Wine Review: David Hearn 2015 Limited Edition Chardonnay Riesling








by Jeffrey Reed, Editor,

The St. Catharines-based Rockway Vineyards is well known for its robust Ontario VQA. Vineyards located on premium grape growing land in the Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation are famous for their mineral-rich soils which echo those of Burgundy, France.

In Fall 2015, Canadian PGA Tour golfer David Hearn of Brampton, Ontario – in the field this week at the RBC Canadian Open – unveiled his new partnership with Rockway Vineyards | Golf | Wine | Dine that now sees the property and Hearn work together to develop a special edition wine collection under label, The David Hearn Foundation. A portion of proceeds from the wine sales go back to the David Hearn Foundation benefiting the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Released in Spring 2016, the David Hearn Foundation wine label launched to offer one white and one red, available at Rockway Vineyards Wine Shop and online at This time, we review the David Hearn 2015 Limited Edition Chardonnay Riesling, available at LCBO $17.95.

A Chardonnay Riesling offering is uncommon but a perfect summer wine, thanks to complex yet not overwhelming tasting notes, complementing traditional fare of grilled chicken and fish, and seafood and vegetable appetizers, or standing well on its own as a perfect companion on the patio this season. This David Hearn 2015 Limited Edition wine fits the bill, blending 54% Chardonnay and 46% Riesling with up-front aromas of lemon-lime, pineapple and peach. Add notes of spice and fresh baked goods, and you have a winning formula.

A fan of summer Riesling, I’ve turned to Chardonnay as of late for a change of pace, so this combination offering provided a perfect transition for me. What I was surprised to find, though, was a wine much more complex than its initial billing. On the palate, the David Hearn 2015 Limited Edition Chardonnay Riesling is soft and velvety, with bright acidity from mid to end. Throughout tasting, citrus flavours are noticeable via hints of tropical fruit. Yet with all of these elements, this Chardonnay-Riesling combo remains well balanced: you’ll appreciate the complexity, but you’ll even more appreciate the subtlety with which it is delivered.

We enjoyed this wine with some grilled Atlantic salmon, assorted baby potatoes with a dash of horseradish, butter and pepper, and fresh broccoli. The result was an enjoyable meal and even better wine, both of which complemented the other.

The winemaking notes accompanying this wine showcase the care Rockway Vineyards has put into this limited edition offering. The fruit was harvested, destemmed and pressed into stainless tanks to settle. The Riesling was racked and fermented at cooler temperatures to promote intense aromatic character. The Chardonnay was barrel-fermented in neutral barrels using indigenous yeasts. Furthermore, it was aged in barrel for six months and the lees were stirred monthly to increase the texture and mouthfeel. The wine was assembled to create texture and balance from the Chardonnay with the aromatic qualities of Riesling.

The David Hearn 2015 Limited Edition Chardonnay Riesling is a great edition to the Ontario VQA community. If you’re looking for a perfect wine for the summer grilling season, then look no further than this great wine from Rockway Vineyards.

David Hearn 2015 Limited Edition Chardonnay Riesling
Brix at Harvest: 20.36
pH: 3.1
Total Acidity: 8 g/L
Alcohol: 12%
Sugar Rating: Dry
Cellaring: 0-5 Years
Retail: $17.95

For more information on the David Hearn Foundation, visit

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office established 1989.