The Foreign Affair: I’m Still Not Over It

Image by The Foreign Affair

Taking a recommendation from my wino friend (hey, Mitch!), this week’s destination was The Foreign Affair, tucked in right along the shore of Lake Ontario. A bit off the beaten path, the winery is a hidden gem housed in a former agricultural study building, next door to the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Years ago, Len and Marisa Crispino, founders of The Foreign Affair, were living in Italy when they fell in love with Amarone-styled wines. What makes this style of wine so unique is that vintners actually dry the grapes before crushing them, a process known as appassimento. This two- to six-month drying process causes some of the water to evaporate which results in stronger flavours and colours.

As The Foreign Affair website explains, “The entire process is very labour intensive and significantly reduces the yield. This means that the best quality and more grapes are required to produce a bottle of appassimento wine.”

Inspired to produce appassimento back home, Len and Marisa got to work and opened The Foreign Affair Winery in 2004. Their award-winning winery has been recognized as the first winery to bring the appassimento style to Canada.

The winery, which looks like the most elegant cellar in existence, is also home to some of the friendliest winery staff we have ever met. Sommelier Dan was extremely knowledgeable and passionate, even offering up different recipes to pair with the wines being tasting.

A tasting at The Foreign Affair allows you to sample three different wines. After sampling the 2015 Enchanted (a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay), the 2009 Merlot, and the best-selling 2013 Temptress (a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot), we left with a bottle of the 2013 Temptress and the bittersweet sadness that comes at the end of an affair.

7 thoughts on “The Foreign Affair: I’m Still Not Over It

  1. You have a beautiful looking blog and you are such a talented writer Tandi!

    I see your unique personality shine through in your posts. Well done!

  2. I must say I’m not a huge wine drinker, but I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons. Loved reading why the Crispinos started the Foreign Affair, I think i’ll have to make my way out there to try their Amarone wines. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Very stylish writing, Tandi! You motivate to visit these places 🙂 You may find Vivino app useful – you can scan any wine label and get a lot of extra information about it and avg. scores also 🙂

  4. Your blog is amazing Tandi! I love your blog design (I’m actually really jealous of it). I’ll have to try that Enchanted wine Riesling and Chardonnay are my two favourites!

  5. Wow, so beautiful! I’ve never been to this winery before. That cork and the quotation are such a thoughtful touch – I love that the brand experience extends to such a small detail of the final product 🙂

  6. I love the look and the topic of your blog Tandi! Your writing shows how much you enjoyed the place!
    beautifully written 🙂

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