Channelling Bacchus – Port Dover vineyards

Ontario wines have become very popular in the last 10 years or so. We can recall a time when the mere mention of a wine from “Niagara” brought shudders from a crowd, and now, the Niagara region is a world class region producing award winning vintages as well as its famed ice wines. Well – expect to add Port Dover to that list soon. With its climate virtually identical to the Burgundy region of France, locals have begun harvesting some stellar varietals. Just ask our neighbours – Smoke and Gamble winery!

We finally went for an official tour of our next door neighbour’s vineyard. Smoke & Gamble are quickly gaining an excellent reputation for their reserve wines – a Cab/ Merlot blend as well as a Chardonnay.

First we visited the oak barrels, where the wines are aged for months before bottling. The aging process is the secret, lending Chardonnay its uniquely sharp, yet buttery quality, and Cab/Merlot its smokey and sweet flavours


After the wines are aged (10 months or longer), they are transferred to stainless steel barrels for blending and fermenting before they are bottled.


Next came the tasting (the fun part!) Ofcourse, serious wine tastings always have spittoons present, but we were having none of that. Living literally steps away from a winery has its privileges – no designated driver needed! We enjoyed a few glasses of both of Smoke & Gamble’s signature blends and finished off with some of their “Appassimento,” a wine made from grapes that have slowly dried before before even beginning fermentation. This was an intensely rich, luxurious wine.


Many thanks to Smoke & Gamble for being such great neighbours!! Be sure to check them out if you are in the Port Dover area (and if you are, ofcourse, Trumeau Farm is just a stones throw from there… come say hi!). Many exciting things are happening in PD these days – we’ll try and keep you posted on everything but… not too quickly. We love our little “best kept secret” and plan to enjoy it as much as we can before the masses descend!