Sunday, October 23, 2011

Niagara, in shots

Thirty Bench Winemakers

Hidden BenchHidden BenchThirty Bench Winemakers

Thirty Bench Winemakers

Thirty Bench Winemakers

I was in Niagara today, with the Toronto-based photographer, ROKChoi. He was photographing an engagement shoot with a wine-loving couple, and asked if I would come along to take them through a few wineries. We got there early, giving us some time to squeeze in a quick tasting before meeting up with the couple.

Now, I've been debating internally about how to approach this. Because it's Niagara, I need to be a bit more diplomatic about how I write about the wines. Can't be burning any bridges, you see, especially if I have yet to cross them. But I really, really despise the sometimes ridiculous lines you're fed by a winery's retail staff. And that goes for any wine region, but we can do better here. Anyways, it's one thing for a wine to be highly rated by critics, but quite another when you get a glass in your hand. My lasting impression of the wines were how shrill they were in acidity - it's great to make high acid, truly cool-climate wines, but when they're so out of balance you feel the enamel dripping off your teeth, the wines are just poor representations of the varietals.

In any case, the day wasn't about me, or about the wines. It was about our newly engaged couple, and finding them the best locations to take some great shots. Niagara is stunning this time. The harvest is mostly all done, with only the parcels meant for icewine still holding fruit. The leaves are starting to turn gold, so beautiful when the sun hits the vineyard in a certain way. It was a good day . . . our couple got their shots, and we got to taste some wine. A more in-depth, proper tasting trip is in the works, in the next weeks.


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