All photos:  (c) Elena Galey-Pride

Blog:  Ink Blots on Winestains

Entries in Bachelder (2)


I've been keeping a secret ...

Rick VanSickle unwittingly put me in a very difficult position. When he called me in early December, it was just to brainstorm about ideas for taking the lead photo for his "Most Thrilling Wines" annual Wines in Niagara blog post. Rick always picks his Top White and Top Red wines of the year, and ably takes the photo of the two bottles himself. But for 2017, Rick chose ALL the Pinot Noirs from the Lowrey Vineyard from 2014 and thereby created a bit of a challenge for himself. Now he had to fit all five reds along with the one white in one photo. I suggested a lineup to present them on even footing, and when Rick was concerned about the width of the shot, I offered to shoot it for him. 

So last week I arrived at Rick's house and the full extent of my challenge became clear. I was now privy to the six wines on which Rick had bestowed his annual top honours, and I was going to have to keep my mouth shut for nine whole days! I know all these winemakers and many are good friends, so spilling the beans would have been easy. But I persevered and let Rick do the unveiling today. Luckily a little thing like Christmas distracted me along the way! 

So here's the image I shot, using Rick's gorgeous harvest table and delightful Christmas tree as our backdrop.

Congratulations to Bachelder for making the list twice - top white for their Bachelder Wismer Vineyard #1 Wingfield Block Chardonnay 2013 and shared top red honours for their Bachelder Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir Old Vines 2014! Kudos also to Leaning Post for Leaning Post Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014Fielding Estate Winery for Fielding Estate Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014, and Adamo Estate Winery for Adamo Estate Winery Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014. And a special shout-out to the Lowrey family of Five Rows Craft Wines for not only making a delightful wine themselves (Five Rows Craft Wine Pinot Noir 2014) but for growing the Pinot Noir so everyone else could shine! 

Read Rick VanSickle's piece for more of the Lowrey story (including the Karl Kaiser connection) and for his other year-end lists too:

~ The 10 Most Thrilling Niagara Red and White wines of 2017

~ The 10 Most Thrilling Sweet and Bubbly Wines

~ The 10 Most Exciting Canadian Wines Not From Niagara


Text message from Mary Delaney of Bachelder Wines




Dorval Days

I've recently reconnected with some elementary school friends through Facebook, and specifically through a group called "If you grew up in Dorval, Qc...You remember when..." It's been fun remembering the friends of my youth.  Today, one of the members of the Facebook group asked who remembered the John XXIII performance of Oliver! This is what I wrote - a memory of a friend I hadn't met yet! 
Have I ever got a great Oliver story for you! Some years back I was introduced to a charming, effervescent, well-travelled woman who had just arrived to live in Niagara with her kids and her husband, the new winemaker for Le Clos Jordanne. They had lived in Burgundy and in Oregon, but we quickly established that they were originally Quebecois, and that she had grown up in Dorval. Of smillar ages, we began to compare notes as to what friends we might have in common. Not as many as we might have thought! She went to John XXIII and I went to Dorval High. When she mentioned John XXIII, that got me going about how great their high school was and how they had so many facilities that Dorval High did not, such as the pool and the theatre. Then I told her about how I so clearly remember sitting in the theatre during Oliver! and looking up at this kid on the stage who was playing the Artful Dodger and thinking how amazing he/she was and what a fabulous opportunity these kids had with such a great theatre program. As I'm telling the story, my new friend gets a very strange look on her face. "I WAS that kid," she said. "I was the Artful Dodger!" I still get shivers. 
Mary Monica Delaney and I SHOULD have met so many times in our youth. Our stories intersect on numerous occasions. But we didn't meet until the Niagara wine industry brought us together. Good friends now, we are making up for lost time!"
Mary and her husband, Thomas Bachelder, now have their own winery project, called Bachelder. They are making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Niagara, Burgundy and Oregon.