Excellence in winemaking
This family-owned estate is one of Southwestern Ontario’s reference point wineries. Situated in EPIC (Essex Pelee Island Coast) near Windsor Ontario, the region also carries the VQA designation: Lake Erie North Shore. A visit to Viewpointe is not to be missed. John, Steve, and Jean Fancsy all have the passion for wine that drives them to try to produce the finest bottle of wine possible. They strive every vintage to get closer to that mark of wine perfection.
John Fancsy, a 2009 recipient of the Ontario Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, keeps a careful eye on every step of the winemaking process, from the vineyard to harvest to vinification, ageing and bottling. The results show – it’s not easy to find a product here that is not an excellent bottle of wine.
There are two main ways to experience Viewpointe. The first way is to enjoy a bottle from your local LCBO store or neighbourhood restaurant, and the second way is to visit. Let’s start with the first approach and then move on to the second …
Following are my favourite whites and reds. Each is from estate grown grapes and 100% VQA. They have all scored high by The Wine Baron’s tasting panel and have received the most compliments at wine events we’ve hosted.
Pinot Grigio 2016
Availability: Only from the winery. This is the Pinot Grigio for the palate that wants more, and normally has to go for a Pinot Gris to get it. This one satisfies with orchard fruit characters of pear and apricot as well as a hint of melon and citrus with balanced acidity. Supple, with great mouthfeel.
Big Bluff White 2016 – $13.25
Availability: limited to select LCBO stores LCBO (# 404061), or from the winery. An exquisite blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Auxerrois. The perfect fun white wine. The four blended varietals make for a nicely rounded, fruity, happy wine. Easy to pair with a wide variety of foods. 90 points (Gordon Stimmell, Toronto Star)
Note: you can also order this wine from LCBO’s Online Store by clicking on the ADD TO CART button at the LCBO link above.
Availability: from the winery or ask for it in your favourite restaurant. A new discovery in varietals. A cult-wine at the winery’s boutique and tasting room. The best food-pairing wine I’ve ever encountered. A terrific sipper on its own as well. VINTAGES panel said of it: “Aromas of nectarines, yellow apple and plum, with a gently floral note. Gently kissed by sweetness, this is ripe and quite attractive in the mouth. The palate is flavour-packed, far more so than the nose. A delightful wine, from a largely unknown grape. This will impress with a paprika spiced chicken, or pad Thai.
Cabernet Merlot 2013 – $13.25
Availability: LCBO (# 220723), or from the winery. Barrel-aged entry level red that is hardly “entry” when you taste it. Perfect house-wine both for home or your favourite restaurant. It will raise the bar on what you can get. It boasts maturity and structure. Medium-bodied with spiced dried fruit and a touch of caramel/vanilla. Note: you can also order this wine from LCBO’s Online Store by clicking on the ADD TO CART button at the LCBO link above.
Cabernet Franc 2010 (burgundy label) – $17.10
Availability: from the winery. A prime example of a big oak aged red wine. David Lawrason of WineAlign.com rated it 90 points (not easy to get from this reviewer). “Aged for two years in oak before bottling… complex and vital, with wood smoke, spice, raspberry and red currants.”
Cabernet Merlot Balance Pointe – $24.95
Availability: in a small number of LCBO stores LCBO ( Vintages #451088), but essentially only from the winery or in discerning restaurants. In the opinion of many Ontario winemakers themselves (essentially the competition) this wine is at the pinnacle of Ontario red wines. It rivals a mid level Bordeaux. “Ripe, rich and rounded with impressive fruit, and showing some exciting evolution on the palate.” (VINTAGES panel, Aug. 2015).
Tip on how to Increase Availability of your Favourite Wines: go ahead and ask your favourite restaurant to carry any of these wines. Another avenue through which to enjoy your favourite wines.
A Visit to the Winery
The winery is one of the most beautiful in Ontario. An enticing venue well worth the visit. Consider making a weekend of it by visiting Viewpointe and one or two other EPIC wineries and staying in a local B&B. It’s another world in Essex County. A relaxing change of pace. Be sure to have lunch on the Viewpointe patio (in season), book a wedding, or sample a flight of the latest wines at the tasting bar.
151 County Road. 50 E., Harrow, ON N0R 1G0 [links to Google maps]
Viewpointe Phone: 1-866-372-VIEW
Enlarge the EPIC Wine Route Map above (opens new tab)
Viewpointe is directly on the lake just below Harrow, # 16 on the map.
by The Wine Baron, September 7, 2017
Follow me on Twitter @thewinebaron