|Sprucewood Shores: Good Taste on Lake Erie|
To many downtown Torontonians, Lake Erie North Shore sounds as remote as Tierra del Fuego, but you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to get good VQA wine from there.
You can start with a generous off-dry, food-friendly Riesling that’s satisfying and delicious, peachy-citrus with dash of Granny Smith apple and lime zest acidity to tempt your inner gourmet.
It would be from family-run Sprucewood Shores Winery, a premium producer of 21 wines, three currently in the LCBO, including Canada’s only bottled mulled wine, Warm & Cozy, $11.95, infused with orange, clove and cinnamon and served hot. It's only 26 weeks to Christmas -- but campfires are closer, right now!
Sprucewood delivers anywhere in Canada, but you should really go there in person: it’s a beautiful Ontario tourist destination.
Winemaker Tanya Mitchell, a trained chemical engineer, honed her skills in Australian wineries and was mentored by Ontario wine icons Carlo Negri and Sal d’Angelo, and it shows. Her focus is on a perfect balance of minerality, acidity, fruit, and finesse in her wines.
Parents Gord and Hannah Michell bought 52 acres, between Amherstburg and Harrow, in 1991, just a stone's throw from the lake and Tanya's siblings Steve and Jake help run the 15,000-case operation today from 35 acres of planted vineyards.
It’s Tuscan-style winery building with a lovely reception hall, retail store and event space for weddings, tours and tastings as well as a huge grassy area down to the beach and lake.
Sprucewood's Riesling, by the way, is a $13.95 steal in the LCBO, to perfectly match shellfish, cream-sauced chicken or pork (90). Also in the LCBO, you’ll find Sprucewood’s highly recommendable range of fresh Pinot Grigio, $14.95 (88), berry-rich Lady In Red Cabernet/Merlot $14.95, and soon their smooth Sauvignon Blanc and deliciously Sweet Select Riesling (great with sauteed shrimp). There’s also a higher end Hawk’s Flight reserve range ($20+).
Winery phone (519) 738-9253 and www.sprucewoodshores.com