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Where to Go Toronto

Ontario Winery Profile: By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-By-Chadseys-Cairns

This week’s Ontario winery:

BY CHADSEY’S CAIRNS WINERY & VINEYARD
Established in 2002
Owner: Richard Johnston and Vida Zalnieriunas

How big is your winery?
We produce about 1,800 cases per year from just under 20 acres of grapes, expanding to 24 acres this year.

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
Eight, including the only Chenin and Muscat in the county. We also have Gamay, Pinot, and St. Laurent in the reds.

What are your three most popular wines?
It changes from year to year but in the past couple of vintages our botrytis-affected Rieslings were our biggest sellers.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
We are a family partnership. We began growing in 1999 as we re-imagined the future of the Chadsey’s farm that had been growing fruit for 200 years. I [Richard] loved the soils and told Vida on our first day here that “I think we could grow grapes here.” Little did I know how tough it would be. When we opened our doors to the public in 2003 we offered the first Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer ever produced commercially in Prince Edward County.

Does the winery offer tours?
Yes, we provide tours of our apple house vineyard to explain the winter burying and trellising techniques we use, and we give a tour of our pioneer cemetery. The price varies per group and is usually tied in to a tasting as well. We can accommodate groups as small as 4 and as large as 60.

Harvesting grapes at By Chadsey's Cairns

Harvesting grapes at By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery

Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes. The Apple House, built circa 1855, is our tasting room.

What other amenities are on site?
We don’t have a restaurant but do have a great picnic area and our barn that overlooks lake Ontario is pretty spectacular.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
Burying vines in PEC is not like covering the grafts in Niagara. For fine wines, we don’t have multi-year trunks but bring up new canes off the graft each year. Two of those are tied down to a wire just above the ground and they’re buried under dirt in mid-November to help them survive our more severe winters. Unburied plants would have lost 100 per cent of their buds to freezing temperatures during this past winter.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
The key to understand Prince Edward County wines in general is to focus in on the lovely clean acidity in each of them and to try to pick up on the impact of the calcerous limestone that underpins the whole area.

• By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard, 17432 Loyalist Pkwy., Hillier
• bychadseyscairns.com; Facebook

 

Ontario Winery Profile: Calamus Estate Winery

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-Calamus-Estate

This week’s Ontario winery:

CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY
First vineyard planted in 2000, the second in 2002. Tasting room and retail store opened in July 2006.
Owner/Operator: Derek Saunders and Pat Latin
Winemaker: Arthur Harder

How big is your winery?
We produce 5,000 cases of wine each year

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
We grow eight grape varieties and most years bottle between 12 to 15 different wines, almost all produced from our own vineyards.

What are your three most popular wines?
The Pinot Gris, but there is a true fan following for our Barrel Kissed Chardonnay and our Meritage.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
Winemaking is a second career that grew out of a personal passion. The estate includes 10 acres of grapes on a small property near Beamsville in the Lincoln Lakeshore Appellation and 22 acres of grapes on the larger 42-acre winery site in the Vinemount Ridge Appellation. Our winery’s buildings are refurbished 1820 and 1888 era barns that showcase the local history and offer a warm relaxed space for catered functions and group tastings.

Does the winery offer tours?
We offer tours on special event weekends and by request for pre-booked private groups of six or more. Our most popular tour is the vineyard walk. The price is $15 per person and includes the tasting and a glass of wine and cheese plate at the end.

Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes.

What other amenities are on site?
There is a 10-foot dome on the top deck that houses a large 16″ telescope that is available for evening events. There are several picnics tables around the vineyard and patio tables on the deck where we encourage customers to bring a lunch, buy a glass of wine and relax.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
All the Calamus wines are VQA. That means everything is 100 per cent local and in the case of Calamus, 95 per cent of the grapes used for the wines are from our own vineyards. What is not from their vineyard is sourced from neighbouring farmers.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
The best way to enhance your wine experience is to make the time to visit wine country—it’s only and hour from downtown Toronto. Spend a little time sampling the VQA wines available and taking home some favorites. Go local.

• Calamus Estate Winery, 3100 Glen Rd., Jordan, 905-562-9303
calamuswines.com; Facebook; Twitter 

Ontario Winery Profile: Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-Cooper's-Hawk-Vineyards-Sign

This week’s Ontario winery:

COOPER’S HAWK VINEYARDS
Founded in 2007, opened for sales in 2011
Owner: The O’Brien Family and Debbie Meloche
Winemaker: Rori McCaw

How big is your winery?
The winery’s 67 acres yield 5,000 cases of wine annually.

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
About 14.

What are your three most popular wines?
 Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Riesling.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
We are a family-owned and -operated winery. It is a second career for us and wine is a personal passion for our family.

Does the winery offer tours?
Tours are offered by appointment only.

Cooper's Hawk's bottling facilities

Cooper’s Hawk’s bottling facilities

Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes.

What other amenities are on site?
We have a five-acre park and grass with picnic tables, hay rides in the fall and a new wetland tour this summer.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
 Craft wineries put intensive labour and care into Ontario wine making.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
Every wine is different, and enjoyable in different ways, and it’s fun to try the variety of wines.

• Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, 1425 Iler Rd., RR 1, Harrow, 519-738-4295
coopershawkvineyards.com; Facebook; Twitter @coopershawkwine

There’s Still Time to Explore Ontario’s Parks and Outdoor Spaces This Summer

BY CRAIG MOY

Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)

Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)

According to the 2011 census, 81 per cent of Canadians now live in urban areas. In Ontario, that number is even higher—86 per cent. And yet a significant part of our national identity remains tied to the frontier, the wilderness. We may live in condos and work in cubicles, but our hearts still yearn for open spaces.

Fortunately, Ontario boasts bounteous natural expanses (national and provincial parks, as well as locally administered conservation areas) for exploration and recreation. Many of these sites are within reasonable distance from the Greater Toronto Area, but not so close as to be overrun with visitors.

(more…)

Ontario Winery Profile: Château des Charmes

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-Chateau-des-Charmes-Estate

This week’s Ontario winery:

CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES
Founded in 1978
Owner: Paul Bosc
Winemaker: Amélie Boury

How big is your winery?
Our annual production is about 60,000 cases.

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
We grow 16 different varieties of grapes on 280 acres, but we make 30 or so different wines.

What are your three most popular wines?
It depends on the season. Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay, Estate-Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, and Estate-Bottled Aligoté from the St. David’s Bench Vineyard are always crowd favourites.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
 Seven generations of our family have been born into our way of life. “Making wine is not what we do, it’s who we are” is a Bosc family saying. We care about every aspect of the winegrowing and winemaking process, which is why we control it ourselves from start to finish.

Does the winery offer tours?
Tours and tastings are offered daily year-round, though the winery may be closed on major holidays. Tours are offered in English, French and Japanese and range from $10 to $15, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
 We are all farmers. Making wine is as much science as art.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Enjoy the wine with friends and family. Do you like the taste? That’s what’s most important. If you want to go a bit deeper think about the TLC that went into making the wine—in our case we’ve grown all the grapes ourselves using sustainable agricultural techniques. Think about the soils and the weather when it was grown, the people who took the time and care to craft the wine, and then the memories created when you enjoy it.

• Chåteau des Charmes, 1025 York Rd., St. David’s, 905-262-4219
fromtheboscfamily.com; Facebook; Twitter @Mbosc

Ontario Winery Profile: Southbrook Vineyards

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-Southbrook-Vineyards-Building

This week’s Ontario winery:

SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS
Founded in 1991 in Richmond Hill; 2005 in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Owners: Bill and Marilyn Redelmeier
Winemaker: Ann Sperling

How big is your winery? 
Of the 150 acre property, 57 acres are planted with vines. There is still a substantial stand of forest, and a large pasture/hayfield that supports the flock of sheep that are integral to the biodynamic farm practices.

Among Southbrook's offerings: Triomphe cabernet franc rosé and a Poetica series featuring poetry on the label

Among Southbrook’s offerings: Triomphe cabernet franc rosé and a Poetica series featuring poetry on the label

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
We grow nine varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, Semillon, Muscat and Vidal.

What are your three most popular wines?
Southbrook Vineyards is best known for robust red wines made with the varieties native to Bordeaux, such as our Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, as well as rich and well-balanced barrel fermented Chardonnay. Our Connect White and Red wines are the only certified-organic VQA wines available throughout the LCBO as “General Listing.”

Tell us about the winery’s background.
Southbrook Vineyards grew out of a mixed farm, pick-your-own, and country farm market operation in Richmond Hill, where the Redelmeiers have been established since the 1940’s. Originally, grapes were purchased from Niagara and processed at the farm north of Toronto. Fruit wines were also produced using Ontario-grown berries. In 2005, the Redelmeiers purchased an existing vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and began expanding the vineyards and converting the practices to follow Organic and biodynamic principles. In 2008, the Jack Diamond-designed hospitality centre was opened, and in 2009 the first certified organic and biodynamic wines produced in Canada were released from the 2008 vintage.

Does the winery offer tours?
From May to September we offer a menu of daily tours such as Southbrook: We Hardly Knew Ye, A Southbrook Structured Tasting, Can You Say Cheese?, Earthly Infused Food Pairings, and Franc’s and Food. Tours range from $5 to $25, which includes food and wine pairings. Advance booking is recommended; 48 hours is required for some tours.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-Southbrook-Vineyards-GrapesIs there a retail shop on the premises? Yes.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
As the leader of our production team, Ann Sperling considers herself a winegrower, meaning that the quality of our wines is founded on the skilled work we perform in the vineyard to grow ripe, healthy fruit. We keep our yields per acre far below the industry standard, and support the health of the vines from the soil up by using fertility from our sheep, spraying natural plant and mineral teas, and avoiding all synthetic inputs. Our goal is to allow each individual vine to express the character of its place, or terroir, and then capture that essence in the bottle.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
Gather friends and family around a table, relax, take time, share favourite foods, open the wines you enjoy and don’t worry about the details.

• Southbrook Vineyards, 581 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, 905-641-2548
southbrook.com; Facebook; Twitter @Southbrookwine

Ontario Winery Profile: Union Wines

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Winery-Profile-Union-Wine-Bottles

This week’s Ontario winery:

UNION WINES
Founded in 2010
Winemakers: Andrew von Teichman and Dr. Allan Jackson

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
Eight

What are your three most popular wines?
Union White, Union Rose and Union Red blends.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
We are a “virtual winery,” which means we don’t have a physical site that people can visit. Union was founded by two wine pioneers with a vision of creating blended wines that offer outstanding value from 100 per cent local fruit. Our sole focus is producing multi-varietal blends as we select the best fruit from each vintage to craft these unique wines.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
 That it is farming first and Mother Nature calls the shots!

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
 Serve Union Wines properly chilled for the whites and partially chilled for our reds. The chill brings out the vibrant character of the wines and as they warm up in the glass, their profile evolves as the temperature changes.

• Union Wines, 416-968-7070 ext. 234
unionwines.com; Facebook; Twitter @unionwines

Ontario Winery Profile: Sprucewood Shores Winery

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Wine-Sprucewood-Estate

This week’s Ontario winery:

SPRUCEWOOD SHORES WINERY
E
stablished in 1991; vineyard opened in 2006
Owners: Stephen, Marlaina, Tanya and Jake Mitchell

What are your three most popular wines?
Lady in Red Cabernet-Merlot blend, Meritage (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc), and Pinot Grigio.

Ontario-Wine-Sprucewood-Tasting-SeminarTell us about the winery’s background.
We are a family-run operation that has been producing quality Ontario grapes for more than 21 years from our 35 acres resting on the shores of Lake Erie. We’ve been in operation since 2006 as a winery when Gord and Hannah Mitchell decided to pursue their dream together with their children. Sprucewood Shores is a destination winery within the Pelee Island region with a majestic building overlooking the lake, vineyards, and a protected wetland. We specialize as an events centre for weddings, fundraisers and family events.

Does the winery offer tours?
We do not offer regular tours but are open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tours can be organized by appointment.

Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes.

What other amenities are on site?
We offer weekly live entertainment on Sundays from June to August in our tents on the back patio along with catering by a local restaurant partner. From May to October we offer our customers picnic baskets that can be enjoyed by the beach or under the shade trees.

Ontario-Wine-Sprucewood-VineyardsTell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
The effort it takes to create even a single bottle of wine is substantial! Growing grapes is hard work.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
Take the time discover what you like about wines and think about what you’re tasting. For some people it’s a flavour, for others it’s a sweetness level, or it may be something that is different every time!

• Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, 7528 County Rd. 50 W., Amherstburg, 519-738-9253
sprucewoodshores.com; Facebook Page; Twitter @Sprucewoodwine

Ontario Winery Profile: Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Wine-Jackson-Triggs-Facade

This week’s Ontario winery:

JACKSON-TRIGGS NIAGARA ESTATE
Founded in 2001
Winemaker: Marco Piccoli

How big is your winery? 
47,000 square feet.

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
Seven to 10.

What are your three most popular wines?
Entourage Sparkling Brut, Delaine Cabernet Merlot, and Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
Canada’s most award-winning winery was founded in 1993 by two friends and colleagues, Don Triggs and Allan Jackson, who bought out Labatt Canada’s wine interests and created Vincor International. A state-of-the-art winemaking facility was built in the Niagara region with contemporary technology housed in buildings that honour the area’s natural landscape. Each year, the Niagara winery yields about 110,000 cases of wine.

Does the winery offer tours?
Tours and tastings are offered daily year-round, though the winery may be closed on major holidays. From June to October, tours are offered every half hour from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. From November to May, tours take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Tours are approximately 45 minutes in length and cost $5 per person, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes.

What other amenities are on site?
A tasting gallery, tasting bar, outdoor patio and outdoor amphitheatre for pop concerts.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
Often the consumer is not aware of the fact that wine is “alive” in the bottle, and as a result can age nicely (depending on many contributing factors), or alternatively, not age well and possibly be faulted upon opening. It’s a perishable product, and in most cases, is not intended to be laid down for years on end, but to be readily consumed at purchase. This applies especially to “new world” wines.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
The best way to enjoy a wine is to connect it to your expectations—know your preferences: white or red; dry or with a touch of sweetness; still or bubbly; oaked or unoaked. Don’t expect the wine to deliver something that it can’t. Enjoy with friends and family as part of everyday experiences or create new experiences!

• Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate, 2145 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, 905-468-4637
jacksontriggswinery.com; Facebook Page; Twitter @Jackson_Triggs

Ontario Wine Wednesday: Small Talk Vineyards

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Small Talk wines come with distinctive labelling

This week’s Ontario winery:

SMALL TALK VINEYARDS
Established in 1989 as Stonechurch Vineyards, and in 2013 as Small Talk Vineyards
Owner: Hank Hunse

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
Nine. We produce 20,000 cases of wine annually.

What are your three most popular wines?
Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer

Tell us about the winery’s background.
Small Talk Vineyards is family-owned and -operated. The farm was established in 1955 and has transformed from being a cow pasture to vegetables (strawberries and tomatoes) to fruit trees (peaches, plums, cherries, and pears) and then to vineyards over that time.

Does the winery offer tours?
Tours are offered upon request; we customize visits as much as we can.

What other amenities are on site?
There is a wine store and curio shop on site.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
How challenging it is to grow grapes in Niagara, and why white wines in Ontario are some of the best in the world.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
Trust your own taste, if you like it, it is good wine, no matter the score given by someone else. Each wine has its best occasion for enjoyment, it is fun to explore how wines pair with foods.

• Small Talk Vineyards, 1242 Irvine Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, 905-935-3535
smalltalkvineyards.com; Facebook; Twitter @SmallTalkWines

Ontario Wine Wednesday: Cattail Creek Estate Winery

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Ontario-Wine-Cattail-Creek

This week’s Ontario winery:

CATTAIL CREEK ESTATE WINERY
Founded in 2006
Owned and operated by The Dyck family
Winemaker: Susan Rissling

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
A range to entice many different palates such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and an assortment of dessert wines.

What are your three most popular wines?
Riesling, Pinot Noir and Serendipity Rosé.

Does the winery offer tours?
Tours are from June 1 to September 30 at 11 a.m. daily; cost is $7 per person.

Ontario-Wine-Cattail-Creek-BottlesWhat other amenities are on site?
There is a tasting bar where guests can taste all of the wines we produce. We also offer a picnic in the vineyard program from May to October that includes a selection of meats, cheeses, antipasti, hummus, a baguette and homemade cookies for $15 per person. You can add a glass or bottle of wine as well, which you can take into the grounds.

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
Vintage variation. The beautiful thing about wine is that it’s so dependent on the growing conditions of each year, and that is part of the wonderful enticement of wine. Every year gives you a whole new batch of wines to enjoy and discover; they’re never the same. Each year gives it’s own beauty and fingerprint to the wine.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
Never doubt yourself. Wine is persona. What one person tastes will be entirely different than what you taste. It’s determined by who we are. My experiences growing up and the food I ate will be very different from anyone else, and that impacts how we taste wine. And wine is a living and breathing entity. Just like we change as we mature, does wine. There is always something different to discover every time you open the wine. Enjoy and grasp the differences. They give the wine character. If you’re looking for consistency, drink water.

• Cattail Creek Estate Winery, RR #4, 1156 Concession 6, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 905-988-9463
cattailcreek.ca; Facebook; Twitter @CattailWinery

Ontario Wine Wednesday: Pelee Island Winery

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.

Pelee Island Winery

This week’s Ontario winery:

PELEE ISLAND WINERY
Founded in 1979
President: Walter Schmoranz
Winemakers: Martin Janz and Tim Charisse

How big is the winery?
More than 550 acres.

What are your three most popular wines?
Baco noir, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc

Tell us about the winery’s background.
Pelee Island is one of only three “Designated Viticultural Areas” in Ontario. Pelee Island Winery first established its vineyards  in 1979, during which time we’ve planted more than 500 acres of vineyards. Since the early 1980s, Pelee Island Winery has planted the European Vitis vinifera varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Merlot, etc., on approximately 500 acres of land. These new plantings have ushered in a new era of success for the winery. The extended growing season here in Canada allows our grapes to reach their full potential and maturity. All these factors of sun, soil, climate and southern latitude help create an internationally recognized viticultural region.

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
More than 15, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Shiraz, Lemberger, Vidal, Scheurebe, Gamay Noir, Merlot and Zweigelt.

Does the winery offer tours?
Yes, tours of the production process including the crushing of grapes and the bottling run daily year-round at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. The Wine Pavilion offers tours daily from May to October at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.; $5 per person, children 18 and under are free.

What is distinctive about Pelee Island Winery?
We strive to build a lasting relationship with our customers by providing to them a unique winery experience and exceptional product.

• Pelee Island Winery, 455 Seacliff Dr., Kingsville, 519-733-6551
peleeisland.com; Facebook; Twitter @Peleewinery