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esoterica wine fair, part 4: Oakville Sommelier

Cottonwood Wine Agency at esoterica | © C. Silversides
Cottonwood Wine Agency at esoterica | © C. Silversides

This is the final report on the esoterica wine fair held by the Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club (OWEC) in April. If you have been keeping up with this series over the past few weeks, you can tell that there was a great variety of wine, liqueurs, spirits, and beer available for sampling not only from local Ontario wineries and a brewery, but drinks from around the globe supplied by Ontario wine agencies

Von Terra, Ponte Wines (Lifford), Diamond Estates Wines, and Cottonwood Wine Agency were among the 18 exhibitors at esoterica.

Elizabeth from Cottonwood brought a broad selection of wines including Prosecco Don Giovanni, Amarones and Valpolicellas from Azienda Agricola La Giaretta, Rocland Estate Lot 147 Shiraz from the Barossa Valley of Australia, and the 2008 Primo "Slow" Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Chillag, a small boutique winery located in Yehud, Israel.

Cottonwood Wine Agency Cottonwood Wine Agency

Cottonwood Wine Agency

Orna Chillag is one of the few female winemakers in Israel. She studied oenology in Piacenza, Italy, then received training at Antinori in Tuscany prior to opening her winery in 1999. Interesting facts: Orna Chillag was the first female winery owner/winemaker in Israel, she is a member of the Le Donne del Vino association which promotes women in the winemaking industry, and she was granted with the Italian knighthood title of Castellana, a title given to a limited number of women around the world for their contribution to the winemaking industry and promotion of humanity.

Chillag makes her red wines in a traditional way slowly fermenting chilled grapes on the skins at a low temperature, allowing fermentation time to occur naturally. Produced with grapes from Upper Galilee, Primo is Chillag's reserve wine, rich, full-bodied and balanced with firm tannins and notes of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and currant.

If you missed esoterica and would like to purchase products, you can contact the wineries and agencies directly - and many of them have online stores. But wouldn't it be nice if you could walk into a privately owned boutique wine shop in your neighborhood and have even more choices when it comes to purchasing beverage alcohol in Ontario?

The Wine Council of Ontario is currently running a campaign to expand private wine shops. You can take action and make your voice heard by going to For your reading enjoyment: Consumers to Enter the Debate on Wine Sales and Canada's Booze Is Still Under Prohibition-Era Government Control.

In June OWEC is holding their annual barbecue with Cottonwood Wine Agency presenting.