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Lake Erie North Shore Report
Press Alley News & Views

A first-ever “special report” on the wines of Ontario’s Lake Erie North Shore

September 15, 2021

“It seemed only fitting that we put the spotlight on Essex County this time around – a region that can be often forgotten or passed over by many consumers and enthusiasts of Ontario’s wines.” – Carmelo Giardina

Wine trade and lifestyle magazine has released its first-ever report on the wines of Ontario’s Lake Erie North Shore, written by Carmelo Giardina, the magazine’s founder and editorial director. The report is now available to read at

This special report closely follows in the footsteps of Giardina’s report on Prince Edward County, released last November. The overall success and praise of that report on Ontario’s most northern wine region drove Giardina to want to write about Ontario’s most southern located wine region this time around.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of attention our report on Prince Edward County received last year,” said Giardina. “It therefore seemed only fitting that we put the spotlight on Essex County this time around – a region that can be often forgotten or passed over by many consumers and enthusiasts of Ontario’s wines.”

The report seeks to discover and bring to light the very best efforts of the region’s viticulturalists and winemakers. This comprehensive study features 12 of the region’s 15 total wineries – visited during a five day visit over the summer – and 97 tasting notes. Giardina views his report as an insight into what the region is capable of when it comes to producing quality wine – especially for those who may be skeptical for whatever reason.

“Many of the wines I tasted were what I would consider to be a very good representation of the style or varietal. With this being the most southern region in Ontario, the wines are bound to be different, with its own personality and characteristics. I loved having the opportunity to really explore this.”

Giardina believes that the region should be praised for its Bordeaux style varieties, especially cabernet sauvignon – which received the highest scores, on average, over all other varieties. In fact, the highest score awarded in this report for a wine was for a cabernet sauvignon. It scored 94 points.

“If there is any doubt that Ontario should be making cabernet sauvignon wines, I really hope that this report dispels that feeling.”  

There were 40 wines in total that scored at least 90 points. The total average score for the region was 89 points.

“Honestly, I need to take my hat off to the winemakers and viticulturists whose wines have achieved such consistent scoring from one producer to the next. It’s testament that no single winery is running away with it when it comes to quality. They’re all right there. Well done.”

In addition to including each wine’s QPR rating, Giardina also points out each visited winery’s average QPR score based on the number of wines sampled from each place. He also includes a breakdown of how each different varietal scored on average.

To access the complete version of the Lake Erie North Shore special wine report, one will be asked to provide his or her email (when prompted), which will expand the report and reveal the 97 tasting notes and QPR scores. It will also register the user as a VineRoutes newsletter subscriber for future exclusive offerings.

Access the Lake Erie North Shore Report by visiting

About Carmelo Giardina

Carmelo Giardina is a former journalism graduate and now marketing and PR professional who has worked with clients such as Rockstar Energy Drink, Coca-Cola, White Claw and Miller-Coors. Carmelo began writing about wine as a freelance writer for luxury lifestyle publication West of the City Magazine in 2017 and is now the founder and editorial director at, a website helping wine lovers navigate the world of wine. Writing has always been a passion of his, and being given the opportunity to write about another passion (wine) has been a fulfilling exercise. A variety of publications spread across Canada now feature his writings on wine and spirits.

About VineRoutes:

Stories about wine, the people who make it and the places it comes from. VineRoutes is an Ontario, Canada based platform that intends to provide insight not just on Canada’s wine regions, but on a variety of regions around the world. With a story behind every bottle, every label, every vintage and every winemaker, VineRoutes aims to share some of these stories with you. Visit for more information.

Lake Erie North Shore Report

Media Contacts:

Carmelo Giardina, Editorial Director


Paula Henriques, Managing Editor



-Cover photo overlooking Pelee Island Winery was taken by Jon Gillies of Iron Street Studio.



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