When it comes to climate, we bend to it; it does not bend to us — a fact wise vintners acknowledge. Warm climate? Don’t plant cool-climate grapes. They will ripen, they will make wine, but with too much sun and heat, many of their characteristic flavors will likely be muted.
Canada’s Ontario Province is a cool climate, and cool-climate grapes grown in cool-climate vineyards tend to be lighter, more aromatic, fruitier and with higher acidity than wines made in hotter climates. That is why the vintners of Ontario have chosen Chardonnay as their major grape. While Chardonnay is a relatively forgiving cool-climate grape and winemaking countries in various climates produce it, the results in warmer regions are mixed. In Ontario, however, Chardonnay is a story more of success than failure.
I recently sampled several Ontario Chardonnays. For people used to full-bodied, buttery, oaky Chardonnays, these would be a surprise — a surprise I found welcome.
After Pillitteri Estates Winery’s Exclamation Cellar Series 2006 was barrel fermented, it spent nine more months in oak. Yet with its refreshing acidity, the wine showed more toast than wood in its aroma. It also had lovely fruit notes and a lingering finish.
Speck Family Reserve 2007, one of Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery’s two Chardonnays, has a spicy, slightly almond nose, fruity taste and long finish. Its other Chardonnay is Non-Oaked 2009 made, as its name says, without oak. Extremely pale in color, aromatic, fresh, clean and fruit-filled, it offers a novel Chardonnay experience.
Southbrook Vineyards showed three remarkably individual Chardonnays. Its 2008 Whimsy is made from the first harvest of the winery’s vineyard. The oak is well integrated into the wine; it also shows good fruit, especially citric fruits, and a light creaminess in texture. Triomphe 2009’s balanced acidity makes it a lively wine with mouth-filling flavors and a long finish. Each vintage of Poetica honors a Canadian poet, whose verses are on the label; the 2003 shows both maturity and oak in its nose and more roundness and depth than fruit.
Prices range from $13 for the unoaked Chardonnay to $62 for Poetica, with most costing $22 to $35.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.
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