SWOVA is the South Western Ontario Vintners Association – otherwise known as the wineries of the Lake Erie North Shore (LENS). They get together annually, in August, to promote their newest and finest wines (one year there was a short fall of new wines, so that’s where the idea of also promoting their ‘finest’ came into play). I am happy to report this year there was a plethora of new wines to taste, and plenty of wineries were quick to point out that this was/is a new vintage tasting, so all they were pouring was the new stuff.
Here’s something I have always loved about this gathering of the clan (wineries), it roves … that means it goes from winery-to-winery every year: 2 years ago it was at Erie Shore , last year Mastronardi hosted , and this year it was Sprucewood Shores turn to put on ‘the really big show’ (details for next year’s tasting can be found at the end of this report). The reason this is such a wonderful idea is because of Ontario’s arcane alcohol selling laws, which prohibit wineries from selling their product at tastings – except of course for the host. Because the SWOVA tasting roams it gives each winery not only a chance to showcase itself and how it throws a party, but also allows them the benefit from the traffic and sell their wine. This also meant that Sprucewood could be a little more generous with their pours because they had product on-hand and at-the-ready. Noticeably absent from this year’s tasting was Sanson Estate and Viewpointe – somebody said it was because they are not part of the association; this got my head working overtime as I thought back even further to previous year’s tastings … I am sure I have seen both of them there before, in fact Viewpointe hosted back in 2006 … just goes to show that there are always rebels in every crowd.
Sprucewood put on quite the spread on this very hot afternoon. With highs reaching a balmy 94F degrees (~32C) with lots of sticky humidity. The food consisted of hot hors d’oeuvres tables scattered throughout and a hot entrée horseshoe in the very center of the large tent – unfortunately I did not take advantage of the food so I can’t comment. But from the looks on the faces of those sitting at tables – and the piled high plates, as well as seconds, thirds and possibly fourths, I’m going to say the food was as big a hit as the wine. But I was on a mission: to find the best wines of the SWOVA tasting, the rest (with full reviews) will turn up in newsletters and Weekly Wine Notes over the next few months.
Bubbling Under … the 4.5-star wines … (Read about the wines that made this grade and the 5-star selections)
|< Prev||Next >|