February 16, 2015

André Proulx › Fancy Farm Girl › Flamboyant Red › Frivolous White › LCBO › Sue-Ann Staff › Wines to Watch ›




New Release Weekend!

Saturday, September 30, 10-6

Sunday, October 1, 11-6

Plan to join us the last weekend in September for our New Release event. Three, count 'em THREE new wines will be available for you to taste and buy! These are small-lot wines with limited availability at the winery only. 

 

2016 Pinot Gris: In previous years, Sue-Ann's Pinot Grigio was crisp, easy-drinking and made entirely in stainless steel. For 2016, however, she decided to change things up and give the wine a little barrel time, adding a layer of complexity to the nose and palate. The 2016 Pinot Gris combines the crisp fruit flavours and lively acidity you expect from Sue-Ann's white wines with a luxurious weight and mouthfeel, making it the perfect white for fall and winter dining. $29.95, available only at the winery.

 

2016 VCR: Sometimes grape growers have to make tough decisions and pull out underperforming vines in favour of a better grape for the terroir. In this case, it was five rows of Viognier. Sigh. For the grape's swan song at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, Sue-Ann blended the Viognier with Riesling and lightly oaked Chardonnay to create a deliciously layered wine that'll pair well with everything from your Thanksgiving turkey to a nibble of aged cheddar in front of the fire. $34.95, available only at the winery.

 

2015 Cabernet Franc: As sad as we were to say goodbye to the 2012 Cabernet Franc, the winery retail team is anxiously awaiting the release of Sue-Ann's 2015 Cab, aged for just under 2 years in French oak. Big, bold, and ballsy, with fabulous tannic structure and wonderful dark berry notes on the nose and palate, we can't wait to add this wine to the tasting room line-up. $32.95, available only at the winery.

 


LCBO Wines to Watch: Fancy Farm Girl

FANCY FARM GIRL

Wines to Watch: Fancy Farm Girl...

Snap up these Fancy Farm Girl wines while you can — they're available in limited supply — and savour the craftsmanship of Sue-Ann Staff, one of Ontario's most successful winemakers.

This month, our featured Wines to Watch come from fifth-generation grape grower and talented winemaker Sue-Ann Staff, who combines her love of the simple life and finer things in Fancy Farm Girl wines. Pair Flamboyant Red, an elegant and approachable Cabernet Franc-Merlot blend, with appetizers, red meats, rosé sauce or milk chocolate. Refreshing and citrusy, Frivolous White is great with chicken, seafood or mild cheese.

 

FANCY FARM GIRL

Meet Sue-Ann Staff, the record-breaking, medal-winning Niagara winemaker at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Wines and Megalomaniac, and creator of Fancy Farm Girl wines. Here, Staff talks about getting dirty, cleaning up and the secret to fabulous wine.

Q. Your family owned the largest private vineyard in Niagara. What did you learn from that? 

I learned not to be afraid of hard work. I used to drop my school bag and run outside to watch trucks loading up or help my grandma plant vines — there was always something happening. Life on a farm doesn’t stop at 5 or on weekends, but the work is wholesome and honest and I get so much satisfaction from it. 

Q. What made you become the first winemaker in your family? 

You can make a really great wine that tastes fantastic but if the pH is too high, for example, it will be a lovely wine for two months instead of two years. If the pH is too low, it might have an amazing shelf life but be unpalatable. The artistry of making a fabulous wine and the science of lining up the technical details is what appeals to me. 

Q. Your wines have already won 500+ awards — more than most winemakers collect in a lifetime. C’mon, what’s your secret?

I got a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, then I studied winemaking in Australia. The University of Adelaide trained us for every imaginable condition, so that helps me deal with difficult vintages. I also like to drink really great wine. If I want to drink it, I’d better make it!

Q. Many wineries and farms have a dog around to help. What kind of dog does a fancy farm girl have?

That’s Brix, my five-year-old Burnese Mountain Dog. He’s my greeter: he’s with me wherever I go. Most farm dogs are shorthaired. I’ve got a purebred that has to go to the groomer every month to smell good!

Q. Your new wine labels feature the drawings of Francesca Waddell, a fashion illustrator whose work has appeared in Vogue. What inspired your Fancy Farm Girl wines: Frivolous Red and Frivolous White?

I’m not a typical farm girl. I renovated my family’s 120-year-old farmhouse to make it more glamorous. One minute I’m in the fields with steel-toed boots, and the next I’m at a gala wearing stilettoes. A fancy farm girl is authentically who I am, and I think there’s a little bit of that in all of us. 

Watch this video to find out how Sue-Ann Staff mixes New World and Old World in her wines for Megalomanic. Or, check out this video to discover her favourite grape and her digital trick for making better wine.

 

 

2012 Flamboyant Red - $14.95  Loaded with bright red fruit and tannin on the finish that isn’t overbearing.  This bottle isn’t just a flashy label… but let’s face it the artwork on both the White and the Red are fantastic.  This Red blend is well worth the price of admission from the great 2012 vintage.  This is drinking great right now with no need to cellar until a later date.  The thing that’s great about this wine is that at the price point you can dress it up by pairing it with an expensive steak or fine roasted lamb or dress it down by matching it with pizza.  

2012 Frivolous White - $14.95  This is a good easy drinking, well balanced Riesling that offers up a nice mineral note on the finish.  There is some sweetness that rolls off the back of your tongue before it’s greeted by the crisp acidity.  Flavours of apple and citrus are also what you will find in the glass.  Pair with Roast Chicken, or lighter pasta dishes.