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Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
Terry Sullivan

Summary: A stunning modern architectural design awaits visitors to Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate Winery. You can purchase tickets for a tour and tasting, a flight tasting or just a tasting.

On the day of our visit to Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery we decided to take their tour. Vanessa Mckean was our tour guide. Vanessa is studying winemaking at Niagara College and was gaining experience at Jackson-Triggs.

Jackson Triggs WineryJackson Triggs WineryVanessa pointed out that the modern building was a tribute to area agriculture. The building symbolizes a barn. One may need to use one’s imagination to visualize a barn though. Looking at the ceiling beams helps. Rafters represent rafters in a barn. The modern looking building, rising from the surrounding vineyards, matches well with their neighbor winery, Stratus.


Jackson Triggs Winery Our next stop on the tour was the vineyard. A tractor was passing through the rows pruning the sides and tops of the grapevines and mowing the grass between the rows at the same time. The well-manicured vineyard is twelve acres in size. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling are planted and one can observe the grape clusters hanging from the bottom of the foliage well out of reach of the pruning tractor. Jackson-Triggs contracts grape growers in the Niagara region. About 100,000 cases of wine is produced yearly. All those grapes pass through the crush pad, the next stop on the tour.

The large area used for the crush pad can accommodate trucks bringing grapes to the winery. Trucks are weighed on a pad. After grapes are crushed, the juice or must is pumped to tanks in the tank room.


Jackson Triggs WineryJackson Triggs WineryAt the end of the tank room sit rotor fermenters. Beyond these are eighty-seven stainless steel tanks, used for fermentation and aging. Several tanks had their cooling jackets operating. One can observe the built up ice bands on the outside of the tanks. The tank room is very large and not air conditioned; yet it was cool. Natural lighting comes from windows on the wall near the ceiling. Although light floods into the space, the roof of the building extends past the walls thus blocking sunlight from entering and warming the tank room.


Jackson Triggs WineryThe next tour stop was one of the barrel rooms. Ninety percent of the area under the building is used for barrel storage. Barrels are piled three deep over a gravel floor. A cement floor, between the barrels, provides a walkway through the cellars. The gravel floor, under the barrels, provides humidity for the room. The higher the humidity the less wine will be lost due to evaporation from the barrels. The wine library is at one end of the barrel room. Long tables are at the other end of the barrel room. These tables can be used for events with the attractive barrel cellar as a backdrop.

The tour finished in a small tasting room where Vanessa demonstrated a structured tasting. The first wine tasted was a 2006 Method Cuvee Close sparkling wine. The sparkling wine was a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. It was crisp and cleansing and slightly sweet. The 2004 Chardonnay Delaine was made from grapes from the nearby Delaine vineyard, a vineyard owned by Vincor, the parent company of Jackson-Triggs. The wine offered an oak, pear and apple nose. It was medium bodied with a vanilla and oak taste. There was butter and oak on the aftertaste. The 2005 Cabernet was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. A dark ruby barely translucent color gave the scent and taste of blackberries. The wine finished with very soft tannins and was crisp. Some money from the sales of this wine help support the Canadian Olympic Team.

Jackson Triggs WineryVanessa led the group to the retail shop where additional wines could be tasted and purchased. We followed Vanessa to the amphitheatre where performances are held during the summer. The large stage accommodates internationally recognized Canadian talent. The cement seating area reminds one of ancient Roman performance areas. A cooking area next to the amphitheatre showcases food that can be enjoyed with Jackson-Triggs wine.

Visitors can marvel at the facility design and large tank room. Tours are the best way to take advantage of one’s visit.

Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
2145 Regional Road 55
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

GPS: N43° 24.477’ W079° 09.113’

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