This past week, my father and I have had the chance to enjoy some of Canada’s finest boutique wine in one of Canada’s least known wine regions- Lake Erie North Shore. Often overshadowed by it’s beter-known brethren such as Peelee Island and Niagra regions, Lake Erie North Shore has much to
offer. Many long established wineries continue to make great wines from the local varieties like Baco Noir and Vidal, to more internationally planted varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet and Syrah. As a testament to Lake Erie North Shore’s up and coming position, there are many new wineries set to open in the next year.
We had the chance to visit three amazing wineries, all family owned and operated. The first stop was Smith and Wilson winery located on the outskirts of Blenheim. The rockstar of their current portfolio was the Double Barrel Red, a lovely blend that was put through the barrel twice- leaving it with a lovely smoky note. Second stop was Mastronardi Winery outside of Kingsville, with winemaker Lyse Leblanc- one of Lake Erie North Shore’s leading female winemaker, plucked out of retirement by the Mastronardi family to create some of the regions best wines. Lastly, we visited Aleksander winery- a first generation Polish wine maker who took his knowledge of wine making with his grandparents in Poland and brought it to the Lake Erie North Shore appellation.