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.
Nestled on a peninsula on the north shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Kingston, the Prince Edward County wine region sits on a bed of porous limestone. This is crucial for creating the mineral, brightly acidic wines the region is known for. The vineyards benefit from breezes off of Lake Ontario, keeping the temperature down on hot summer days and cool at night. “The County” was first settled in the late 18th Century and, after years of farmland agriculture, began growing grapes in earnest by the early 2000s.
The land where these vines are planted was previously known to local farmers as “Hungry Point”, where conditions were dry, winds were harsh and shallow- and rooted plants did not always thrive. It turns out vinifera grapes are right at home here. The vines dig deep into the earth gathering enough water and nutrition from the mineral-rich clay to produce ripe, concentrated fruit. The original test plot at Rosehall of Sauvignon Blanc vines dates back to 2001, making it the oldest of this variety planted in Prince Edward County.
Unique, herbaceous flavour, this white wine is unlike any other. Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that is used to produce white wine. It is one of the most widely-planted grapes in the world and has a variety of styles and flavours. In Canada, Sauvignon Blanc is grown in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia – all three produce versions unique to their region.
The wine is barrel fermented in 500 litre puncheons and the lees kept in contact with the wine as late as possible prior to bottling, in this case mid April. Little is disturbed, allowing for optimal integration with minimal bâtonnage and racking.
Zesty lime and gooseberry on the nose. Dry crisp and very flavourful on the palate: fresh lime, green apple and passion fruit with hints of fresh herbs.