The Best Varietal for Variety’s Gold Heart Gala

Carlos Lee, Blackwood Lane’s owner and master winemaker, creates handmade world-class wine for one main reason: to make people happy. Over the last 15 years, he’s not only built a truly magnificent winery, but he’s also created a community—affectionately referred to as the ‘Blackwood Family.’ This year, Carlos has extended his family to include the wonderful and philanthropic organizers of the Gold Heart Gala, an annual Variety children’s charity that benefits kids and their families.


An Elegant Wine for an Elegant Evening

The key word to describe this year’s Gold Heart Gala was “elegance,” so it seemed apropos that Carlos chose to generously donate Alliànce, his signature red wine, for the delectation and delight of this year’s gala guests! This outstanding blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is quite simply elegance in a bottle.

A World-Class Wine for a Worthwhile Cause

While it’s always a joy to open a bottle of Alliànce, this delightful wine with its cornucopia of flavours, aromas and bright rich flavours seemed even more spectacular when paired with a worthwhile philanthropic cause–helping children with special needs in our community.


A “Glass” Act

enjoying the patio at Blackwood LaneOf course, Carlos’ Alliànce made for the perfect pre-dinner sipping and mingling wine. Guests were clearly impressed with this phenomenal red, owing largely to the fact that, containing no chemicals or fining agents, this wine was created to be a class act, leaving no unsightly stained teeth, nor headaches later in the evening! It’s truly the perfect “gala wine!” However, pairing any gourmet meal with this iconic Bordeaux blend will elevate it to new and unexpected heights!


A Pairing Dream

Alliànce, with its aroma of spiced cherries, raspberry, cassis, violets, sweet oak, wet stone and cocoa paired exquisitely with each course, including the outstanding steak and salmon dishes! Of course, the evening’s fabulous chocolate dessert creation was a wine pairing dream come true!

A Friend of Blackwood Lane

Perhaps it was Alliànce’s pairing power that moved Mary Zilba to reach out to Carlos, asking him to donate his fine wines for this amazing charity. The truth is the philanthropist, singer/songwriter, podcast host, reality star and mother of 3 is no stranger to Carlos’ wines and has become a great friend of Blackwood Lane’s after experiencing their wines first hand (check out her Instagram account). A lover of fine wines made in the traditional French fashion, Mary was an instant fan! Indeed, Carlos’ wines are handcrafted using time-honoured French winemaking techniques, making every bottle a handcrafted work of art. It’s no wonder then, that Zilba announced to gala guests that Blackwood Lane is her favourite winery.


A Philanthropic Evening

The Gold Heart Gala was truly magical, as guests participated in both silent and live auctions, honoured philanthropic leaders, Barbara and Bob Steward, were entertained by talented singers and musicians, and were moved by the brave stories of families that have received support from Variety.  Blackwood Lane was proud and humbled to be a part of this important charity gala!

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