Skip to main content
waters on wine
Open this photo in gallery:


This selection of delicious and diverse wines from British Columbia and Ontario are ideal to open on a stone-cold winter’s night alongside a hearty dinner or while streaming a program. They are equally useful to restock your cellar after the holiday season.

Many of the wines I opened over the course of the festive season were Canadian, which wasn’t a stretch as domestic wines represent a large portion of my wine cellar.

The reds and whites I retrieved were all drinking nicely and often proved to be even more impressive when I looked back to see how much they cost when purchased. One of the most surprising was the 2012 vintage of the Thirty Bench Red, a nicely integrated and complex red wine that delivered much more pleasure than the original $24 investment might have suggested. Eleven years after release, it was still showing appealing fruit mixed with leather and savoury notes.

The most recent release of that wine, now labelled as Winemaker’s Blend Red, is one of this week’s recommendations. You don’t need to wait until 2031 to take pleasure in the 2020 edition, but you can be confident it will mature gracefully if you decide to keep some bottles in a suitable spot.

This roundup also includes other established producers, such as Henry of Pelham and Hester Creek, as well as new or revitalized wineries such as High Note, which just released its first wines, or 1 Mill and Church & State, where new owners are refreshing the operation. There are rieslings to ponder. Chardonnays to consider. And, a few pinot noirs and blended red and white wines to enjoy now or later.

1 Mill Road Chardonnay 2022 (Canada), $40

Rating:91 /100

Having purchased the brand last August, winemaking team Ben Bryant and Katie Truscott continue to expand the production of 1 Mill Road with the release of the label’s first chardonnay. The grapes come from a vineyard in Kelowna, B.C., producing a refreshing and focused white wine with vibrant lemony and nutty flavours. It’s an enjoyable and age-worthy style that’s elegant and impressive. Drink now to 2029. Available direct, sold as a case of six bottles,

Church & State Trebella 2020 (Canada), $27.89

Rating:90 /100

Always a highlight in the Church & State portfolio, Trebella is a blend of viognier, marsanne and roussanne that is fermented and aged in French oak barrels. The rich and rewarding style suggests a pleasant array of peach, apricot and spice flavours, with a full-body and rounded texture. Drink now to 2026. Available direct,

Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2022 (Canada), $34.99

Rating:89 /100

Made in a simple and enjoyable style, this pinot noir is a blend of grapes grown near the winery in Lillooet and in vineyards in the southern Okanagan. The fruity character shows distinctive cherry and berry flavours with some peppery and savoury notes. Drink now to 2029. Available at the above price direct,, various prices in British Columbia.

Henry Of Pelham Chardonnay 2022 (Canada), $15.95

Rating:88 /100

Henry of Pelham’s white label chardonnay shows impressive character in 2022. Made in a vibrant, medium-bodied style, the mix of citrus and apple fruit appeals, with some toasty notes to add depth and complexity. Drink now to 2026. Available at the above price in Ontario or direct,, $16.80 in Quebec, $19.17 in Manitoba (Kenaston Wine Market).

Hester Creek Character Red 2022 (Canada), $22.99

Rating:89 /100

Hester Creek blends merlot, syrah, petit verdot and malbec grapes from its estate vineyards in the south Okanagan to produce this ripe and complex wine. The flavour suggests a mix of dark fruit, white pepper and cedary notes as part of a harmonious, fuller-bodied red. Drink now to 2028. Available at the above price in British Columbia or direct,

High Note Capriccio Riesling 2022 (Canada), $28

Rating:90 /100

High Note is a new Okanagan winery that operates under shared ownership with two other newcomers to the valley, Uppercase and Gadzook Vinery. If the racy and dry style of the Capriccio Riesling is any indication, you can expect intense and engaging styles of wine to come. Winemaking is controlled by Catherine Schaller, a French-trained vintner who came to the Okanagan to work at Osoyoos Larose. The vibrant lime zest and stony character make this an invigorating aperitif wine. Drink now to 2030. Available direct,

Megalomaniac Narcissist Riesling 2021 (Canada), $19.95

Rating:91 /100

Narcissist is a terrific expression of Niagara riesling, a grape variety that has fallen from many consumers’ radars. The bright and aromatic character shows appealing citrus and green apple fruit that gains richness from peach and apricot notes. Some honey and earthy (wine geeks might say petrol) notes show early signs of age, but this has the potential to continue to develop in-bottle. Drink now to 2028. Available at the above price in Ontario or direct,

Meyer Family Vineyards B Field Blend Pinot Noir 2022 (Canada), $31.39

Rating:91 /100

This expressive pinot noir comes from a section of Meyer’s McLean Creek Vineyard in Okanagan Falls, which was planted in 2017 with a mixture of clones whose grapes were harvested and co-fermented to produce this small-batch red wine. Ordinarily, each different clone would be harvested, fermented and aged separately before blending to produce the desired style. The result is this lighter and brighter pinot, with juicy fruit and savoury notes that are really satisfying. Drink now to 2027. Available direct,

Thirty Bench Winemaker’s Blend 2020 (Canada), $26.95

Rating:91 /100

Produced from dry and warm 2020 vintage, the cabernet and merlot blend shows nice ripeness and complexity in the glass. An ideal growing season created the right conditions for cabernet sauvignon to be the dominant grape in the blend, so expect to see some dark fruit, herbal and cedar flavours as part of the harmonious character. This expressive and flavourful wine promises to develop nicely in the cellar. Drink now to 2032. Available at the above price in Ontario, $24.95 direct from

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe