From the outside, 2540 South Service Road doesn’t look like the home of one of Canada’s top wineries. There are no signs, no welcome centres, no tasting rooms at Le Clos Jordanne. To enter the cinder block-built converted cold storage facility, an invited guest must find an unmarked steel door and hope he’s in the right spot. That’s what I did when I went to visit winemaker Sebastien Jacquey recently. I found Jacquey in his office, tucked away from the fermented and barrel rooms, where he looked tired but happy – his wife had delivered his second daughter just a few days before.
Jacquey is in the process of bottling the 2011 Clos Jordanne Pinots and Chardonnays. It’s his second vintage as winemaker, having worked at CJ previously as assistant to Thomas Bachelder. We tasted through some of them, including red and white samples of the Villages, the bright Claystone Terrace and the rich Grand Clos. Then, we sampled some of the 2012s, still in barrel, which offered an interesting contrast and comparison. (I’ll let the uber-critics and tasters, like Jamie, give their notes and scores when these wines are released, but sufficed to say I believe these wines will be enjoyed and recognised as expressive of the Clos Jordanne style, despite Vintage variation and the increasingly pleasant effects of vine age.)
After the tasting, Jacquey extended to me the rare privilege of at tour of the Clos Jordanne and Grand Clos Vineyards, a short drive away uphill towards the Escarpment, past cherry orchards in brilliant pink blossom. There, we shot the video below, wherein he explains the philosophy and practice behind Le Clos Jordanne, and tells the incredible story of how a young Frenchman from Burgundy ended up in Niagara.
Can’t see the video? Click here.
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Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the not-for-profit corporation which publishes it. Follow him at twitter.com/malcolmjolley