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A Word from Ed


This summer Flat Rock Cellars is paying homage to a grape that has been much maligned in recent years. Beautiful, complex, terroir-driven Chardonnay may have been bad mouthed and mishandled, but we have pursued our passion reverently secure in the knowledge that the world will once again come to its senses given the full story. 

Ever notice that Chardonnay is everywhere? It's one of the most popular grapes in the world and with good reason: it's easy to cultivate, it has the ability to adapt to different conditions and it's malleable. So you can take it anywhere and it will thrive, but is that enough?

Without the right terroir, Chardonnay is... well, ordinary. That's why winemaker's feel the need to "dress it up", which often results in wine reminiscent of Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane as opposed to Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

At the height of Chardonnay-mania in the 80's and 90's we were inundated with heavy, über-oaked, New World Chardonnays that were unbalanced, high in alcohol and not particularly food friendly. For the most part, wine drinkers assumed this was a function of the grape and not the "make up" added by the winemakers. Not surprisingly, tastes changed, the pendulum swung heavily to the other side and the saying ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) was born.

And that is the dichotomy of Chardonnay. It has the potential to actually tell us something about the earth it comes from that we otherwise wouldn't know - to act as a conduit to the earth. The problem is it takes a very special terroir to elicit this from Chardonnay. As a result, we end up with some Chardonnays that taste like they could have come from anywhere (and so the make over begins), and others that taste like they are from somewhere... somewhere magical.

We have the magic. Right here on the Twenty Mile Bench at Flat Rock. We have the terroir - the gorgeous clay, limestone soils and perfect cool climate - that truly makes this grape sing. "You have the sensation of having heard the voice of the land through the vehicle of fine wine", Matt Kramer of Wine Spectator noted recently while tasting Chardonnay at Flat Rock Cellars. He was beguiled.

This summer it's time to come back to the fold. Let our passion ignite yours. Come to Flat Rock and celebrate The Summer of Chardonnay with us, and hear the voice of Niagara for yourself.  To hell with ABC...unless it stands for Another Bottle of Chardonnay.


ed sign


In the Winemaker's Boots
Full Day Sessions & Weekend Workshops

Much more than a tour!

Second Full Day Session
Friday, June 12th

Theme: Vineyard Scouting & Vintage Blending

Our next full day ‘In the Winemaker's Boots' session in June will be here before we know it. Don't miss your chance to be a winemaker for a day as we prepare for Flat Rock Cellars' next vintage! With Flat Rock's Winemaking Staff and President Ed Madronich as your guides, you will actively participate in vineyard activities, lab analysis, and wine tasting and blending. Your day includes a delicious lunch accompanied by Flat Rock Cellars wine, and a souvenir T-shirt and certificate to prove that you truly ‘walked in the winemaker's boots'.

Please contact the winery to reserve your spot or give a friend the gift of a day in the vineyard.

Price: $200 per person

Flat Rock Cellars at your Local Restaurant

Out for dinner and looking for Flat Rock Cellars? Here are a few of the restaurant wine lists we are proud to be part of:

Niagara Region:
On the Twenty; www.innonthetwenty.com
Pillar and Post; www.vintage-hotels.com/niagara-on-the-lake/dining/pillar-and-post.php
Canyon Creek Chophouse; www.canyoncreekchophouse.com
The Old Winery Restaurant; www.theoldwineryrestaurant.com

Jamie Kennedy Kitchens; www.jamiekennedy.ca
Gladstone Hotel; www.gladstonehotel.com
Sotto Sotto; www.sottosotto.ca
360 Restaurant CN Tower; www.cntower.ca/360_Restaurant/Overview/

London and area:
Garlics of London; www.garlicsoflondon.com
Ancaster Old Mill; www.ancasteroldmill.com
Benmiller Inn and Spa; www.benmiller.on.ca/dining.php
Idlewyld Inn; www.idlewyldinn.com

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Read the latest vineyard news from our winemaker, Dave Shephard.... (Read More)


Follow the  link to read Ed's one-on-one interview and our newest Vintages Releases on April 13th.... (Read More)


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