As part of their goLocal program, the LCBO has highlighted a few of
Ontario's top producers in a series of videos about those wineries and
the people behind them. They did a great job capturing the essence of the winery and Norm's 'wine-growing' philosophy a few weeks ago in Prince Edward County...
As Norm mentions in the video, the best wines always come from the edge, and having found a place with a near-perfect confluence of a cool climate with red clay and calcareous limestone soils (like Burgundy) he produces wines that are truly unique. The wines are wonderfully and unapologetically earthy because the work is done in the vineyard, not in the winery. The riper grapes get or the more aggressively you oak a wine, the more it tastes like it could have come from anywhere, and these wines definitely taste like they come from P.E.C....or maybe even Burgundy.
In the end that's probably why Norm's wines have become relevant in the world's two biggest Burgundy markets: Tokyo and New York, markets that don't need just another Pinot Noir. Top restaurants in these markets can often be used as a litmus test of international relevance, and last year Norm's County Pinot Noir was featured at Tokyo's Four Seasons and this past week was included in a paired tasting menu for food & wine writers at Thomas Keller's Per Se in NYC. Apparently their pairing of Norm's County Pinot Noir with one of Chef Keller's poultry dishes was so outstanding that Saveur Magazine will be featuring the wine with the recipe in an upcoming issue! After visiting Per Se this summer and having seen the wonderful depths of their Burgundy list myself, this is high praise and definitely another reason to celebrate our local wines like Norm Hardie.