was built in 2009, finished one month before our first harvest. The building itself is more industrial and utilitarian, in order to maximize efficiency and allows us to focus more directly on the wines. The tasting bar is inside the production area, where visitors can enjoy the complete experience of the winery production environment. We are open daily during the summer from 10 - 5, and during the winter Friday - Monday 10-5.
traditional old-world techniques in our winemaking procedures. We are the only winery in The County using a concrete fermentation vessel for our reds – this allows both for typically healthier fermentations as a result of the oxygen penetration into the tank through the porous concrete, as well as temperature moderation by preventing sudden spikes in temperatures as a result of fermentation. We age our wines in French oak barrels exclusively. We also ferment a portion of our wines in these same barrels. We age our wines on the lees, giving a more complex and rounder mouthfeel to the finished wines.
is the newest DVA (designated viticultural area) in Canada, announced in 2007. Our soils are thin and not very fertile, under which considerable dolomitic limestone bedrock lays. Since the bedrock is fissured, the roots of our vines can travel quite a distance down into the bedrock to find water and nutrients. Being on the North shore of Lake Ontario, we have the benefit of temperature moderation during all seasons, until ice forms on the lake – we have had documentation of a 10 degree C differential between the vineyard and the 401 only 25 minutes away to the North on very hot days. The fall frosts are kept at bay by the lake’s effect as well, allowing us to leave the fruit hang on the vines a little longer. Once winter hits in earnest however, the lake is not enough to protect the severe cold snaps we can get in late January through mid February – when the temperature hits minus 24 C, the buds on the canes (that will bear fruit for the following growing season) die off. While the vines themselves can survive, they will not produce any significant fruit in the following summer, therefore we must take precautions to protect the tender buds from exposure to these extremes.
Vineyard managers in The County have devised a method whereby after harvest, we select the canes we desire for the next season and tie them to a wire very close to the ground. We then use heavy-duty plows to hill up the vines – up to 2 feet of soil is plowed ONTO the tied-down canes. This results in adequate protection from the severe elements during winter, however adds a significant amount of labor required in preparing the vineyard in the spring. Due to the delicate nature of the vines in spring, this extra labor must be finished by hand, and can take 2-4 weeks to complete. Very often, this extra handling and battering of the canes causes a reduction in yields. On the plus side, this reduction in yields typically results in far more concentrated wines, as all the energy of the vine is funneled into fewer grapes. Overall, the extra challenges to growing wines in The County, combined with the unique soils, offer unique wines. A region truly worth exploring! Learn more at www.thecountywines.com