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A word from the Wise

Posted May 16, 2012

by Ross Wise, Winemaker

An early spring is both exciting and nerve-racking for those in the wine industry.  The enjoyment of a new season beginning and watching new shoots emerge is balanced by the nervousness of wondering if there is a damaging spring frost on the way. Already this season we have dodged two frost ‘bullets'.  On two consecutive frosty nights in late April, with the help of our friends at Niagara Helicopters, we were able to push warm air down from above to replace the cool frosty air around the vines.  Thankfully, because of this we were able to save about 90% of our vulnerable developing Chardonnay shoots.

Spring is also a good time to evaluate the wines ageing in barrel from last vintage.  Our 2011 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are both eerily similar to their 2009 vintage counterparts, with great acidity and impressive aromatic and flavour intensity.  I particularly enjoyed tasting through our 13 different sub-blocks of Pinot Noir last week, and seeing the unique personalities of each of the tiny blocks showing through.  It is inspiring to see how the subtlest changes in soil type, slope, elevation or aspect can impart such different characters to a wine.  This is why Pinot Noir is so fascinating to work with. More so than any other variety, it really does tell the story of where it was grown.

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