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For over 10 years I have been a big
supporter and proponent of Ontario wines. It’s almost the only kind of wine I
buy. When I go to a restaurant I will always look to see what wines they have
from Ontario, because I would much rather support a local winemaker.

This past weekend I was in Prince Edward County visiting Norman Hardie. They are one of my
favorite wineries in Ontario and if you haven’t yet tried their wines, I would
encourage you to give them a go. They also have a great wood pizza oven if you
decide to visit them in person.

One of the things I appreciate about Norman Hardie’s wines –
besides obviously the wines themselves, though the two aren’t mutually exclusive – is his philosophy behind the wines.
Here’s a snippet from the website:

I’ve chosen Southern
Ontario to grow and vinify cool climate varietals, because I truly feel that
these soils are unlike any other in the New World. As the worldwide market
grows, the majority of wines available to us have been carefully manufactured to
fit a flavour profile as opposed to smell and taste like the region they came
from. I strongly believe in the importance of crafting wines that tastes of the
place they came from. The French know this notion as “terroir”. Matt Kramer
(Wine Spectator) calls it “Somewhereness”.

I like this approach because I feel exactly the same way
about architecture and cities. Who wants a city that looks and feels like every
other city in the world? That’s boring, bland, and banal (couldn’t resist the

In my opinion, the best buildings respond to their local
context and the best cities create a unique sense of place. They create

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