O&B x Cave Spring Vineyard: Unveiling Two New Prestige Wines

Discover the Culmination of a 30+ Year Partnership in Wine Excellence

For over three decades, the collaborative efforts between Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality and Cave Spring Vineyard have continually raised the bar in the world of winemaking. Now, our partnership reaches new heights with a collaboration that introduces two additions to the Cave Spring Vineyard ‘Estate Grown’ Collection — the result of years of meticulous planning and dedication. Trusty O&B favourites will be replaced by two brand-new prestige wines for those seeking an even higher level of wine enjoyment, building on the craftsmanship that inspired approachable Niagara Peninsula blends like the Biff’s ‘Juicy Red’, Canoe Riesling, and Jump Chardonnay.

The newly unveiled 2020 Canoe Riesling Estate and 2021 Biff’s Cabernet Franc Estate are a testament to the philosophy of minimal intervention. Crafted using natural techniques and exclusively indigenous yeasts for fermentation, they encapsulate the fruit’s pure essence, allowing nuanced flavours and characteristics to develop with clarity and precision. This approach embodies Cave Spring’s commitment to preserving the authenticity and integrity of the grapes, resulting in wines that stand as a true reflection of Niagara’s rich terroir.

“With an international reputation as one of the New World’s pre-eminent Riesling producers, we knew an enhanced Canoe Riesling was the way to go,” says Billy Woon, Senior Sommelier at Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, and Leña. When it came to crafting the perfect red, Cabernet Franc led as the top choice, given it grows incredibly well in Niagara and acts as a versatile wine that could easily be levelled up to standout status.

“We worked in close concert with winemaker Gabriel Demarco, managing partner Thomas Pennachetti, and the entire Cave Spring team to ensure every step of the process was collaborative, resulting in two truly exceptional new offerings,” Woon continues. “Beyond the wines themselves, everything from the style of glass and bottle to the label design, foil, and cork were meticulously chosen in unison.” And it shows.

To familiarize diners with our exciting new launches, we spoke (and sipped) with the winemakers themselves to break down what to expect from each wine. From the elegance of the Canoe Riesling Estate to the approachable allure of Biff’s Cabernet Franc Estate, we are confident that each bottle carries the essence of a long-standing partnership, a dedication to quality, and a celebration of the remarkable flavours that the Cave Spring Vineyard in Beamsville Bench, Niagara has to offer.

Rolling out at select O&B restaurants across the city (by the glass and by the bottle), these two O&B exclusive restaurant labels are now available for your drinking pleasure. Read on for an in-depth profile of each, and visit an O&B restaurant near you to enjoy a taste of this match made in heaven.

2020 Canoe Riesling Estate

VQA Beamsville Bench | 100% Estate Grown at Cave Spring Vineyard | Dry

As is not always the case with the Niagara varietal, this dry Riesling embodies Canoe’s ongoing quest to shine a light on Canada’s bounty. Replacing a Niagara Peninsula VQA blend with 100% Beamsville Bench VQA — one of the premier sub-appellations in the Niagara Peninsula — it offers ample acidity and long-term cellaring potential. A soon-to-be favourite, this balanced, limited-production wine is equally rich, creamy, and effortlessly elegant without being sweet.

Sensory profile:
Colour: Pale yellow.
Nose: Aromas of pineapple, candied lemon, yellow plum, and almond paste; hints of white cherry, white flowers, and biscuit.
Palate: Dry and medium-bodied, offering honeydew and grapefruit tones. Flavours of papaya, orange rind, and lemon curd are also in play, while a mild salinity is present throughout. The finish is crisp with lengthy notes of peach preserve, citrus peel, ginger root, and fresh pastry.

Pairs best with:

  • Lobster bisque
  • Sashimi
  • Sautéed trout
  • Lemon chicken
  • Sweet potato curry
  • Choucroute
  • Roasted pork loin
  • Medium cow’s milk cheese

2021 Biff’s Cabernet Franc Estate

VQA Beamsville Bench | 100% Estate Grown at Cave Spring Vineyard

Overview: Exemplifying the spirit of Biff’s Bistro and our passion for exquisite French cuisine and superior wines, this bright and herbaceous red replaces a previous blend with 100% Cabernet Franc. The result of 2021’s warm growing season and turbulent autumn, this savoury and approachable wine is a pure expression of Beamsville Bench, Niagara terroir. Barrel-aged for 16 months, it showcases the varietal at its very best and is sealed with a cork for optimal cellar storage.

Sensory profile:
Colour: Medium garnet.
Nose: Saddle leather, bay leaf, eucalyptus, and black raspberry over hints of graphite, black olive, clove, and cracked pepper.
Palate: Medium-bodied and silky with dried cherry, cassis and fig upfront. The complex finish displays layers of black tea, caramel, fresh cherries, and white pepper.

Pairs best with:

  • Roasted fowl (guinea hen, turkey)
  • Mild sausages
  • Duck roast
  • Grilled steak
  • Beef short ribs
  • Vegetable lasagna
  • Grilled portobello mushrooms