Twenty years ago, the outlook for rosé in this part of the world wavered somewhere between 'indifferent' and 'irrelevant'. The wine style had been discredited locally by inferior rosés that reflected the low expectations shared by many consumers and winemakers.
Malivoire took a different direction. Ladybug would be a high-quality local rosé, made not as a by-product of other wines, but from grapes grown specifically for rosé. The inaugural vintage, 1998, was a blend of cabernet franc, gamay and, interestingly, a small addition of barrel-aged chardonnay, selling for $14.95.
The next vintage was made from cabernet franc, gamay and pinot noir, a combination that set the pattern for all vintages to come.
In LCBO stores today, Ladybug is the top-seller among all VQA rosés. It is a leader in a market that now holds rosé high in esteem and high in demand.