Article By Megan Cheung
Photos By Jean P. Labelle
Step through the doors of Ottawa’s Wine Bottega and immediately the winter chill melts away. Nestled among big box stores in the city’s east end, the store is more like a comfortable parlor; the walls are decorated with framed paintings, the staff invite conversation and the space exudes a warmth that entirely welcomes you to stay awhile. The family business is an award winning, wine making boutique and in seven years, it has transformed the craft of making quality wine into an easy and enjoyable experience.
The first day is quick and it takes a mere five minutes: pour the juice and sprinkle the yeast. The hardest part, says manager Jonathan Percival, is when a customer has no idea which type of wine they like to drink. In such cases, he helps select the right wine for them by pinpointing their preferences.
“We guarantee everything 100 per cent so nobody ever needs to be worried about being stuck with something they don’t like,” Percival says.
It’s a simple task if a customer knows exactly what they like because they have the whole world of grapes to choose from. The selection then becomes a matter of personal price range and desired quality level.
For the next four to eight weeks, the experienced staff will carefully maneuver their back room to stabilize, degas, rack and filter the wine into a finished product. The second and final visit requires twenty minutes to bottle the batch. Each batch produces about 28 bottles, but this will vary depending on the process. “We don’t top up with water or anything like that to make sure you get exactly 30. I’d rather quality over quantity.”
Quality wines are especially achieved at the Wine Bottega through the laborious use of their oak barrels. “I think that a lot of other places don’t use them because it is a lot of extra work. You have to know how to handle them, you have to keep them full and you have to keep them fresh.” Some places might use oak chips instead of barrels and that’s nowhere near the same, he says. The Wine Bottega still uses chips to add flavour, but he explains the barrel is not a solid vessel so it allows a bit of air into contact with the wine. This in turn accelerates the aging of the wine and provides a more complex wine that is also more ready to be consumed. “We think the barrels are synonymous with wine making.”
With a second location in Rockland, the Wine Bottega is quickly becoming a staple in the community and among wine enthusiasts. Discover its charm, service and superior wine for yourself this winter.
The Wine Bottega is located at 2026 Tenth Line Road, in Orleans.
613-590-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In Rockland at 2756 Chamberland Street, Rockland.
613-446-2700 or email@example.com