Canada's Weir Branches Into the Wine Business

Lucas Glover, left, who shot 1 over, and Vijay Singh, who is tied for the lead, share a light moment on the ninth hole.
Lucas Glover, left, who shot 1 over, and Vijay Singh, who is tied for the lead, share a light moment on the ninth hole. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
By Kathy Orton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 6, 2007

Mike Weir might best be known as the left-handed Canadian who won the Masters in 2003. Soon, he might also become known for his vintage. Mike Weir Estate Winery produced its first label two years ago and now boasts several wines: merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet-merlot, cabernet-shiraz and icewine.

"My wife and I enjoy wine," said Weir, who shot a 2-over-par 72 yesterday at the AT&T National. "It's turned out great. Actually, it's been better than I expected. It's really popular, and everybody's liked it."

Weir is not the only vintner on the PGA Tour. Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Nick Faldo each has his own label. Nor is he the only Canadian vintner. Wayne Gretzky and Dan Aykroyd also have vineyards on the Niagara peninsula of Ontario, a growing wine-producing area. Proceeds from Weir's wines, which are produced at Creekside Estate Winery, go to his foundation, which supports Canadian children's charities. He plans to open his own winery next summer.

The icewines are his most popular product. Travel & Leisure Golf magazine recently named his Icewine Vidal 2005, a rich dessert wine, one of its top five golf-related wines.

"That area is known for icewine," Weir said. The Niagara Valley is "little known yet, but it's getting more well known. It turns out great wine."

Top This View

Several golfers had a spectacular view of the fireworks Wednesday night. Phil Mickelson, Fred Funk, Brad Faxon, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Paul Azinger and Jeff Maggert were invited to the White House to watch the Fourth of July celebration.

"It sure was fun," Mickelson said. "It was a very surreal experience to be on the veranda watching the fireworks with both President Bushes and their wonderful wives. And I had a chance to meet Condoleezza Rice. I'm a big fan of hers."

Amateur Is on the Mark

Things got ugly quick for Jamie Lovemark, the 19-year-old amateur playing on a sponsor's exemption. A double bogey on his second hole could have spelled disaster for the reigning NCAA champion. Instead, Lovemark gathered himself and strung together five birdies for a 3-under 67 in just the third PGA Tour event of his career.

"I was real calm today, nervous on the first tee like anybody is supposed to be, and after that it was autopilot, just kind of taking control, cruising," Lovemark said.

Quinney on the Upswing

Jeff Quinney, the 2000 U.S. Amateur champion, has had an uneven rookie year on the PGA Tour. He has five top 10 finishes, including third at February's FBR Open, but also has missed five cuts. Yesterday, Quinney avoided Congressional Country Club's punishing rough, hitting 11 of 14 fairways en route to a 3-under 67 that left him tied for sixth place after the first round. . . .

Those fans arriving at Congressional Country Club on the parking lot shuttle buses are being given blank postcards from the Defense Department program, America Supports You. Fans can write a message to military service members on the postcards, which are being collected at the course and will be distributed to troops.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company