Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run has succeeded at crafting elegant PEC wines for over 20 years, focusing on highlighting the specific terroir of the County and creating some of the best examples of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world. Dan received the “Best Red Wine in Ontario” medal at the 2020 Ontario Wine Awards for his signature JCR Pinot Noir 2018. Sitting on the “Hungry Point” isthmus, surrounded by Lake Ontario on 3 sides, the vines dig deeply into the rocky, calcareous limestone soil. The long sunny days and cool evenings of the region, along with the high acid levels and low pH of the estate soils, ensure Rosehall wines are never lacking in freshness and structure. It is this kind of nervy tension that allows for the production of sublime sparkling wines, both traditional method as well as tank-fermented sparklers, including the exceedingly popular “Pixie” brand. The key to Rosehall’s success is its attention to detail in the vineyard. Sullivan believes that he simply bottles what the vineyard gives him. Yields are infinitesimally small compared to other wine regions, made smaller still by careful selection. Grapes are harvested at full phenolic ripeness, made difficult by the sometimes slow ripening and by the inherent climactic dangers of long hang times.
The Twenty Mile Bench stretches east to west from Fifteen Mile Creek to west of Cherry Avenue. Bisected by Twenty Mile Creek, it has a complex topography with a distinctive double bench formation west of Twenty Mile Creek and short, varied slopes that roll to the brow of the escarpment. The sheltered north-facing slopes and air circulation from Lake Ontario provide for year round temperature moderation—ideal growing conditions for quality grapes.
Owner Bob Nedelko makes this special vineyard his home and has taken this Twenty Mile Bench property to greater heights with the replanting of Pinot Noir – The Silver Fox Block – about a decade ago. This is the first vineyard-designated offering from this terroir.
Gewürztraminer is a pink-skinned grape producing some of the world’s most distinct, aromatic wines. Made famous from the Grand Cru vineyards of Alsace, the grape has recently spread throughout the globe. It builds up relatively high sugar levels, so malolactic fermentation is rare, ensuring the retention of suitable acidity levels. Gewürz can be found across Canada, grown in many wine regions including Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley. In Ontario, it can be found throughout the Niagara Peninsula, and along the north shore of Lake Erie and Prince Edward County. Gewürztraminer prefers cooler climates and is particularly fussy about climate and soil.
This select lot of Gewürztraminer was given the love and attention to detail needed to accentuate and develop texture by fermenting in 2/3 old French puncheons and 1/3 in stainless steel for 9 months prior to blending and bottling, elevating the classic rose petal and lychee notes without the melodramatic cloying.
This dry style Gewürztraminer is reminiscent of the limestone planted houses of Alsace with a cooler climate twist. There is good weight on the palate, but the tropical fruit and acidity find their way to the long, lingering finish. Warm with sweet cooking spices, rich with lychee and dried apricot, balanced with just a hint of citrusy grapefruit to cleanse the palette.