The 2008 edition of the Canadian Wine Annual was recently released to stores across the country. This annual publication from Wine Access is a guide to the wines, wineries (393 of them, according to the cover) and wine regions of Canada. In addition to listings for all wineries, including fruit wine producers, the guide gives recommendations for where to eat and stay in the nation’s established wine regions – B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
I have a vested interest in this, as I wrote the Atlantic section for the first time this year. It was a lot of work, since I added in all the New Brunswick wineries and this year fruit wineries were included. Atlantic Canada has a healthy fruit wine industry.
New Brunswick Mott’s Landing Vineyards is one of the new wineries included in the guide. This 2.5 hectare property in the Cambridge Narrows is not selling wine yet, but has plans for an August opening. They are producing a range of wines from various hardy grape varieties, including Louise Swenson, L’Acadie Blanc, De Chaunac, Leon Millot, St. Croix, Frontenac, and 10 more. You can learn more about them at www.mottslandingvineyard.com.
Other New Brunswick wineries featured in the guide include Appleman Farms (Gagetown Cider Company), Verger Belliveau Orchard (Memramcook), La Cave a Vin Boudreau Vineyards (Memramcook), La Ferme Maury (near Bouctouche), Gillis of Belleisle, Magnetic Hill Winery, Tuddenham Farms (Oak Bay), Waterside Farms Cottage Winery (near Alma), and Winegarden Estate (Baie Verte).
The edition includes detailed results and analyses from the Canadian Wine Awards, in this case the 2007 edition. This national competition started by the magazine is judged in the fall. There were a few Atlantic winners, all from Nova Scotia: bronze medal for Gaspereau Vineyards for their crisp, minerally 2006 Dry Riesling, silver for Jost Vineyards for their 2005 Muscat Icewine, bronze for Jost’s 2005 Ortega Icewine, bronze for Domaine De Grand Pre’s 2006 Vintner’s Reserve Ortega, and bronze for Domaine de Grand Pre’s Pomme D’Or apple iced wine.
The biggest winner this year was Mission Hill Family Estate in B.C., which won Winery of the Year, based on its two gold medals, six silver and eight bronze. Their medal-winning wines available in any quantity in New Brunswick are the fresh and fruity 2006 Five Vineyards Pinot Grigio ($16.79), and 2006 Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc ($16.79). Other winning wines in their portfolio are here in small quantities (such as the Reserve Chardonnay and SLC Merlot), but not necessarily from the same vintage.
Other notable winning wines available at NB Liquor are the bronze-winning Jackson Triggs Proprietor’s Reserve Okanagan Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99), and the bronze-winning 2006 Mike Weir Chardonnay from Niagara ($23.29).
It is a shame more of the country’s best wines are not available here, but this is more a case of supply and demand than lack of interest on the part of NB Liquor.
To get a copy of the 2008 Canadian Wine Annual, go to wineaccess.ca, call 1-877-963-9333, or ask for it at your local bookseller.