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We are Nicole & Krysta, The Grape Witches.  We are obsessed with flavour, story telling and natural wine. We throw monthly natural wine events and educational seminars big and small in Toronto. Join us.   

GW Wine Club/ October

GW Wine Club/ October

October is here and with it some of our most exciting wines yet. Meet your class of Fall 2019.

hello ilu

hello ilu

First up, a round up of our Fresh Pack.

would drink

would drink

Costadilá Prosecco ‘Col Fondo’, Treviso, Veneto, Italy

Let us start with a bang. We have been smuggling cult Prosecco producer Costadilá (‘the hillside over there’) in our suitcase for many years and squealed with joy at the chance to offer it to you. While we often joke that Prosecco is the vodka-soda of sparkling, like fine, but kinda basic and not that *interesting*, Costadilá is one of a handful of producers re-defining the category. They have become famous the world over for their cloudy ancestral method (pet nat!) style sparklings, regionally called Col Fondo or ‘with sediment’. Hand harvested grapes ferment spontaneously and are bottled during fermentation to capture naturally occurring bubbles. These sulphur free wines are evocative and full of personality. Leave them upright for a few hours and pour slowly, stopping at the sediment, to trick skeptical friends. Shake the bottle vigorously before letting it rest – to murk it up while preventing explosion - if you are a funky freak who likes to party.

Koppitsch Homok, Burgenland, Austria, Our Hearts

You may have noticed how UTTERLY OBSESSED we are with Koppitsch. Our new friends Maria and Alexander live in Neusiedl am See in Burgenland, Austria. They are #blessed by the nearby Leitha mountains, Pannonian climate, the moderating influence of the shallow Lake Neusiedl, and by three small, slightly feral children we have had the pleasure of meeting and watching scream. Alexander took over the family’s small winery, and their vibrant and energetic wines have taken over our hearts! The highly allocated Homok is 60 percent Grüner Veltliner, with Sauvignon Blanc and a splash of Weissburgunder. A white wine with the tiniest touch of skin maceration that adds a dash of texture and seriousness to this crispy, fresh treat. With zero added sulphur, this a special bb we have waited many months to share with you. A white wine for red wine lovers – texture! – that is equally as happy in a Nalgene at the dog park or paired with your thanksgiving dinner.

Manoir de la Tête Rouge Bagatelle, Saumur, Loire, France

Is the Loire France’s most confusing and best kept wine secret? It is! Loire Valley snakes on both sides of the 1000 km river where it gets its name and is composed of almost 90 (!) extremely different appellations. It is complex and nuanced and has everything you could possible want from salty Muscadet (oysters please!), to stoney, piercing Sancerre (pass the goat cheese!), to life-altering Chenin Blanc (drink more Chenin Blanc) to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon’s cool cousin who wears vintage and knows a lot about music. While Cabernet Sauvignon insists on showy Instagram posts and splashy vacations, Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone and is just itself: broad shouldered and bold, but light on its feet and elegant. This one, by biodynamic producer Manoir de la Tête, is pure energy. Zesty red fruit, earth and leather that have gone for a swift run in the fall streets and come back invigorated with red cheeks ready to make dinner, hear about your day, draw you a bath and we are sorry now you are in love with Cabernet Franc.

Enough Fresh treasures, let’s get Fancy.

this will do.

this will do.

Jaimee Motley Mondeuse Rosé, Calaveras County, California

Another month is here and we couldn’t be happier to stuff Jaimee Motley’s Mondeuse Rosé into October’s packs.  Jaimee is one of our favourite new California winemakers, making delicious, low-intervention wines of place as the assistant winemaker at Wind Gap/ PAX and in tiny quantities under her own name.  Here Jaimee transforms Mondeuse, a deep, red grape - and her favourite - found primarily in the Savoie region of France, but in this case planted in the Sierra Foothills by wild grape grower Matthew Rorick. While today Chardonnay and Cabernet reign, it wasn’t long ago that French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and Thompson Seedless were the most prolific grapes of the region. A few winemakers are working to change the monoculture with tiny plantings of rare grapes like this one. Foot-tread, naturally fermented and bottled unfined and unfiltered. This unconventional rosé is the colour of fall leaves left to soak and bursting with watermelon, hibiscus, lemon-thyme tea and a generous, messy squirt of blood orange.  Just 6 cases made it to Ontario. Yes please. 

Patrick Piuze Tonnerre Les Boutos, Chablis, France

We recall the cold damp day in early February when we visited Montreal native and famed Burgundian producer Patrick Piuze in his cellar in Chablis. Cold to the bone and shivering from both the weather and our Parisian hangovers, he began to go through his prolific barrel samples from all over Chablis with no regard to our grey faces. His piercing wines startled us out of our frosty surroundings and we once again became serious students of wine. How does this understated Canadian come to tiny, ancient Chablis, where land is at a premium and vineyards are scarce, and score amazing fruit from some of the best parcels around? Our favourite activity: drinking with winemakers! Plus proving his talent with scores of vintages under famed producers like Chapoutier, Leflaive and Jean-Marc Brocard. This single-vineyard bottling, Tonnere Les Boutots, is from east of Chablis, on a south-facing slope and is one of our favourite chardos around. Not a Soccer Mom Wine™, this is all lemon, laser-beam precision, made for creamy cheeses, fancy seafood or the start, middle or end of any great night. Many forget about white wines when the cold sets in, but powerful, textured examples like this one make a case for beverage fluid drinking all year round.  

Vino di Anna ‘Palmentino’, Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy

It is often said that the most extreme places make the most dynamic wines. Meet Vino di Anna, a small domain high on Mount Etna. Not only is Etna an incredible place to grow vines with black, mineral- rich soil, it is also Europe’s highest and most active volcano; fresh cinders sprinkle the vineyards daily. Anna Martens – originally from Australia - and her partner Eric Narioo – of UK star agency Caves de Pyrene - began their project in 2008 after falling in love with the region and purchasing a tiny plot of old Nerello Mascelese along with an old Palmen+o – a traditional, multi-level winery carved into the rocks, where this wine gets its name. They now own 6 hectares of biodynamically-farmed 60-100 year old vines grown on steep terraces and fermented naturally in old casks and traditional Georgian Qvevri. This vibrant Nerello Mascaelese, the region’s noble grape, is all dark cherry, dried strawberries, tomato vines, hand-crushed black olive and curing potion. Joyful fruit meets savoury power.

We can’t wait to hear what you think!

November’s pack is full of treasures and will be released on Monday November 14th at 10 am.

x n + k


GW Wine Club/ August

GW Wine Club/ August