From Zin to Gin with FRESH Winemaker Jessica Wallace
Jessica Wallace is the bright, young and witty winemaker behind FRESH Wines from Diamond Estates in Niagara. We had the chance to interview her recently and she gave us the scoop on everything FRESH. From her start with Zin to her favourite Gin, we wanted her perspective and she answered some of our questions below.
- What is your favourite thing about making wine in Ontario? The challenges of the growing season – with every season, comes a new challenge whether it be hot, dry, cold, wet, we need to be reactive to the weather.
- What was the very first wine you ever drank? Strawberry zinfandel at age 19. Yesterday I drank Lakeview Syrah
- Is there another female winemaker that inspires you? Not another female winemaker per se but there are a number of females I find inspiring for different reasons.
- What is your favourite food & wine pairing? Something hot & spicy (thai food) with FRESH Opportunites Riesling-Gewürztraminer is just amazing!
- Do you own a piece of clothing that is wine coloured? I own many pieces of clothing that are covered in Wine – you pick the varietal and I’ve got the shade.
- If you could be a winemaker anywhere else in the world, where would you want to be? New Zealand because I’m intrigued by their styles and similarities between Niagara being a cool climate region. Like Ontario and I’d fit in well in the kiwi culture but my heart is in Niagara.
- If you were talking to someone who didn’t know anything about Ontario wine, what would be the key thing you would want to tell them? And why? We may be new and relatively small on a world
scale but we can certainly hold our own. It’s time for the world to start to recognize Ontario as a key cool climate region (not just for Icewine)
- What is your favourite FRESH Wine that you’ve made? FRESH Beginnings Moscato – the new 2016 vintage just finished fermenting and has a vibrant bouquet of lively tropical and floral notes.
- Which FRESH story speaks to you personally, and why? I have a couple of faves but Perspectives is the story I can relate to the most, primarily because I like to keep an open mind and enjoy new perspectives.
- When you’re not making, or drinking wine, where are you and what’s in your glass? It’s Gin! Dillon’s Strawberry Gin – see how I’ve progressed from strawberry zinfandel to gin! haha