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 between Lake Ontario in the North, Lake Erie to the South and the Niagara River to the East, the Niagara Peninsula is one of Canada’s top wine producing regions. The moderating effects of the bodies of water create a moderate temperature during the growing season, similar to France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. With almost 15,000 acres under vine, Niagara produces a number of grape varieties, most famously, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
Bob Nedelko’s famed Twenty Mile Bench vineyard is sustainably farmed, respecting the region’s biodiversity. It sits on a bed of limestone and clay. Crop cover between the rows of vines ensures there is no erosion of the vital soil and provides nutrients as it dies and decomposes. The wines crafted from here are known for their vibrancy, tension and acidic balance, along with marked minerality.
Pinot Noir grapes are black-skinned and typically very difficult to cultivate. This grape variety is well known internationally and is grown in most winemaking regions throughout the world. Its origins trace back to Burgundy, France. Canada has had great success with Pinot, producing renowned wine in Prince Edward County, among other regions.
Harvested from the Silver Fox Block, optimally ripe Pinot grapes are destemmed and gently pressed into stainless steel for fermentation. After malolactic conversion is complete, the wine is transferred into a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels for 17 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Much larger and more mouth-filling than its County compatriots, the Nedelko Pinot offers black and red cherry elements and an earthy note on the nose. The palate is rich and medium-bodied. It is quite structured, with fresh acidity, a surprising grip on tannins and trademark Nedelko minerality laced throughout. Serve at cellar temperature with roast duck or tourtière.