From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.
This week’s Ontario winery:
SANDBANKS ESTATE WINERY
Founded in 2001
Owners: Catherine Langlois and Renee Lorenzo
Winemaker: Catherine Langlois
How big is the winery?
How many varieties of wine do you produce?
What are your three most popular wines?
Baco Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Dunes White
Tell us about the winery’s background.
Sandbanks Estate Winery was created out of a passion for wine and the land. Catherine Langlois, originally from Quebec, grew up in the country setting of Isle D’Orleans. She studied viticulture and completed her courses working in the vineyards of Burgundy, France. Upon returning to Canada, she started working in the Niagara wine industry in sales. She instantly fell in love with the people and the terroir of Prince Edward County. Together with her her partner, Rene Lorenzo, they purchased some land and planted vines in 2000-2001. Since then, Sandbanks has become one of the fastest growing wineries in Ontario earning many accomplishments such as the VQA award of excellence in 2012.
Does the winery offer tours?
Complimentary tours are offered daily during the summer at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Is there a retail shop on the premises?
Yes, there is a wine boutique on premises. In addition to selling our wines, we also sell many wonderful handcrafted items from local artists as well as local cheese and treats.
What other amenities are on site?
We invite visitors to bring their own picnic and enjoy it at our beautiful vineyard setting. All of our events are free of charge for the entire season.
Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
It’s surprisingly easy to learn. And it’s really fun. Wine should be something to be enjoyed and shared, not a snobby or pretentious thing.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
Enjoy trying different wines with different foods. Focus on balancing the weight and tastes of the wine with the flavour and strength of your foods.