Visit of the Niagara Wineries – Tawse Winery
After our visit at Redstone and a return to Hidden Bench to taste their aesome sparkling wine, we are going, the day after, at Redstone big brother, Tawse Winery. At Tawse, this is where the transformation occurs. And it is here that Maury Tawse has decided to set up first in the Niagara.
Tawse Winery: Biodynamics everywhere!
At Tawse, as at Redstone and Southbrook, biodynamics dominates. The winery was built on 6 floors to encourage the natural flow of wine during bottling through a system that goes as of gravity, while subject to a geothermal principle. It’s a bit complex, but good to say how Tawse is careful to nature, a giant turtle has already crossed the path of the pond to the wood, made cars passed cars on the other side of the road.
When we arrived a little before the opening of the shop, we sat on picnic tables contemplating the beautiful landscape that you can see below. Then a waiter arrives with 2 glasses of the estate sparkling wine, the Spark! What’s better than taking a bubble watching this incredible scenery.
A visit in the heart of Tawse Winery: The Cellars
After the bubbles begin our visit in the cellars of Tawse. It’s a very modern facilities. You can better see in this picture the principle of gravity implemented at Tawse. It’s pretty impressive, and everything falls directly into the basement.
Honestly, it’s pretty impressive to walk through the cellars of a winery, especially when it’s your first time, with hundreds of oak barrels. In short, it’s pretty fascinating to watch the birth of a wine, something that will be consumed within a few years. And as impressive to see that it is done in my own country.
The barrels you see in the picture are imported from France, where most of the barrels are made. Since we do not necessarily search the taste of an old product, some of the barrels are new, others are used, the percentage of new and used barrels depends on each wine. After use, they are often sent to distilleries, who are looking for the wine taste to add to their own product.
Tasting Tawse wines
2014 Spark Blend – Tawse
This sparkling at 12% alcohol is made in the traditional method from Chardonnay Quarry Road base, Pinot Noir of Laundry Vineyard, and Pinot Gris of Hillside Vineyard. After spending 12 months on lees, this sparkling has delicious notes of pie crust, a crisp green apple and citrus point at the nose. These flavours are complemented on the palate with flavours of Granny Smith apple, grapefruit and a hint of pastry taste. Learn more here.
2012 Chardonnay – Tawse Estate
Here is an aromatic chardonnay at 13% alcohol, on the nose, you smells spicy oak, ripe tropical fruit, melon and white flower. These are followed by intense aromas of honeydew melon flavors , royal gala apple pie as well as spicy apples. A very fresh wine with which we made the tour of the cellars. Learn more here.
2014 Riesling – Limestone Ridge North
This is the third leaf of Limestone Ridge, the organic and biodynamic vineyard farmed atop of the Twenty-Mile Bench. Made from grapes harvested by hand, it displays a vibrant aroma of lime zest followed by pink grapefruit, wet stone and lively acidity on the palate. This riesling, as we see very little here, is very mineral and slightly sweet to 9.5% alcohol. We want more of this type of wine here. Learn more here.
2015 Rose – Growers Blend
Not a wine tasted during the visit, but brought home. The Rose Growers Blend is a blend of Cabernet Franc / Cab Franc, Gamay and Pinot Noir. To give structure and colour, the rosé is made using a process called “saignée”, where the drop of juice of red grapes specially selected from a single vineyard combined before they are pressed. This is the rosy driest domain, but still fruity with a sour cherry taste and fresh strawberries on the nose along with subtle spice notes. This wine is a delight on the palate with red fruits leading fresh and well balanced acidity, we are not in the presence of a Zinfandel here, but something much more sought after. Learn more here.
2013 Pinot Noir – Tintern Road
After the acquisition of Tintern property in 2009, the world-class geologist Yves Harody was led to study the site to determine the best grape variety to plant. Uncultivated land leveled and not yet possessed a natural topography and it was determined that the Pinot Noir was the best variety to showcase its tranquil land. In 2010, four acres of Pinot Noir were planted, and the first crop was in 2013, it led to the first vintage of Tintern Road Vineyard.
Aged 16 months in French oak barrels; Of which 30% were new; This third leaf of Pinot Noir (referring to years of planting) has aromas of blackberry, oak, violets and some minerality. A rich, round mouthfeel with fine tannins are accompanied by notes of sweet cola, cassis and dark chocolate on the palate that are frankly pleasant. With 13% of alcohol. It retails $ 45.15 in private import or domain.
2011 Meritage – Tawse
This incredible wine is made from the fruit of the highest quality hand picked and aged 18 months in French oak barrels, this superior blend was assembled from 36% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon / Cab Sau and 32% Cabernet Franc / Cab Franc. Here is a young wine with considerable potential for aging. The nose is expressive, Merlot contributing to a vibrant fruit – we have in mind blackberry scents and blackcurrant – and darker notes and a touch of lavender which comes from the Cabernet. 18 months in French oak barrels have certainly refined the wine. The fruit is also dominant on the palate with notes of cranberry, raspberry and a hint of cedar. With crisp acidity and a strong structure, this wine worthy of your cellar you will surely delight for years to come! Learn more here.
Many of their products are available at the SAQ and LCBO, ,otherwise, you’ll be spoiled for choice when making a detour through the winery.
Tawse, 2016 Winery Of the Year!
Some time after my departure Tawse Winery was named Winery of the Year in the National Wine Award Of Canada – their fourth win since 2010! It’s amazing all the work done by their talented team. It is a commitment to quality and expression of terroir essential for every decision takes Tawse inorder to create wines that speak and bring to all wine lovers.
Here are few pictures from our visit.
A big thank you to the Tawse team for this sublime welcome!
3955 Cherry Avenue, PO Box 822