An Exclusive Dinner Celebrating the Best Small Winery of the Year – Thirty Bench Wine Makers

A Niagara benchmark sets the standard for ‘Small is Beautiful’.

On Thursday, November 19th, WineAlign and Thirty Bench Wine Makers are pleased to present a special winemaker’s dinner celebrating the 2015 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada’s Best Performing Small Winery.

Winemaker Emma Garner wooed the National Wine Awards of Canada judges, flight after flight, with some very impressive rieslings including a platinum award winning Thirty Bench 2013 Riesling Small Lot Triangle Vineyard Riesling.

This is a sponsored event article.

Thirty Bench Photo

Quebec City Judge Remy Charest said “I’ve always loved the Thirty Bench rieslings, especially Triangle, which has a great mix of energy, depth and complexity, and it was great to find out that I liked them just as much when tasting blind. Emma Garner does truly terrific work there, in reds too.” Two golds and a raft of silver medals sealed the deal and we couldn’t be happier for Emma. Thirty Bench is focused on estate wines grown only on the Beamsville Bench within the Niagara Peninsula appellation and, as you might expect, production is limited.

WineAlign’s John Szabo MS and Thirty Bench Winemaker Emma Garner will guide you through this spectacular 5-course dinner paired with award-winning Thirty Bench wines.

*A very limited number of wines will be available to order at the event for direct to home or office delivery.*

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Thirty Bench Wine Makers logo s

The Art of Making Wine

Thirty Bench is a producer of premium wines grown exclusively on estate vineyards in the Beamsville Bench appellation, a superior winegrowing region on the Niagara Peninsula.

At Thirty Bench, we focus on what the vineyard does best, growing Riesling and classic red varietals on vines managed for low yield and maximum fruit intensity. Our wines are carefully crafted by a skilled winemaker in small lots, ensuring every single bottle of Thirty Bench wine boasts exceptional quality and flavour.

Many of our wines are rare and hard to find, but they are even harder to forget.

The Winemaker – Emma Garner

Emma Garner - Thirty Bench Winemaker

Emma Garner’s passion for great wine and food was fueled by travel to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and British Columbia while completing Brock University’s Oenology and Viticulture program. Upon graduation, she focused her continued hands-on learning in the vineyards and cellars of Niagara.

In 2005, Emma embarked on a small journey west from her position at Trius Winery to Thirty Bench Wine Makers. After spending five years getting to know the nuances of the Beamsville Bench, Emma was thrilled to become Winemaker for this one-of-a-kind winery that had won a special place in her heart.

Emma’s approach to winemaking, which is based on allowing the vineyard to express its own voice by making wine with minimal intervention, has caught the attention of the Canadian wine community. In 2015 she was awarded the coveted distinction of Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. That same year Thirty Bench Wine Makers was recognized by WineAlign as Canada’s Best Small Winery.

Emma particularly enjoys working with rieslings. Her signature method of fermenting at low temperatures creates enhanced aromatic compounds in wines that burst with complexity and intensity. In 2015 Thirty Bench’s 2013 Small Lot Triangle Vineyard Riesling was awarded a Platinum in the Wine Align Awards of Canada and the 2013 Small Lot Riesling Wild Cask was recognized with both a Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines and a Gold in the Wine Align Awards of Canada.

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Event Details:

Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Sparkling Reception: 6:30 pm (Guests will enjoy an exclusive pre-release tasting of the Thirty Bench Sparkling Riesling, to be launched in early Spring 2016.)

Dinner: 7 pm – 10 pm

Location: Holts Café (Holt Renfrew, Mezzanine Level), 50 Bloor St West, Toronto, ON M4W 3L8 (*Please note that Valet Parking will not be available for dinner patrons.)

Tickets: $125 (+ taxes and fees)

Please note tickets are limited to 37. Our events sell out quickly so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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Pickle Carrot “Tar Tar”
Coconut Yolk, Sesame Chip
Wine pairing: Thirty Bench 2013 Riesling Small Lot Triangle Vineyard

Platinum: WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2015
Gold Outstanding: International Wine and Spirits Competition 2015
Silver: International Wine Challenge 2015


Sea Scallop
Brown Butter, Blood Orange, Gaufrette
Wine pairing: Thirty Bench 2014 Riesling

Gold: Intervin International Wine Awards 2015
Silver:WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2015
Silver: All Canadian Wine Championship 2015
Silver: Los Angeles International Wine Competition 2015


Roasted Quail
Spätzle, Pancetta, Chantrelle, Reduction
Wine pairing: Thirty Bench 2012 Small Lot Merlot

Silver: WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2015
Silver: International Wine and Spirits Competition 2015
Silver: Ontario Wine Awards 2015


Duo of Lamb
Braised Croquette, Seared Loin, Raspberry, Mint
Wine pairing: Thirty Bench 2012 Small Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver: WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2015
Silver: International Wine and Spirits Competition 2015
Silver: Ontario Wine Awards 2015
Silver: Intervin International Wine Awards 2015


Ontario Cheddar Panna Cotta
Fig “Jam”
Wine pairing: Thirty Bench 2012 Benchmark Red

Gold: Ontario Wine Awards 2015
Silver: WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada 2015
Silver: International Wine and Spirits Competition 2015
Silver: Los Angeles International Wine Competition 2015
Silver: Intervin International Wine Awards 2015


*There are no substitutions*

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About Matthew Hickey – Executive Chef, Holts Café

Matthew Hickey - Executive Chef, Holt RenfrewBefore joining Toronto’s Holt Renfrew team as Executive Chef in 2014, Matthew Hickey developed his signature style working with culinary teams around the globe. His culinary travels included time in Britain where he was the Chef at Soho House, an exclusive private member’s club in central London. Upon returning to Canada, Matthew assisted industry legends including Mark McEwen and the Oliver and Bonacini team with a variety of Toronto fine dining efforts and special events.

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