D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Ep 42: VQA Ontario Riesling

VQA Ontario Riesling
This week the Wine Thieves embark upon the all-important discussion of riesling grown in Ontario, Canada. Ontario’s cool-climate wine growing regions enjoy special status as one of the few areas outside of northern Europe where Riesling is a signature grape variety. It is home to vineyards that are now over 40 years old and as of this year, riesling makes up 15% of all VQA Ontario production by volume. 
The early 1970s saw quality wine swell in Ontario, at which time riesling dominated the list of vinifera plantings. John and Sara will explore how this came to be and discuss how wine styles today may have been affected by the early viticultural pioneers of riesling. The Thieves invite Emma Garner, winemaker of Thirty Bench Estates, Gabe Demarco, viticulturist and winemaker of Cave Spring Cellars and Charles Baker of Stratus Vineyards who has established a significant following for his single-vineyard, small lot riesling production. They’ll discuss regional differences across Ontario and Niagara from the coveted Beamsville Bench to the richer styles of the Lincoln Lakeshore and Niagara-on-the-Lake and from the cooler reaches of Prince Edward County to the southern, sunshine drenched shores of Lake Erie. Increasing demand for sparkling riesling, why the variety is queen of Icewine, and the dynamic balance between acid and sugar in riesling are all on the discussion table.  Pour yourself a glass and join us for this “electric” episode of Wine Thieves!