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.
Fruit comes from a blend of Rosehall Run’s Prince Edward County vineyards, as well as top producers from the Niagara Bench.
Vidal is a hybrid grape variety developed in the 1930s. It was brought to Canada in the late 1940s and is used primarily to make icewine, dry white wines and some wonderful sparkling pinks. Known for its floral and fruity aromas and bright acidity, wines made from this grape are typically ready to be enjoyed right away. Pinot Noir is the classic Burgundian grape. Finicky and difficult to grow, it nonetheless has found itself particularly suited to some of the better sites in Prince Edward County.
Bursting with flavour and low in alcohol, Pixie Petite is a refreshing drink for any occasion. With notes of peach, strawberry and citrus, a tiny touch of sweetness and a lovely spritzy feel, it keeps popping from first sip to the last!