Those of us celebrating Easter this weekend will be descending upon the LCBO in droves today to stock up on libations for Easter Sunday dinner. Whether you’re dining on ham, poultry, lamb or some other family recipe, you should have a bottle from Montes Winery at your Sunday table.
I had the pleasure of attending a tasting with winemaker Aurelio Montes Jr. and was so impressed with the company's unique method of wine creation and their commitment to the environment and giving back to the communities in which they do business.
The Montes commitment to sustainability and social responsibility shows in their pioneering approach to the use of water, a precious resource not readily available to all. Montes pioneered the method of ‘dry farming’ their grapes - a technique that allows them to grow and harvest their vines using 65% less water. That's enough water to supply 20,000 people for an entire year. This isn’t only good for the Earth and the local communities in the Colchagua Valley where their wineries are located; it results in a more complex, full bodied wine. Using less water results in smaller grapes with thicker skins. Since the skins are they key to the flavour of wine the difference in the taste is significant.
Montes also gets top marks for their community and worker focused social responsibility initiatives. Aurelio took a year off winemaking in 2005 to dedicate himself to community service work with street children through the Maria Ayuda Foundation. As a company, Montes Wines supports the Millahue de Apalta School, where the children of their employees study, with the goal of paving the way for better opportunities for the next generation.
I tasted the Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc (2013). It wasn't overly sweet and had a strong but beautiful fruity and floral scent. If you like the distinctive taste Sauvignon Blanc wines from New Zealand or Washington State (I know I do!) then you will absolutely love this white.
The Montes Twins (2012) is a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's not too heavy and has a clean taste that reminds me of plums. The other hand red I loved was the Montes Alpha Pinot Noir (2012). I generally shy away from Pinot Noir because I find them too light but this one is light while still packing a lot of flavour. The great thing about the Pinot Noir is that it is versatile enough to pair with ham, salmon, pork and even duck.
I can't think of anything else that better reflects the spirit of the season than a bottle from these eco-friendly innovators :-)
Easter Sunday Wine Shopping List
- Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc -LCBO Vintages #389643 $19.95
- Montes Twins Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon -LCBO #352054 $12.90
- Montes Alpha Pinot Noir -LCBO Vintages #143214 $19.95