The wine tour continues!
Next stop: Angels Gate
Next on our list of wineries to visit was Angel’s Gate. Angel’s Gate is just up the road from Thirty Bench, and so it was a quick hop across the bench. Angels Gate does higher volume in Niagara as compared to most wineries. They produce approximately 35,000 cases per year, and they have, when all is said and done, won a variety of awards. They boast this in their tasting room. Have a look at the photo below. All of the grapes for Angels Gate are grown throughout Beamsville, and are all owned by the winery. This was good to know, since a lot of wineries actually purchase their grapes from “trusted” growers in the region.
This winery, as well as many of the other wineries in the Niagara bench area, make quite a few Rieslings. Their 2007 Single Vineyard Riesling is priced at $16.95. I love a Riesling that has that petrol nuance in it, and I can actually handle quite a bit of minerality in my Riesling, but I wasn’t expecting to feel like I was drinking a glass of Vaseline. I found that to be surprisingly shocking, because the nose was so light in intensity. The palate revealed some peach and citrus, but the clay loam soils imparted an overpowering presence in that wine, in my humble opinion. The wine I thought was most intriguing was their 2010 Sussreserve Riesling. This was a very good introduction Riesling for those who are not used to Riesling, or who have never tried it. Agreeably fruity, the first thing that came out of my mind when I smelled and tasted it was, “A stick of Juicy Fruit.” A dry wine with loads of tropical fruit and a strong minerality, this was a bargain for your buck. At $13.95/bottle, who wouldn’t want a bottle of this “sussreserve” wine? (Note: Sussreserve is the technical term for when pressed unfermented grape juice is added post-fermentation to add sugar/sweetness to the wine.)
Next stop: Fielding Estate Winery
As it was actively snowing, the tasting room atop a small hill overlooking acres of vineyard, was not crowded. In fact, I think Andrew, our gracious host at Fielding, was surprised to see such dedicated tasters arrive to the tasting room that morning!
Fielding Estate is a 7 year old winery. Ken and Marg are the proprietors, and it is a small, family run winery. Andrew assured us that the folks are very hands-on in the making of all of their wine. With 13 acres to pick from, and 36-38 acres a few kilometers away, this winery produces approximately 8,000 – 10,000 cases per year. Their winery has been founded on white wine varietals – the aromatics – Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris. Interestingly, many of the folks running the show around Fielding Estate are in their early 30s. I was so happy to hear this, because I think that we need more 30-something representation in the wine industry! (Am I giving away any age information now?)
Their 2011 Estate Bottled Pinot Gris was refreshing and crisp. At 12% abv, this Pinot Gris was well represented by a citrus backbone. Pears and pineapple came to play. Overall, well-balanced. This wine won Bronze at the Canadian Wine Awards! Their 2011 Gewurztraminer was a fine combination of violets, tropical fruit (pineapple), peaches, and grape. Dry, with a white peppery finish. Lovely deal for only $15.75!
The Estate Bottled Riesling (2011) was a nice balance of citrus, aromatic florals, and petrol with hints of pear. The palate had the slightest hint of petillance (fine prickly sensation) which highlighted the tart peach and lemon on the palate. Bravo! Their 2010 Viognier is also of note: pronounced intensity on the nose, this Viognier was extremely floral; just the way I like my Viognier! Violets and roses wafted out of the glass alongside peach and apple slices. The palate had an interesting viscosity unlike any other Viognier I have ever tried; it was thick and oily. For me, this was a new experience, but an interesting experience nonetheless!
…Part III coming soon! Next stop: lunch at About Thyme Bistro. You won’t want to miss this post!