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:
JACKSON-TRIGGS NIAGARA ESTATE
Founded in 2001
Winemaker: Marco Piccoli
How big is your winery?
47,000 square feet.
How many varieties of wine do you produce?
Seven to 10.
What are your three most popular wines?
Entourage Sparkling Brut, Delaine Cabernet Merlot, and Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.
Tell us about the winery’s background.
Canada’s most award-winning winery was founded in 1993 by two friends and colleagues, Don Triggs and Allan Jackson, who bought out Labatt Canada’s wine interests and created Vincor International. A state-of-the-art winemaking facility was built in the Niagara region with contemporary technology housed in buildings that honour the area’s natural landscape. Each year, the Niagara winery yields about 110,000 cases of wine.
Does the winery offer tours?
Tours and tastings are offered daily year-round, though the winery may be closed on major holidays. From June to October, tours are offered every half hour from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. From November to May, tours take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Tours are approximately 45 minutes in length and cost $5 per person, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Is there a retail shop on the premises?
What other amenities are on site?
A tasting gallery, tasting bar, outdoor patio and outdoor amphitheatre for pop concerts.
Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
Often the consumer is not aware of the fact that wine is “alive” in the bottle, and as a result can age nicely (depending on many contributing factors), or alternatively, not age well and possibly be faulted upon opening. It’s a perishable product, and in most cases, is not intended to be laid down for years on end, but to be readily consumed at purchase. This applies especially to “new world” wines.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
The best way to enjoy a wine is to connect it to your expectations—know your preferences: white or red; dry or with a touch of sweetness; still or bubbly; oaked or unoaked. Don’t expect the wine to deliver something that it can’t. Enjoy with friends and family as part of everyday experiences or create new experiences!