Paul Pender is making something very close to natural wine at Tawse.
“Natural wine” is a term of art, not science, but generally speaking Tawse’s unfiltered and unsulphured series of Quarry Road Chardonnay, Quarry Road Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir wines seems to fit the bill. Like all of Tawse’s wines they are also organic, and available for order at tawsewinery.ca.
Tawse is, full disclosure, a Good Food Fighter sponsor of Good Food Revolution, so I am naturally biased and predisposed to whatever winemaker Paul Pender is up to. When the company recently sent me samples of the unfiltered and unsulphured 2015 wines, I was unaware of the program. Each one tasted like slightly more rustic version of their regular versions, with a touch of roughness that ought to mellow with a little time. Did they also have a kind of extra lifeforce and vibrancy? I think so, but I tasted them on their own so I can’t be sure.
What I really like about the wines is really that they’ve made them at all. They didn’t need too, and given the trouble other craft wineries have had getting unconventional wines past the VQA inspection panels it shows some courage and a willingness to push up against convention. Good for Paul and proprietor Moray Tawse. And good for curious wine drinkers in Ontario. With the samples came a press release with following quote from Paul:
“Creating these unsulphured and unfiltered wines is the next step in the continued growth as a winemaker and is the logical extension to our organic and biodynamic approach to growing.”