Canada, eh?

I€™m a big fan of Canadian wines, and I don€™t mean just their ice wines. A few years ago at the Niagara Wine and Food Festival, I tasted an Inniskillin Pinot
Noir that had my knees buckling with its fruit, intensity and balance.
The Niagara Peninsula, a lovely wine region just a short drive north of
the tourist mecca at the falls, produces top-notch Riesling and great
cool-climate Merlot, Chardonnay, even some Syrah. They are rivaled in
quality by their counterparts in the Okanagan Valley of British
The problem, of course, is that these wines are not readily available in
the United States. Blame two factors: Smaller wineries can sell out to
their home markets, and the U.S. makes it so darn difficult to import
wines here that it really isn€™t worth the effort. So we get some
bigger wineries, such as the Vincor-owned Inniskillin and
Jackson-Triggs, but primarily in their ice wines, where competition is
light and prices are high.
So imagine my surprise and joy when I was at a local Wheaton, Maryland,
store that doesn€™t really even specialize in wine (in Montgomery
County, which would be the worst place in the entire country for a wine
lover to live, except that we€™re close to D.C.), when I spied a Cave Spring
Riesling. It was the semi-dry from 2004, and I would have preferred a
younger dry wine on principle, but I quickly snatched a bottle and
complimented the store manager for taking my $14 for it. I half expected
it to be cooked, oxidized, vinegared from poor storage and being passed
around from place to place until it found me, but no, when I opened it I
tasted peach, apple and apricot, with decent acidity and depth. It was a
lovely partner to Asian food or light casual fare. I had visited the
winery during my sojourn in the region in 2003, and this lived up to my
memory. (Now, if I could just find their Chenin Blanc ice wine €)
Henry of Pelham, another Niagara Peninsula winery, also
makes excellent wines and sends some south of the border, but I really
don€™t know where, because their distributors, Bayfield Importing of
Long Island City, N.Y., won€™t answer my queries.
So maybe there€™s a marketing issue, too.
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One Response to Canada, eh?

  1.  Anonymous says:

    Henry of Pelham is distributed in the New York area through Height’s Chateau in Brooklyn (718) 330-0963

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