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A Glass with Craig McDonald of Wayne Gretzky Estates
Ontario Winemaker of the Year in both 2008 and 2016, Craig McDonald has helped grow Wayne Gretzky Estates into a triple threat as Niagara's only combination winery-distiller-brewery. His secret? Focus on flavour and, like the Great One himself, stay true to your roots. “Wayne is authentic, and so is our approach,” says McDonald.
The Wines: Seriously Uncomplicated
“I’ve always thought of Wayne as a classy and humble guy,” says McDonald. So it only makes sense that his wines would reflect the same sense of character. “We make what I call ‘casual yet sophisticated wines,’” he says. “I always get a kick out of people commenting on how surprised they are at the quality of our wine.” Of course, it helps that the winery is perfectly situated along the Niagara Escarpment, where rolling hills and rich clay soil help grow grapes with intense flavour.
Our Baco Noir is the new kid on the block. Rich and dense with food-friendly character, it’s a great wine to kick back with as the sun goes down.
The Winery: The Great One
Since joining Wayne Gretzky Estates in 2007, McDonald has been integral to the winery’s growth. “Wayne’s been great to both work and hang with over the years,” says McDonald, who grew up among the vineyards in Australia. “I’ve got so many stories of travelling together. I feel more Canadian than Australian these days, all thanks to him.”
How to Enjoy
McDonald recommends pairing these fan favourites with casual fare, matching the light and crisp Pinot Grigio with seafood, and the reds with grilled meat, smoky sausage or autumn stews.
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