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 grapes, most famously, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
Selected from vineyards from the Niagara Region, known for their ability to balance acids and sugars in their Chardonnay vines.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted, with the most highly regarded expressions of the variety coming from Burgundy and California. Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavours a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California tend to give more tropical styles. While many Chardonnays have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques. (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety’s intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavours.
Harvested from different vineyards. Each lot is fermented separately, in stainless steel at cool temperatures, before final assemblage. The wine is then aged in steel, with some lees contact for complexity. Bottled young and fresh, without oak.
Aromas of apricot, red apple and wet stone. Mid weight, with some lively acidity, the stone fruit replays on the palate, with some mineral and green apple notes. The finish has good richness and lingers, though the acid keeps this refreshing. A great sipping Chardonnay, but lightly chill and serve with pan-seared scallops.