December 22, 2015

Roots On The Twenty, May 27 & 28, Balls Falls Conservation Area

Roots On The Twenty -- a little hipster, a smidge country, all about nature and a whole lot of fun! This ain't your parents' bush party!

Join us for a weekend of food, drink, entertainment and activities that celebrate the Twenty Valley. Free admission. Tickets for alcoholic beverage samples from local wineries, brewers and distillers are $5 each or get a commemorative glass and five sample tickets for $25. Click here to purchase sample tickets ahead of time and avoid line-ups at the event!




Stylin' Spring Supper on the Ranch, June 8, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

Women of Niagara invite you to join us on the farm this June for a fabulous evening of food and wine in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Go Girls! (a young woman's group mentoring program).Chat, laugh and dine outdoors under our marquee tent while raising money for this important program!

Start your evening with a delightful seasonal wine cocktail and hors' d'oeuvres before taking your seat for dinner. The evening's menu includes:



Arugula Salad
with red wine braised pear, candied walnuts & Caprano creamy goat cheese,
drizzled with Fancy Farm Girl wine dressing
2016 Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink
House Cured Smoked Kassler Pork Chop
with apple & pearl onion chutney, celeriac & apple slaw, and sautéed green asparagus with black garlic.
2015 Riesling Loved By Lu or 2015 Baco Noir
Trio Dessert
Berry Charlotte with lemon curd
Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake with hazelnut & almond pralines, & coffee chantilly
Cheesecake with biscotti crumb
All topped with Tigchelaar Farms berry coulis
2012 Vidal Icewine

Advance tickets are $100 
Purchase through eventbrite or through

Proceeds to support Big Brothers Big Sisters Go Girls! Group Mentoring program.


WINspirational Women: A Conversation with Deborah Rosati
Thursday, June 15, 7 pm, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

Join us for an intimate, informal and interactive evening with Deborah Rosati (Corporate Director & Co-Founder, Women Get On Board) under the marquee at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. Enjoy refreshments and dessert while hearing how Deborah achieved her goals, and learn how to build the leader in you.

Advance tickets are only $30 (+taxes & fees), available through eventbrite. Click here to buy!


















Wine & Spirit Fest, Sugar Beach, Toronto, June 16 & 17

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery will be kickin' it beachside this June at the Wine & Spirit Fest! Taking the farm to the city for two days of sampling and chatting at Sugar Beach sounds like a good idea to us! For more information (tickets, map, general details) click here



Car Show & Shine, Sunday July 30


Why no wine in the grocery store, premier?




On Tuesday morning I watched Premier Kathleen Wynne pat herself on the back and purchase the first six-pack of beer at a grocery store in Ontario.

I watch social media fill up with cheers and applause that we can finally — in late 2015 — get beer in a grocery store like so many civilized jurisdictions on the planet.

I do need to tip my hat to the province for allocating 50% of the shelf space to craft beers.

But I am still scratching my head figuring out how craft beer leapfrogged over our local wine producers to be put on such a pedestal.

It would appear that the provincial government is still in the process of giving the middle finger to small local producers of wine.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of craft beer.

But it strikes me as odd that as a craft beer producer I could set up in any city or town in the province and have a shop within the city limits.

I can use ingredients that could largely be sourced from outside the province and produce it in the city.

Meanwhile, we are forcing our wineries to sell wine out of their cellar doors, largely located an hour or two outside of major urban centres.

If I don’t make enough wine I don’t even have access to the LCBO’s shelves and have to rely on word of mouth and people making the trek to my winery to taste my product.

Not to mention that VQA wines are made using 100% locally grown grapes while your favourite craft beer may well be sourcing their hops from outside the province.

As a producer of local wines, I am being denied access to the largest markets in the province.

What about Wine Rack and Wine Shop stores?

Both of these publicly-traded companies have grandfathered licences from pre-NAFTA times allowing them to carry wines from a handful of wineries.

Much of the wine sold in the Wine Rack is bulk wine made mostly from imported grapes, with some Canadian grapes.

In terms of the quality, I don’t feel they are a fair representation of wines produced in Ontario.

There are dozens of world-class wineries that don’t have access to the market solely because they aren’t producing enough wine to be listed at the LCBO.

When the Ontario government is asked why it’s taking so long to make the shift to selling wine in grocery stores the answer is invariably, “it’s complicated”.

I have a hard time taking that at face value given that in B.C. there are already a large number of private stores and even government-run ones that sell B.C. wines exclusively.

There is no excuse for Ontario to be so far behind.

There is no way that B.C. is so different from Ontario that it can serve as an excuse for hindering progress.

I’m looking forward to buying my first six-pack of beer from a grocery store. It’s a step in the right direction.

But don’t think for one minute I am going to raise my pint while thinking this is good enough.

It’s been 90 years since the end of prohibition and I’m sorry, Premier Wynne, but this is not good enough.

The fact it has taken 90 years to make this small change is not something to be celebrated. It’s a reminder of how our government continues to fail us.

— Proulx is a wine writer and has appeared on Global and CTV