by Norm Hardie for Norman Hardie Winery, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter’

On May 17, in London, England, the top British wine journalists gathered at Canada House to rate 40 of Ontario’s top Chardonnays. Chief among them was Jancis Robinson, the renowned (and feared) author of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Wine. Having Jancis taste my wine was a nerve wracking experience. It felt like something between a Ph.D. student defending a thesis and a high school student being summoned to the principal’s office. All said and done, our Chardonnay, and the Grand Clos Chardonnay of my good friend Thomas Bachelder from Le Clos Jordan, earned the top marks of 17.5. Here are Jancis’ tasting notes:
Quite deep. Quite rich on the nose with real vibrancy on red clay. Struggles to ripen and yields are naturally low. Just 11.9% and Norman, who has made wine ‘all over the world’, told me his grapes tend to get phenolic ripeness early. Quite chewy on the finish. Dry and austere on the end with real character. Really very Burgundian. Real density and this tastes as though it should really develop complexity. 11.9%. Drink 2011-2015.

We have not raised the price of this exceptional wine since the write up. At $35 a bottle, we think it’s a pretty great value since many top white Burgundies at three times the price have not achieved this score.

Anyway, we’re kicking off the summer with a not-to-be missed event…

Cuvee L Chardonnay release party, Norman Hardie Winery

On June 27 from 11 am to 2 pm, join us at the winery as we celebrate the release of our first-ever “reserve” Chardonnay, the 2008 Cuvee L. To accompany our range of Chards, we will be serving cheeses from Fifth Town, smoked white fish from Lake Huron and incredible Paella. Escape the madness of the G20 and enjoy our Cuvee L Chardonnay in bucolic Prince Edward County. Ironically, it is the Chardonnay that was chosen to be served at the final dinner of the G8! Please RSVP with Johannes at the winery: or 613 827 1204.