My favourite aspect of 30 Days of Ontario Wine is talking to so many inspiring people. At its most basic, wine is simply fermented grape juice. But if you love wine like we do it's really so much more. That's why it matters how your bottle was made and aged. That's why it's important to know the story of the precise little corner the grapes were grown in that vintage. That's why the personalities crafting the wine are the secret ingredient determining how it smells, tastes and feels. The common thread to all those things is passion.
In this year's edition of 30 Days of Ontario Wine we chose to focus on four grapes we think Ontario not only does well, but does distinctly. Through our focus on Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir we were able to bring you the stories of some special vineyards, bottles and the passionate personalities of the people behind them. Visiting these winemakers and grape growers in the vineyards and talking to them over these bottles there was always an undeniably passion that permeated the conversation. It's something that also came through clearly in the impassioned articles advocating for Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and wineries behind those grapes by our guest contributors Rick VanSickle, Tony Aspler, Konrad Ejbich and Shawn McCormick. It also showed in the support we received and conversations we had with our readers. Thank you so much for making 30 Days of Ontario Wine what it is—your contribution is indispensable. But whether you think Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or even another grape reigns supreme in Ontario, that isn't nearly as important as the fact that we're having a conversation about it.
Whether it's the increase of local wine on restaurant lists in unexpected places, Twitter conversations about special bottles and a great recipe to accompany them or just a casual conversation about last weekend's tour of Ontario Wine Country, our local wine culture is developing. Earlier this year I even overheard someone telling a friend about how good Ontario Cab Franc is and how it could be a signature grape—it wasn't even a sommelier or winemaker. That's something I couldn't imagine I'd ever hear just a few years ago. The best part is I expect to hear more conversations like that and hear them more frequently as more people discover just how great the wine is from their backyard.
So although 30 Days of Ontario Wine has come to a close for this year, you can expect Spotlight Toronto's local wine coverage to continue to be frequent and strong. After all the passion for wineries doesn't stop after 30 days so why should we? And for that matter why should the conversation? Our love for Ontario wine last the whole year, so if a special bottle or some local wine news piques your interest please feel free to send us note or a tweet. We're always game to chat about all things local wine. So let's keep the conversation and passion flowing as freely as the bottles of Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and all the other varieties of Ontario wine we love, until next year's 30 Days of Ontario wine.
Written by Mike Di Caro
Michael Di Caro covers all things vinous at Spotlight. His lover affair with Ontario wine began over a decade ago and he’s been in front of tasting bars trying to sweet talk staff into pouring a taste of a library wine or the latest unreleased bottle ever since. Since good wine can’t be made without great grapes, you can also catch him amongst the vines trying to persuade the winemaker into revealing his/her next big thing for you on Spotlight. His epicurean tendencies don’t just stop in the glass either. During the rest of his free time you can find him searching for the perfect bowl of Dan Dan noodles, exploring the city’s best tasting menus or baking cookies and mucking about in the kitchen.