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Peninsula Ridge Estates
Kathy Sullivan

Peninsula Ridge EstatesSummary: Peninsula Ridge Estates, located on the Niagara escarpment in Beamsville, Ontario wants visitors to experience a fun environment and enjoy good wines. The restored 19th century barn has been completely refinished and provides a delightful wine tasting experience. A restaurant is available in the large historic mansion.

Peninsula Ridge EstatesIn 1999, Norm Beal was interested in buying or building a winery. He visited different wine regions including Long Island, Oregon, California and Niagara. He decided to purchase property in Ontario including an 1858 Victorian home. Today the house is a restaurant and the property has 39 acres of grapes including Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon (pictured), Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The vineyards are farmed with environmentally sustainable techniques.

Norm with Nancy and Pat McNally as partners are the owners. The McNallys have 45 acres of vineyards with Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The owners want people to enjoy and have fun visiting Peninsula Ridge Estates. The people who work here have a passion for wine and enjoy working at the winery.

Peninsula Ridge EstatesPeninsula Ridge EstatesPeninsula Ridge Winery

The winery's stainless steel tanks are a bit unusual with tanks stacked in twos. The top tank holds 10,000 liters and the bottom has 5,000 liters. These tanks were made in France.

The underground barrel room has rows of barrels stacked two high. At a corner of the room a stone tasting counter has artwork painted on the wall behind it. Subdued lighting along the walls creates a romantic atmosphere in the area.

Tasting Room Located in Renovated 1885 Barn

Upon entering the tasting room in the renovated barn, visitors should note the door handles that are in the shape of the winery logo with the P appearing upside down. Great care was taken in the renovation. The tasting counter has the Peninsula Ridge Estates logo engraved on it in several places. Today the loft area is available for tastings and also as a gift shop. In the tasting room, tasting attendants prefer to ask people questions about what they are tasting rather than telling people what they “should” be tasting.

Peninsula Ridge EstatesA choice of three tastings is available:

  • A private tasting of four estate wines
  • A private tour of the winery, underground barrel cellar and vineyard discussion with four wines to taste
  •  As above but customized for the group and includes three artisanal cheeses.

The Kitchen House Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge

The restaurant is located in The William D. Kitchen House.  Built in 1885, the architecture of the manor is Queen Anne revival Victorian. Diners can enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at the onsite restaurant in the historic and dramatic house. Visitors can choose to enjoy eating indoors or on the patio.

The Coach House

The Coach House is near the tasting room. The Coach House is a reconstruction of the original coach house on the property. This building, which accommodates less than 75 people, is for private or business events.

Peninsula Ridge EstatesWhite Wines

Jonathon Kuhling gave us a tour of the winery and conducted our tasting. We sampled several wines. Inox® Chardonnay 2010 was a straw color produced in stainless steel (inoxydable). The wine offered notes of apple and pear. Fruit yields to chalk on the finish. Wismer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was a light straw color. The aroma had floral notes of blossoms. The taste offered citrus with tropical hints. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to mineral. McNally Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was a light straw color. Citrus notes were on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp. J Lepp Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was a light straw color with aromas of tropical fruits and floral nuances. Citrus envelopes the tropical notes. The finish was crisp with citrus yielding to tropical fruits.

Red Wines

Cabernet-Merlot 2010 was a light red with blackberry and blueberry notes. The fruity finish had mild tannins. Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 was a light ruby color. The aroma was of cherries and a hint of strawberries. The taste had cherry and mushroom notes. The finish offered fruit and earthy notes with tannins. Reserve Syrah 2010 was red with dark pink hues. A slight hint of red pepper was on the aroma and taste. The taste also had dark fruit notes. Tannins and fruit notes were on the finish.

Ratafia was a blend of unfermented Chardonnay juice and distilled plum brandy. The mixture was blended to 18 percent alcohol and aged in French oak. The aroma had orange blossoms while the taste offered nuts and caramel.

Peninsula Ridge EstatesEnjoy a visit to Peninsula Ridge Estates where you will first see the stunning Queen Anne revival Victorian manor built in 1885. Enjoy a tasting in the restored barn.

Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery
5600 King Street
West Beamsville, Ontario
Canada,  L0R 1B0

GPS: N43º 10.563’ W79º 30.517’


Article written in September 2012.

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