Monday, October 25, 2010

Niagara Peninsula Ontario Winery Visit: Ridgepoint Wines

Another report in our series of winery visits in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario.

Ridgepoint Wines is a small estate winery on the Niagara Escarpment. It was founded 15 years ago by Mauro Scarsellone and his sister Anna Gottardo. The vineyards are planted primarily with Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon rounded out with several white varieties. It also features the Italian grape Nebbiolo, which has become the Ridgepoint’s signature wine. Ridgepoint is responsible for the first commercial bottling of Nebbiolo in Ontario. That’s a notable achievement. The winery specializes in premium and ultra-premium wines with the Twenty Mile Bench appellation.

The winery also offers the Dining Room for light and casual dining and special events.

The tasting room is small and decorated in bright Tuscan yellow with a large display of wines for sale. I started off with The 2008 Dry Riesling. The Riesling, regrettably, was nothing special. It was lacking in acidity and so didn’t have the crispness we like. Since Ridgepoint is known for reds, I moved to the 2007 Meritage.

The Meritage was a new release a featured a smokiness and tobacco flavor note over dark fruit. This is a nice bottle but fell somewhat short of some of the others we tasted on our trip thus far. I wanted to sample the Nebbiolo, but unfortunately, the winery doesn’t provide samples due to the limited supply. The Nebbiolo goes for $40 a bottle.

No other wines registered as special with our tasting team. We had just finished visiting the impressive Tawse Winery and Ridgepoint may have suffered in our eyes by comparison. Perhaps if we had visited Ridgepoint as one of our first stops on the wine trail we would have enjoyed it more. However, on this day it came across as unremarkable and so much so that we limited our time and went off in search of the ultimate Ontario grape experience.

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