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Flat Rock Cellars
by
K. L. Sullivan

Summary: The focus at Flat Rock Cellars is on producing quality wines, being environmentally friendly and offering visitors a great experience. Tours are free, fun and educational. The views from the deck of the Cellar Door, the retail and tasting room, are spectacular.

Flat Rock CellarsFlat Rock Cellars is a treat to visit. Driving on the road towards the winery, it is easily visible rising high above the surrounding vineyards. The driveway to the parking area is lined with vineyards on both sides. From the parking area, beautiful landscaped flowerbeds and rocks lead to the entrance of the tasting room.

Flat Rock CellarsThe property was purchased in 1999 and grapevines planted in 2000, 2001 and 2004. Flat Rock Cellars is dedicated to three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. All wine produced at the winery is from estate grown grapes. With 80 acres of vines surrounding the winery, the winery is a delight to visit. Beyond Flat Rock Cellars’ vineyards are acres of vines owned by other wineries and vineyard owners. The view is stunning with acres and acres of vines. Seize this opportunity to take photographs.

Flat Rock Cellars is not only about quality wine but also about the great experience available to visitors and part of the experience is the quality of the wine. A friendly staff offers guests a tour on request that enhances visitors’ experiences. This is definitely a tour you do not want to miss.

Flat Rock CellarsFlat Rock CellarsThe architecture of the winery is unusual. Brian Porter is the architect. Originally Ed Madronich, President, wanted a circular building. However, circular buildings are expensive to build so Ed settled on a hexagon shape. This shape allows visitors to see the vineyards from all sides. A hallway connects the tasting room with the winery. A series of metal steps lead down to the lower areas of the winery. The ceiling of the winery is of wood, this helps with the humidity, and it happens to look good. This is an example of how “form follows function.” Visitors can view circular stainless steel tanks, which fit well in the space. Stacked oak barrels age wine and winery equipment such as the press is observable.

Flat Rock Cellars is an environmentally friendly winery and according to Ed, everything concentrates on low impact viticulture. Equipment does not travel throughout the vineyard in the same rows, year after year. Rather the equipment alternates each year. No chemical fertilizers are used anywhere in the vineyards. In addition, a large pond provides geothermal heating and cooling for the buildings.

In the vineyard, the soil is a mix of limestone, sand and clay. A strict trellising system is used with the grape bunches dependent upon the location of the cane. All 80 acres of grapes are handpicked and immediately sorted by hand in the winery. Ed believes in using technology if it helps the quality of wine.

Flat Rock CellarsMost tastings take place at the tasting bar. Ed decided to have us do a special tasting so we could easily compare the wines. As we tasted wines, we discovered that Ed has a passion for quality wines. We began with red wines. The Pinot Noir had a translucent strawberry nose and taste, crisp with mineral on the finish. Gravity Pinot Noir 2006 had a cherry nose and taste with crisp tannins on the finish. Chardonnay 2005 was smooth with an apple pear taste. Ed named Rusty Shed 2005 after an old shed on the property. Rusty Shed was a Chardonnay with oak on the nose and apples, pears and peaches on the taste. It had a crisp finish with citrus on the aftertaste. Riesling 2006 Nadia’s Vineyards had a floral and mineral nose, fruit and floral taste. It was crisp with citrus aftertaste. Riesling 2006 had a mineral nose and fruit taste. It was crisp with citrus aftertaste. Twisted was a blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay. It had a floral and spice fruit taste. Sweet Revenge 2006 was a golden yellow Vidal icewine with a honey nose. It had a honey taste and a balance of acid and sugar on the finish.

Flat Rock CellarsWe observed a friendly staff who enjoy visitors, answering their questions and taking them on tours. This is a wonderful winery to visit. It is very photogenic. On clear days one can observe the vineyards, Lake Ontario and the city of Toronto in the distance. The "friendly to the earth" vineyards and winery are well integrated into the environment.

Flat Rock Cellars
2727 Seventh Avenue
Jordan, Ontario, Canada

GPS N 43° 12.620' W 079° 35.922'

 

 


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