My name is Paula Bernardino and I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. My parents are from Portugal and arrived in Canada in the early 70s. As a typical Portuguese family, there was always a bottle of wine on the table – something that remains true today. A few years after settling in Montreal and buying their first house, my father got his brother to bring a branch from their parents’ vine back to Canada, which he then planted in his garden. I grew up watching those grapes grow during the summer and get cut in the fall. Today I’m the one that gets up on a ladder sometime in September to cut them. They’re not great to eat or to make wine with but we maintain the tradition.
The first winery I visited was the Adega do Cantor or “Winery of the Singer” in the Algarve (Portugal) in 2010, which belongs to British pop singer Sir Cliff Richard.
Then while doing my Masters at McMaster University in Hamilton, I discovered two wine regions in Ontario: Niagara-on-the-Lake and Prince Edward County. My Masters capstone project even ended up being related to wine as I did a case study on the reputation of Ontario wines.
I hate the snobbism that exists when it comes to wine. My motto is “just drink what you feel like”. You don’t need to pair dessert with a “dessert wine”! Have that s’mores with a glass of Gamay!
Follow me in my wine adventures, discoveries and stories at wine tasting events, wine festivals and when meeting winemakers.
Contact me if you have any wine events or need a feature story on a wine-related topic.