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Eight Ontario wines that are worth ordering straight from the winery

Some of the province’s most exciting bottles aren’t always available at the LCBO

Eight Ontario Wines WHITE
No. 1
Creekside 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
$27 | Creek Shores, Niagara | 91 points Creekside makes award-winning one-off wines. This one took best sauvignon blanc at Ontario’s 2011 Cuvée Awards. It has a powerful nose of cedar, persimmon and kiwi. It’s medium-full, rich yet poised.

No. 2
Hidden Bench 2009 Nuit Blanche
$40 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 90 points This organic, barrel-aged blend of sauvignon and sémillon has been shocking wine pundits with its symphony of lime, mint, cedar and smoke set in an elegant, dry structure. Cellar for two years.
No. 3
Malivoire 2009 Mottiar Chardonnay
$30 | Beamsville Bench, Niagara | 92 points This classic, mineral-driven wine exudes fresh apple and pear aromas with almond, peat and gentle spice. It garnered top honours in a blind tasting at the 2011 Cuvée Awards.
No. 4
Norman Hardie 2008 Cuvee L Chardonnay
$49 | Ontario | 93 points Ontario’s terroir maestro has made a stunning Cuvee L. Now maturing, it has seamless elegance, with complex aromas of flint, yellow apple, plum and clove. The length counts in minutes.
No. 5
Exultet Estates 2009 Pinot Noir
$55 | Prince Edward County | 90 Points From a tiny winery housed in a 19th-century cheese factory, this pinot is light, nervy and floral. Although it’s young and slightly brittle now, there’s something exciting about the violet, blackberry and herbal aromatics.
No. 6
Five Rows Craft Winery 2008 Shiraz
$50 | St. Davids Bench, Niagara | 90 Points St. Davids is warm enough to produce big reds. This one lacks the richness of an Aussie shiraz, but fans of French syrah will love the lifted mulberry-blueberry fruit, meatiness and lavender scent.
No. 7
Keint-He 2007 Pinot Noir
$45 | Prince Edward County | 92 Points Geoff Heinricks is the viticultural godfather of Prince Edward County. His unusual, alluring handcrafted pinot noir is now evolving to its best with complex cherry, foresty flavours and silken texture. Incredible flavour depth.
No. 8
Ravine Vineyard 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve
$55 | St. Davids Bench, Niagara | 92 Points No one is making better cabernet franc in Ontario than Ravine. This one has a nose of violets, sour cherries, raspberry, mocha and smoke. It’s medium-weight, very smooth and stylish.
  • Anna Thames

    Through a friend, I was lucky enough to try the nineteenth chardonnay from Pearl Morissette. If you can find it, grab it. Fantastic.

  • Wolf Braun

    Wayatta go Norman. :-)

  • James H

    Where is a wine under 20 here?

    Cave Springs, Tawse(though I hear enough about them) and megalomaniac should be meantioned.

    Megalo Cab Franc was the last great wine I had from Ontario.

  • Shmee_it

    I really don’t understand why local wines are so much more expensive then better quality imported wines?????????? I have travelled to many wine making countries and the wines are always less expensive in their home countries….

  • P. No-Nooar

    Ièd like to comment on the comment above this one. Ontario wines are more expensive for many different reasons like cost of land, cost of labour, much more difficult and this more exoensive farming of grapes after all it is cold in Canada etc.. This is a common complaint of people from Ontario and yet those who complain about the high prices never seem to look into why our wines cost more. Supporting local wineries is important and if we donèt start doing a better job, we might lose them….Drink Ontario 4 life

  • Mike

    if I am going to drop >$50 for Ontario wine, it will only be Stratus Red for me…

  • Shmee_it

    All that said about the added expense in production it’s all relative because there are no duties or fixed high LCBO freight costs on Ontario wines. We always seem to forget the LCBO monopoly costs.

  • Shmee_it

    Re: P.No-Nooar’s comments, apart from the quality, are you saying that we are getting a deal paying an average of $50.00 dollars for an Ontario wine? Congratulations, I guess the economy hasn’t affected your spending habits.

  • Ann Sperling

    Try the Southbrook 2010 Triomphe Chardonnay, available at LCBO Vintages and the winery for $21.95. It’s a David Lawrason 90 points.

  • Joe Mancinelli

    The argument as to why Ontario wines are more expensive than European “at winery prices” has some merit due to some production costs being higher but not exactly accurate.
    European and California wine land costs are more expensive than Ontario and their cost of labour force is equal.
    All being said, enjoy what you like and can comfortably afford.
    Joe Mancinelli

  • Honest Ed

    Yes the wines made nearest you are more expensive than those from far away. Yes your local wines are inferior to wines made from far away.

    Please support your local wineries by paying more for them than the better wines from far away. You can feel good about yourself knowing a large chunk of that premium local wine is going to support the LCBO monopoly that ensures you have less choiices and shorter hours to purchase your wine.
    God bless Ontario.