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Unreserved Wine Talk

238 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


75: Niagara Vine Laureate Klaus Reif: Ontario Wine's Future

What profound impact does buying your local wine have on your economy? Why will supporting the "Free My Grapes" campaign improve your choice and access to wine? How have Ontario wines changed since the 80s? What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wine industry?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we're chatting with Klaus Reif of Niagara-on-the-Lake's Reif Winery.

  • How is the younger generation of Ontario winemakers impacting the industry?
  • How has the perception of Ontario wines changed since the 80s?
  • What are the four stages in the evolution of Niagara winemaking?
  • What can you look forward to on a visit to Reif winery?
  • As a wine lover, why should you try Vinea Liqueur?
  • How can you make a Vinea Royale?
  • Where can you get a bottle of Vinea?
  • What new developments should you look out for on the Ontario wine scene?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the Ontario wine industry?
  • How does "Free My Grapes" help Canadian wine lovers and winemakers?
  • Why should you support your local wine industry?
  • What filet mignon and smoked salmon wine pairings are must-try according to Klaus?
  • Why is marketing critical in the wine world?
  • Why do you have to be careful when using an aerator with old wine?
  • How do Niagara winemakers work together as an industry?
  • What were the four phases of Ontario winemaking from Klaus’ perspective?
  • Why did Robert Mondavi approach Klaus in London?
  • Which race car driver would Klaus love to share a bottle of wine with?
  • Which wine gadget is Klaus’ single most important tool?
About Klaus Reif

Klaus Reif, of Reif Vineyards in Niagara, comes from twelve generations of winemaking. He grew up on a family vineyard in Germany but in 1978, he visited his uncle Ewald who had started a winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Klaus loved the region, so after completing oenology studies at several respected institutions, he returned in 1987 to take over winemaking at his uncle’s winery. In 1989, winemaker Roberto Didomenico joined him, and Klaus is now president of the winery, though he stays active in the winemaking.


To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the

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