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Focus on Ontario

Ontario's Lake Erie North Shore

Located at a latitude of approximately N42 and stretching along the bow-shaped shoreline of Lake Erie from Amherstburg to Leamington, the Lake Erie North Shore appellation encompasses the vineyards in the southwestern extremity of Ontario. This favourable southerly location combined with the warming effect of the shallow waters of Lake Erie allow this appellation to enjoy a long growing season and promotes ripe fruit with a perfect balance between natural sweetness and acidity.

Currently there are nineteen wineries on the Lakeshore, producing quality grape, fruit wines and cider. There is one cider house, Cider Keg in Vittoria.

Jamie Quai winemaker
Jamie Quai

The oldest most established winery in the entire region is Quai Du Vin Estate Winery with vineyards first planted in 1970, Redi and Roberto Quai drew on their European heritage to establish this scenic country estate. Roberto and his wife, Lisa, opened the doors of the winery in 1990. Quai du Vin Estate Winery (pronounced "K dew vañ"), the focus is the established winemaking and retailing operation that feature and compliment the vineyard and the scenic location. Son Jamie is now the winemaker. The winery is located St Thomas

Situated Harrow, Ontario, their dream began in 1980. Colio Estate Wines received the first winery license granted in Southwest Ontario following prohibition. Their their dream began in 1980. The 200 acres of Colio Estate Vineyards are located at a latitude similar to Northern California and the Tuscany region in Italy. Allison Christ, winemaker at Colio Estate Wines, began fostering her skills in winemaking with an Honours BSc. in Chemistry/Mathematics from the University of Windsor

Erie Shore Vineyard is a family run estate winery, owned and operated by Harvey and Alma Hollingshead and their two sons, who specialize in 100% estate grown VQA wines. The winery is just 600 meters from Lake Erie, the area is ideally suited for the production of world class grapes and wine. Located south of the town of Harrow making it Canada's most southern winery. The first vines were planted in 1997, and over 15 acres of European varieties are now established.

Mastronardi Estate Winery established in 2006, is nestled in the heart of Essex County. Owners, Eadie and Tony Mastronardi, along with winemaker Lyse Leblanc are dedicated to growing exceptional grapes and producing high quality VQA wines.

The 100 acre vineyard, originally planted over 25 years ago during the revival of wine production in Southern Ontario, produces 18 varietals of Vinifera. The vines thrive amongst 1000 + acres of vineyards in Southwestern Ontario, located along a peninsula that wraps around the north shore of Lake Erie. The moderating effect of the climate is ensured by the warm waters of Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, which surround this peninsula. It is the location along the 42nd north parallel (similar to that of French Riviera, Mendecino, California, Tuscany Italy and southern France) that gives Lake Erie North Shore the highest accumulation of heat units in Ontario each summer. This lake effect along with abundant sunshine results in the high sugars and ideal acid levels of each varietal. Therefore, an earlier harvest is common.

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery located in Harrow know as CREW. They opened our doors in July, 2006 and have since been graced with many prestigious awards. - The winery is situated on Colchester Ridge which contributes to the name. Bernard Gorski, originally from Harrow Ontario and his wife Nancy are the owners

Cooper's Hawk Vineyards located on 67 acres of land just east of Harrow, Ontario, in the Essex Pelee Island Coast Owed by the O'Brien and Meloche Families The name comes from the numerous hawks that fly over the vineyard and their dad worked for PriceWaterhouse Coopers who make wine barrels. Two large ponds on the property teem with life of the local ecosystem, including turtles and bullfrogs whose songs on warm summer nights are relaxing and true to the vitality of the region. They have have partnered with Ducks Unlimited to restore a wetland on the property.  An observation deck is being constructed to provide guests with a view of the area.   They have also planted thousands of native trees on site and have installed solar panels near the entrance of the winery.

Muscedere Vineyards The 163-acre property was purchased by the Muscedere family in 1986.it was not until 2002 that Fabio and Rob Muscedere began working on he dream of starting a winery. Finally Planting Time! In the spring of 2003 the first four-acres were planted with the trilogy of Vidal, Riesling and Cabernet Franc. Followed by an acre of Pinot Noir in 2004, and seven-acres of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc in 2005. The final acre dedicated to the two Northern Italian varieties used to make Barolo wines, Barbera and Nebbiolo was planted in 2008. Today 8 family members work at the winery.

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2011 Syrah both won at 2015 Intervin International Wine Awards

 

Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery represents the fulfillment of a dream that started over 44 years ago when Hannah & Gord Mitchell purchased a 52 acre farm situated on beautiful Lake Erie, with the intent of planting a vineyard, and perhaps one day, establishing a winery. in 1991 the first acreage of vines was established. Subsequent years saw the acreage rapidly expand to its current 35 acres of noble varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon just to name a few of the nine in total. However life happens and due to health issues the winery did not open until 2006. Today it is one of Ontario's most successful wineries.

Viewpointe Estate Winery The work of producing fine quality wines began in the 2000 under co-owners and brothers Stephen and John Fancsy; the first vintage was in 2001. Viewpointe Estate Winery is made up of three parcels of land that produce a variety of vines, each influenced by the nature of its geography. When mature, the combined 42 acres produce 12,000 to 14,000 cases. At capacity, the production will be 25,000 cases. The location has conditions favourable to high quality wine grape production (soil and climate) as well as a breathtaking vista situated within a well recognized viticultural area. The winery provides a breath taking view of the lake and comprises a culinary venue (instruction) and rental hall. Viewpoint is a total "experience" winery.

Aleksander Estate Winery A family owned winery located on the North Shore of Lake Erie,near Ruthven,they produce grape and fruit wines from their own estate vineyards. Aleksander (Alex) Bemben is the founder, The winery focuses on making small batch, high quality wines that capture and reflect the characteristics of each vintage.

Pelee Island Winery was established in 1979 by Walter Strehn of Deutschkreutz, Austria. Pelee Island Winery has over 550 acres of Vineyards and believes that to produce the best wines you also have to grow the best grapes. The Island provides a very unique microclimate and natural environment. Pelee Winery hired viticulturists Bruno Friesen, to maintain the natural balance of the island. Today Pelee Island Winery is located on the mainland having moved to Kingsville in 1982.

Fruit wineries

Black Bear Farms of Ontario Estate Winery Inc located on the western edge of Kingsville.  A family owned and operated winery on the family farm of Jerome and Madeline Rondelez and their three children Jerome, William, and Michelle. They opened our winery doors on December  14, 2008 and five months to the day they opened William was receiving a gold medal at the 2009 All Canadian Wine Championship for Papa’s Special  Reserve and a bronze medal for Purple Raspberry. 

Blueberry Hills Estate Winery Located in beautiful Norfolk County, just minutes from Simcoe, Port Dover and the beach getaway of Turkey Point, A family (Vranckx family) owned fruit winery. Their wines are called Canada Blue Wines and Spirits. Making grape and fruit wines


Paglione Estate

In recent years some new wineries have opened on the Lakeshore, they include

Oxley Estate Located in the historic hamlet of Oxley on the Lake Erie North Shore. The winery is owned by Ann Neydon Wilson and Murray Wilson.

Paglione Estate Winery nestled in 40 acres of land with 10 acres of vines along the shores of Lake Erie in the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) wine region in Harrow, Ontario. The winery is owned by Nancy Paglione and family.

North 42 Degrees located in Colchester owned by Martin Gorski and Suzanne Dajczak.

 


Carlo Negri, Master Winemaker, was Colio’s first winemaker

 

Essex County is the southernmost county and  division census in Canada located in Southwestern Ontario most of the Lake shore wineries are here.. The administrative seat is the Town of Essex. Essex County has a population of 177,720, and the census division including Windsor and Pelee has a population of 388,782 as of the Canada 2011 Census, Essex County is largely composed of clay-based soils, with sandy soils along the beaches and shores. For the most part, Essex County is flat farmland, with some woodlots. There is a small 30–50 foot (10–15 m) high ridge near Kingsville and Leamington in the southern part of the county, and large marshland near Hillman Marsh Conservation Area, and Point Pelee National park.

 The county hosts some of the warmest summer weather in Canada

Elgin county is just east of Essex county,with a 2016 population of 50,069. Its largest population centres are Aylmer, Port Stanley and Belmont. he county boasted about its wineries and beaches. Please see South Coast Wineries

The Lake Erie North Shore Wineries

Wineries to Watch For in 2017

Best Wineries to Visit 2017

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