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March 12, 2015

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FANCY FARM GIRL...Presented by Debbie Trenholm

There is a Fancy Farm Girl in all of us!

Timing is everything.  When I visited Sue-Ann in August last year, we walked through the vineyards & I suggested that we feature her this month; at that moment in time neither Sue-Ann nor I knew that March would be a turning point for her.  Sue-Ann Staff is, to use her words, “going at it on my own”.  She is shedding her responsibilities as a winemaker at other wineries and focusing 100% on her own winery: Sue-Ann Staff Estates Winery.  This is a big leap for anyone, yet, in my humble opinion, this remarkable woman can do anything.

Sue-Ann & I have been friends since I started The Savvy Grapes over 13 years ago.  She was the first woman winemaker we featured at a winemakers dinner showcasing her talent at Pillitteri Estates Winery.  And she wowed everyone with the delicious wines she made and most of all, her charm. Read on as our Savvy Sommelier Velma LeBlanc captures more about the dynamic Sue-Ann & her deeply rooted ties to Niagara’s vineyards. 

Meet Sue-Ann!

You are the first to know….The Fancy Farm Girl herself is coming to Ottawa.  We are delighted to host a portfolio tasting on Wednesday April 22nd at the Orange Art Gallery,where Sue-Ann will be showcasing all of her wines – and perhaps some barrel samples too. This event will also showcase Pondview Estates Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  We are just nailing down the final details, so watch your inbox for your invitation.

As a Savvy Selections subscriber, 2 complementary tickets await you.  To be added to the guest list, email me directlydebbie@savvycompany.ca

Can’t attend?  You can still order the featured Sue-Ann &Pondview wines.  And share the experience by giving the tickets to friends.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

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Caroline's Culinary Delights

Fancy Farm Girl

March 6, 2015 · by Caroline · 

At a recent wine event I heard about this Ontario wine for the first time and was instantly drawn to the name, Fancy Farm Girl. One day soon after, I found a little burlap wrapped package at my door and was so delighted how it brightened up my day.  The message that I found inside won me over, and so did the wine.

   

After a few years as a blogger, having tasted many gems around the Niagara region, I now know why they have grabbed the world’s attention.  See the frivolous white and the flamboyant red below.  If you are still one of those few who stay away because of some old fashion attitude – get over it!

    

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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.

October 21, 2014


FOOD TRUCK FALL FAIR PHOTOS...Great Weekend, Great Wines and Great Music!

2nd Annual Food Truck Weekend!

Thank you to all that attended...the ultimate back yard winery party!

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