I very rarely add a sparkling wine to the website … mainly because there aren’t a heck of a lot of Ontario sparklers out there. That is about to change – I have heard about a few on the horizon from a number of sources. Recently, I got a taste of the newest one to be launched. Stoney Ridge has gone to painstaking detail to make sure their first sparkler followed the Methode Traditionelle (aka Champagnois) exactly … in fact at one point, winemaker Liubomir Popovici called Champagne houses in France to find out how full the bottles should be before he started the fermentation in bottle process. After almost 2 years in the making, she is ready to launch – and how does one launch a Sparkling wine, by cracking one open of course (not by breaking one bottle against another). On March 8th, 2007, Stoney Ridge proudly unveiled their new wine at the Canada Blooms Show in Toronto. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir grapes – hand harvested from their very own vineyards. The grapes were quickly crushed, fermented, then re-fremented in bottle and aged 12 months. Disgorging happened in February 2007 – and as the French say “Voila” – sparkling wine. So after all this, how does their first effort taste? I would have to say very good. Yeasty, toasty citrus notes greet the nose, with some very mild Mac apple aromas … the palate is citrus with yeasty-toastyness, lots of persistent tiny bubbles that stick around long after the wine has been poured – (eg. even after 20 minutes of holding the same glass, the bubbles were still there) … and the finish – medium long with a great buttery conclusion that lingers pleasantly. Only 3300 bottles were made (275 cases) of which, some are going to the LCBO for Christmas. So if you want to get some, now is the time, or you can try at the end of the year … but good luck. Congratulations to Stoney Ridge and Liubomir – a great first effort … now how do you top this one?