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Somewhereness 2013: Introduction

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Ask winegrowers, winemakers, sommeliers, wine merchants or wine writers to define terroir and you’ll get different but overlapping answers. For some, it’s the soil – the geology – period. For others, it’s that plus the vineyard’s topography, the lay of the land. Still others add climate – sunniness, degree days, rainfall – to the mix. A few will say it’s the interaction between all these factors and the people who work the land and make the wine.

I suspect this last definition – the land, its lay and the climate as expressed through the vintner’s art – is close to what six of Ontario’s better wineries had in mind when they banded together to form the Somewhereness group. One of its members, Norm Hardie, defines the concept of somewhereness as “not terroir but more … a place that you’re happy in, where you’re bien dans ta peau.”

The Somewhereness website is a little more specific about what the concept means to its members: place (bordering Lake Ontario), soil (clay and limestone), quality (a dedication to making premium wines) and stewardship (caring for the land, which has led to an increasing reliance on organic and biodynamic farming). And though they don’t specifically list it, they do refer to climate: “the coolest fine wine region on Earth.”

After holding annual events in various rest-of-Canada cities, Somewhereness recently premiered in Quebec at a well-attended presentation and tasting for wine media and trade types held at Montreal’s SAT. Here’s hoping the positive reception leads to wider availability of the group’s wares in local restaurants and on the SAQ’s shelves (while a few of the wines are available at the monopoly, most are private imports).

All 12 current Somewhereness members were present (13th Street, Bachelder Niagara, Cave Spring, Charles Baker, Flat Rock, Hidden Bench, Hinterland, Malivoire, Norman Hardie, Southbrook, Stratus and Tawse). I managed to visit eight tables before the end and will post my notes over the next week or two. First up, the wines of the group’s founder, Charles Baker.

Written by carswell

November 3, 2013 at 09:17

Posted in Events

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