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Unreserved Wine Talk

237 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


101: Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries Adapt to Covid with Andrea Kaiser

What's it like harvesting grapes in sub-zero temperatures? Is there really any difference between a vineyard on one side of the road and a vineyard on the other? Is this a good time for you to visit a winery? What's changed with Covid? How does the Taste the Season at Home initiative allow you to support local wineries?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Andrea Kaiser, Chair for the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Director of Marketing at Reif Estate Winery.

  • What's it like being part of an Icewine harvest without automation?
  • Which harvest tradition did Andrea start while embracing the Great Indoors?
  • How did Karl Kaiser's wine press end up breaking during a particularly cold harvest?
  • As a wine consumer, how does the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) benefit you?
  • Is there really much of a difference between geographically close appellations?
  • How can Russian nesting dolls help you understand appellations?
  • What's Andrea's earliest memory with wine?
  • Why shouldn't you feel intimidated by wine?
  • Why should you look forward to 2020 wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake?
  • How have Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries evolved their customer experience during the pandemic?
  • Is this a good time for you to visit a winery?
  • What precautions are Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries taking to prioritize health and safety?
  • Why should you make a reservation to enjoy holiday treats at Drea's Wine Co.?
  • How has the demand for online sales changed in recent months?
  • How can you take advantage of the wider selection of wines available online versus in the LCBO?
  • How does the Taste the Season at Home initiative allow you to bring the winery experience into your home?
  • What resources can you find on the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake website?
  • How can you learn more about the story of winemaking in Niagara-on-the-Lake?
  • What are the most famous wines you'd want to try from each of the sub-appellations of Niagara-on-the-Lake?
  • How do the climatic and geological features you experience affect the growing potential of Niagara-on-the-Lake?
  • Why should you be especially proud of the Canadian wine industry?
  • What can you expect from Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries in 2021?
About Andrea Kaiser

Andrea Kaiser grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake amidst a transformation ignited by her father’s vision in winemaking. Karl J. Kaiser was none other than co-founder and winemaker of Inniskillin Wines, that revolutionized an industry. He is considered by many to be the pioneer of modern winemaking in Canada. His pursuit of creating exceptional wine revolutionized local viticulture and grape growing sparking a transformation in winemaking.

As the daughter of Karl, she had the unique opportunity to see first-hand the birth of an industry but also an iconic Canadian brand. His influence on her was also great. She was inspired by his vision and his absolute commitment to excellence in winemaking. Her father also understood the value of authenticity and taught her that above all else, it is the foundation of all things exceptional.

While her father’s ultimate career path was born of his passion, like Andrea’s own, it began as a winding road that was cemented by serendipity along the way. Her father first intended to become a priest, was then a teacher and later found his true calling when he by accident, became a winemaker. Andrea’s career began as a restauranteur and along the way she has been a sommelier, politician, writer, teacher, marketer and now winemaker. She recently launched Drea’s Wine Co., making wines in memory of her father, who affectionately called her ‘Drea’.

Andrea’s deep passion for local food and wine has been the common thread in her career path. Her incredible journey has provided her with an insight and a depth of understanding not only of her community and country but a global industry. You could say she was born into a life of food and wine and now shares this passion with others.

About Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to some of the oldest and most established wine-producing vineyards in Canada. Our wineries have been growing and producing world-class wines from vinifera varietals for more than four decades. The efforts of pioneer winemakers in this region were instrumental in propelling Canada onto the world’s wine stage and positioning Niagara-on-the-Lake as a premium wine-growing region.





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

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