Sunday, March 31, 2013


So, in the little town of Niagara on the Lake and we went to a lovely little Irish Pub named The Irish Harp. And after that we walked around the town and I spotted a wine shop I wanted to visit. It only sold the wines represented by the wine giant, Peller. In it was a wine named 30 Bench Red.

According to Ontario Wine Review, “Thirty Bench is a small boutique winery owned by the Ontario wine giant Peller - but it seems that Peller does not want to mess with the boutique quality that is being outputted at this winery - and that is a feather in their cap.”

Several nights earlier my wife Dominique and I had drank a bottle of Thirty Bench 2010 with our dinner at AG at The Sterling Inn & Spa in downtown Niagara Falls. AG serves regionally and seasonally inspired cuisine. Chef Cory Linkson's menu utilizes the freshest local ingredients, and is constantly changing to offer the best of Niagara's Produce. To complement the regional menu, the wine list at AG is 100% VQA and represents the best wineries of the region. The setting was very seductive and glam, the food was fantastic and the wine list was endless. I wanted to eat there all of the nights we were in town.

Thirty Bench is a small batch, exclusively estate vineyards in the Beamsville Bench appellation, on the Niagara Peninsula.

The Beamsville Bench is a tiny sub appellation in the Niagara region. It produces a number of very, very fine wines in the Ontario region. The winery is one of the few areas where grapes are planted on a steep slope – a unique micro-climate with excellent air and water drainage.

The winemaker is Emma Garner. During her studies in the Oenology and Viticulture program at Brock University, Ms. Garner travelled to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and British Columbia.  Her passion for wine and food grew with each trip.  After working in vineyards and cellars in the Niagara region, Emma began working at Hillebrand Winery, where she made wine in various capacities until 2005 when she began working for Thirty Bench Wine Makers.  In 2010 she garnered the desirable Thirty Bench winemaker position. 

The property grows classic red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. They are committed to 'Small Lot' winemaking. Each vine is custom grown, hand cropped and thinned to produce very low yields. Their wines are always made in small batches.

2010 Thirty Bench Red is a medium to full-bodied dry red wine. Medium and dark fruits like plums, blueberries, blackberries and cherry all come through as promises. Black tea, dark Mexican chocolate, plum, blueberry tart and pepper also come through.  The fruit was big and long lasting. The tannins were medium and well balanced. The wine was fantastic! I really loved this wine.