One of the most exciting features of Cuvée is being introduced to amazing Ontario VQA wine selections that our winemakers picked as their personal favourites! Visit each of our participating wineries featured in Station 1 to hear more about what makes each wine so special, complete with tasting notes, pairing tips, and insider insights.
Don’t forget to also visit the links featuring the Winemakers Favourites below. Each winery has provided options that make it easy for you to shop online and enjoy these wines at home! Support local!
13th Street Winery
WINEMAKER: Jean Pierre Colas
2017 Gamay Blanc de Noir
Our first sparkling wine made entirely from Gamay; the fruit was hand-harvested in the first week of September 2017 from the first few rows of our Whitty Vineyard in Creek Shores. The grapes were transferred gently into the press and the free-run juice was captured separately to preserve the elegant profile. Primary fermentation was kept cool, and in 100% stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation was suppressed to keep the fresh fruit character in the wine. The secondary fermentation took place in bottle and the wine was aged sur lattes for a minimum of 12 months. After the lees was removed, winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas felt the wine was in perfect balance and decided to not add any sugar to the dosage, resulting in a classically dry sparkling wine in the zerodosage style.
2018 Cabernet Franc
Sourced exclusively from our June’s Vineyard in the Creek Shores sub-appellation, our Cabernet Franc 2018 was harvested in late-October after a warm summer and wet, early fall. The grapes were sorted on shaker tables to ensure perfect quality. After crushing and de-stemming, the must and skins were moved to stainless steel fermenters where the primary fermentation took place over three weeks with pumpovers for colour and flavor extraction. After pressing, malolactic fermentation was completed in tank, where the wine was kept until bottling in August 2019 following a light fining and filtration.
Adamo Estate Winery
WINEMAKER: Shauna White
2019 Legacy Pinot Blanc Pét-Nat
I have chosen this Pét-Nat because it was a new challenge for me in 2017 that turned out to be a success! 2018, and now 2019, keep inspiring me to continue to make a natural style effervescent wine without the use of sulphur. This is a personal favourite of mine to introduce and share with friends at the start of an evening to freshen the palate!
2017 Lowrey Pinot Noir Wild Ferment
This small batch, Wild Ferment, Pinot Noir from Lowrey Vineyard expresses itself so uniquely from the other Pinots that we have made from Lowrey Vineyard. The natural yeast (wild yeast) has created complex aromas and, with supporting oak for structure, a concentrated palate of flavours and tannins alike. A two-barrel blend, this Pinot Noir stole my heart with all its complexity and concentration.”
WINEMAKER: Marc Pistor
I continue to be excited and impressed by the growing quality and expression of Appassimento wines in Ontario. The technique offers so much opportunity for the winemaker. This is exemplified in this traditional/appassimento blend.
2018 Sparkling Rosé
I love the balance and aromatic expression of our Sparkling Rosé. The Pinot Noir brings richness and great fruit, while Riesling lends vibrant acidity and citrus aromas and the Muscat pops the tropical fruit and floral elements.
WINEMAKER: Marco Piccoli
2017 Arterra Chardonnay
I selected this wine because it represents a very elegant expression of our terroir. In an old world style, with lustrous minerality and floral notes, this wine was made by limiting the addition of SO2 after malolactic fermentation, resulting in an exquisite and refined wine.
2017 Arterra Pinot Noir
I consider this a very distinctive interpretation of this varietal, in that it combines a traditional winemaking process with the Appassimento style of wine. This Pinot Noir was partially dried on racks for 10 weeks and then fermented on skins for seven to 10 days. The blend represents an elegant and sophisticated amalgamation of traditional winemaking techniques.
WINEMAKER: Thomas Bachelder
2017 Bachelder Wismer-Parke “Ouest” Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir
Wismer-Parke is on the first rise up the bench from Highway 8, on the eastern end of the Town of Vineland (at the same latitude as the Le Clos Jordanne vineyard, but west of Twenty Mile Creek). The magnesium-oxide influenced soils have a definite reddish cast to them, which we see in the finished wine, as a sanguine, iodine, virile inky— almost raw— quality in what is a otherwise a perfumed, expressive, medium-bodied wine. This character is exaggerated in the western part of the vineyard, from whence are chosen the barrels that dovetail together to form the Wismer-Parke singlevineyard. (The “finer-but-less-characterful” eastern block goes into our “Villages” blend). For the first two vintages, we declassified all of the wine from this vineyard into our Niagara Pinot blend because we found it a bit shocking on the palate; so “wild,” which is a quality we now understand and celebrate. And that, for me, is what defining terroir is all about: Turning the rock over to see what’s underneath! It is interesting to compare this Grand Vin from the “Vineland Bench” side of Twenty Mile Creek to the “Jordan Bench” Grand Clos Pinot Noir from the same year.
2017 Bachelder Wismer-Wingfield “Ouest” Single-Vineyard Chardonnay
The Wingfield parcel is a simply incredible terroir, on a perfectly exposed, well-drained slope on the east side of Victoria Street in Vineland. Both the highest elevation and furthest from the lake of all our parcels (50 metres in altitude, and 1,000 metres further from the Lake than other Wismer parcels), we pick Wingfield a full 10-15 days after our other Chardonnay vineyards, and usually at lower brix! Surely destined to become a ‘Grand Cru’ if Canada ever classifies. Now older vines, planted in 1993 on lighter silty/clay and Dolomitic limestone soil, it shows the classic Vineland (as distinct from Jordan) combination of plush richness and tight minerality. From the start, whether we have indicated it or not on the label, the Wismer-Wingfield has been from the western side of the vineyard. 2017, a classically tight, balanced year of great precision and focus for Chardonnay, has produced this taut marvel of silky texture, broad, deep flavour, and intense minerality. A restrained, glassy, ‘grand vin’ nose of great intensity, this silky-textured—yet taut—Chardonnay is one that will age, and one to meditate on. Fermented, as always, in neutral barrels with indigenous yeasts (with barely 15% new oak) and given a long 20-month élévage without bâtonnage. It is interesting to compare this Grand Vin from the “Vineland Bench” side of Twenty Mile Creek to the “Jordan Bench” Grand Clos Chardonnay from the same year.
Broken Stone Winery
WINEMAKER: Tim Kuepfer
2018 County Grown Chardonnay – VQA Prince Edward County
This chardonnay has just the right balance of oak and fruit. It tastes clean and pristine and has enough acidity to open your taste buds to enjoy a cascade of flavours with a mineral finish. I planted our chardonnay in 2010 on shallow, well-drained limestoneand-clay soil at our home vineyard and nurtured them to maturity. They are now showing their promise and the result of all those years of work.
2017 Pinot Noir, Estate Grown
We came to the “County” to grow Pinot Noir. Our 2017 Pinot is bone dry, deeply coloured, and aged for a year in French Oak. We have a warm site about nine kilometres from Lake Ontario, and do extensive leaf pulling and crop thinning to only 1.5 tonnes per acre. As a result, we get intensity of flavours and tannins that make our Pinots sturdy and ageable. The vines grow on a small gravel hill and were planted in 2008.
Calamus Estate Winery
WINEMAKER: Kevin Panagapka – OWNER: Peter Van Helsdingen
2016 Williams Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon
My passion was always to make a Double Barrel Wine, named after my father William. Double Barrel has been aged in French Oak for three years, and then four months in true Kentucky Whiskey Barrels; small batch, only two barrels at a time. A full-bodied Cab with aromas of current, cassis and finely integrated tanning, with a flavour of cedar and spice.
2017 Barrel Kissed Chardonnay
A medium body, non-traditional Chardonnay with sweetness that provides crisp acidity and aromas of lemon, peach and vanilla. Became a favourite overnight on our patio overlooking the vineyard, that pairs well with buttery and creamy dishes.
Cave Spring Cellars
WINEMAKER: Gabriel Demarco
2017 Riesling CSV
In a recent article in Decanter Magazine, internationally renowned wine writer Ian d’Agata paid homage to this wine: “There’s probably no better estate than this in all of Canada, given its long track record for excellence, the large number of wines made and its willingness to innovate. The CSV is a benchmark Canadian Riesling which embodies the richer, riper but very mineral, peachy style typical of the Beamsville Bench.
2017 Cabernet Franc Estate
In winemaker Angelo Pavan’s words: “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Cabernet Franc is the Bordeaux variety best suited to Niagara’s terroir. With the right work in the vineyard and cellar, Niagara Cabernet Franc as a mono-varietal can reach the highest level of vineyard expression when compared with the other Bordeaux varieties.
Due to availability, some vintages may have been changed.
Funding provided by the Government of Ontario.