- Category: Newsletter Archives
|OntarioWineReview Newsletter 09
- Ontario Wine Review: WINERY REVIEW - Fielding Estate Winery
- Grape Guy’s Pick of the Bunch: Fielding – Riesling Semi-Dry
- Beautiful Bottles: Fielding – Just the Basics
- Wine Event Spotlight: Buckhorn Festival
Ontario Wine Review: WINERY REVIEW - Fielding Estate Winery
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Our winery reviews are done blindly – the wineries have no prior knowledge of our visit and are not made aware until just before we leave their premises that they have been “spot-checked” – this ensures that we get the same level of service that anybody walking off the street would get.
Our trip to Fielding Estate was undertaken with great anticipation because a brand new winery is always fun to visit. However, along with a new winery comes the inevitable skepticism about wine quality: will the wine show well right away or do we judge it on the potential of what’s to come … or in a worse case scenario, wait a few years and revisit the place to see what happens and hope for a marked improvement in our absence. OntarioWineReview is happy to report that Fielding fits into the first category quite comfortably: the wines are wonderful, and we wait with great anticipation for what is to come.
Our visit coincided with the Niagara New Vintages festival and Fielding’s third week of being open. As we drove down the laneway, we first noticed the beautiful scenery of the surrounding vineyards with the winery at the apex of a gently rising slope. The front of the winery is very impressive: strong solid wood doors framed on both sides by floor to ceiling glass windows through which we could see the tasting room. Upon entering we were greeted with the vibrant enthusiastic energy common to a new venture. We looked around to get our bearings - three of the four “walls” were actually glass windows - two of which looked out over the vineyards while the third looked in at fermenting tanks and stainless steel vats … the fourth wall contained shelving units filled with wine. The center of the room also had shelving for more wine stock. Directly opposite the door, in front of the largest bank of windows, was the tasting bar. The sun streamed in from behind the bar reflecting off the glasses and the straw-coloured liquids inside giving off an impressive refracted light show. The tasting bar was crowded with people and smiles were on the faces of tasters, staff, and wandering customers.
Heidi, our tasting hostess, took us over to a side counter so that we too could enjoy the fruits of Fielding’s labours. During our tasting, she praised not only the wine, but also the winemaker. An aura of pride and enthusiasm exuded from her as she told us about what we were trying and what is to come. Looking around the room, I strained my ears a little to listen to other staff speaking to the customers … they all seemed just as enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Currently, Fielding is showing some excellent white wines: Rieslings; Chardonnays; and a Gewurtraminer are amongst the wines currently available - most from the 2004 vintage. Two lone red wines (a Cab Merlot and a Baco Noir) await the glut of reds soon to come in August and September: Pinot Noirs, Cab Franc, and Syrah, just to name a few. If these reds prove to be as good as the whites, then Niagara definitely has a new player for good quality affordable wines. So far, all indications point to a very positive outlook. We definitely recommend a visit.
Fielding Estate Winery is located at 4020 Locust Lane in Beamsvile, Ontario For more information visit www.fieldingwines.com
Grape Guy’s Pick of the Bunch : Fielding Estate – 2004 Riesling Semi-Dry
In future editions, we'll be reviewing more Fielding wines, but this one was the highlight of our entire day – and was proclaimed by all as the best wine of the day. This semi-dry riesling has great sweet-melon smells on the nose – but in the mouth it is something different. It starts off sweet (but not overly so) and ends with a tart refreshing finish: best described as “pink grapefruit cocktail”. Just to make sure we were not led astray by our surroundings, or our considerable tasting, we retried this wine on a few occasions … each time, this wine performed remarkably - especially during that heatwave stretch of 33 degree weather that befell Toronto in mid July. This wine called us out to the patio and kept us there. At 12.95 it's a great bargain - and with only 270 cases made it'll go fast.
Visit www.fieldingwines.com for more details or to purchase this great wine.
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Beautiful Bottles : Fielding Estate Winery – Just the Basics
The Fielding label can best be described as basic … no fancy pictures, no monolithic symbols, no stylized logo or lettering - just straight forward and to the point: silver and red is the colour combination chosen and it is quite effective. “Fielding” appears in big red block letters on a silver background – and, when all is said and done, does just what a label should do: tells you the winery and the wine type - which is all you really need to put on your label when you are putting a great product in the bottle. The button-sized Muskoka chair emblem at the top of the label insinuates everything you need to do with this wine … relax and enjoy … cheers to that.
Wine Event Spotlight : 9th Annual Fiesta Buckhorn July 23 - Buckhorn, Ontario
The website proclaims “Fine Wine, Good Food, Great Company” - with more than 75 exhibitors from Canadian wine and beer producers to local foods and “cuisine”. This annual festival has become a jewel in the summer festival crown over the past 8 years … and the cost … a mere 10 dollars (plus tasting tickets of course).
For more information visit www.fiestabuckhorn.com then make plans to come out - see you there.
Contact Michael Pinkus Grape Guy
A bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to helping you discover Ontario’s best Wines and Wineries. Enjoyment comes from understanding - Passion comes from understanding more.
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