara-on-the-Lake, we are a small group, smallish, sixteen, and will have only enough time to visit one winery, which must include a bite to eat paired with the winery’s vinos of choice of course! It’s not easy to choose just one, with over 100 wineries to experience in this blessed wine region, the Niagara Peninsula. From the quaint, small boutique winery, to the very grand with award winning restaurants, amphitheaters and even art collections, the options are endless. Not to mention yet another direction we could take visiting an organic or biodynamic winery where sheep roam hard at work pruning the grapevines. We decide on the newest kid on the block or newest Sisters on the block we should say. Like us, The Wine Ladies, two sisters Melissa and Angela of the Marotta family of Italian heritage, opened the doors six months ago to their winery Two Sisters Vineyards and we are among the privileged few to have first experienced all that this breathtaking winery had to offer.

The winery inspired by Italian Renaissance design.

As we drive up to the entrance, a majestic building stands before us, “baroque in style”. A few of us remark, we learn later was inspired by an Italian architect in the 16th century, Andrea Palladio inspired by Italian Renaissance design. There has been no expense spared here. It is truly magnificent and very dramatic. Overall, it is quite imposing and moving.We suddenly hear an enthusiastic “Bonjourno” echoing from the back of the group. One of our guests has blurted out as we are greeted by the winemaker Adam Pearce. A youngish fella, charmed with personality, as well as charmed with the midas touch in the barrel cellar we will soon discover.

With wine maker Adam Pearce.

With wine maker Adam Pearce.

 Adam leads us to the barrel cellar where we are introduced to the two sisters Melissa and Angela.

They welcome us with a glass of a pink drink, no ordinary drink. This is their sparkling wine rose “ Lush”. It is made in the ‘methode traditionelle’, as in Champagne. It has a pretty, subtle, pink hue due to the dosage of the Cabernet Franc. A flavor with enticing notes of biscuit, cherries and strawberries and a luscious creaminess on the palate. As we enjoy the bubbly in this elegant yet warm and inviting cellar we are entertained learning about the backstory of Two Sisters Vineyards.

The dream germinated a few years ago and has now finally been realized.

Melissa and Angelafeela special attachment to this place, to Niagara-on-the-lake. This terroir and after many years coming to Niagara, the family was able to finally set roots in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The dream germinated a few years ago and has now finally been realized.

Set upon 70 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot varietals, the vineyards are closely tended to by their Vineyard manager.  Coaxing out the best of the vines and the distinct characteristics of each varietal.

Winemaker Adam is crafting wines with minimalist intervention, already awarded with numerous Medals! Melissa and Angela guide and drive their vision to provide the guest with a complete sensory experience including the farm to table, delectable dishes served up at Kitchen 76, the winery restaurant. Chef Justin Lesso is at the helm, serving up seasonal culinary specialties, paired to perfection with Adam’s wines.Even the old traditional margarita pizza never tasted so good straight out of the wood-burning oven.

The two sisters have just launched their wine club.

They are dedicated to being one that encompasses both exciting wine and culinary experiences. One can sample a little of both on the beautiful patio overlooking the vineyards that is open for the summer months.Of all the wonderful wines we enjoyed with our spectacular lunch, here are two that we would love to share with you. All wines are only available at the winery and at the online wine boutique on their website 

Two Sisters Vineyards 2013 Sauvignon Blanc $24.00

Two Sisters Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

Two Sisters Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

This is a dry medium-bodied elegant Sauvignon Blanc with a delightful freshness and crisp acidity. It is light straw in colour and clear and brilliant in the glass. On the nose citrus and green apple aromas seduce with a very slight grassy nuance in the background. On the palate more citrus accompanied with tropical fruit notes and a good satisfying finish. The fruit for this award winning Sauvignon Blanc came from the Lincoln Lakeshore Appellation in Beamsville, Niagara.

 Two Sisters Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc $48.00

Intervins 2014 Award Winner Honours

Two Sisters Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc

Two Sisters Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Franc

Who is the King of Cab? Most say Cabernet Sauvignon but not necessarily.  So here in Niagara, in fact “Franc,” or Cabernet Franc is the father of his son Sauvignon, and reigns supreme in this wine. Deep ruby in color, with intense ripe fruitaromas of raspberry, cassis, spice and hint of vanilla oak. On the palate rich juicy blackberry fruit, spice, hint of chocolate, soft tannins, elegant, easy and delicious drinking.

This article first published in Power Boating Canada.

Power Boating Canada, Two Sister’s Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Newest Kid On The Block.

Power Boating Canada, Two Sisters Winery, Page 1

Magical Peru! Pisco es Peru. Reasons to add it to your bucket list! Living the Boating Lifestyle. Power Boating Canada.

Pisco es Peru

Pisco es Peru

Check out a our article in Power Boating Canada…. Living The Boating Lifestyle… We were thrilled to recently travel to PERU to shoot an episode of The Wine Ladies TV….

Power Boating Canada Magazine

Power Boating Canada Magazine

Read our next article here


Episode #1. Pisco es Peru

Rosehall Run Vineyards

Best of Ontario.Rosehall Run Vineyards, Prince Edward County as seen in Power Boating Canada Magazine.

Rosehall Run Vineyards, Lynn and Dan Sullivan

Rosehall Run Vineyards, Lynn and Dan Sullivan

The Wine Ladies, Georgia and Susanne founded by entrepreneur sister team in 2003, take life one sip at a time as they share the splendour of food and wine and the wonderful lifestyle it entails. Hosts of their own TV show One Sip At A Time…. Adventures Around The Globe as well as their own weekly radio show and about wine, food and lifestyle these ladies share their passion and live life to the fullest and without hesitation. Their motto “everything in life somehow comes back to the vine” keeps their audiences entertained and informed. Here on the pages that follow The Wine Ladies detail a couple of their recent wine discoveries in two of Ontario’s wine growing regions. Featured here Prince Edward County and the most established wine region the Niagara Peninsula.

Prince Edward County, a day in the county. A promised land for elegant, seductive wines tinged with limestone and an undeniable mineralogy. “It’s due to the dirt,” the locals say. Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest wine region established in 2007 sits on a limestone plateau made up of billions of sea-creature fossils. It’s an integral part of this region’s terroir, a composite of the land,the climate, and of its people. Located just 2.5 hours east of Toronto, this island, surrounded by Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, is already routinely producing award-winning wines. Endearing and picturesque, the landscape remains quaint and quite rural. Albeit with a sophisticated slant, due to a plethora of celebrity chefs, artists, and poets who have come to call the county their home. We visit one of our favorites for not only their wines, but the warmth and passion of the owners as well as the winery itself. A fabulous tasting room awash in natural light and a very cool overhanging light fixture crafted from intertwining old vines.

Rosehall Run

Rosehall Run is a winery to be reckoned with! Founded in 2001, partners Dan and Lynn Sullivan, along with brother-in-law Cam Reston, bought up this particular 150-acre farm due to its proximity to Lake Ontario. The remarkable Hillier clay soil sitting atop a limestone base. It starts “in the vineyard” as many a winemaker would say. Twenty-five acres of Rosehall Run’s estate vineyards now include plantings of winemaker Dan’s award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. As early as 2006 one of Canada’s top wine writers, David Lawrason featured Rosehall Run’s 2004 debut Pinot Noir as one of “Six wines that define Canada’s future”. Since then the accolades and awards keep on coming. Lynn and Dan, passionate about the county and their wines make a dynamic duo, a force in Prince Edward County wine country, they are also the consumate ambaassadors for the county’s culinary and cultural scene as well!

We selected two Rosehall Run JCR Vineyard wines, a tribute to co-founder John Campbell Reston, made from grapes sourced exclusively from 100% Estate Grown vineyards.

Rosehall Run JCR Rosehall Run Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

Rosehall Run JCR Rosehall Run Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

Rosehall Run JCR Rosehall Run Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011

Did you feel that? It was an explosion of vibrant red fruit wafting out of the glass, cherry and raspberry in the nose, with notes of vanilla, wood and spice to follow. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for sixteen months, two-thirds of which are new. This Pinot Noir has length, good balance and is most pleasurable with its fruit, spice, crisp acidity, subtle tannnins and county minerality.

Silver Award at the 2014 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC)

Gold Medal at the 2014 WineAlign Wine Awards NWAC

Vintages #326504

Available on line and at the winery www.rosehallrun.com


Rosehall Run JCR Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

Rosehall Run JCR Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

Rosehall Run JCR Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

With the Chardonnay grapes sourced from Rosehall Run’s oldest vines planted in 2001 and 2002, these wines clearly define the unique and distinctive Prince Edward County terroir. The 2012 JCR Vineyard Chardonnay was fermented and matured entirely in 500 litre French oak puncheons for 16 months, alas the power of the fruit with its vibrant intensity allows the oak to play a most suitable yet stellar supporting role. The wine is rich and complex, beautifully aromatic with tropical notes and a backbone of spicy baked apple, citrus and county minerality and with great length.

Vintages #326512

Available at the winery and on-line www.rosehallrun.com


Power Boating Canada Magazine. Best of Ontario. Rosehill Run Vineyards.

Power Boating Canada, Rosehill Run, Page 1

Power Boating Canada, Rosehill Run, Page 1