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 PEC 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. Twenty Mile Bench is a sub-appellation of the larger Niagara Peninsula region, located near the town of Vineland. Limestone and sandy soils, warm summer days and cool evenings and stiff breezes coming off Lake Ontario ensure acid structure is retained, even in warmer vintages. This is cool-climate viticulture, with wonderful versions of Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay garnering international acclaim.
Indigo is a selection of small lots from both the Rosehall Run Estate in Prince Edward County (PEC) as well as our the Nedelko Vineyard in the Niagara. Rosehall’s Estate vineyards sit on Hillier clay soil, which is scattered with numerous rock and shale fragments on a limestone base. This soil is similar in composition to the soils of the Champagne region in France, so it is no wonder that the vineyards yield grapes that make beautiful cool climate wines. Well-respected Nedelko Vineyard, located on Twenty Mile Bench in Niagara, has supplied grapes to some of the giants of Ontario’s wine industry, including Charles Baker and Stratus, for years. It’s glacial till and sandy soils are underlay by limestone, giving the wines prodigious fruit, as well as a mineral backbone.
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, it is home in Germany but is also grown successfully throughout the wine world, notably in cooler areas in Australia and South Africa and, of course, here in Ontario! It builds up relatively high sugar levels, so malolactic fermentation is rare. Riesling is one of the wine world’s great white grapes. It is best grown in cooler climates where it thrives from a long, slow growing season, developing intense aromatics and renowned acidity.
The grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel, before being blended. Secondary fermentation is induced in tank, using the Charmat Method, before the wine is racked off its lees and bottled in crown cap.
Explosive aromas of orange, apricot and flowers. The palate is off-dry with a gentle mousse and notes of orange, apricot, honeydew and some leesy character. Chill well and serve with Green Curry Thai, Chinese takeout or enjoy on a sunny patio.