Everybody knows Niagara Falls, but did you know that they make wine in this region?
Did you also know that the Niagara Falls are falling on a limestone cliff, which means that there are calcareous soils in this Canadian province of Ontario? Did you know that Burgundy wines gain a large share of their elegance from limestone soils?
Thomas Bachelder understood this and took the mission to prove that elegance in wine is possible everywhere and not only in an old region such as Burgundy!
Thomas is from Quebec and was passionate very early for wine by bringing a bottle of wine every Sunday for the family lunch. He was, first, a great fanatic of Pinot Noir which, according to him, is one of the rare grape varieties that shows where it comes from, where it grows. He started making wine in his basement with concrete tanks and then had the opportunity to be “trained” in Burgundy as a winemaker. There, he discovered the Chardonnay grape and learned the technique to reveal the terroir, to let it “sing.”
That was 25 years ago, and today Thomas makes complex wines from 3 different “terroir”:
- Ontario (Canada)
- Oregon (USA)
- Burgundy (France)
Thomas Bachelder did not have the means to buy vines, so he chose to vinify his grapes’ friends. This gives him the advantage of making wine in 3 regions of the world, something he would not have been able to do if he owned a vineyard! Thomas Bachelder is what we call a micro-negociant. He seeks the best grapes and, once he finds them, he makes the work of a small grower in renting a winery.
His Chardonnay Niagara “minerality 2012” is surprisingly pure for a wine from the new world. It’s clean, mineral, tense. To my point of view, Thomas succeeded in his mission: It is possible to produce wines of great elegance in the new world. You just have to know the secrets, find the right soil and let the terroir sing in accompanying the transformation of grapes into wine; you have to be a good listener and make some adjustments.
You can find his wines only today in the United States and Canada. For more information visit his website.